The CEO Of Intuit Says All Successful Leaders Do These 3 Things

The best leaders are great communicators. They’re confident and focused. They’re open to change and inspire action.

And, according to Brad Smith, the president and CEO of Intuit, they almost always do these three things:

They lead with questions, not answers.

The very best leaders don’t feel the need to have all of the answers, Smith explains in a recent LinkedIn post. “They surround themselves with great people, and ask the right questions.” It’s not what you know — it’s the questions you ask that help you become a more effective and inspiring leader, he says.

They cast a tall shadow, not a dark one.

“All leaders cast a shadow. The question is whether yours is blocking the sun, or inspiring others with its silhouette to strive for more,” Smith says. Great leaders walk the talk; they role model the behaviour they want their organisations to emulate. “The two greatest indicators of what we view as important are (1) how we spend our time, and (2) the questions we ask. Organisations watch these cues to determine what leaders ‘really view as important.'” So be clear on your say/do ratio, he suggests. “And ensure the shadow you are creating is the one you aspire to project.”

They fall in love with problems, not solutions.

It’s human nature to feel married to your own ideas, which is why we sometimes hang on to them too long, Smith explains. But great leaders ask themselves: Am I making sufficient progress to believe that my original hypothesis is correct? Do we need to make a change? “If you never lose sight of the problem, how you attack the solution can remain more flexible, iterative, and ultimately, be more likely to succeed.”

Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.

Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to [email protected] Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.