Importance of Leadership Lessons Concept

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Introduction

Leadership is a concept that has evolved in the past three decades as managers used to direct employees. Today, leaders motivate and influence other people to realize their full potential. Companies must adapt to various disruptions of the market to survive and avoid market volatility. However, some businesses maintain operations with low operating budgets and profits, which impacts their long-term sustainability. Such firms struggle to stay in business and end up not growing. Few managers become successful and enable their businesses to withstand all the challenges they face. As a result, such leaders inspire everyone to keep moving forward. Every company goes through challenges and successes; therefore, it is critical to explore leadership lessons that can be learned from some successful managers.

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CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Leadership Lessons

It is crucial to examine the leadership style of different industry managers to understand how to be a better and more successful managers. Chipotle CEO and chairman Brian Niccol has embraced innovation at his company and experienced a fast rise to become a top leader by working in various companies before joining Chipotle. His first job was at Procter and Gamble, where he promoted the brand before moving on to Yum! Brands. He got an executive position at Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Niccol’s time as the Chipotle CEO has been highly successful because he has transformed the company into an easy-to-access provider of delicious food (“Conversation with Chipotle Chairman”). Generally, Niccol’s leadership style is creative, innovative, and revolutionary because he has proved he can anticipate future market disruptions.

There are several teachings that I found valuable in Niccol’s leadership lessons interview. Firstly, it is critical to simplify things by being resilient and creative. Many new restaurants are opened each year, and most of them close due to a lack of profitability. As a result, a leader or entrepreneur needs to be incredibly resilient and conceptually creative. A leader can learn creativity, simplicity, and resilience by visiting similar business ventures and understanding their operation. In addition, since businesses face multiple challenges, simple plans are needed to address big or small problems. The company has fitted nearly all Chipotle locations for digital pickup and ordering (“Conversation with Chipotle Chairman”). The lesson helped me understand that solving big or small problems requires careful planning, creativity, resilience, and simplicity.

Secondly, it is essential to know the factors that ensure the customer experience is exceptional. In the modern business world, customers have a variety of options to choose from. For example, consider a customer who is viewing several restaurants online to order food. Such customers will likely select the restaurant with good reviews and fewer negative ones. Therefore, business leaders should focus on their strengths in customer service, which will improve customer experience. Furthermore, leaders should identify opportunities for improvement as the minor details need to be perfected to meet consumer expectations. For example, businesses should concentrate on aligning sustainability practices with consumer expectations. If a company does not encourage or promote a better society, customers may shun the company. As a result, I learned that attention to detail is essential for success (“Conversation with Chipotle Chairman”). Addressing problems that may seem minor can result in a competitive advantage because the combination of small things creates impeccable products.

Thirdly, a company should be focused on satisfying employees because people in an organization ought to come first. A company’s success is determined by the effort that employees put into their work. When employees are motivated, their job performance is high, indicating that a business has a high chance of success. However, discontented employees have low morale, which reduces their productivity and hurts business success. Therefore, leaders need to provide a great experience to employees to achieve brand loyalty and excellent customer reviews (“Conversation with Chipotle Chairman”). The leadership lesson taught me to recognize that happy and satisfied employees can be a source of competitive advantage. Hence, in my future leadership roles, I need to put employee needs first.

Zander Lurie, the CEO of Momentive, is another leader that I can emulate. Momentive specializes in managing agile experiences and empowers more than twenty million users from thousands of organizations. Such organizations use Momentive to analyze feedback and improve customer experiences. Lurie began his career at JPMorgan, the leading provider of equity transactions in the technology and internet sector. He worked at JPMorgan for six years and decided to join other teams to expand his skills in the technology sector. Lurie joined the computer network (CNET) and spent four years at the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). In addition, he spent six years at GoPro and became SurveyMonkey (Momentive) approximately five years ago (“Conversation with Momentive CEO”). There are three leadership lessons that people or students can learn from Lurie.

Firstly, the CEO cannot handle all functions in a company. For instance, Lurie focused on central business areas: corporate strategy, recruiting and talent development, driving accountability, and communications. Leaders need to concentrate on corporate strategy as the business world is dynamic, and competitiveness can be achieved by aligning corporate strategy with business operations. The kind of talent a company has depends on the competitiveness of hiring managers to know what type of employees a company needs (“Conversation with Momentive CEO”). The leadership lesson taught me that I could not handle all functions or roles as a leader. As a result, I should choose which areas to focus on based on their importance to a company’s success. In addition, I learned that corporate strategy, communication, accountability, and talent development are the key drivers of business success.

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Secondly, it is critical to trust employees and grant them autonomy in their specific fields. Workers are essential drivers of business success; therefore, it is crucial to trust their abilities and capacity to make the right decisions for a company. Being thoughtful about the relationship between the employees and the CEO is incredibly important (“Conversation with Momentive CEO”). In the second lesson, I learned that giving employees trust and confidence to handle business challenges every day is good for harmony and happiness in the office.

Thirdly, time is a precious resource for leaders because they can benefit their businesses by effectively managing time. The manner that leaders spend their time is essential since creating connections can help a company. Whether it is work time, weekends, or social time, managers should meet people with shared entrepreneurial excitement and spirit (“Conversation with Momentive CEO”). The leadership lesson taught me that creating a connection with people who share similar ambitions in entrepreneurship can benefit a business. Furthermore, I learned that networking with current students and alumni in school is a good thing.

Personal Leadership Conversation

I am currently working as a part-time employee in the inside sales department of ZipRecruiter. I had a personal interaction with the CEO, Ian Siegel, through a live webinar. Such webinars are held rarely, and employees learn a lot from Siegel’s leadership style. Siegel’s style of leadership is revolutionary and open because he accepts ideas from all workers. Siegel co-founded the company in Santa Monica, and it has over 900 employees. The CEO has 25 years of experience in technology and executive product leadership roles, having worked in companies like Rent.com, Stamps.com, and CitySearch (“Conversation with ZipRecruiter Co-Founder”). People can learn several lessons from the experiences of Ian Siegel.

Firstly, entrepreneurship is the willingness to walk into the unknown. Most people only appreciate the CEOs of top brands after seeing their success. However, they do not understand the discomforts of being a business owner. Everyone has their strengths in business management; however, most of the things that an entrepreneur does are new. Therefore, it is normal for business owners to feel discouraged and unconfident. For instance, if an app developer creates a good and promising application, they may not be confident in marketing or finding angel investors. As a fresh entrepreneur, a person needs to complete all tasks associated with a business responsibly and with accountability (“Conversation with ZipRecruiter Co-Founder”). The lesson has taught me that the entrepreneurial journey is filled with unknown challenges.

Secondly, startups require realistic business potential to be considered successful. Siegel often talks about the prospects of business ideas. If a service or product cannot be bought a million times, such a business idea is likely to fail. For instance, if an application or a website cannot attract at least a million visitors, it will potentially fail. The majority of startups do not attain a million dollars in sales, but reaching a million dollars in goods sold is the best indicator of a real business (“Conversation with ZipRecruiter Co-Founder”). The lesson has taught me that evaluating how a business idea can make money before starting a business or raising capital is critical.

Thirdly, leaders should do less to grow in their capacities. A leader is a person who should guide employees and trust them with most business decisions. As a result, it is unwise to review every decision that the company takes. For instance, choosing the color of presentation slides during the development of marketing ideas may indicate micromanaging, which can destroy the confidence and trust of employees. Making fewer and big decisions during a business day enables a leader to think about a company’s future from a broader perspective (“Conversation with ZipRecruiter Co-Founder”). The lesson taught me to trust employees and only make big decisions, enabling growth in leadership skills.

Conclusion

People need to examine the leadership lessons that can be learned from the successes and failures of influential CEOs to understand business challenges and problems. Every leader has a different view of management, and it makes them unique. Most of the leadership lessons learned in the activity are new and have helped me develop and improve my management skills. For instance, I did not know that leaders should avoid micromanaging and focus on significant corporate decisions. I always thought attention to detail means approving every decision in a company. In addition, I learned that creating great business relationships is a good use of time and can determine business success. I can continue learning from other people’s experiences by observing how current leaders handle business problems in the workplace and listening to interviews of top CEOs globally.

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Works Cited

“A Conversation with Chipotle Chairman & CEO Brian Niccol.” Comparably, 2021, Web.

“A Conversation with Momentive CEO Zander Lurie.” Comparably, 2021, Web.

“A Conversation with ZipRecruiter Co-Founder/CEO Ian Siegel.” Comparably, 2021, Web.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Importance of Leadership Lessons Concept." September 23, 2022. https://business-essay.com/importance-of-leadership-lessons-concept/.

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