Epic fail or verifiable success. Tragedy or comedy. Disaster or discovery. Travesty or triumph.
The story told in every business endeavor can begin – and end – with its executive team. To earn the descriptor of leader, the manager must cross more than a few thresholds. Leaders are strong people who are optimistic and engage in the world they inhabit. They embrace reality and delight in employees who are real. They demonstrate respect for their stakeholders by listening and responding, with intention and an open agenda. They are fair, in conducting dialog and in setting compensation. They elicit and appreciate the best in every person they encounter. They are decisive.
And leaders understand icebergs. Leaders anticipate problems, analyze their depth and address them before they grow to titanic proportions. This is in the realm of possibility because leaders put in place the right people, team players who strive to help by telling it like it is – who take that risk because the boss is focused on judgments grounded in performance and results.
Many of the golden moments afforded the executive wait just beneath the surface, invisible yet integral to navigating strategy, operations, products and markets. How executives seize the golden moments can mean the difference between demise and survival … between mere management and leadership.