Accenture CEO On Leadership, Plus A C&P

There was an interesting interview with Accenture CEO, William Green, in the New York Times last week. He discusses his management approach and how he has evolved as a leader.

One of Green’s key stories is about a training session that he sat through which introduced 68 things that new managers should focus on. He thought it was ridiculous to think that people would remember all of those items, so he condensed it down to three Cs:

  1. Competence: Be good at what you do.
  2. Confidence: People want to know what you think.
  3. Caring: Nothing today is about one individual.

I really like what Green said about “caring:”

This is all about the team, and in the end, this is about giving a damn about your customers, your company, the people around you, and recognizing that the people around you are the ones who make you look good.

My take: Green provides valuable insight into what it takes to be a good leader, but I’d add two items to his list (people should be able to remember a list of five things, right?!).

First of all, I’d tack on one more “C” for Clarity. Green actually showcased this trait when he boiled the 68 things in the training class down to three.

Then I’d add a “P”, for Purpose. Good managers, actually any leaders, need to continually define and communicate the role of their group. They need to always be answering two questions:

  • How does the group’s efforts fit within the company’s overall mission?
  • What does success look like? 

The bottom line: Management is as easy as 4Cs and a P.

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