Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How To Become A Better Leader: Awareness By Catherine Clifford


Are you more like Howard Schultz of Starbucks, the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Richard Branson of Virgin, or Tony Hsieh of Zappos? Knowing the answer could help you become more successful in running your business.

Three business leaders -- Tony Tjan, Dick Harrington, and Tsun-yan Hsieh -- wrote a book together called Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012) after interviewing and researching business leaders from young, upstart entrepreneurs to experienced CEOs. They identified four character traits that define a business leaders’ decision-making process. If you know what your dominant characteristic is and you are aware of how you make decisions, you will be more likely to make smart ones, the authors contend.

“Self-awareness is not a soft organizational behavior concept to be dismissed. Rather it is the concrete foundation for improving your leadership and business-building capability,” writes Tjan in the introduction to the book. “It is about intellectual honesty.”

To learn what kind of leader you are, take the Entrepreneur Apptitude Test at www.HSGL.com (Link http://cueballadmin.webfactional.com/). Here is a rundown of the four categories of entrepreneurs and the leaders that exemplify them:

1. Heart. Howard Schultz of Starbucks. Hearts-dominated leaders are the passionate, big-picture, founding visionaries that may not necessarily have a rational, research-based business plan, but are fiercely committed to seeing their goal through.

2. Smarts. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The smarts-dominated leader is rational, makes decisions based on facts, sets goals, delegates responsibility, and knows how to hold people accountable.

3. Guts. Richard Branson of Virgin. Guts-dominated leaders actively seek out uncertain business ventures with the possibility for high reward (risk takers) or are capable at managing situations laden with heavy consequence (risk-tolerant).

4. Luck. Tony Hsieh of Zappos. While almost every successful business venture owes some portion of its success to a lucky break, the luck-dominant business leaders strategically put themselves in the right place to increase their opportunity to being exposed to lucky chances and they have the open outlook in life to be able to take advantage of a bit of luck whispering at the door.