Conventional wisdom about Chiefs is all wrong. It says Chiefs are special. Chiefs are chosen. Chiefs have titles. And only those with the power and influence at the top can truly be Chief. Fresh out of business school, I aspired to be Chief. I worked hard to move up the ladder in the hope that I could eventually earn a job as a Chief Executive Officer.

For years, I trusted that wisdom. It guided me into and through bigger and bigger roles where I was responsible for generating results for companies in many difficult situations, developing plans for success that focused on a clear vision and a winning strategy to meet customer needs. Those plans often required raising capital, controlling costs, beating competition, and building positive community relationships in order to succeed.

But as I worked my way up through these assignments, and I had the privilege of working with many strong individuals at all levels who possessed a power and influence that had nothing to do with their title or position, my views shifted. I came to understand that real Chiefs are people who connect what they do to who they are. Their power and influence comes from inside and includes any number of attributes. Here is a starter set. What would you add?

1. Be alive
2. Be authentic
3. Be creative
4. Be all-in
5. Be a winner
6. Be your hardest critic
7. Be loving
8. Be peaceful
9. Be curious
10. Be thoughtful
11. Be deliberate
12. Be sincere
13. Be considerate
14. Be interested
15. Be resourceful
16. Be respectful
17. Be awake
18. Be smart
19. Be focused
20. Be mindful
21. Be honest
22. Be kind
23. Be generous
24. Be grateful
25. Be present
26. Be still
27. Be accepting
28. Be calm
29. Be loud
30. Be enthusiastic
31. Be courageous
32. Be diligent
33. Be yourself
34. Be strong
35. Be quiet
36. Be the fullest manifestation of who you are

Be Chief