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Character at the top

In my last column, I made the case that doing your Job At The Top requires continual alignment between three fields of view on your business: Vision, Strategy and Execution. For yourself, and for everyone else.

That practice will keep you solidly in the game over both the short and long runs. But true greatness — not only setting the pace for others, but astounding them — requires something else.
In addition to thinking about your business effectively and making sure others do too, your personal actions are what inspire other people to be more than even they, themselves, can imagine becoming. Your personal character is the potential to create a fission-like undercurrent of zeal to excel in your business that can come from no other source.
Don’t confuse character with style. Character’s not about what you look like. How hard you work. Whether you’re a great orator or not. The smartest or not. Not even whether you have a life to which others aspire.
It’s simply about how much you care for them. And how you show it.
Curiously, caring about others doesn’t have a long history in our legacy for how to behave in our Jobs At The Top. Our model is the cold-hearted drive for numbers: EBITDA, cash flow, ROI and value creation. Let nothing get in the way of delivering the metrics. Now!

Dick Cross
Dick Cross is a serial CEO; a professional keynote speaker; a best-selling author; founder of The Cross Partnership Ltd.; and a founding member of Alston Capital Partners. Email him at [email protected].