5 Mandates for Every Leader

Post by Jerry Baker on April 29, 2015

I spoke with a group of CEOs about trends in their indus­try and had the oppor­tu­nity to offer impor­tant ways to enhance their lead­er­ship skills. These proven “man­dates” apply to any­one in a lead­er­ship role that wants to improve their per­for­mance and over­all career success.

Aim Higher
We all have a ten­dency to aim too low when set­ting goals or per­for­mance expec­ta­tions. No mat­ter how good things may have been, our mind­set should be that the best is still ahead. We need to real­ize that our oppor­tu­ni­ties far out­dis­tance our abil­ity to see or grasp them. That is why we can aim much higher in set­ting goals than we believe we can attain. We need to make sure those stretch goals really are a stretch.

And it may not be pos­si­ble to attain per­fec­tion in every­thing we do, but we can strive for it every time. Don’t accept less than being a “per­fect 10” in every area that dri­ves per­for­mance and results. When we aim higher and exe­cute to the high­est level pos­si­ble, we will sur­pass the major­ity of the com­pe­ti­tion and pre­pare the team for even greater results.

Be Engaged
Too often man­agers and lead­ers get caught up in their daily rou­tines. We can all be over­whelmed with too much to do, and we can miss both big and lit­tle things that are hold­ing us back. We need to make get­ting out of the office a pri­or­ity. We must make time for it. When we do, we can expe­ri­ence first­hand what’s really going on, gain greater insight and be fully engaged with the team.

There is much that can be learned in the trenches where the work gets done. When issues are found, we need to address them quickly. It will make a huge difference.

Inspire Through Vision
The peo­ple we man­age and lead want to know that lead­er­ship has a plan. What is their future? Where is the team going? An inspired plan that excites the team and our­selves makes a big dif­fer­ence in keep­ing every­one moti­vated and excited to be part of the team.

A truly inspired and clear vision of where we are going not only helps us take advan­tage of our oppor­tu­ni­ties, it can help over­come uncer­tainty when chal­lenges and imped­i­ments get in the way.

Pur­sue Excel­lence
To achieve excel­lence we must nar­row our focus to only a few key pri­or­i­ties. Becom­ing the best really requires a focused process. We should work on improv­ing the high­est value and high­est pri­or­ity items first. When we have mas­tered or nearly mas­tered those pri­or­i­ties, we can move on to what’s next.

Pur­su­ing excel­lence is a key to sur­viv­ing and ulti­mately thriving.

Stay Grounded
Remem­ber who does the work. If we think we are doing most of the work our­selves, we are prob­a­bly not rely­ing on oth­ers. We are hold­ing the team back and not reach­ing our fullest poten­tial. This needs to change. There are many peo­ple on the team work­ing hard in the trenches every day. Tap into their skills, energy and moti­va­tion and ele­vate their per­for­mance and contribution.

We need to stay hum­ble. And as the busi­ness changes we need to make sure we have the right peo­ple in the right seats so we can exceed expec­ta­tions, now and into the future.

Suc­cess in great part is deter­mined by how effec­tively we are get­ting every­one on the team focused on what needs to be done, mak­ing sure it is done well and rec­og­niz­ing oth­ers for what they do.

To help you remember these points, print off our 5 Mandates for Every Leader card for your leadership team! Download Here

5-Mandates

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Jerry Baker
CEO Mentor

Jerry Baker joined Building Champions as a CEO Mentor in 2009. He has experienced the impact of coaching firsthand as a client and corporate partner of Building Champions. He most recently served as CEO, President and member of the Board of Directors of First Horizon National Corporation and First Tennessee Bank.

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