There are many attributes that make a successful business leader, but I have found that I can summarize many of the keys to our success at VimpelCom over the past two decades through five key performance attributes: (KPAs):
Purpose: Keep focus! Ensure the entire organization understands the objectives!
Passion: Passion for the endeavor is a necessity in order to succeed!
Perseverance: Passion alone is not sufficient — a leader and his team must persevere in order for the organization to succeed!
People: Having the right people in the right positions is critical to the success of organization. Importantly, a leader must recognize the changing needs for the team as the organization grows and develops.
Pioneering Spirit: Successful entrepreneurs have an innate desire to blaze their own path and differentiate themselves. A successful leader infuses this pioneering spirit throughout the entire organization.
Communication of these five key performance attributes throughout the organization, continuously as it embarks on the journey from start up to global corporation, is essential.
This communication starts internally, with the team within the organization, but consistent communication of the organization’s purpose, by people who are passionate about the organization’s mission, is essential. In this regard, I should note that the relationships that a business leader cultivates, both internally and externally, can drive the success of both the organization and the individual team members. Don’t be afraid of differences! The internal team, as well as the external stakeholders with whom one interacts, may come from very different backgrounds, cultures, business environments. By harnessing the positive energy of different perspectives, this diversity can be a catalyst for thinking outside the box and generating new ideas—cultivating a pioneering spirit. The key to a leader’s success lies with his team; and the team cannot have a single background, rather it must be diverse and it must have a singular purpose.
Finally, it is worth concluding with the importance of good old-fashioned leadership. A leader needs to meld these key performance attributes with inspiration, motivation and focus. When faced with adversity, the successful leader will find the opportunity hidden beneath the surface. Identifying that opportunity will be a strong motivator for both the leader and the team. It is hard work to go from a start-up to a global corporation, and there will be obstacles and setbacks along the way, but with purpose, passion, perseverance and a pioneering spirit, the right people will clearly see the path forward, and achieve great success for themselves, their organization and the communities they serve.