Leadership and the Role of Senior Management

Leadership is important everywhere, but nowhere more than in the human centered organization. After all, leadership is about leading people.

The CEO or senior-most leader has a critical role to play in any organization because this role is the fulcrum the point at which pressures and responsibilities converge – especially between the organization and its environment. Ultimately, though, what matters in the CEO role are the things that make every leader successful: vision, setting goals, supporting them with metrics, making the right decisions in the right way, and inspiring people by making them feel they are part of a winning organization. Leaders of every kind must be people leaders first and foremost, since people are what organizations are made of.

Leadership is a big job, and a difficult one; no one does it perfectly, and there is always a need to improve because the bar never stops rising.

Leaders must lead recruiting, learning culture, and motivation. They need to create balance in the organization in many ways – between short term and long term, between optimism and worry, between autonomy and involvement. They must manage both upward and downward relationships, making sure to accelerate and transform as the situation requires. They must avoid or minimize bureaucracy, and select between transactional and transformational styles. Character matters tremendously because leaders set the tone for the organization, through optimism, resiliency, and openness to experience. Leaders need confidence, but their confidence must be undergirded by humility and self-awareness, which is reinforced by inviting and embracing feedback. And reputation and ethics matter deeply, especially when the goal is sustainable success.