Want to Expand Your Leadership Ability?

businessman stands in front of chart with arrows going up
Lisa Hochgraf Photo
Senior Editor

4 minutes

Here are five big ideas and ways to put them in action.

CEO Institute III attendees also learned about distance teams. Here one team member from "Germany" makes a "site visit" to another teammate from the "United States" by visiting the room across the hall. Attendees of CUES’ CEO Institute III got the results of their 360-degree feedback survey last Monday afternoon. This feedback about their leadership was compiled from surveys taken by the attendees’ boss, peer and reports. Before having participants “open their envelopes,” Lou Centini discussed five things leaders can do to expand their effectiveness and encouraged them to create a personal leadership development plan in response. Centini is the lead faculty for the program, held at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business in Charlottesville, Va.

  1. Model the way: Find your voice by clarifying your personal values. Set the example by aligning actions with shared values. Operationalize this: Walk the halls, talk with others about your values and beliefs, spend time on your most important priorities, build on your successes and make choices public. “Do a calendar test,” Centini said. “Go back and look at your time. How did you spend it?”
  1. Inspire a shared vision: It’s not so much what a vision is but what a vision does. Have a vision and get others to go along with you. Operationalize this: Learn from the past, act on your intuition, test assumptions, know your followers, appeal to a common purpose and believe in what you are saying.
  1. Challenge the process: Search for opportunities by seeking innovative ways to change, grow and improve. Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes. Operationalize this: Treat every job as an adventure, provide challenging assignments, break free of daily routines, collect innovative ideas and look outside your field. “Try small experiments, but know when to cut the cord,” Centini advised.
  1. Enable others to act: Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust. Operationalize this: Create opportunities for interaction; delegate, delegate, delegate; involve people in planning and problem solving; keep people informed; give people important work on critical tasks; and let people be autonomous.
  1. Encourage the heart: Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence. Celebrate the values and the victories by creating a spirit of community. Operationalize this: Foster high expectations, make creative use of rewards, say “thank you,” link performance with rewards, provide feedback about results, be a cheerleader and love what you are doing.

What are your strengths within these five? In which of these areas could you expand your leadership abilities?

Lisa Hochgraf is a CUES senior editor. Learn more about CUES’ institutes.

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