We Fools here at Fool HQ love analyzing stocks almost as much as we love our game room -- but that's not all we're about. We're business analysts, too, digging deep to understand what makes a company (not just a stock) special. And one of the most important keys to this analysis is understanding the leaders behind the businesses.
Foolish favorites Costco
And look at Starbucks
Not long ago I had the good fortune to interview Rajeev Peshawaria, author of the book Too Many Bosses, Too Few Leaders. You can find my three-part series on Fool.com starting here. If you haven't read them, you should. Mr. Peshawaria has a lot of excellent insight on what makes great leaders.
Last Wednesday, we got an extra treat when he came and spoke to us here at Fool HQ. He talked more about the ideas behind the differences between bosses and leaders and the seven traits leaders possess. According to Peshawaria, great leaders:
- Find the energy to create a better future.
- Are clear about their purpose at all times.
- Lead with values.
- Know how to manage grief and learn from their failures.
- Forgive and move on.
- Are willing to recruit co-leaders and share authority and responsibility.
- Successfully move from "I" to "we" thinking and create conditions to maximize collective success.
These are the types of things we can practice as people in our everyday lives to make us better human beings. If the byproduct is learning to become a better leader then hey, that's all the better. I mentioned to Peshawaria (for all the parents out there) that these seem like excellent lessons to teach our children as well. He agreed and it sounds like we shouldn't be surprised to see an adaptation of his book geared toward children somewhere down the road. Who knows, you could be raising the next great leader!
So think of this as a veritable checklist of sorts -- a way that we can learn more about what makes great leaders. Because at the end of the day, great leadership can take an ordinary company to extraordinary new heights.