I’ve often written that the very best leadership development program I’ve ever seen or experienced as a participant or coach is the Magnetic Leadership Program offered through Profitability Business Simulations. And I say that as someone who has had the benefit of attending a Harvard course and who took leadership courses as part of my Kellogg MBA program, among other executive level programs.
During the course of just two days participants get a very clear understanding of their:
- Leadership style
- Leadership strengths
- Areas that need development
They do this through a real-world simulation that grows in complexity and puts them under stress, revealing their natural leadership style, followed immediately by one-one-one coaching on their style, strengths, and areas of opportunity – something that puts the Magnetic Leadership Program in a class by itself. I’m privileged to be one of the coaches for this program, and during a recent program at a Fortune 500 company a participant asked me, “What do I need to focus on to become CEO? What do the CEOs that you work with at CEO Connection all have in common?”
I told this gentleman that in addition to being an exceptional leader, to get all the way to the CEO job you need to be sure:
1. You are visible in the organization
2. Your ideas and contributions are visible in the organization
But then, once these two objectives are accomplished, there is the “X-Factor:” the one thing that will take you into the C-Suite and then elevate you above other C-Suite executives to the CEO role: your leadership style.
In reflecting on the different styles that I have seen come to light during the Magnetic Leadership Program, I identified seven:
1. Confident: Regardless of the situation this leader’s demeanor, tone and energy exude confidence that goals will be met, and trust in their team.
2. Calm and Reassuring: In the face of increasing stress, this leader’s calm, reassuring demeanor keeps the entire team focused on the tasks at hand.
3. High-Strung: This leader’s demeanor shows all the stress of the situation and the tension they exude is easily transferred to team members.
4. Cheerleader: Excellent at motivating a team and encouraging team members individually. When their team is under stress some team members may need these leaders to step back so they may focus, while other team members want to feel their presence.
5. Complainer/Whiner: As a defense mechanism against being thought of as a poor leader, these individuals point out all the reasons the situation is a challenge and make excuses as to why goals can’t be met. Team members often begin to subtly distance themselves.
6. Tentative: As decision points pop up, they are consistently unsure about what to do. These individuals often try exceptionally hard and work hard, but their team loses trust.
7. Disorganized: These leaders may have the best of intentions, but their inability to keep track of key information, data, deadlines and tasks at hand undermines their ability to lead their team successfully.
It’s not difficult to figure out the leadership style I see in virtually all the CEOs I work with is that of confidence. They are under constant, intense pressure, travel often, and must make critical decisions every day, but they exude – through their energy, tone, and demeanor – confidence through it all. Team members have no doubt that their leader firmly believes goals can and will be met, and they know their leader trusts them implicitly to get the job done. As a result, trust is mutual and unwavering. It’s when confidence and trust wane that CEOs find themselves on the way out.
Which of these is your natural leadership style?
To learn more about the Magnetic Leadership Program or to bring the program to your company, email me at [email protected]
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Photo of the Roman Numeral X by chrisinplymouth.