A few months ago, a young manager approached me with an unusual request. He sought guidance on how to confidently lead a company, given his recent experience. He had attempted to acquire a medium-sized family-owned firm on behalf of the large multinational he worked for. Despite the acquisition falling through, the firm’s chairman was impressed with his potential and offered him the role of chief executive, which he accepted despite the company facing significant challenges.
The young manager recognized the need to lead in his own way while avoiding common mistakes. He requested a simple checklist or key principles to help him on his journey. Intrigued by the challenge, I suggested meeting multiple times to explore the grounds of strategic leadership expected at the chief executive level. During these discussions, he took notes on key points, creating an aide-mémoire to aid his leadership approach.
Weeks later, he expressed gratitude for the guidance, stating that it helped him clarify and crystallize his ideas. He found the keypoints particularly valuable as they allowed him to lead more effectively and manage less, resulting in a rejuvenated company with a fresh sense of purpose and significant progress in the right direction.
To verify the impact, I visited the company and met with various employees. The transformation was evident, confirming that effective leadership hinges on people’s ability to communicate and inspire each other. This principle applies not only to the corporate world but also to the public sector, where inspiring leadership is essential for driving continuous improvement in service delivery.
The young manager’s journey demonstrates that with thoughtful reflection and practice, anyone can significantly improve their leadership abilities. Society now seeks such competent and morally conscious leaders to drive positive change and progress.