The 32nd Annual Inc. 500 list fastest growing companies in America was published in September. I provide a different view of what these leaders share and how you might apply it to your organization and your community. The critical element in buying a successful high growth business is the qualities of their leadership team. My best clients and partners have been very successful in the mergers and acquisitions field because they are great evaluators of leadership talent both on an individual and organizational level.
Many serving entrepreneurs are leaders in their communities and their markets. Every year INC. Magazine shows us the rising stars in our many different industries. This yearly issue provides the inspiration and ideas for all of us entrepreneurs that want to build a stronger business. So what can we learn from this year’s issue, which is still on the newsstand and should be read by every entrepreneur hoping to take their business and their life to a different level.
Let’s look into the results more closely. After all, if I repeat what they say I’m not really creating any value for you, my regular readers. What are the three key traits to outstanding leaders according to those surveyed in INC. 500’s Portrait of a Leader? They believe that trustworthiness, sincerity, and a capacity to inspire are the critical elements to their organizations’ success. So how did you do on these three traits? Would you have picked this to build your business on? Are these the traits of a serving leader? I think so. We have and will continue talking about these issues here at Developing Serving Leaders blog. I think these traits alone can take your company to the top of your market. If you don’t have these traits, you don’t have an enduring organization. So what happens to many of these great leaders over time?
Next, let’s look at what these leaders see as being less critical to their organizations’ success. These are the bottom three traits for their success in business. This list may surprise you, it did me. The bottom three traits are: expertise, work life balance, and likability. Now let me say that again the three things these leaders feel are the least important in their success are expertise, wok life balance and likability.
I wondered how these individual would describe their leadership style. Based on the survey results, leadership style came out as: Visionary 59%, Democratic 24%, Servant Leader 14%, Autocratic 2%, and Hands Off 1%. So how would you describe your leadership style? I was pleased to see that Servant Leadership made the top three of leadership styles, but wonder what it means to people who want to serve others through their mission, vision, and values?
When you ask these organizations’ how they think their employees see their leaders, they respond saying 50% see their boss is an inspiring visionary, over 19% see their boss a tough taskmaster, 18% see them as a motivational coach and 9% see themselves as benevolent parent.
These results should provide you with the lift you need to continue being serving leaders. We might be able to help developing serving leaders in certain key aspects in their leadership capabilities. We plan to help you develop the skills you need to take your leadership skills to the next level. For all of you leaders who think competence is critical to your success in business and life, these facts are a wakeup call that should provide you with comfort as you plan your coming year.
Great serving leaders understand the importance of having the right people on their advisory teams. You might also enjoy Entrepreneurs, Do You Have the Right Advisors on Your Team?
Next week, we continue focusing on developing the skills you need to succeed in leading your business. We return to many of these ideas in the fourth quarter to help you continue growing in your life and business. See you here next week.