CEO Coaching: There’s No Perfect in Leadership, But Excellence is Worth a Try!

My knowledge of Buddhism could fit in a thimble, but I’ve gleaned that it contains lessons for leaders. “The Six Perfections,” which I recently discovered, are an interesting take on success in the C-suite.

1.     Generosity: Imagine you’re the Buddha of the office, bestowing the gift of snacks upon your team. Generosity isn’t just about sharing the last slice of pizza. It’s about offering opportunities, knowledge, and support. So be the generous soul who spreads joy and Oreos! The most successful leaders are just as concerned (if not more so) that their team members reap the rewards.

2.     Ethics: As Google used to say, “Don’t be evil!” or in positive wording, “Do the right thing.” Not always easy, but correct!

3.     Patience: It’s Monday morning, and your French workers go on strike, your key supplier goes bankrupt, and you spilled coffee on your white shirt before a presentation. Patience is your secret weapon. Take a deep breath, channel your inner Zen master, and handle the chaos with grace.

4.     Diligence: Diligence reminds us to pursue excellence relentlessly. However, pursuing excellence doesn’t always mean pursuing perfection. You have much to do, and success in many areas will trump perfection in one.

5.     Concentration: In the wild jungle of leadership, distractions are aplenty. Concentration is your superpower, helping you stay focused on what matters. So, be creative, but resist the temptation of shiny objects. Concentration not only makes you a more effective leader but also saves you from squirrel-induced tangents that drive your team nuts.

6.     Wisdom: Ah, wisdom! The epitome of leadership greatness. It’s like having a sixth sense that helps you navigate complex business dynamics with grace and humor. Wisdom, of course, comes from many mistakes, plenty apologies, and a dedication to improve. Your position of authority doesn’t make you wise; it demands that you become wiser.

There are many sources of wisdom around leadership, both good and bad. As a leader, you must look for perhaps not the truth—as effective leadership comes in many packages—but  discern between good and bad. Achieving positive financial results while harming and disrespecting others doesn’t make you a good leader.

If you tried to incorporate every leadership attribute into your leadership style, you’d be scattered at best and completely ineffective and unpredictable at worst. So, develop a short list of leadership attributes to hew to. Refine them as you develop more wisdom, but have a plan.

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