About Vistage

The CEO’s 7 Laws of Leadership

These 7 leadership laws will help guide your decisions

At Vistage, these leadership laws guide our organization’s members and leaders. Our members have a thirst for growth and results. They feel fulfillment when they make an impact on their companies, communities and families.

In working with over 100,000 CEOs over the span of 60 years, we have cracked the code on how successful leaders learn. As a result, our community of Vistage members grow their companies 2.2x the rate of the industry average.

Why does it work? Because we have studied and been shoulder to shoulder with high performing leaders and have guided our learning into our own 7 Laws of Leadership.

1. Reject shortcuts to growth 

Great leaders pursue leadership excellence with the commitment of a world-class athlete. They know it’s a challenging, continuous journey that requires hard work and determined attention.

They reject shortcuts and take ownership of their development. They bring rigor and grit, working hard to hone their expertise and committing their whole selves to continual improvement. 

They push themselves to learn more, grow further and lead better.

2. Carve out space to work on the business

Successful leaders routinely carve out time and space away from everyday business issues to reflect, acquire new knowledge and focus on strategy.

This discipline allows them to gain the clarity they need to navigate the day-to-day challenges while keeping their company on course for long-term success. 

They fight the instinct to always be in “go” mode, forcing themselves to take time for thoughtful decisions.

3. Challenge your thinking with peer perspectives

Great leaders seek diverse perspectives on important decisions from trusted peers. They actively work to combat insular thinking and confirmation bias.

They find other CEOs and business leaders who’ve tackled similar issues but in different industries. These peers understand the nuances and challenges of the role but bring fresh perspectives, unhampered by institutional knowledge.

When a group of diverse leaders connect, this effect is amplified — especially if the forum is safe for open dialogue and candid feedback.

Get these time-tested truths about the actions and attributes that translate to leadership excellence and business success in a PDF guide.

4. Stoke curiosity

World-class business leaders are high on curiosity and low on ego.

They are inquisitive, welcome new ideas from trusted sources and are eager to explore.

Vulnerability is viewed as an asset, and they are the first to admit they don’t have all the answers.

They ask questions to seek input and pressure-test their assumptions, so they can come to the best decision for the business — not to prove their own point.

5. Apply discipline to decision-making

High-performing leaders follow a disciplined approach to decision-making.

They use a systematic process that takes into account their instincts; judgment based on experience and data; and perspectives from peers, mentors and employees.

Applying this rigor helps them make more accurate decisions in less time … consistently.

6. Find a trusted guide

Successful leaders view a coach or mentor as a critical component to leadership excellence. 

They value a trusted guide who challenges their assumptions, identifies their blind spots and holds them accountable.

The most effective coaches and mentors approach the CEO as a whole person, not just the leader at the top of the organization’s hierarchy.

Leaders who take a comprehensive approach to development that includes feedback from trusted peers, effective mentoring and insights from subject-matter experts continually outperform their competitors.

7. Rise by helping others

Great leaders aren’t just focused on their own decisions. They help others critically think.

through their challenges. In the process, they fine-tune their own decision-making skills.

By helping others make better decisions, a CEO or business owner also creates a positive impact on other companies and their communities. These high-integrity leaders leave a legacy that’s far-reaching and long-lasting.

Get these time-tested truths about the actions and attributes that translate to leadership excellence and business success in a PDF guide.

  1. Time-tested truths that make good leaders exceptional
  2. Attributes that accelerate growth and success
  3. Common leadership pitfalls to avoid
  4. A leadership challenge to accompany the guide