October 2, 2009

The triple-30/10 rule for great business leaders


Over the past few months its become vary apparent to me that most things that the so-called experts teach in business books really doesn’t help in practical situations. Many of the times, their advice is misleading or just plain wrong.

With that said, it is obvious to me that a CEO needs to be much more than just a great leader to succeed in business. Social skills play an extremely important role, and I list the most important skills for any budding entrepreneur below:

  1. Empathy

    If you know how to see things from another person’s point of view, you can connect with them on a truly human level, which will eventually translate to massive value to you and your business.

  2. Negotiation

    The art of negotiation ties closely to empathy – when you see things from another’s perspective, you can drill down to what they really want, and use that to get a better deal for everyone.

  3. Confidence

    Not quite a skill as a trait, but is equally important. Your tonality, volume, body language and eye contact conveys volumes about your character.

  4. Listening

    This is a much more difficult skill than most people realize – it took me quite some time to get the hang of it myself! If you listen effectively, you can communicate effectively and establish important business relationships.

On top of the required social skills, equally important is the number of people in your network, or who you know. In business, if you have excellent social and communication skills and know enough people to make your dream happen, in reality there is very little other work that you absolutely have to do that you cannot outsource.

On top of social skills and networks, a leader shows extremely good leadership qualities which indicate he knows how to handle his team, work effectively with others and serves as a moral and strategic compass for his entire organisation. An effective leader needs to exhibit the following qualities:

  • Character
  • Charisma
  • Commitment
  • Communication
  • Competence
  • Courage
  • Discernment
  • Focus
  • Generosity
  • Initiative
  • Passion
  • Positivity
  • Creativity
  • Responsibility
  • Self-discipline
  • Servanthood
  • Vision

I realize its an exhaustive list, but a truly effective leader has all of those qualities, and more.

From my observations, I have constructed what I call the triple-30/10 rule for effective qualities of CEOs:

Business Skills

The graph shows how I weight social skills, who you know, and leadership equally – as I believe they are all equally important to massive business success. Additionally, I have assigned 10% for the “lesser” qualities that leader don’t truly need, but that help them in every day tasks. These are technical and organisation-specific skills that can be outsourced, but which can save time if known.

Do you guys agree with my model? Let me know by posting below.

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One Comment

  1. Michael October 4, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I agree.

    I would even give social skills a higher percentage. Being able to talk to people (listening attentively) is one aspect of a leader that i value very much. As you pointed out, by listening one gets to understand more of the customer’s need therefor being able to render a better service.

    More please…

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