Being a great leader requires mastering a whole range of different skills, but it also calls for a specific set of personality traits and qualities that have to be learnt through experience.
Leading a company is also about walking the walk, and there are certain areas where successful CEOs can really add value to their organisation. In fact, there are a few key styles that leaders embody and that any CEO should consider in their role.
Communicating a clear vision
One of the most important roles a leader has is to set the tone for a company, both culturally and strategically. That starts with having a core vision for the business that can guide the development of the organisation.
While it is often easy to have this vision if you are leading a start-up, it is just as important if you are stepping into the role of CEO with an established company. Whether it’s boosting market share or taking the business in a new direction, having a clear vision is central to being a strong CEO.
When you have this vision, communicate it regularly; in every conversation with staff members and every speaking opportunity you are presented with. Each of these opportunities is a chance to better communicate why the company exists and what its goals are.
Understanding a company vision is also highly tied up in other important measures of business success. Research published in the Harvard Business Review has even found a positive correlation between understanding strategy and an employee’s overall opinion of a company.
Focusing on team building
CEOs cannot drive a team to perform through their own will alone – that is a quick road to micro-management. Effective CEOs will instead focus on setting up the right team, with resources, skill sets and the passion to really achieve results.
This begins at the C-Suite, with great leaders also looking to surround themselves with other executives who share their passion and commitment, while also bringing unique skills to the table. However, this approach also needs to extend throughout a business in order to achieve meaningful change.
Building the right risk culture
There are plenty of business risks that companies need to manage, from reputational to operational obstacles. Handling these often means putting in place structures to manage risk at every level.
Great CEOs also know there are limitations to a risk culture, and that sometimes a calculated risk is essential for keeping a business moving. As markets fluctuate more than ever, being prepared to take risks and embark on new projects is essential for keeping a business agile and moving forward, while still managing risk in the right way.