A successful business leader has an individual formula for success. My personal formula includes consistently exceeding expectations, taking measured risks, being a team player and helping others develop. This combination of skills, once developed, is transportable and applicable to most leadership roles.
One fundamental tenet of performance is exceeding expectations by over-delivering on business results. The minimum requirement is to fulfill the assignment, which helps you maintain the status quo. What sets you apart from others is the ability to go the extra mile and demonstrate your knowledge
of the business by showing, for example, how you can achieve more revenue and more cost savings, all ahead of schedule.We all have tough objectives; the ones who rise to the top are those who gracefully and/or enthusiastically accept the challenge and then accomplish it.
Second, become a risk taker. There is an old adage that says “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Your career is a series of investments made by you and other interested parties. As with any investment, there are inherent risks that, if managed appropriately, can become valuable learning experiences. I discovered that by remaining open and flexible, there were countless opportunities available to me to take risk, make necessary career investments, and enlist others to do the same on my behalf.
The most rewarding assignments have been those that took me outside of my comfort zone: moving from a strategic to an operations role and taking on an assignment in regulatory or human resources. All of these moves were risks that increased my skill set, exposed me to new parts of the business and added value to the company.
Third, demonstrate your ability to be a true team player. This means that on any given issue, learn to listen to your colleagues, understand what success means to them, and craft solutions that are true win-win situations. If you can gain a reputation for working to build and recognize the team, other high performers will
look for opportunities to work with you, which will increase your ability to succeed.
Finally, make investments in others by cultivating their talents. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to develop others, but it is also critical to help the business succeed. As the nature of our work becomes more complex, we can only achieve our results by supporting coworkers—helping them build skills for future success and putting them in positions that allow their strengths to shine.