What It Takes to Be a Good Leader.
As the leader in heavy duty industrial caster and wheel solutions for virtually every industry, Caster Concepts has a long history of quality products, outstanding service and a never-ending desire for exceptional results. In 2018, Caster Concepts was recognized as one of the 2018 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch. This recognition wouldn’t have happened without great guidance from our Leadership team.
There aren’t many more highly discussed topics than that of Leadership. There are many opinions regarding what it entails and what it takes to be a good leader. If you search Leadership on Amazon, you’ll find more than 70,000 titles that show up. I recently came across this article published back in 1975, and I think it still has relevance today. It’s from Dick Gerstenberg, then the CEO of GM, and it’s a good synopsis of Leadership that we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy it.
— William Dobbins, M.D., President and CEO of Caster Concepts.
Hello, I’m Dick Gerstenberg, and this is my Point of View.
In the long run, no business can be any better than its Leadership. People sometimes ask, “What does it take to be a leader, in business or in any other walk of life”? Here is my answer.
When it comes to true ability, there is no generation gap. The ability to achieve can be spotted in men and women of any age, by means of five key characteristics. There are other qualifications, to be sure, but these five are the basic. I have found at least these five, present in every leader I have ever known.
First — The thirst to know. The desire to keep learning– how to do the job and do it better. Certain habits and attitudes always typify this trait, diligence in studying whatever materials must be studied—astuteness in being able to profit from experience and humility that overcomes ego, and lets a person learn from others.
Second — The old-fashion quality of integrity. Honesty in all things. A sense of responsibility, not only to personal principles but to others—customer, employees, fellow workers. This kind of integrity means more than adherence to some vague code of business ethics. It means to always, always doing what is right—as simple and as terribly difficult as that might be.
Third — A nose for opportunity. Every endeavor needs men and women who are unwilling to settle for second best, who are impatient with the mediocre and always looking for opportunity. Alert to its call, ready and able to respond by taking a bold but well-planned risk in order to gain, and to get ahead.
Fourth — Sensitivity, or the ability to be aware of the needs and concerns of others. This is a quality that must be worked at. It requires an openness of mind, a respect for the opinions of others, a readiness to change. Some people never acquire this sensitivity, some may have it and lose it, but no one who must lead people can succeed for long without it.
The Fifth and final quality of Leadership is the most basic and prized of all—The capacity for hard work. A constant striving to be the best and to do the best. Never “almost,” always “the most.” Not second best, but out in front.
What makes one individual stand out above the others is the willingness to work hard, to apply himself, and strive unceasingly toward a goal of perfection. It is really a hunger for excellence—in everything you do—no matter what your profession or your job. Whatever it is, you should strive to be the best.
Those are the qualities it takes to succeed. You may find them. You may develop them. But without them, no man can or should expect to hold or keep a position of Leadership.