1. Developing the Leadership Team:
Often because this is considered a "soft" skill, or because the leader is uncomfortable with the "touchy and feely" stuff, they shy away from this focus and may delegate it to the HR department, or rationalize to themselves that their team members already know what needs to be done. With this abdication, a team never really comes together.
2. Managing Subordinates & Making Them Manage Theirs:
The leader must know what their subordinates are doing, set a general direction, and hold them accountable. If they get stuck they should help them get unstuck by coaching them without doing it for them. If you manage your subordinates, they will then manage their subordinates too.
3. Having Difficult & Uncomfortable Conversations:
"One of the main responsibilities of a leader is to confront difficult, awkward issues quickly and with clarity, charity, and resolve. What kind of issues am I talking about? Everything from a team member’s annoying mannerisms to poisonous interpersonal dynamics and politics." Do you see the common thread in these three elements?
4. Running Great Team Meetings:
Many CEOs, and participants, dread meetings because they are so often boring, rambling, and ultimately ineffective. But this is because they lack substance, leadership and discipline. “Think about it this way. The best place to observe whether a surgeon is good at her job, a teacher is good at his, or a quarterback is good at his, is to watch them during an operation, a class session, or a game, respectively. What is the best place to observe a leader? That’s right—a meeting...The truth is, if meetings are not engaging, it’s completely logical to conclude that the quality of those decisions will be subpar...The second problem of accepting bad meetings at the executive level is that it sets the precedent for the rest of the organization."
5. Communicating Constantly & Repetitively to Employees:
People need to hear a message perhaps seven times for it to sink in. But leaders are afraid of sounding dull and they also tend to chase shiny new green objects. Let me share a personal example: some years ago when I was running a big company, I loved talking to people and exchanging ideas. But this created unexpected confusion: people were unsure if they had just had a pleasant chat with the boss or had been given a new project to accomplish. At the end of the first year, a colleague asked me the most important lesson I had learned? I responded: “Keeping my mouth shut.” Leaders should keep their sparkling brilliance to themselves and focus on repeating the key messages consistently.