Thoughts On Executive Leadership — Jim Storm

  • Leadership is about "we" not "me."
  • Leadership is grounded in your "being" and your "doing."
  • Ask good questions and listen carefully to what is said and not said.
  • Act on your intuitions and not your impulses.
  • Once a decision has been made — ACT.
  • Acknowledge and thank others as members of the team.
  • Show up.
  • Avoid tunnel vision and get out of your comfort zone.
  • Show me a strong board and I will show you an executive who is a good teacher.
  • Know your weaknesses and find others with these strengths.
  • Be careful what you commit to writing.
  • Maintain a balance in your life.
  • Develop strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Be open to changing your mind as new information is gathered.
  • Work to end relationships on a positive note.
  • Maintain a safe source to which you can turn when troubled.
  • Know when to move on.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Don't criticize those who have gone before you or follow you.
  • Personnel issues will never go away.
  • Staff members will grow but seldom change.
  • Fund development is based on relationships cultivated over time.
  • There is very seldom a quick fix for funding problems.
  • Boards raise money when there is a sense of ownership.
  • The mission is that of your organization, not your ego.

On the heart side, the lesson is that it's all about your people. If you're going to engage the best and the brightest and retain them, they'd better think that you care more about them than you care about yourself. They're not about making you look good. You're about making them successful. If you really believe that and act on that, it gains you credibility and trust. You can run an organization based on fear for a short time. But trust is a much more powerful, long-term and sustainable way to drive an organization.