Bringing business decisions to life demands leadership. Every day, CEOs make stylistic and substantial decisions about how they choose to lead. There are countless books on models and definitions of leadership, but at its core, conscious leadership is deciding how to lead. Leadership is the art of execution. Execution is the fundamental leadership discipline for how the leader translates their vision into a strategy for managing talent, connecting with customers, optimizing operations and managing the financials that calibrate the business. It’s how the leader prioritizes and aligns those strategies into a culture prepared and willing to deliver. Conscious leadership is driven by the four disciplines of leadership:
The leader’s vision becomes a series of decisions that will take the company forward. It blends an overall assessment of the market, competition and economy with the leader’s beliefs about the opportunities and growth levers for the company. The organizational vision connects long-term objectives with real-time strategies. Vision identifies the path forward.
When creating strategies for managing talent, connecting with customers, optimizing operations and improving financials, CEOs are guided by their vision for growth, strategic decisions and tactical plans for business optimization. By identifying the growth levers within each component and building a plan to leverage each, the organization is prepared to execute. Strategy codifies the vision.
Collaboration and synchronization of multiple strategies and moving organizational parts demand tight alignment. Decisions regarding priorities, determining objectives and assigning accountability align the growth levers and initiatives, bringing precision to the company. Achieving and maintaining alignment generates productivity and encourages collaboration. Alignment calibrates the organization.
Behaviors and attitudes toward and about the company and its leaders, as well as the interpersonal energy of the work environment, are success contributors as well as limiters. Company culture defines how people engage in, work on and think about their roles and the organization. Culture will either happen naturally or be shaped by conscious leadership decisions regarding mission, vision and purpose with clear brand attributes and a communication cadence that keeps everyone connected. Culture amplifies the belief system.
Activation and alignment among the four disciplines of leadership translates into:
The company knows where it wants to go, has identified a clear path for how it will get there, understands who will do what and has developed an organizational attitude as a result of conscious leadership. It’s making calculated decisions about how to lead and continuing to develop the disciplines of leadership that positions the company to deliver on its vision. Leadership also involves the whole person, including their attributes and leadership competencies. Attributes include elements such as integrity, honesty and authenticity. Competencies are skills such as communication, delegation or the ability to work with investors and boards of directors. Every CEO is also a unique individual, bringing different beliefs, values and styles to their role. The wellness of the leader can’t be ignored either, as it is difficult to make great decisions when financial, physical or family issues obstruct clear thinking. Managing and maintaining wellness is a requirement for top performance.