Aug 18, 2020 | Leadership

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a virtual networking event hosted by the North San Diego Business Chamber that featured guest speaker, Garry Ridge. A native of Australia, Ridge is President and CEO of WD-40 Company, where he has worked since 1987. If you’ve had the pleasure of hearing him speak, you’ll know that Ridge leads with humor, humility, and humanity.

When he was tapped to take the role of CEO at WD-40, Ridge enrolled in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program at the University of San Diego, a joint venture between the university and The Ken Blanchard Companies. The program inspired him to codify and clarify the organizational culture that Ridge wanted to build, and the leadership traits that would help that culture to thrive. Those leadership traits are now embedded in WD-40’s DNA, and have served the organization well as it steers through the turbulence of 2020.

Ridge’s 10 Traits of Leadership are listed below. They are both practical and inspirational.

1. Leaders involve their people. Give people the freedom to make autonomous decisions, yet act for the good of the whole.

2. Leaders are always in servant leadership mode.  Use your position and power to help others win.

3. Leaders are expected to be competent.  Establish a track record of delivering results (without leaving bodies in the hall).

4. Leaders are connected with a high emotional intelligence. If you deliver results without reading the room, success will not be sustainable.

5. Leaders exercise good judgement. Superb leadership is often a matter of superb instinct.

6. Leaders need to have a strong sense of self worth. Accept failures and welcome feedback.

7. Leaders value the gift of contrarians. Good leaders don’t surround themselves with sycophants. 

8. Leaders move forward. If one approach doesn’t work, learn from it and find another.

9. Leaders do what they say they are going to do. Don’t over promise and under deliver.

10. Leaders are champions of hope. If you believe and have prepared your followers, your followers will believe.

Garry Ridge’s list of leadership traits are short but powerful. Use them as a reminder to manage your emotions, model the behavior you want from others, and lead your team through adversity.

Question: Which of the 10 traits have you mastered? Which one can you work on today?

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!



Related Posts

Navigating Budget Season During Uncertain Times: 5 Questions Budget Managers Should Ask

Navigating Budget Season During Uncertain Times: 5 Questions Budget Managers Should Ask

It’s budget season for organizations on a calendar-based fiscal year. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or first-time budget manager, submitting a budget for approval during times of economic uncertainty can be a confidence shaker. Being a budget manager isn’t just about creating a wish list and bracing for a 30% cut. It’s about being a strategic thinker and a persuasive communicator. These five questions will help you win the hearts of senior leaders and get your budget approved, even when times are fiscally fickle.

read more
5 TED Talks for Leaders Who are Lifelong Learners

5 TED Talks for Leaders Who are Lifelong Learners

I’m kicking off August a two-week vacation in Amsterdam, a city that effortlessly merges history with innovation, art with technology, and tradition with progress. As I wander through picturesque canals and vibrant streets, I find myself reflecting on the importance of lifelong learning, especially for leaders. In this fast-paced world, where the boundaries of knowledge are constantly expanding, it is essential for leaders to stay curious, adaptable, and open-minded. That’s why I’ve curated a collection of five captivating TED Talks that provide insights and inspiration to fuel our growth. I invite you to join me on this virtual journey of discovery and self-improvement.

read more
From Awareness to Traction: Transforming Organizations Through DEI

From Awareness to Traction: Transforming Organizations Through DEI

The murder of George Floyd in May of 2020 served as a catalyst for organizations worldwide to confront systemic racism and address the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within their ranks. In the three-plus years since, some of our clients have made real breakthroughs in DEI, while others have fallen victim to their own performative attempts to make changes. Here are five ways we’ve observed leaders move beyond symbolic gestures to gain real traction and create truly inclusive, more powerful workplaces.

read more



Preferred method of contact:

*Required fields. By submitting this form you agree to receive emails from Center for Executive Excellence and can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This