It is college graduation season again and it is the time of year most University Presidents and some business leaders stand in front of many bright-eyed graduates and let them know about adult life. The “real world” is scary for many of those with newly minted diplomas and it is the job of those speaking to give them some words of wisdom to live by. However, it seems that nowadays the College President and the all-star business CEO may not be the best to dispense advice because they need advice of their own. Although, these were formerly very stately positions, CEO turnover is at its highest and presiding over a college is now a high-risk occupation. These two jobs are both high profile, with a lot of privilege and responsibility that includes managing a lot of people. What kinds of tips do these leaders need to be successful?
One is to always think before you speak. Planning verbal direction, critique, or simple chitchat makes a big difference to how you are perceived by those you speak to. Speaking of talking, plan to talk less and listen more. Many new leaders try to impress with a lot of chatter, but always make sure you understand the environment that you’re walking into and what your employees need from you. Pay particular attention to your veteran employees and the knowledge they bring about your company or institution. Also, make sure you always show up. Simply being present speaks volumes about who you are and who matters to you so turn up for as many events as possible. In the same camp, make sure you answer as many messages as you can. Respond to emails, even if they are from freshman or someone who is new to your company. Your response matters with how you are perceived and shows that you do not find anyone irrelevant. Other suggestions include using your advisors like the board of trustees or directors, understand that community relations matter, don’t take things personally, and make sure that you are taking care of your own personal health so that you can serve those around you.