Every smart business leader and startup advisory firm knows exactly how important it is to optimize their employees’ performances at work. Motivation drives effective job performance. If staff members lack motivation, the businesses that hire them will struggle to develop and grow.
This is why it’s crucial for every leader and chief operating officer to critically assess their operations and develop a strategy that builds trust and authenticity with their teams. There are countless business advisory services that detail how to be a successful CEO. But many conventional guides don’t focus enough on how a CEO’s strategies impact their employees in the long run.
Your primary goal as a CEO is to cultivate characteristics and traits that motivate your employees to perform at their best. Motivation stems from a set of external and internal factors that drive each employee to take specific courses of action.
Research suggests that performance boils down to a combination of motivation, ability, and actionable opportunity. Provide your staff with these three concepts and they’ll be optimally equipped to thrive in their positions.
The Effect of CEOs on Firm Performance
There’s a wide spectrum of scientific evidence documenting how behaviors can create or disrupt leadership legacies in the workplace. Startup advisory researcher Ashish Ranpura has noted that the memories we retain are associated with our experiences and impressions in a given moment. This means that people, and thus employees, remember relationships and experiences more than they remember cold, hard facts.
Research from Zenger Folkman has positively linked leadership behavior scores in companies with employee engagement scores and overall business results. Their studies show that the employees who worked for the lowest-performing CEOs had the lowest commitment and engagement scores. Meanwhile, the best leaders had significantly more motivated, engaged, and committed workers on their teams. CEO education and firm performance were also positively correlated.
In another study, Zenger Folkman linked CEO characteristics and firm R&D spending. They found that leaders’ effectiveness scores could be tied to greater business profitability and income levels. The top 10% of leaders in the study delivered an average income of $4.5 million per business, while the bottom 10% brought in just $1.2 million. The impact of a CEO on firm performance is usually made dramatically clear in a business’s bottom lines.
Actions for CEOs to Avoid
Business Advisory Services all over the world have heard the same testimonies from employees. The workers all recall stories of their leaders’ behavior while they were in their CEO positions, and certain actions stood out for the majority of the respondents in question.
They have described actions like:
- CEOs pushing too hard and even running over employees to achieve ideal results.
- Leaders discouraging others from challenging the boss’s strategies, innovations, and ideas.
- Managers taking it upon themselves to micromanage their teams while hindering collaboration and teamwork.
- Executives blaming, punishing, and even firing individuals who do not deliver on certain objectives which may or may not be realistic in nature.
These are all actions that are best avoided by those in leadership roles. It’s clear that the legacy of leaders that people remember long after they have left the helm is their behavior towards their teams and employees.
6 Key Leadership Behaviors that Drive Results
There are some actions that CEOs should avoid while in their positions—and others that business advisory services highly encourage them to perform.
These are the qualities that effective and respected leaders offer to their organizations and teams on a consistent basis.
1. Inspiring Others
A good CEO is driven to achieve great results, but this drive needs to balance with a desire to inspire others. Some companies push too hard and fail to pull, providing no inspiration for their workers.
This ultimately leads to a workforce that lacks motivation, dedication, and productivity. Inspiring your staff will get their creative juices flowing and motivate them to participate meaningfully in the growth of your enterprise.
2. Cultivating a Strategic Vision
All the most successful leaders in business regularly reinforce the direction in which their companies are heading and the crucial steps they need to follow to achieve success.
Workers need to see how their work and input make a difference and how it assists their organization to grow. Cultivating a strategic perspective can help to provide them with evidence of how their hard work is paying off.
3. Building Trust
Good leaders build trust with their teams by acting with transparency, integrity, and honesty. They take the aspirations, challenges, and concerns of others seriously, and use their expertise and empathy to provide actionable suggestions and solutions.
4. Supporting and Developing Others
True leaders help their employees to discover their talents and build valuable new skills. They encourage their staff to learn from their mistakes, critically analyze their actions and successes, and celebrate the aspects of their efforts that have gone well.
5. Creatively Collaborating
When a CEO shows they can achieve goals that require a high degree of team collaboration, they create synergy within their organizations and help to build rapport with their employees.
6. Leading with Sensible Courage
Great CEOs are courageous—but not so courageous that they take dangerous and uncalculated risks. They deal with obstacles directly, addressing problems, resolving conflicts, and encouraging accountability by setting a positive example.
What qualities should a CEO have?
Effective CEOs are extremely resilient and have great leadership skills that provide clear direction. They remain focused on their business’s goals and communicate openly with clients, partners, staff, and shareholders.
They make purposeful decisions and show respect and empathy for their employees. Plus, they provide inspiration for their staff and their community by showing a genuine passion for what they do.
Why is CEO leadership important to the performance of a firm?
CEO age and firm performance are largely unrelated. What counts is a CEO’s method of interacting with and inspiring their team. CEO leadership inspires and motivates employees to work to the best of their abilities and use their strengths and talents to devise innovative solutions to organizational challenges.
Good leadership gives an organization a clear direction and a common goal. This ensures that team members are all willing to work together to further the interests of their company.
It also enables the identification and solving of complex problems through collaboration and empathy, allowing a business to move forward regardless of challenges.
How can CEOs improve performance?
There is a clear and undeniable link between corporate governance practices, CEO characteristics, and firm performance. CEOs can improve their teams’ performances by:
- Sharing strategies and business visions.
- Establishing clear objectives and goals for every department with the help of a startup advisory firm or service.
- Properly aligning objectives across the company.
- Using Continuous Performance Management (CPM) to constantly assess their teams’ progress, in short, informal meetings.
- Using information and real data to effectively manage their teams and individuals’ performances.
- Ensuring that their companies and employees are practicing proper cybersecurity protocols to keep vital company data secure.