We are concluding our 6 months series in response to the Centre for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) research carried out in 2013, which resulted in their report entitled “The Challenge Leaders Face around the World” wherein they identified 6 of the biggest challenges as perceived by leaders to be:
- Developing Managerial effectiveness
- Inspiring Others
- Developing Employees
- Leading a Team
- Guiding Change
- Managing Internal Politics
The response to each of the challenges has been featured in the e.MILE People Development Magazine with 6 themed months, whereby our wonderful authors and interviewees have tackled each of the subjects in depth.
We wanted the final issue of our series to go out with a bang: and we are delighted to do just that with a brilliant interview featuring the wonderful wisdom of Sir Richard Branson, described by Inc.com as “the most admired entrepreneur of our time”. I have to say, I agree, Richard Branson is to me a modern day legend, and his words of wisdom are a wonderful way to conclude our series.
The single biggest piece of advice for leaders and CEO’s
I asked some simple, but pertinent questions, given the subject of the CCL's report, and Richard, in turn shared some of his wonderfully inspiring views. Of course what I wanted to find out what his single biggest piece of advice was for leaders and CEO's and here is the extract from the interview.
Given your vast experience in business what is the single biggest piece of advice you would give to leaders and CEO’s reading this?
“If you look back at the most successful businesses of the past 20 years – Microsoft, Google or Apple, they all played a part in shaking up their sector by doing something that hadn’t ever been done and by continually innovating. They are now among the dominant forces.
Not everyone will achieve such great worldwide success but a good start is to create something that everybody who works for you is really proud of. Businesses generally consist of a group of people, and they are your biggest assets.”
Developing a vision, whereby your business is one that everyone who works for you is proud to be a part of, ticks so many boxes and if was part of the top table’s decision making would be phenomenal I think, and would change the way we do business today.
The biggest challenge for leaders and CEO’s
I asked Richard what he believed was the biggest challenge for leaders and CEO’s in the business world today, and this is what he said:
“Business leaders and CEO’s have a responsibility to inspire their employees and run their business in a sustainable way. This is difficult for CEO’s as they are judged on their performance in the short term and any long term initiatives do take time to come through.
Shareholders and stakeholders need to modify their expectations of CEO’s from short-term profits and back the leaders of businesses to create long lasting plans that will grow their businesses and tackle many of the world’s issues at the same time”.
Short termism is a huge problem on the world stage, and in order to tackle the world’s problems, long term thinking must become the cultural norm. If businesses reconcile this dynamic, I think would enable their people to feel more proud of working for them.
You can find out more about Richard’s own personal views about what excites and inspires him by reading the interview.
What about you, what are your burning challenges for leaders and CEO’s?