As the Leader Goes…

Monday Message from Jerry Houston, President and CEO of HPISolutions

There is a time-tested statement that “as the leader goes, so goes the organization.”  Truer words have never been spoken.  In my 30 years in this business, I have become fairly adept at analyzing an organization, simply by walking around with the top person and watching the interactions with employees along our tour route.  It becomes very clear whether the organization is open and welcoming, or closed.  Does the top person interact, or only give surface acknowledgment to his or her team?

In the People Module of our new offering, The Prioritized Leader, the content points out that in order to be an effective leader we must know ourselves BEFORE we can know and understand others.  This requires a conscious commitment to the people side of the business.  Leaders need high Emotional Intelligence (EI) and high Emotional Quotient (EQ).  In other words, knowledgeable, experienced, and expert at those skills necessary for the leadership role.

A leader must be highly developed in terms of emotional intelligence with a very high level of self-awareness and also self-regulation.  Awareness means that you understand yourself, your moods, and your ability to have clarity about what your triggers are.  The leader must also be able to manage emotions and how they respond to other people.  Otherwise, people will not see you as approachable because they just don’t know what they are going to get from you in a given interaction.

Understanding others is critical, especially as you are building your team.  There should be five qualities that you look for in anyone who you bring on board.

  1. Character – does the person have a clear understanding of self? Does the person have integrity, a sense of right and wrong, and is values-driven?
  2. Competence – does the person have the skills and abilities to perform the work at an above-average level? Do they have the knowledge, experience, education, etc., to perform the job you need to have them perform?
  3. Capacity – Do they have the energy, focus, and bandwidth to handle the amount of responsibility you expect of them?
  4. Chemistry – Can the individual engage and get along with others?
  5. Course – Do they have the vision, the destination, in their sights so that they can stay the course?

Before you run out and start evaluating all your people on this scale, HOLD THE PHONE!

Ask yourself these three questions:

  • What are my strengths and challenges as it relates to the 5 C’s?
  • How have other people helped me to grow in these areas?
  • Which of the 5 C’s is most important to me, and why?

Leadership is not for the weak.  It is hard work but also can provide great rewards if we are willing to be truthful to ourselves and be the kind of leader that others want to follow.

Have A Great Week!