Great leaders learn to combine their unwavering confidence with equally solid humility and selflessness. They know they are good but they don’t make an issue of it. They know they are not perfect but they don’t freak out about it. They know they know a lot, yet they are eager to learn from others. When things go wrong, they accept responsibility and are ready to show vulnerability. When things go well, they make sure the team is credited.
It is admirable to want to make the world a better place and it is what everyone should do. But if that’s all you do as an entrepreneur, you won’t even do that.
The CEO drives strategy but this does not change the fact that the CEO is there mainly to deliver results.
Top-performing boards of directors are built on a foundation of integrity and trust. I had the honor of serving on the Nokia board as the 150 year old company was preparing for the remarkable revival of the past years. This is what I learned.
A tight organization is tight but not uptight. It is relaxed and accommodating. Everyone knows that they are doing important work. There is trust, play and fun.
Building a tight organization is in the details. It’s not about strategy. Tightness requires trust and knowledge. Here are the three cornerstones.
A key question in building a b2b startup company is when and how to scale sales. The first rule is “Don’t do it yet”. It is always easier to scale a spreadsheet than a real business.
We may have different abilities and we play different roles, but we are not of different value. Each person in an organization plays an important role. All are worthy of respect and attention.
I was stubborn. Now I am persistent. I was self-centric and self-serving. Now I value equality and mutual respect. I was a day dreamer. Now I can envision things and think creatively about strategy. CEOs are not born; they are made – by themselves and by people around them.
When a good team becomes a great team, the whole company rises to a new level of performance. Everyone knows that you can accomplish anything together. Here are six things to keep in mind when building the team:
Focus is not what you do, but what you choose not to do. Startup CEO Kristo Ovaska learned the hard way to say “No”. He now declines long meetings, non-vital emails, external press requests, speaking engagements, and investor contacts that are not yet needed. This has brought about an entirely new level of productiveness.
12 things that it will always be useful to a leader to do more of. Focus more on opportunities than on problems – Deal more with substance than with appearance – Ask more than you answer.
When it comes to feedback, bad news is good news. Encourage customer feedback by saying, “If you have bad news, tell me. If you have good news, tell the whole world.”
Culture and values are a top responsibility for CEOs of both start-up companies and large corporations. A company with a strong and consistent culture requires less command-and-control management and empowers employees to take initiative, innovate, and serve customers well, says Fadi Ghandour.
From sense of urgency and patience to adaption and learning from failure. A fast way to become a better leader is by learning from others. Wisdom stemming from decades of doing and thinking can be elegantly expressed in a quote.
Celebrate failure in order to reach success. One of the most successful gaming companies ever, Supercell has a culture of celebrating the learnings from a failure. This encourages experimentation and bold decisions, which leads to more innovation.