The Real Gold at the End of the Rainbow: Leadership Tips from CEOs

White clock with words 'Time for Leadership' on its face.

There I was at the recent AFB Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., typing what felt like a million words per minute. The guidance was spot-on and I had to record each utterance for myself and for you.

It was a morning session and sitting side-by-side on the central platform was current president and CEO of AFB, Carl Augusto, and former president of the American Printing House for the Blind, Tuck Tinsley.

Who better than to provide leadership tips, and that they did exceptionally well.

Their principles were like gold graciously handed to us and wrapped in laughter. Let me tell you, these men are as skilled in leadership as they are in comedy. What a treat.

Here is a summary of what they shared:

  • Dress professionally to convey respect.
  • Create company culture from the top-down by the things you do and don’t do: demonstrate mutual respect, remain transparent, exhibit ethical practices, and welcome input.
  • If you’re getting up or going out, ask “Can I get you…”. Be a servant-leader.
  • Motivate people, bring people together, and get things done together.
  • Prepare for meetings properly. Touch base with others to know their position beforehand, welcome individuals to the meeting, have a specific agenda, start the meetings on time, and end the meetings early.
  • Communicate, communicate communicate; even the “bad stuff”. Be honest and over-inform your team.
  • Get involved with others. In other words, get to know each other and accept invitations to work-related events.
  • According to the book, Five Dysfunctions of a Team, you want opposing views on a team. It is a growth-catalyst.
  • Under promise and over deliver. If asked when you can complete a project and you think it will take five days, say a week and deliver early.
  • Technology is the great equalizer. If you are blind or visually impaired, learn your assistive technology.

Thank you, Mr. Augusto and Mr. Tinsley.

Now let’s hear from you, dear reader. Do you have leadership guidance to add? I’d love to hear from you.