The 8 Characteristics Of 3D Entrepreneurial Leaders!


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NACUEIt was great to meet so many enthusiastic young leaders at the NACUE Leadership Summit yesterday in London – and thanks very much for your warm welcome and contributions to my sessions. As promised, here are the slides from my workshops – feel free to Download, Distribute and Do something with them!

Just thought I’d provide a quick reminder of the 8 Characteristics – the things we see 3D entrepreneurial leaders do:

It’s not a list of ‘do’s and dont’s’, but some ideas for you to consider in maximising your leadership potential

3D Leaders….

1. ‘Get That Vision Thing’!

They create a picture of the future that ‘stimulates, excites and inspires’. They share and get buy in to this vision and it drives performance. They keep it alive and make it meaningful for people, and not just their employees – suppliers, network contacts and customers. Remember, Martin Luther King did not stand on Capitol Hill and say “I’ve got a strategic business plan and a cash flow forecast”! (There’s more on this here)

2. Value Their Values!

It’s very clear what 3D Leaders stand for and this shapes their behaviours and the behaviours of the people that work with them – it’s all about ‘culture’ which in 3D Businesses is a real ‘Differentiator’. We describe ‘culture’ as ‘the way we do things around here’ and 3D Leaders do not leave this to chance. They establish an UBER Culture where people Understand the behaviours expected of them, systems and processes are Built to reinforce those behaviours, people are Empowered, Engaged and Enabled to live them, and are Recognised and Rewarded for doing so. As well as ‘championing those champions’, they ‘challenge the challengers’ too – 3D Leaders act as real role models when it comes to this ‘values’ stuff! (Here’s how Mark Zuckerberg chooses people that fit in with his values)

Go For Walks3. Go For Walks!

There are 3 levels of thinking in business: strategic, operational and tactical. In many businesses, the leaders get caught up in the ‘day to day’ tactical stuff. 3D Leaders proactively create time to think strategically – they work ‘ON’ the business, not just ‘IN’ it, and ‘strategic thinking’ time is legitimised – whether it’s time blocked out in the diary, specific meeting times or simply ‘going for walks’ away from the business, they build it into their role – they also expect it of their other leaders – and ensure it’s a fundamental element of their job! (Check out how Linked -In’s Jeff Weiner does it!)

4. Remove Their Blind Spots!

3D Leaders encourage and actively seek feedback to find out what they’re doing well and not so well, whether it’s from colleagues, customers, team members and their own bosses. A simple exercise is STOP, START, CONTINUE (Find out how here).  Crucially, they then act on what they’ve heard!

5. Play To Their Strengths!

You can’t be good at everything! 3D Leaders recognise this and having worked out their strengths, play and stick to them. They build teams to compensate for their weaknesses and fill the gaps. (Here’s evidence of how this works)

6. ‘Get Engaged’!

3D Leaders work hard to get engagement at every level of their business (and outside it!). They ensure that people feel part of, and have bought into, their vision,  they understand what’s expected of them, and are given the tools, support and resources to make it happen. They keep people well informed of how they are doing, as a business, as a team, and as an individual – it’s about keeping the vision ‘alive’ and making people feel ‘valued’ as individuals! (Culture and employee engagement is priority number 1!)

7. Fish In Different Ponds! 

3D Leaders don’t just ‘think out of the box’, they ‘get out of the box’! They spend time and engage with others outside the ‘comfort zone’ of their business (or part of the business). From simply creating time to work with other departments and locations across the business, to other companies, other industries, even other countries and cultures. They engage with others, and consciously explore new ideas and ways of doing things often from outside their ‘normal world’. It’s linked to ‘Going For Walks’ and they consciously build it in to the way they do things. (See here how Webmart’s Simon Biltcliffe creates his own DIY MBA!)

Status Quo8. Create ‘Enemies Of The Status Quo’!

A great quote from William Wrigley Jr sums this up nicely “When two people in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary”. 3D Leaders  ask questions, challenge things, ‘break the rules’, spot things going wrong and fix them. They encourage others to do the same, and they establish systems and processes to encourage and embed this throughout their business – it’s all about InnovatiON! (See here how so many leaders are missing it!)

Of course, , 3D Leaders do much more than this, but hopefully it gives you something to think about, and maybe even see how you ‘measure up’.

To help you ‘think in 3D even more, here are some things you can Do

– Download these free e-books covering some of the topics we discussed

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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