As the CEO of your organisation, you are in a unique position to guide the development and delivery of your strategy. In my experience, the business leaders who are best able to tackle and drive strategy are those who display the following eight behaviours and characteristics:

  1. They are willing to make clear choices and trade-offs. They know that they can’t necessarily have it all and must choose how they wish to compete.
  2. They continuously raise the bar. Today’s successes are not enough for “Strategic CEO’s”, who are forever looking for ways to reach the next level.
  3. They combine analytical rigour with creativity and serendipity. They deal with facts, rather than hope, but are also open to new ideas and concepts.
  4. They create a strong team around them. They welcome strong, well-rounded executives and managers as part of their team, and don’t need to ‘do it all’.
  5. They hold their people to account and always follow-through. Excellence in execution is critical to them, and they never forget what others have promised to deliver.
  6. They don’t rely on the numbers for their insights. They spend significant time with customers, colleagues and suppliers to drive their understanding of the business.
  7. They focus on a few big things. Even though they keep the bar raised high, they seek to ensure that the organisation doesn’t bite off more than it can chew.
  8. They are exemplar communicators. They love to talk about their business and share stories and anecdotes as a way of engaging their people and their stakeholders.

Which of these characteristics do you share, and where do you need to review your current behaviours?

© Stuart Cross 2009. All rights reserved.