As the CEO of an organization that is focused on providing opportunities to share best practices and the latest thought leadership, I always try to practice what I preach. To that end, I do a lot of reading and get insight from a variety of sources—from studies provided by our member companies to books written by great leaders to industry publications. Last night I was reading through Inc., a magazine I enjoy, and I came across an article called “The Six Traits of a Successful Small Business Owner.”As I read the article, it occurred to me that the traits mentioned in the article, which is based on a research study by the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, aren’t just relevant to small business owners, but are just as applicable to CXOs of large enterprises.
According to the research, the most important trait successful entrepreneurs share is the ability tocollaborate. They mention that small business leaders that can delegate and build strong relationships with their management and employees are more likely to be able to connect with their customers. I imagine that means they are more successful in supplier collaboration as well. The other five traits include being: self-fulfilled by doing what they love and loving what they do; future-focused, both through short-term and long-term planning; innately curious, always reading and asking questions; tech-savvy and able to exploit technology to drive success; and action-oriented, less worried about the state of the economy as a detriment to their success but rather as a “kick in the rear to help you move forward.”
Said Mark D. Wolf, the institute's director: "Success-oriented small business owners are a special breed of highly motivated, caring and curious individuals. They effectively balance their personal and business goals, take advantage of others' expertise and continually seek to learn the best practices exhibited by peer companies." In my opinion, this is also true of successful CXOs of large companies. I surmise that what makes the two types of leaders so similar, is that in both cases they are entrepreneurs at heart. In large businesses, this also requires possessing the ability to work through complex political webs while still maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit and drive to succeed.
As we prepare for our upcoming SIG Global Leadership Summit and the incredible line-up of speakers, I see all of these traits being exhibited in the executives that attend. Those representing successful companies attend the Summit because they want to collaborate and network with colleagues and find out what other organizations are doing to move forward. The executive I pity is the one that says he can’t learn from his peers, or take time away from the office to network. It is the executive who thinks he already has all the answers that is part of the dying breed of CXOs.
I hope you take time out of your busy schedules to get in touch with your entrepreneurial side and join us for our CPO, CIO, BPO and CFO Roundtables and the following two days of amazing workshops and General Session speakers.Come…think out of the box…ask questions of peers…and return with insights that can drive significant change in your organizations, big or small.