1. Listening “When people talk¸ listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need¸ and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders¸ investors¸ and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.
2. Storytelling “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown
After listening¸ leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products¸ but more important¸ in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch¸ a boardroom full of people¸ or thousands of people through an online video – storytelling wins customers.
3. Authenticity “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had¸ I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey
Great leaders are who they say they are¸ and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive¸ attractive energy. Customers¸ employees¸ and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self¸ but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online¸ merging their personal and professional lives together.
4. Transparency “As a small businessperson¸ you have no greater leverage than the truth.” -John Whittier
There is nowhere to hide anymore¸ and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important¸ transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night – unworried about what you said to whom¸ a happier leader is a more productive one.