My highlights of: How to Think Like a CEO: The 22 Vital Traits You Need to Be the Person at the Top by D. A. Benton
Promotion at work comes from attention to details, tenacity, understanding effective chiefs, doing more than others and understanding people above. Understanding the boss is critical to career success. Treat your boss as your best customer. It means projecting yourself into how they may think. Controlling one's effect in others is critical. Truly understand people
Drucker: To be effective is simple, does not only need intelligence, hard
work or knowledge, you also need the 22 traits:
1. SECURE IN SELF
Face new challenges and don't dismay by failure
2. CONTROL OF ATTITUDE
If you lose control, you lose. Period. Attitude is an area you can control. Mindset and management style are key. Subordinates read the leader all the time.
Optimism is a dominant trait in successful people. They are able to see the best in others. Get out if your attitude is not contributing.
Keep going until something stops you, then keep going.
4. CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVING
Learn. Do things better and better. Improve: executive presence, organization, financial skills, confidence, excellence, time management, listening, delegation, public speaking, personal habits, confrontation, assertiveness, paper management, communication skills, diplomacy,...
Talk to people 'with a purpose': Management by walking around. Ask questions to competitors, customers. Not just chattering away. Learn from mistakes. Don't learn from a bad boss.
5. HONEST AND ETHICAL
Don't intentionally mislead or misrepresent. Don't straddle the line. Don't break promises or go back on your word. Don't waltz around or put a 'spin' on it.
Be honest with yourself- internally and externally
Be precise, crisp, then move on
Bring out into the open uncomfortable issues
6. THINKING BEFORE TALKING
Pre-think your comment, consider the consequence, alter the comment for the consequence and effect, and only then speak. Pre-think on situations you may encounter. Plan spontaneous comments. Everything you write, think is going to be seen by the CEO.
Say: I have some ideas but they are not ripe yet to be disclosed, I need to
think them through more.
Initiate conversation, then be quiet and listen.
After someone says something important, remain silent, ponder it, show you are listening and absorbing
Talk little but say a lot in few words. Control your enthusiasm. Limit your cursing.
Listen more than talk. Really listen.
Be fresh. Be unusual.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. A. Einstein
Every thought has been thought of before. The difference is in the ability and willingness to take action behind it.
Original thinkers don't fear change, they look for it because is where they thrive and shine
How to be original:
- Decide to be
- Be easy on yourself, even when failing
- Support others. Pick up good ideas quickly
- Keep the flow going
8. PUBLICLY MODEST
Speak with moderate estimation of talents, abilities and value.
Don't show off every day, leave open the limits of your talent.
9. AWARE OF STYLE
Add several styles to your repertoire
Be aware of your style and others styles.
Make a favorable first impression: Use your entire physical being to express yourself. Have a physical game plan. Coordinated words and actions
Do the opposite as expected. Be aware and control your actions for at least the first 4 minutes of any encounter. Give a good handshake
Remember people's names - Immediately repeat the name
Stand and sit with professional presence - relaxed, energetic
Gesture to enhance your presence - keep them away from the rib cage - hold them for a split second -synchronize with words
10. GUTSY/A LITTLE WILD
Take challenges, risks
A child laughs 400 times a day, an adult does it 15 times
Be willing to inject levity into somber situations.
Try one joke every 15-30 min
Making people feel at ease with humor puts you in control
Humor should be compatible with your personality and put others at ease
Careful with giggles, which increase tension
Careful with inappropriate humor, ill-timed, misunderstood or hurtful
12. A TAD THEATRICAL
Give your message power, capture their attention, and make it memorable
Learn to be expressionless and controlling of actions and thoughts
Appearances contribute to reality
Half of being a CEO is looking like you know what you're doing. The other half is being able to do it.
13. DETAIL ORIENTED
The higher you go, the more critical is to be aware of details. You need
to be alert for signals and focus.
14. GOOD AT THEIR JOB AND WILLING TO LEAD
Pay attention to your soft side: how you think, act and interrelate with people
Key to success in business is information
15. FIGHT FOR THEIR PEOPLE
If you want people to back you, back them, back them, back them.
Be loyal downward, spread credit downward.
Share the spirit and share the lead
But an employee must know all the angles and cover all the bases
If you want to have your boss supporting you, keep him informed of your activities in advance
Listen to what the boss has to say, question the thinking if need clarification.
16. WILLILNG TO ADMIT MISTAKES, YET ARE UNAPOLOGETIC
Mistakes take place. What happens next is up to you.
Recognize your mistake: admit it, stop it, correct it and most importantly, don't repeat it
Mistakes are nothing but education and the first step to something better
Dead people are the only ones that don't make mistakes
If you are error free, you are likely effort free
Risks and mistakes are close together
Being unapologetic means: apologizing unnecessarily is unnecessary. When you apologize the other person feels compelled to make you feel good.
17. STRAIGHTFORWARD COMMUNICATION
Don't distort, twist, deviate or trick
Avoid beating around the bush attempting to communicate
Be simple, unpretentious but interesting
Speak after relaxing your tongue, which de-stresses your throat and
minimizes tense voice. Your tongue is the carpet of your mouth
Write clearly: 1- make a recommendation; 2- reasoning and figures; 3- give
a specific time to respond
7 steps to write a memo:
1. pre-think the objective
2. write from the heart
3. start. continue. finish
4. put aside
5. edit. read it loud. does it still sound like it's from the heart?
6. reedit. reread. stop editing
7. send out
It doesn't mean being concerned about being liked
Decide what's right, not what's popular
Avoid the arrogant side of success
- Learn new information or get old info clarified
- Find out info without destroying the self-esteem of the person you are asking
Chose your battle, seek first test battles
Maintain your sense of humor while winning or losing battles
22. GOOD STORYTELLERS
Make information memorable, recallable, useful and appropriate.
Use stories to illustrate your points in business conversations
Generate a story pool of your own
Reflect daily on your daily experiences
Think about events and develop stories around them
Write the story down in an organized way:
- describe the situation
- describe what you did about it
- show the results of your actions
Stories should be true, appropriate, well-told, concise, new
The key is to fit stories into the conversation, have a good memory to recollect them for the proper occasion and recall who has already heard them
If you get lost, stop, admit it, get back quickly and concisely. Don't assume understanding.