I recently had a long chat with CoaLogix‘s entertaining & insightful CEO, Bill McMahon. CoaLogix is a Charlotte-based company whose solutions decrease polluting emissions from coal-powered plants.
Here’s what Bill feels are the key ingredients for success in leadership roles:
“1. Experience. You have to have it or you have to get it. In my case, I didn’t have the experience but I had friends who did.
“2. Trust. The management team must trust each other and your customers must trust you.
“3. Open communication. We have a saying here that we stab you in the front. If there’s an issue, even a thorny issue, we put it on the table and address it.
“4. Flexibility, tolerance and adaptation. Sometimes we were headed one way last week and now we’re headed 20 degrees to the right. You must have people who can tolerate that type of frustration and adapt to it.
“5. Pick the best. This is probably the most important. In mergers and acquisitions, you have so many outside people involved – banks, law firms, advisors. My coaching there is to pick the best. Not the best that you can afford, but the best who really want to be part of the process. We were very fortunate that we had 3 gold-plated banks who wanted to work with us – Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and UBS. One wanted this deal badly, more than the others. If they’re not showing that type of support and sense of urgency upfront, imagine what they’ll show later on. Picking the best is absolutely critical.”