Personal Lessons from 70 CEOs …Interested?

Accountability Books Organizational leadership


Adam Bryant, New York Times business writer of the weekly Corner Office has written a recently published book by the same name. It is a distillation of 70 CEO interviews. While Bryant’s work has a number of unique angles and observations, the following CEO-like qualities are supported by the values of the Character Triangle:

1. Curiosity …Listening …Respect.

CEOs are the best students. They have what Bryant describes as passionate curiosity. They are relentless in understanding “why” and “how come.” Is there a better way? They learn more every day and practice it!

They also have team smarts. Many people can work well in a team, but are they capable of motivating others in the group? Perhaps more importantly, can they motivate others who do not report to them?

2. Battle-hardened confidence …Self Accountability.

Every one of us has faced adversity. But the best of us can clinically describe how we persevered, overcame the challenge and absorbed battle tested lessons for future application. There is no blame or excuse. The mental toughness comes from taking responsibility and learning. This builds confidence when embraced.

3. Fearless ….Abundance.

CEO qualities involve a thirst for change based on making the organizations one works for better. It involves sincere motives that are driven by a focus on bringing value to the company and others. This is often the harder route, and is based on expanding rather than protecting the status quo. Being fearless and being abundant go hand in hand.

Character Move: pick one thing you can do this week that reinforces one of these attributes. We are all not going to be CEOs but these behaviors are not exclusive to CEOs. We can aspire to them. What is the first one you will do?

Be your own CEO in the Triangle,