What the Highest Rated CEO This Year Teaches Us About Leadership

Everybody loves a top 100 list. It could be the best dog breeds, best cities to live in, or in this case, the highest rated CEOs. I love Glassdoor’s annual list of the top 100 highest rated CEOs because it’s based on how the employees of major corporations value their most senior leader.

This year the highest-rated CEO was Benno Dorer from the Clorox Company. Most people are surprised the CEO of a global company that sells brand names like Kingsford Charcoal, Brita water filters, and Hidden Valley salad dressing tops the list.

We sometimes forget, as people who are enamored with the latest and greatest, that great leaders aren’t just in technology companies. Sure we love glamorous examples like Elon Musk or Tim Cook but great leaders can be present in any industry, “glamorous” or not.

When asked about a few things that make Clorox a great place to work, Dorer said:

“We have a leadership model that envisions the future and then we rally people around that future. I engage with my people in the ‘when’ but I leave it up to them on ‘how’ they accomplish what we want to accomplish. I try to empower people to do what they do best and stay out of their way. We always look at ourselves as a people company. Therefor, ideas need to come from the lunch room, not the boardroom. That’s exactly the type of environment we want to create.”

You could summarize his sentiment into this:

Leadership is about serving and empowering others.

If you want to be more like Dorer and make your way to Glassdoor’s top 100 list next year, here are a few tips:

Be Humble

Humility is often the most under utilized, yet most attractive quality of a leader. I have never seen meaningful relationships built on a foundation of ego. Humility matters in everything, especially leadership.

Surround Yourself with Great People

No one in the history of the world has accomplished something truly great all by themselves. Dorer knows his team is not only the reason he won the award, but also the reason the business is doing so well. Without great people, no leader has a shot to be successful. Remember the old African proverb: If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.

Be Motivated to Come to Work Everyday

At the core of leadership is improving the lives of your people. In order to do that keep in mind a quote from a recent Follow My Lead Podcast and a principle in the Welder Leader program, “elevating a team’s performance requires a bond of mutual trust.”

People follow their leaders actions and behavior much more than their words. Your motivation to come to work everyday and excitement to make a difference is contagious. If the only reason you come to work each day is to make money, your motivation will not be sustainable. Be purpose-driven and you won’t have a problem being motivated everyday.

Don’t Forget to Love Your People

When I say love, I don’t mean any kind of HR violation. Instead we defined it in the, Welder Leader Research as, “to contribute to someone’s long term success and wellbeing.” It’s imperative you don’t forget how big of an opportunity you have to help develop and contribute to others success and well being. I am sure Dorer believes in the quote from of the great Harvey Firestone, “the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”

A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My LeadPodcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.

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