Not every leader and elite has what they “should.” Not to mention to take early action. The article will explore PwC CEO Study and use how to focus on the big picture as an example to demonstrate how to be a CEO and go from good to great efficiently. A webinar and a mini quiz are available for hands-on experiences.
Recently, PwC released its 2016 CEO study–17 years CEO succession analysis at the world’s largest 2,500 public companies. It is sad to see such high CEO replacements, especially the increase in CEO dismissals for ethical lapses from 3.9% in 2007-2011 to 5.3% in 2012-2016—a 36% increase.
Do more CEOs lack integrity? Not likely. Media spread is one issue. Unable to take early action is another. In fact, we can reduce the second cause by catching many development needs of CEOs before “the 360-degree evaluation.” When CEOs can take early action, businesses can also achieve more via management continuity, which is what we have found in our 2014 Fortune 1000 CEO study.
Traditional approaches are mainly behavior summary or IQ and EQ tools. However, each person is an integrated 6Q system. Without knowing the rest of the system, it is hard to get to the root causes and anticipate the development needs of a leader tomorrow. When unprepared elements become significant, damage control is almost inevitable.
Know Yourself Ahead
Many executives desire go from good to great, develop level five leadership or become an exceptional CEO. To know self is the first step. By evaluating 6 Q, instead of IQ, EQ and behavior alone, CEOs can know themselves deeper, broader and take effective action.
The first two items define if the CEO can be good. The rest determine if they can build enduring greatness, develop level five leadership, and become an exceptional CEO, which is to be great. These are an executive’s baseline. Once the goal is clear, we can anticipate or evaluate the gaps (development needs of a leader) and potential issues, solutions, alternatives, costs, etc.
Each step involves many underground works. To focus on the big picture is the first step to how to be a CEO, go from good to great, and develop level five leadership. Let’s explore what can cause CEOs to “miss the big picture” and how to manage efficiently.
How well a person can focus on the big picture is determined by its structure, execution, sustainability and more.
– Have a Good Structure
Franklin Roosevelt and Steve Job were leaders in their fields. Could they switch industries? Most people can understand the technical foundation, such as talent type, knowledge base, experiences, and decision-making, but miss another piece.
A healthy Ego is critical for leaders not to hunger for applauding and make independent decisions that may take years to get results, for example, Franklin Roosevelt in the World War II. A person with a healthy Ego has no problems to admit his or her errors and learn from the mistakes. Warren Buffet is a good example– he reveals his money AND opportunities losses to shareholders. A healthy Ego is also necessary for leaders to be fair to others and win devotion. Without a healthy Ego, executives may be able to tell an ass kisser from a praiser and know what is right for the enterprise but still choose the ass kisser to satisfy their Ego. Humility is only one reflection of a healthy Ego.
By knowing their talent type, knowledge base, and experiences, leaders can choose proper direction and action. By strengthening the health of their Ego, leaders can develop many positive behaviors while eliminating negative ones. However, many institutions waste their time on secondary behaviors. “Missing the big picture” is only a behavior or a result, not the root causes.
A right structure is only basic. As time passes, CEOs can succeed and fail, which can inflate or deflate leaders’ Ego. Some executives can over estimate self, disrespect others, and make unwise investments. Some can become depressive, lose work efficiency, and leave a job undone. Other events can challenge executives as well. For example, Peter Drucker was so sad after he lost his mother that he did not return his clients’ call. Later it took him 3 years to get those clients back.
In the meantime, as disruptions and changes can come from all directions at an exponential rate, new challenges can exceed CEOs’ current capacity or disable then. Then issues that can impact their learning or adjustment will step in, for example, talent type, personal interest, knowledge base, resources, etc. Setbacks and failures can shut down leaders’ mind and body.
Sustainability is essential for a CEO to go from good to great and develop level five leadership. Resilience is also needed for daily negotiation, innovation, etc. By knowing self ahead, CEOs can take custom training and save time and effort. To be cool in the storm also makes great bosses unforgettable. Unfortunately, many Fortune 500 CEOs only think of us when they are in hot water, which is heartbreaking to me.
– Strategy, Innovation & More
Can the institutional focus, industrial insights, and resilience guarantee success? Not always. Japanese are well-known for the three. Still, many of them fail since they do not compete with strategy but imitate one another and cut down their own profit. How Japanese compete has a lot to do with their culture that encourages obedience and loyalty, not autonomy and innovation.
On the other hand, the same culture system also builds a broad knowledge foundation that Western Culture fails to do. By knowing an executive deeply, we can evaluate the negative impact of their culture, identify the missing segments of their innovation and strategy, and maximize their success.
2. The Other Steps
To focus on the big picture is only the first step to how to be a CEO, go from good to great or develop level five leadership. To convert their vision into effective action, team performance management is essential. In the past 3 years, we have studied what fails leadership development and stops leaders from developing level five leadership among fortune 1000 companies and other large institutions. Many CEOs and executives show leadership development needs:
Most of the above require more than IQ and EQ to handle. Unfortunately, most leadership development programs mainly offer IQ and EQ tools, and some programs focus on secondary behaviors.
Speed and Results Matter (what makes us different from McKinsey and others)
Not every leader has what they “should.” However, that is not the end of their world because they can not only identify their “missing software,” but also take early action and go from Good to Great. By getting to the root causes with the right tools, we often can be at least 50% faster that others, which have save many dreams.
“Can He Handle the Job” is a good example. An executive at leadership consulting firm was promoted to a regional manager and almost resigned 2 months later because of business and family crises. The Assessment found that he had too many development needs of a leader that to fulfill at that time. Thus, I chose to improve his emotional expression to eliminate his family crisis so that he could focus on his new job. He did, through a 30-minute learning, which saved his job and the region.
How to be a CEO is the beginning. The sooner the CEO knows “How to Be an Exceptional CEO,” the better the person can prepare self for lasting growth with the right tools instead of IQ, EQ and behavior tools alone that McKinsey and others use. “Should a CEO be Charming” is another challenge on the journey of how to be a CEO.
Catch Development Needs before 360 Degree Evaluation
The 360-Degree Evaluation is a great tool to closes the gaps between individual self-awareness and objective reality. The observation starts AFTER someone gets on the spot. However, what is on the surface is not equal to the root causes and the issues beneath, not to mention those that will emerge in new environments.
The Executive 6Q Assessment is designed to catch the development needs of a leader at different stages, like MRI, recommend action accordingly, and make learning easy and fast. We evaluate every talent element even they are “insignificant” today. By knowing self well ahead, CEOs can be ready for the future, be highly effective in turbulence, and hopefully, develop level five leadership. When CEOs can go from good to great, businesses and society can also achieve more through management continuity, which is why we are enthusiastic about how to be a CEO and build level five leadership.
Furthermore, because the 6Q data is good for two years in the absence of significant events, we can assist executives with their next challenge thousands of miles away. Will there be gaps between anticipation and reality? Yes, no one can anticipate everything in the world no matter how hard they try. Thus, the two assessments can be a great synergy.
PwC CEO study reviews that CEOs face increasing complexity, uncertainty and storm. Although not every leader has what they “should,” today is not their tomorrow as they can develop what is needed. This is why today’ direction and power cannot define a good leader and a great one; without the right underlying structure, today’s glory cannot last
On the other hand, no one is designed for every challenge, and not all issues have fast solution. Thus, it is critical to know CEOs’ all 6Q instead of IQ, EQ and behavior alone ahead of time, and take early action, from the focus on the big picture to team performance management. When CEOs can go from good to great, businesses will also get to the next level, and society can also prosper.
In the meantime, a leader should not just focus on how to be a CEO, but how to be an exceptional CEO. The sooner the leader know the gap, the better the leader can prepare self for lasting growth with the right tools instead of IQ, EQ and behavior tools alone. That is what set us apart from McKinsey and others. How to be a CEO is about not only a CEO, but also a team and a society the company serve. To build great CEOs is one efficient way to bring productivity and happiness to the world, which is our mission and vision.
About the Author
Bin Yang is a global CEO adviser and the Managing Director of The Prince Synergy, a leading consulting firm that focuses on building exceptional leaders to strengthen society. She authored What Stop Leaders from Good to Great. If you’d like to learn how to empower yourself beyond IQ and EQ, consider reading the life stories in the book. Webinars, free mini assessments and group classes are also available. For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture, or appointment, please contact 310-668-1828.