This is a really interesting report from HBR based on 10 years' research into the behaviours of successful CEOs: http://bit.ly/AspireMCL047
Note the high failure rate (25%) for those companies which misunderstand the requirements for success.
The behaviours identified are:
(1) Decisiveness - they realise they cannot wait for perfect information and that a wrong decision is often better than no decision. The most successful leaders quickly realise which decisions were right and maximise their effect and ruthlessly cut projects/programmes when it is clear they will not deliver planned benefits.
(2) Engagement for impact - they work to understand the priorities of stakeholders and align them around a goal of value creation. To do so effectively requires the ability to understand the personal motivations and preferred behaviours of the stakeholders. Tools such as DiSC or SDI 2.0 can be a major help.
(3) Adaptation - they adapt proactively, keeping an eye on the long term and treating mistakes as learning opportunities. Further, they change their style and approach as required due to the demands of the task, team, individuals and wider environment, e.g. organisational culture.
(4) They deliver results in a reliable fashion, steadily following through on commitments. This behaviour is built on the foundation of behaviours 1-3 above.
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