An ACTIVE leader is a transformative leader.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work for great leaders in great organizations. Some of the best have been in companies like Whirlpool Corporation, Johnson and Johnson, Allstate Insurance, and AbbVie.  But great leaders and great companies aren’t limited to those big brand names. Great leaders can be found in all kinds of companies, organizations, and industries.

What makes a great leader? As I have worked with these men and women, I’ve distilled the most important characteristics into my ACTIVE leadership model. The acronym is appropriate. Leaders must be active – they must be active as they work with their leadership teams and their employees.

Here are the elements:

  1. Aim or Purpose: Be clear about the purpose of the cultural change, stated in outcomes to which employees can relate. Well-developed purpose challenges, inspires, and is measurable. Focus on the customer.
  1. Collaborate: Demonstrate collaboration with your leadership team. Promote and model the idea that employees across the organization work together to drive outcomes.
  1. Teach and Coach: Become a coach, helping direct reports and the entire organization drive to results using these new behaviors. Reward collaboration.
  1. Influence: Give up traditional command and control in favor of a more influential and facilitative approach. Don’t fiddle with the org chart until you master some of the behaviors.
  1. Vulnerability: Be vulnerable. When you admit you don’t have all the answers, it promotes trust. Trust promotes healthy conflict. All this drives better decision making, faster. 
  1. Enroll: With the front-line: inform, delegate, coach, and provide tools for decision making. Encourage diversity of background, thinking, and expertise.

The ACTIVE leadership model outlines the skills a leader must have to develop their organization to be faster, more innovative, and customer responsive. In this season of Covid-19, these skills are absolutely required to help employees through these uncertain times while continuing to provide superb customer service.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please go out to LinkedIn to add your comments.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,


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