Justin Menkes, author of Better Under Pressure, identifies three traits every CEO needs in turbulent times.  He suggests these attributes are counter to human nature and collectively add up to a new definition of Leadership.

The 3 traits are:

1. Realistic Optimism – setting audacious goals while understanding the magnitude of the challenge

2. Subservience to Purpose – defining oneself by the pursuit of their professional goals

3. Finding Order in Chaos – excelling in multidimensional, complex issues

At Range Corporate Advisors we work primarily with clients in transition.  As a result, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to witness good and bad leadership in turbulent times and to consider what attributes professionals must bring to the team if they are to truly be of value.

Numbers 1 and 3 on the list are core to our methodology.  I firmly believe transition can not be successfully managed without grand, optimistic goals and an ability, as a team, to manage complex, multifaceted problems.

Number 2 reminds of the Blues Brothers movie – we’re on a mission from God. I find myself struggling with the description of the trait, primarily because it is incomplete.   While singleness of purpose is certainly important, flexibility and creativity are critical.  In business there is never only one direction. Leadership must include the ability to see peripherally and to quickly and effectively change goals or tactics within the context of the overall mission.

The blog post at HBR is HERE.

Posted by Scott Sinclair, Range Corporate Advisors