Leadership: It’s Not Just About You

from Soundview Executive Book Summaries review of Jack Welch’s best selling book, “Winning”. Written in 2006 and still as relevant today!

When you become a leader, success is all about growing
others. Without question, there are a variety of ways to be a

What Leaders Do:
1. Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using
every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach
and build self-confidence.You need to invest the vast
majority of your time and energy as a leader in three
activities: evaluating, coaching and building the team’s
self-confidence. Too often, managers think that people
development occurs once a year in performance reviews.

2. Leaders make sure people not only see the vision,
they live and breathe it. As a leader, you have to make
the vision come alive. Goals cannot sound noble yet be
vague. One of the most common problems in organizations
is that leaders communicate the vision to their closest
colleagues and its implications never filter down to
people in frontline positions.

3. Leaders get into everyone’s skin, exuding positive
energy and optimism. An upbeat manager ends up running
a team or organization filled with upbeat people. A
pessimistic sourpuss somehow ends up with an unhappy
tribe all his own

4. Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency
and credit. Trust happens when leaders are transparent,
candid and keep their word.

5. Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions
and gut calls. Some people long to be loved by
everyone. Those behaviors can get you in the soup if you
are a leader because there are times you have to make hard
decisions — let people go, cut funding to a project or close
a plant. A lot has been written about the mystery of gut,
but it’s really just pattern recognition. Leaders are faced
with gut calls all the time, and sometimes the hardest gut
calls involve hiring people. However, if you’re left with
that uh-oh feeling in your stomach, don’t hire the guy.

6. Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders
on skepticism, making sure their questions are
answered with action. When you’re a leader, your job is
to have all the questions. You have to be incredibly comfortable
looking like the dumbest person in the room.

7. Leaders inspire risk-taking and learning by setting
the example. Winning companies embrace risk-taking
and learning. But in reality, these two concepts often
get little else than lip service. If you want your people to
experiment and expand their minds, set the example yourself.
Consider risk-taking.

8. Leaders celebrate. There is not enough celebrating
at work — anywhere. Celebrating makes people feel like
winners and creates an atmosphere of recognition and
positive energy.

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