Top CEO’s Share Their Tips for Success

A recent article appeared in the leadership section of a recent Fortune magazine that caught my eye. It was a survey of a number of Fortune 500 CEO’s sharing their best management advice – certainly worth sharing I thought.

Interesting that the most frequent theme was focussing on building the right team, a topic I have been blogging about for some time. Here are the links to some of them if you haven’t read them as yet:

Hire For Attitude and Train For Skills

Why your Best Employees are Leaving You and What to Do About it

One CEO offered this advice about building the right team, “Hire the best people and give them the freedom to operate their business/department, demand transparent communication and hold them accountable for results.” I think this quote just about says it all. Here are my thoughts on the key parts to this great quote:

“Hire the best people” – this one is pretty obvious but quite challenging to do. Although a large proportion of the workforce is unsettled according to recent research, finding the right staff is quite challenging. If you are getting enough quality candidates coming through your current recruitment sources then keep following that process – if you’re not, it’s time to change the way you do things – here are some ideas:

  • Try a new way to look for candidates – use someone like SEEK, ask your best staff to recommend others, be creative in where you look, try headhunting!!
  • What’s your culture like? Great people want to work for great companies that are making a difference – are you? What could you do to improve this and therefore better attract (and retain) the best?
  • Share your vision with your people, what is going to make it exciting for your existing team and therefore new staff to want to work for you?

“Give them the freedom to operate the business” – I love this one. Set the new person up to succeed by inducting and training them well, then let them go. Don’t micro-manage them, most people hate that, instead agree on clear goals and KPI’s and stand aside!

“Demand transparent communication” – this is a two-way street, ensure you provide your people with the information they need to make decisions and expect the same the other way. The saying “no surprises” is also important, your team needs to be able to approach you with both good and bad news. If it’s bad news or a problem, train them to come to you with potential solutions – this is empowering your people to come up with answers.

“Hold them accountable for results” – this is critical if you want a committed team who have skin in the game. If people know there is a consequence, (both positive and negative), you have much better buy-in and accountability. Again this empowers people to make the right decisions without always having to ask you beforehand.

I think a lot of key learning points from this one small piece of advice. Hope this helps you out.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.