Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire organization, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job.”
Our leaders strive for excellence in everything that we do. Our leaders have relentlessly high standards. We are continually raising the bar and commit our teams to deliver high quality processes, offerings, and services. We benchmark ourselves and our teams against the best, internally and externally, and strive to be the very best. Our leaders eliminate defects and make sure the problems are fixed and stay fixed. Leaders operate at all levels, are skeptical when metrics and anecdotes differ. Leaders don’t shy away from the tough intellectual work, they stay and dive deep to understand and give input. No task is beneath them.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. We think differently and look around corners for better ways to serve our stakeholders. Our leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams. We are externally aware of what others are doing, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here” thinking. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time. Creativity and innovation don’t happen in a vacuum, they come about from collaboration and co-creation.
Our leaders are never done learning, and we always seek to improve ourselves. We are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. We believe that life can be an incredible adventure of learning and growing and commit to continuous personal growth.
Our leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. We recognize exceptional talent and willingly move them throughout the organization. Our leaders develop talent and take seriously their role in mentoring and coaching others. We have a responsibility to pass our knowledge, skills, and wisdom on to our teams and the larger organization.
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. Our leaders value calculated risk taking. Delays are detrimental, especially in serving our stakeholders. We are builders.
Our leaders accomplish more with less. Constraints breed self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Our leaders listen attentively, speak candidly and treat others respectfully. We are willing to admit our mistakes, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. We understand that in order to earn trust, we must give trust.
Our leaders recognize that they are leaders. They don’t look to others to empower them. We empower ourselves, taking leadership and responsibility for our lives and our roles, without looking to a parental manager or anyone else to empower us—because each one of us is an autonomous agent of the organization, with real power already. And, as stakeholders in the organization we share in the successes, as well as setbacks.
Our leaders identify issues before they become problems, acquire the resources they need, and implement solutions. We are not simplistic, but we seek simplicity on the other side of complexity. Leaders focus on the key inputs for our organization and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Our leaders reject win-lose thinking. The best strategies for our organization, as well as finding solutions to the challenges we face, are always to seek to discover the win-win. Strategies and solutions that cause any of our major stakeholders to lose need to be rethought and reimagined until the win-win can be successfully accomplished.
Our leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when we disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. We have conviction and are tenacious. We do not compromise for the sake of artificial harmony. However, once a decision is determined, we commit wholly in support of the decision. By disagreeing and committing, our leaders are right, a lot. We may make mistakes occasionally, but we also have excellent judgment and good instincts. We seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm our own beliefs so that we will make better decisions.