Legendary business journalist Marshall Loeb spent decades interviewing the greatest leaders of American business. Along the way, he defined these steps to effective:
- Know the difference between leading and managing. Loeb liked to quote Warren Bennis on this: “Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right. There’s a profound difference.”
- Develop your sense of purpose. “What employees want most from their company leaders,” Loeb wrote, “is direction and meaning, trust and hope.”
- Show courage. Sometimes, that means the courage to be extremely unpopular.
- Use candor. When you say what you really think, you encourage the people you lead to do the same.
- Limit yourself to just a few key objectives. Loeb quotes Jack Welch on this: “I have only three things to do: I have to choose the right people, allocate the right number of dollars, and transmit ideas from one division to another with the speed of light.”
- Borrow the best ideas and methods from others. GE was among the first to study and apply Wal-Mart’s retailing systems.
- Remember that great leaders are made, not born. “They’re made,” Loeb observed, “usually, self-made.”
- Be yourself. Figure out what you’re good at and stick to it.