January 9


( 749 words = 5.8-minute read)

December Newsletter Recap

# 1 – Assess What You Learned: Reflect on three things: what were your biggest successes, what are your biggest challenges going into the new year, and what did you learn from your experiences in 2023? There is so much to be learned from what happens to you. Reflect on what life is trying to teach you!

# 2 – Accelerate Your Growth: Armed with insights from your reflection about what you learned in ’23, think about your role as a leader. How can you become more effective and use your strengths more?

# 3 – Practice More In ’24: Every week, determine where (which meetings), when, and what leadership skills you will ‘practice.’ At the end of the week, use a reflection process to enable you to notice what you learned from your practice. See yourself in action and review your ‘game film.’


Point # 1 – The Smartest People Are Not Always the Best Leaders

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that leaders are more likely to be high in extroversion and conscientiousness (i.e., the willingness to work hard) than they are to be super-intelligent. Interestingly, a 2017 study in the same journal found that intelligence does help leaders succeed – but only up to a point.

In many businesses, the people who rise to the top positions with the most leadership responsibilities are the smartest. However, as one grows in responsibility, technical responsibilities decline as leadership responsibilities increase. Many intelligent people find themselves ill-equipped to lead their teams and the organization because they have been too technically focused. It’s not their fault. They were rewarded and recognized for how smart they were and what they knew.

The classic “Peter principle” is the uber-smart person who gets promoted and doesn’t have the communication or interpersonal skills to lead those around them. It’s surprising how often this happens. Leadership effectiveness requires well-rounded people who can lead others because they are competent in many leadership skill sets. They have strong personal capability and interpersonal skills. These people have a firm resolve to drive results AND demonstrate a concern for others.


Ask Yourself: Are my best people leading effectively?


Point # 2 – We Are Not Developing Leaders Effectively

Leadership IQ surveyed 21K U.S. employees and leaders in June 2020. They discovered that the typical leadership development program has NOT adequately developed leadership skills to enable leaders to seek innovation, communicate transparently, align their vision, and constructively solve problems.

Re-evaluate your leadership development and question how it could be redesigned in a more efficient and effective manner. Leadership development is a process – you need a measurement tool to determine if the process is working.

Every leader is under a microscope! In 2024, employees will not permit leaders to treat others poorly. There is a shorter rope for leaders to make leadership mistakes. Be aware of the power of the “cancel culture” in your organization.

Your business needs the best business leaders of all time! It is no longer an option to develop leadership skills – it is a necessity. Productivity, retention, and engagement are all impacted by leadership. Outstanding leadership impacts business results dramatically more than good leadership.

Ask Yourself: How can I develop my leaders more effectively?

Point # 3 – What’s a CEO to do in ’24?

How you developed yourself will not work for today’s leaders, working on different assignments over many years. This process is not duplicatable in today’s hyper-fast, ever-changing environment. Create faster ways to develop your leaders.

  1. Start recognizing that your best leaders may not be your smartest lieutenants. You may need a dose of reality; unless you have done a 360-degree assessment of your people, you don’t know if they are perceived as leading effectively. Hint: look for those who are already trusted and respected.
  2. Develop more of your potential leaders. Shouldn’t everyone get a chance to build leadership skills – not just the smartest ones? It’s easier to create great leaders when you start with those who ask curious questions, listen to others, have humility, and put their team ahead of themselves.
  3. Don’t turn your back on your organization’s culture. If you can’t invest in leadership development, delegate the responsibility to one of your best leaders to develop a coaching & development process.

Need help? Refer to my book, BEST BOSS EVER! Five steps to rapidly develop yourself into the leader everyone wants to follow.


Ask Yourself: What can I do to develop my leaders this year?


Want to Go Deeper?

  1. Why Highly Intelligent People Make the Worst Leaders – Big Think – Phillip Perry
  2. One key leadership lesson everyone can learn from the US Marines – Simon Sinek Video
  3. Transforming Leadership Development – Are We Missing the Main Thing? – The 90th Percentile: An Unconventional Leadership Podcast

Happy NEW YEAR! Please forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague. Thank you!

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