Amy Rees Anderson

Leaders: Clean Your Leadership House

“Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience.”   -Dee Hock, founding CEO of Visa International

I couldn’t agree with Dee’s statement more.  The following is an excerpt taken from a Forbes Article I wrote:

“As a former CEO myself with the requirement to cultivate and select amazing leaders, I can tell you that the most successful managers in my own organization were the leaders with integrity, vision, passion, courage, respect, judgment, empathy, and emotional intelligence. Each of those qualities are identified by getting to know a person’s character; not by looking at job performance, education level, or years of experience. Spend adequate time getting to know your people’s character. Observe their interactions with their coworkers. Are they honest in their dealings with others? Do they respect, uplift and encourage their coworkers, even when it’s a coworker who cannot help them get ahead? Do they take feedback and criticism well and do they implement the changes suggested for improvement? Do they help others to excel? If the answer to those questions is yes then you might just have identified a fantastic leader for your organization.

…If CEOs have selected bad leaders in the past, fix it. Clean your leadership house by removing those leaders who don’t have the right qualities and replace them with those who do. As painful as change may be in the moment, nothing is more painful than the damage that gets done by allowing poor leaders to continue leading your company. Then move forward in finding and selecting new leaders that will motivate and inspire your people to greatness!”

I wrote that article five years ago and yet every bit of it rings just as true today as it was back then. I’ve watched so many companies succeed or fail based on who they’d hired or promoted into leadership positions. The CEO/President of any organization is only one person and one person alone can never carry an entire company on their back. So in order for any CEO to succeed they have to be wise about surrounding themselves with an executive team that is trustworthy, acts with integrity, and who can be counted on to represent the CEO’s values.

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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