How A CEO Can Be An Executive Coach And A Cheerleader

There are so many of us who want to crack the leadership code – we maybe inspired, amazed or overawed when we see effective leaders in action. They look like wizards who seem to know the secret to galvanizing their teams and getting things done consistently. Whereas many of us just seem to be languishing with the desire to lead effectively, but are unable to achieve the desired level of success. Anthony Wedo is someone who learned to be a leader right from the age of 9 from his father who ran a restaurant. Fortunately for us, Anthony is foremost a good man who is aware of what’s worked and is working for him, and what’s not, and that makes him a great teacher. Anthony is the boss you always wanted to have. He is a true leader, an entrepreneur and a turnaround CEO who is currently is the CEO of Ovation Brands with 18000 employees - a company that he revived from bankruptcy that once had 1.7 Billion in sales and is growing again. His lessons on being an effective leader are not ‘the flavor of the season’ tips, but the foundational building units of a true leader who has demonstrated his abilities time and again. Wedo does offer the formula for leadership, but it’s not a formula that you can just apply and expect to create magic instantaneously. You need to work at it, imbibe the principles, nurture them and develop them throughout your life – you need to become a leader from inside out and that’s going to take work.

The core of Anthony Wedo’s lessons on becoming an effective leader springs from his principle that people should follow you because they desire to follow you and not because they are commanded to do so. When you are able to achieve that you get full commitment else you get half-hearted attempts of team members who do things simply for the paycheck. So as a leader how do you inspire in your team members the desire to follow you whole-heartedly? For starters, you need to show you care – Wedo learnt from his father “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. When you care, people listen otherwise you could be talking to a wall. Caring for your people and for your company’s values and mission cannot be faked it can only come if you are truly passionate about your work and concerned about your team.

The next critical characteristic of true leaders is that they lead by example. You can keep telling your team members what to do and give them intellectually sound arguments of how they should absolutely be following your vision – but if your heart’s not in it, they would sense that and would not go the whole hog. You need to show the way by first becoming what you want them to become. You need to be willing to pay the price for what you want to achieve. You need to be prepared to do what needs to be done, within ethical and legal parameters of course - If you are able to put the needs of the enterprise/mission ahead of your own needs that would galvanize your team members like nothing else.

The final element that completes the true leader is courage. Too many CEOs land into trouble because they were not courageous enough to say and do the right thing and the right time. Even if you’ve got the right people in your team they would stray from time to time, at such times you need to have the courage to tell them how they are straying from their mission and guide them back into the fold. You need to have the courage to take tough decisions, many of which may break hearts - yours and your team’s but if you are humble and caring, you will be eventually be able to notch up the best outcomes for all concerned because that’s what a true leader should do.