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Many senior executives aspire to becoming a CEO - the ultimate goal of a successful career. So what does it take to be a CEO? To gain an idea we asked Jim Morris, a Manufacturing CEO and member of BlueSteps, to comment on what he thought it takes to lead from the top position:

Have you ever thought about what makes a great leader? There have been a number of books written on the subject but many go too deep and fail to communicate the key principles needed for successful leadership. Motivating people and getting them excited about their contributions to company success is vital to successful leadership. When executives work together with no agenda other than creating greater company value, there are no limits to accomplishment. It is a Leader’s responsibility to create that atmosphere and grow it within the workforce.
 
Interpersonal relationships are the greatest challenge for leaders in business, especially for those in senior executive management positions. As a leader you must prepare to operate across many racial, social and generational lines, and accommodate multiple working styles. Each situation, team and organization requires a specific approach. Gain a competitive edge in leadership positions by following the 6 critical steps outlined below by Adriana Prates, president and founder of AESC firm, Dasein.
 

Trust and Communication – The Keys to Successful Teams

Today, with business competition, customer expectations, new technology, and many other developments, it is more critical than ever to build teamwork in your organization. The many challenges that your organization faces, the more critical it becomes that teamwork is effective. The key elements to successful teamwork are trust, communication and effective leadership; a focus on common goals with a collective responsibility for success (or failure). However, without trust and communication the team will have difficulty functioning effectively.

 

Having survived four major recessions in my international career including the regional crisis in Asia during the SARS epidemic, the currency collapse in Argentina, significant subsidy reductions in the Indian Ocean Islands and now the latest recession gripping the US in 2008-2009 there remains one common thread across them all – the critical need to ensure corporate alignment from top to bottom through these economic tough times.

Communication Strategies

As companies head into recessionary periods the same type of corporate behavior typically takes place:
Looking over the landscape of opportunity now, as compared to ten years ago, we begin to realize the level of evolution that has occurred within the technology that manages our day to day life.

Looking back ten years, concepts such as Wikipedia, Google Maps, or iPods did not exist, but now they are all common words we speak or refer to daily.

Editors Note: The following article is an excellent depiction of when top management become disconnected with their audience and the vision of their employees.

During the filming of A Separate Peace (1972), the cast and crew got together at the end of the day to have dinner, and the director, Larry Peerce, was at the head of the table. Every seat was taken, so when Larry’s mother appeared, a member of the crew got up, said he’d get himself a folding chair, and offered Mrs. Peerce his cushioned seat.

Larry leaped up, thrust out his arm in the young man’s direction, and commanded, “Sit down.” When the somewhat puzzled fellow was seated, Larry said, “Let her sit on the folding chair. She’s not comfortable unless she’s uncomfortable.”


What can Organizations learn from Change Management in the Political Sphere?

On a cold February day in Springfield, Illinois, three years ago, a young US senator announced he was going to run for the presidency. The country and the world faced huge challenges, he said. “We know the challenges...We’ve talked about them for years…What’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What’s stopped us is the failure of leadership”. Now that he is president, Barack Obama knows how difficult it is to bring about successful change.