Recently, I heard a classmate from my MBA program at Duke University deliver an excellent message on leadership and what it takes to truly be a leader. I thought you might find it helpful, particularly in the current age where “shooting from the hip” and making bold and outlandish statements seems to be in vogue. Katie Bayne, formerly a top marketing executive with Coca Cola Corporation (yes, you have seen many of her successful Super Bowl ads!), shared the following key thoughts regarding how to “Be a Leader.”
To be a leader, you must:
- Be Daring! Now, please note that she did not say to be reckless. She said to be daring. Even within a well thought out plan, we need to be daring and reach for the stars as often as possible. Even if you fall slightly short of the stars, you’ll likely still land in an admirable location.
- Be Understanding! This one is so easy to forget when we are trying to attain new levels of success. However, she reminds us that in spite of what we have on our minds, it is crucial that we remain understanding of our team and what they are going through. They have challenges, too, so remember that we cannot hit our goals without the support of our team.
- Be Kind to Others! We usually don’t succeed by burning bridges along our path to success. I occasionally hear from a client about a vendor not being very understanding. Well, while I understand as well as anyone that the dairy industry has been challenging these past four years, please remember that your vendors also have a payroll to meet and bills to pay, so let’s be kind to each other. The vendors didn’t make the industry tight on cash flow.
- Be Energizing! In everything, be full of energy. The crowd at our Duke University basketball games is often called “the sixth man” by Coach K and many TV commentators. The reason for that is that they add such a dynamic level of energy to the games at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They only sit when the Duke team has a timeout. They exhibit maximum energy!
Are you being Daring, Understanding, Kind to Others & Energizing in all that you do? If so, there’s no stopping you in your endeavor to become more fully successful! Think about it. And, my apologies to any Carolina (and Syracuse) fans out there, but please note that the first letters of her four Keys to Leadership spell “DUKE.”
Best wishes for a success!