Chenault’s six attributes of a Skilled Leader

Jul 25, 05

Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express, shares his business insights and philosophies at a talk in Wharton

The quotes are from his talk.

Integrity: “Many people construe ‘integrity’ to mean being honest. That’s a piece of it, but it’s really about being consistent in words and actions. When you are trying to lead others, they look for consistency. I want people to have a will to win, but I want them to win with integrity.”

Courage: “To me, it’s not personal. I want you to argue with me. It requires courage to offer a different perspective and challenge current or popular views. It requires courage to speak out, especially when one doesn’t personally benefit from it. To build ‘followship,’ one has to be courageous and orient always from the core value of integrity.”

Team player: “Everybody wants to be a team player but there can be nice people who are bad team players — people who don’t engage in confrontation when that’s what is really needed, people who don’t give feedback. I look at whether the person helps the team improve.”

Execution skills: “Today, people are focused on IQ, but executional quotient, EQ, is just as important. If a person has a match of IQ and EQ, he or she has an incredible personal commitment and can be an incredible force. Disparity between IQ and EQ means that person is just focused on himself.”

Development of people — helping others succeed: “I judge the success of a leader by the success of the people who are the followship. I look at the results. Is this a person who facilitates the achievements of others and who has the capacity to get people to willingly follow?”

Being proactive: ?A leader has to take action and make things happen.”

To read Dr. Warren Bennis’s “Six time tested competencies of Exemplary Leadership”, go here

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