Sheri Staak, Author, Tune In to WOW Leadership
Are today’s leaders ready to face the demands and changes of the future? Perhaps not, according to Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015, a joint study by Development Dimensions International and The Conference Board. Research indicated that only 9 percent of HR leaders believed their leaders were “very ready” for the human capital challenge.
“CEOs know their organizations cannot retain highly engaged, high-performing employees without effective leaders who can manage, coach, develop, and inspire their multi-generational, globally dispersed, and tech-savvy teams,” according to the report.
As someone who’s devoted her career and recent book, Tune in to WOW Leadership, to the development of top talent in leadership, I wholeheartedly agree. The future of business, if led by an unprepared or underdeveloped generation of leaders, could be a CEO’s worst nightmare. Without strong, confident leaders who are invested in their own self-improvement as well as in the development of others, companies will lack the needed skillsets to manage a changing global environment.
To ensure today’s leadership crisis does not leave CEOs without the support of WOW individuals to guide and lead change, it’s imperative that companies more diligently and vigilantly seek out and invest in top talent. WOW leaders are those that are authentic, honest, trustworthy, humble, respectful, passionately driven, and above all, dedicated to their responsibility as a leader above their own individual gain. Instead of promoting or hiring based upon some supposed record of “perfection” in performance, CEOs would do better selecting those with the motivation and hunger to put themselves on the line, even if it meant admitting past mistakes or errors.
Leaders that can—and ultimately will—get the job done aren’t always the ones that look best “on paper,” they’re the ones that do their best when it matters most. They make careful, but quick decisions and aren’t afraid to take calculated risks. CEOs who create a culture that allows for and even encourages WOW behavior invest in their leaders by supporting them at all times—even when the going gets tough. When leadership is stifled by a cutthroat, unsupportive senior staff, a culture of fear chokes out forward thinking and innovation. DUD leadership emerges and WOW leadership is stifled. It’s a pattern that trickles down through the ranks, disheartening the potential of new leaders.
For the leadership crisis facing the CEO’s of tomorrow to be anything but a nightmare, leaders must be freed from the repressive chains of a culture that demands perfection in performance at all costs. Investing in new leadership means rewarding creativity, hard work, integrity, and action with praise, encouragement, and support along the way—not withholding those rewards until the end-game “payoff” is achieved. Investing means putting your faith in something before its potential value is achieved. When CEOs make investments in human capital, they must do so with foresight and care, selecting those with the greatest potential to WOW. But more importantly, they must not turn their backs on those investments—they must tend to them and re-invest in them on a daily basis. Only through a mutual partnership of WOW behaviors in both senior and upcoming leadership will the future be a dream, and not a nightmare, for the CEOs of tomorrow.
About the Author
Sheri Staak has been a corporate powerhouse for close to 30 years, with an impressive trophy case of sales awards and recognitions. She has worked with and managed more than 1,000 sales representatives in highly aggressive and competitive marketplaces in the U.S. while in key leadership roles at both large privately held and publicly traded global companies. Her new book Tune In to WOW Leadership is available on Amazon.com as well as at other fine booksellers. To learn more visit: www.thestaakreport.com, or visit her Facebook at www.facebook/The Staak Report.com