CEOs seek honest advisers

If you were to select only eight words that you would like others to use when describing yourself as a leader, what would they be? We recently had three CEOs in our office speak about leadership. They were asked questions such as how is managing and leading different, what traits do they look for in their inner circle, whom do they admire as leaders. A common thread in the answers was the importance of honesty.If you were to select only eight words that you would like others to use when describing yourself as a leader, what would they be?

Honesty is one of the eight to put on your list. We recently had three CEOs in our office speak openly and honestly about leadership. They were asked questions such as how is managing and leading different, what traits do they look for in their inner circle, whom do they admire as leaders, what do they do in their quiet time to recharge and how are they building up within their organizations the next generation of leaders.

It was a rewarding, refreshing discussion. All three of the CEOs faced and cleared formidable economic hurdles n 2009. They met this turbulence head on, they were courageous in their decisions and did not waver from their principles.

A common thread in the answers was the importance of honesty.  The best leaders are willing to to say “I messed up” on that particular decision. They don’t hesitate to say “I don’t know” when asked a question they truly don’t have an immediate answer for at the time.  They don’t try to resolve every issue but let others work things out when there is a difference of opinion.

They listen, listen, listen. They encourage, encourage, encourage. They communicate, communicate, communicate.

The candid answers reminded of a saying that goes like this;  “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

I will always remember the thoughts shared by these real-deal leaders who spoke from the heart. They were so honest in their answers. We can all learn from this transparency as we ponder our eight words for 2010.