Know your Stakeholders: Your stakeholders are those whose support is essential to your success. Do you understand their concerns and aspirations and what they expect in return for their support? No organisation or initiative can be led successfully without understanding how your stakeholders feel and what they expect.
Walk and talk: Locked in a remote office, exposed only to sanitised reports and surrounded by “yes, yes, how high!” support staff is a formula for short tenured leadership. In a changing and intensely competitive context, there is no substitute for getting out and feeling, smelling and seeing what is really happening.
Communicate: A new CEO of one of the few consistently successful US airlines hand wrote a short personalised letter to several thousand employees seeking suggestions and got an abundance of useful responses. Communicating and acting in a way that conveys the importance you place on the ideas and suggestions of your team are powerful motivators.
Collaborate: There is a NASA Moon mission survival exercise that we use in leadership development programs to demonstrate how much more effective a collaborating team can be as compared with an individual working alone. How effectively you are able to collaborate is critical to your success as a leader.
Think systemically: Even in a complex rapidly changing environment, certain events typically follow others. A decline in economic performance typically leads to a drop in stock prices, which can lead to a shift in investment into property, which may trigger inflation, which may trigger increases in interest rates -- and so on. Leaders of the most successful organisations have a sharp ability to anticipate consequences (both positive and negative) by thinking systemically and interactively.
Think creatively: Having the confidence to look at a situation from a different perspective to see connections and possibilities that have never been seen previously is what creative thinking is about. Be more confident in stepping out of the ordinary if you want to become extraordinary.
Learn from past experiences: Periodic reflection, guided by specific questions, on your past good and bad experiences is an effective way of learning how to repeat success and is essential to ensure continuous innovation and adaptation of your leadership style and approach.