updated - April 14, 2021 Wednesday EDT
Every CEO and company head should drive to be the best they can be. You shouldn't become complacent just because your business is succeeding. A good day or year may be quickly followed by a poor one. By making yourself the best leader possible, you can set yourself and your company up to face down wrong turns.
Here are the top five traits every leader should strive to have, according to former Polycom CEO Andrew Miller.
The worst trait any leader could have is impatience. Getting angry quickly, refusing to wait, and jumping the gun are all things that could quickly kill a company. Don't give your business a single reason to fail. Follow the lead of other CEOs and show patience and grace even with an incredible working drive. This patience will allow you to lead your employees through rough patches and will show that you have a steady and stern hand on your business.
Help inspire your employees to want to learn by showing that same virtue yourself. Express a need to grow, review business decisions, and improve your company. If there's something you don't know, don't double down in ignorance. Educate yourself, and seek out ways to gain a better understanding of anything you're unsure about.
This plan can translate into having a dynamic company that can volley any rough turns and is capable of keeping its head above in the worst times. It helps to have a little flexibility too.
Being rigid may fit what many people think of when considering CEOs, but you can't let yourself be too stern, or you'll crack. Give yourself the ability to change opinions if given useful new information, and be willing to make further plans if old ones fail. Listen to what your peers and employees say, and give yourself the chance to grow and change. Although you may not like the changes at first, you won't have much room to complain if they can grow your business. Flexibility is the key to succeeding anywhere.
Help your employees see what it means to love the work you do. Be passionate about your company, about the connections you make through it, and how it changes people's lives. You don't have to give over your whole life to your business or let yourself become obsessed with it, but you should work to make it clear that it's your passion. Your enthusiasm will help boost confidence in other people and inspire them to be and do better.
Humility and charity go hand in hand. Show your employees and the world that you're willing to invest the money your company makes into the future of the world. Choose charities that align with your beliefs and your customers' belief systems, and donate and support them. You can advocate clearly for these funds and help others donate too. This action will brush off the 'corporate greed' sheen so many people place onto every CEO and will help with your taxes in the long run. Also, it's the right thing to do.
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