This past weekend I learned that Joe Homan from Shire Pharmaceutical won the company’s prestigious CEO Award. I’m excited for Joe, but I’ll be honest, this didn’t shock me at all. I’ve known Joe for 14 years and I can tell you that he’s definitely someone that strikes you as “CEO Award Caliber”. As I listened to Joe’s top projects from last year, I started to think about the leadership qualities that enabled him to succeed. That list of qualities led to the creation of this blog post! So, I’ve included a list of things you can do in order to be a better leader in your organization (inspired by Joe Homan). So, if you’re in Corporate America and you want to win your company’s President’s Award or CEO Award, then read on!
Joe Homan’s Award at Shire and a Recurring Theme
I asked Joe about the projects he worked on that lead to his nomination. The three projects he explained to me were extremely impressive. For example, Joe designed, developed, and implemented Shire Training Camp, an award winning program that brought over 300 employees together for industry-related training. The Baltimore Business Development Authority presented the project its coveted Innovator Award. As I learned about each project, I saw a recurring theme. Joe’s expertise, work ethic, and leadership style enabled his team to generate excellent results. Let’s take a look at Joe’s combination of characteristics that helped him win a CEO Award. They might just help you win one too…
If you want to be nominated for your President’s Award, you should:
1. Know Your Area of Expertise and Work Hard
Joe is a passionate guy. He digs what he does for a living and it shows. No matter which part of the organization you focus on, you should know it inside and out. Educate yourself constantly, read the top books and blogs in the industry, test your knowledge frequently, and take classes when applicable. But education is not enough. You need to work hard, and I mean really hard. You need a strong work ethic in order to inspire people. When you inspire people, they talk about you. When they talk about you, your story goes viral. When your story goes viral, it ends up being heard by important people. Don’t underestimate the power of working hard…
2. Go Above and Beyond
In a nutshell, this relates to going above and beyond for your team and other teams in your organization (sometimes not related to what you do). Yes, you heard me correctly. If you can help other parts of the organization, do it. I’m a big believer in karma and helping others typically pays off in the end big time! Over the past 14 years, I’ve seen Joe bend over backwards to help people (both professionally and personally.) Think about the viral example I used earlier in this post. It absolutely applies here as well. Help others reach their goals and they won’t forget it. And, they will probably communicate your assistance to others in the organization.
3. Be a Great Listener
I know, some of you cringed when you heard this one. It’s not easy to do, right? Great leaders understand people, they know everyone is different, and each team member needs to be managed differently. Sometimes you need to sit back and just listen to what others have to say. It’s amazing what you’ll learn… Again, not easy to do, but is a consistent trait I’ve seen in great leaders. Joe is a great listener and I’m confident others in his organization feel the same way.
4. Empower Your People
One thing I learned quickly in my career is that you cannot do everything yourself. Great leaders delegate and empower their people. If you cannot do this effectively, then you’re probably going to have a hard time leading a high performing team. (More on generating results next.) Joe has a military background, which might explain his thorough understanding of how an effective team works. In the military, if your team doesn’t perform well, you can die. Sure, it’s not the same in Corporate America, but there are other consequences to not performing at a high level. There’s definitely a fine balance between micro managing and not being involved enough. Those leaders that strike the right balance reap great rewards. (And no, I didn’t mean for that to sound like a fortune cookie!) :-)
5. Generate Outstanding Results
This is a given. You need to execute at a high level and generate outstanding results. Anyone can take a budget and do something…but it really only matters if you meet and exceed your goals. You can have 4 of the 5 characteristics I listed down, but if you can’t generate results, you won’t impress anyone. It’s basically the viral killer, or worse…it can be negative viral. You don’t want that to happen. So, if you can exceed your goals with regard to revenue, profit, decreasing costs, by innovating, etc, then there’s a good chance you’ll get noticed. After which, let the viral effect I explained earlier take over. :)
So, you want to be a President’s Award winner?
So there you have it, a post inspired by the news I heard this weekend about Joe Homan from Shire Pharmaceutical. If you start working on the 5 items listed above, maybe you can get noticed and nominated for your company’s President’s Award or CEO Award. Actually, it just hit me that I can wrap this post into one line. Work hard, help others, listen, empower your people, and generate outstanding results. Now put that in your email signature! Just kidding. So even though I’m congratulating Joe in this post, maybe next year it will be you…