A very good friend and associate of mine had a stellar career with a major UK FCMG company – a market leader in its field.  With no formal training or business school background, he rose from sales representative to senior board roles in under 20 years.  How did he do it?  Well from long discussions with him it was he embodied the four key characteristics that mark out a good leader.  These are:

  • Honesty
  • Competence
  • Inspiring
  • Forward-looking

These characteristics, identified by James Kouzes and Barry Posner over 40 years ago in their ground-breaking book “The Leadership Challenge”, were exhibited by my friend in spades.  His integrity, authenticity and values were there for all to see.  Combined with these characteristics, in whatever role he took on for the company, he demonstrated high levels of ability and delivered results. As a result, he always he inspired his teams – whether these were in sales, logistics or production.  Finally, he led his team through a period of major change and restructuring to re-capture the heart of the business.

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