"Earning trust every day is the foundation of successful executive leadership. Whether they say it or not, a question on everyone's mind is, why should we follow you?

While earning trust is essential, there’s no shortcut to it. Trust is built over time, through every interaction. Connect and build relationships with people, to demonstrate that you’re reliable and credible.

a. Show up on time, be prepared, and over-deliver
b. Make commitments and follow through
c. Close the loop on all expectations
d. If sometimes you fall short, do whatever it takes to make it right

a. Bring value to the table
b. Know what you’re supposed to know, and do what you’re supposed to do
c. Learn all you can about your business and industry
d. Step up when you’re needed
e. Make your presence felt and add value

a. Build rapport and relationship with others
b. Learn something from them or about them every time you interact
c. Find out what matters to them and help them get it
d. Listen, understand, and give

"Leading others is a voyage in the outer world of tangible results and the inner world of your own growth.

John Ullmen structured executive leadership into 4 disciplines, in alignment with different stages of leading and motivating your people towards a common direction to drive results. Starting with setting a direction by developing a habit to think ahead in time and space, beyond your current mandate and team. I really like John’s quote from Omar Bradley “Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship”.

This brings us to the topic of Strategic Thinking:

Improvement Strategies Why do this?
a. Study other leaders How they talk about their choices and future plans
b. Read company reports Study their strategies
c. Expand your perspective Seek roles, projects & relationships that pushes your own thinking
d. Ask “What If?” Explore different scenarios and different roles
e. Surround yourself with strategic thinkers Ask questions, observe their thought process and expand your perspective

"Use strategic thinking consistently to set a direction for success."

I initially learnt that the higher you go, the more risks you take on. Hence, the higher pay. During 1 of my interviews I gained another perspective. Which is, leaders are paid to make difficult decisions. When John shared about decisiveness and courage, the dots are connected (for me).

He said 1 of the key success factors is the ability to act decisively and courageously despite significant uncertainty and risk.
a. Make clear, justified choices. Acknowledge differing views with respect and genuine appreciation.
b. Collect diverse inputs. Consider alternatives and consequences. Identify the right problem to solve. Explore root causes.
c. Challenge your assumptions, biases, and limitations. Ask what data is missing.
d. Stay in touch with trusted advisors and people whose judgements you trust.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Leaders need to be there for their people, rally and lead them through times of crisis and change. As the chinese saying goes, 居安思危.

Invest time to answer, adapt, and update these 3 questions during good times, to be ready anytime, anywhere:
1. Past Framing: What’s our proudest achievements, greatest challenge overcame. Quantify with examples.
2. Present Framing: What are the most important challenges and opportunities we currently face. Be realistic and honest.
3. Future Framing: What are our inspiring ambitions for the future.

So what is direction? Ultimately it’s purpose and vision. When we invest the time to research, apply, interview and join a company, highly likely it’s because we identify with its values. We believe in its WHY. Hence setting a powerful values-driven, integrity-based purpose for your people to rally around and be proud of, attracts talent.

"Seeing what's possible is the first step to making it possible. Seeing how it could be, helps motivate us to plan for how it can be, and then take action to make it be."

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/executive-leadership