What does it take to be a great leader?…from local leaders

During our CEOtoCEO breakfast this past week we had the opportunity to have a larger than normal crowd – all focused on learning some insights and tidbits from some of the many well-known and respected leaders in the room. The event didn’t disappoint – we heard some great insights and thoughts. We will be sharing these over the next month or two with you on a regular basis on our site and also asking some key questions on our CEOtoCEO Discussion Group on LinkedIn – be sure to join if you haven’t already.

Starting out the breakfast John Hartman asked a table of leaders to share in one (or sometimes more) words what they thought it takes to be a great leader – we got some very interesting and sometimes unexpected responses.

Mary Jesse, Founder and CEO of Ivycorp  started by saying “To Care about your customers and employees deeply.” This is a key to their success and if you don’t care with true passion, they won’t follow and you can’t lead.

Bryan Mistele, President and CEO of INRIX, a mobile communications company, said, “Integrity…you have your network and your reputation – one you continually build and one you maintain.”

Mike Komola, President and CEO of HRnovations, simply said, “Humility” – I think he was living this and being humble.

Bill Swint, President of High 5 Sportswear, said he got a lot of his inspiration from Warren Bennis, well known author and consultant in the area of leadership. Bill said, “It’s the ability to make great decisions flying blind – applying knowledge and wisdom.”

Shelley Rotondo, Executive Director of Northwest Harvest, was called out by John since she is his wife – boy did he get lucky! She said, “A leader has to have a vision and a passion about whatever they are leading. They also have to have Integrity, good judgement, good communication skills, and the ability to execute – and of course, kicking down doors.”

What great wisdom in a nutshell from some very successful and accomplished leaders. No wonder their organizations are the leaders in their respective industries. Thank you everyone for sharing some of your quick insights to what makes a successful leader. Next up, some exciting comments and video of some of the other well-known leaders who shared their thoughts and insights…stay tuned!


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