from Huff Post 9/12 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 5/14
Search for 10 Successful Founders. As Startup & Small Business owners, we work hard to develop ourselves as leaders and seek role models, of who can help show us the way. When I became a Huffington Post blogger, I decided I would find 10 CEOs who could perhaps teach me (& CEOs like yourselves), something about effective business leadership. I was also looking for leaders who had taken measures to ensure happiness in their organization, from the top down. After three months, I found 10 CEOs who I felt fit the bill. Moreover, I discovered five (5) traits these leaders generally had in common. Here they are:
1. Curiosity about Others: I found these CEOs to be generous with their time during our interviews. But, the generosity didn’t stop with their own stories. They were all curious about me & my business as well. In fact, sometimes I didn’t know who was interviewing whom! Mike McNally of Skanska USA (9,600 employees) told me that he tries hard to emulate the family atmosphere that exists in successful small businesses, and we discussed strategies for finding & retaining good employees. CEO of Hershey Family Entertainment also spent at least 20 minutes asking me questions about my company. A couple of my Interviewees invited me to stop by the location and give them an evaluation of their company. It was fun to go into the Corner Bakery Café and give its CEO a review of the restaurant. He acted on my suggestions right away, bringing pertinent comments to the COO of the company. I’m looking forward to checking out Hershey Family Entertainment’s newly renovated Camden [NJ] Aquarium as per the CEOs invitation in the near future!
2. Tenacity in the face of Obstacles The CEOs shared stories of serious hardships and how they pulled through. One example was Sharon Napier of the advertising firm Partners and Napier, who told me her story of “The brave 40,” as she likes to call them. “As an employee of the company, I had borrowed from my 401(k), cashed in all my insurance policies and bought out the CEO, rescuing the company from going “belly-up” years ago. I saved the jobs of 40 people, and the next thing I knew, we had a big sign with our new name on our building. The employees chipped in themselves to buy it.” Sharon’s company now boasts 150 employees & 4 corporate headquarters across the country.
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