15 Things Inspiring Leaders Do Differently

15 Things Inspiring Leaders Do Differently


Over the past fourteen years, I have worked, coached, trained and studied well over 20,000 leaders. In that time, there are some common practices that I’ve observed from inspiring leaders at any level in any size of organization. Think of this as a to-do list if you aspire to inspire.

Inspiring leaders…

Install a rigorous selection process to ensure they hire only the best and brightest.

Set a clear and compelling vision.

Collaborate with their team to define a plan for realizing that vision.

Keep the plan visible.

Keep score along the way to keep the team energized and accountable.

Look for people doing something right and recognize it.

Eliminate barriers to getting work done.

Address even minor performance issues with proactive coaching.

Listen more than they talk.

Uncompromisingly uphold the team’s values by using them to make big and little decisions.

Give credit for and reward successes.

Get to know the person behind the employee.

Care about their people as much as their people’s performance.

Focus on the organization’s purpose as much as (if not more) than profits.

Consistently and frequently communicate even when they is apparently no news.On the contrary, leaders who miss the mark are likely to find their team’s enthusiasm expiring.  These fifteen (not all that uncommon) leadership practices are what to avoid.

“Expiring” leaders…

Hire by the seat of the pants, caving to pressure to just fill seats.

Paint a vague or ever-changing picture of the future.

Tell their teams how to achieve their goals.

Keep the plan close to their chest in case they want to change it.

Leave the team in the dark about progress to maintain control over consequences and rewards … and to avoid personal accountability for results.

Look for people doing something wrong and punish them.

Create barriers to getting work done.

Sweep minor performance issues under the rug if they are uncomfortable to address.

Talk more than listen.

Talk about team values but make decisions using “real business criteria.”

Take personal credit for team successes.

View team members as interchangeable parts to the business machine.

Care about results only.

Focus on profits.

Communicate using the “no news is good news” philosophy.

Take a good look at the way you lead your business. If any items from the second list apply to you, what action will you take to fix them?

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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