Excerpt (edited) from Adam Bryant Of The New York Times On What Makes Great Leaders Great:
There’s a quality [in great CEOs] that I call a “simple mindset,” which is the ability to take a lot of complicated information and really boil it down to the one or two or three things that really matter, and in a simple way, communicate that to people. In any company—there are always a dozen or more competing priorities. And it is the leader’s job to stand up in front of the troops and say, “These are the three things that we are going to focus on this year,” or “These are the goals and this is how we are going to measure them.” If you really want to galvanize people and get them operating as a team, you’ve got to create a simple scoreboard that everybody understands.
The communication style, to me, is secondary to getting the content right. And what I’ve been so often impressed by is leaders who can essentially boil down the company’s goals and operating model into, literally, less than a page. They can figure out, “Here are the four metrics; these are the three or four things that we are going to focus on,” and do it in a way that not only makes sense for today, but is likely to make sense a year from now.