Glassdoor recently announced its 2017 list of Highest Rated CEOs. But the winner of this year's title of "Best CEO in America" wasn't Amazon's Jeff Bezos or Tesla's Elon Musk.

This year, the top-rated executive in America is Clorox CEO Benno Dorer.

So, you might be wondering: Who is this guy, and why do his employees love him so much?

Dorer received a 99% approval rating from his employees, who cited his "focus on professional development, transparency, and his vision for the company as some of the top reasons he excels."

But Dorer himself recently revealed one of the biggest reasons employees value his leadership.

Dorer utilizes a leadership style focused on flexibility that likely helps him win favor from his employees. For example, he tells his workers that "it's not about working long hours," but rather, "it's being smart about your work day."

"I think all of our employees take great ownership of the work and the results, but I don't care if you achieve those results working from home or working in the office or if you sent an email at 11 p.m. or 11 a.m.--that is up to you."

Dorer sums it all up with one very powerful statement:

"What I care about is results, versus how many hours you put in."

Why Flexibility Is So Important

Over the past decade, we've seen a fundamental shift in certain desires of employees. Workers are seeking increased freedom and power to make decisions for themselves. Remote work, which gives individuals the flexibility to work from anywhere at the time of their choice, is a perfect example of this.

Workplace success shouldn't be about who puts in the most face time with the boss, or who's the last to leave the office.

Success in the workplace should come down to one thing and one thing only:

Results.

American entertainment company Netflix explained this in brilliant yet simple terms many years ago, in the Netflix culture deck--a presentation designed to codify the company's culture and which is now available to the public.

"We don't measure people by how many hours they work or how much they are in the office," states one slide. "We do care about doing great work."

The presentation goes on to explain that as business complexity increases, companies typically respond by creating more rules.

But this tends to drive out good people.

For example, as time goes on some of your best and brightest employees have not only gained work experience, but life experience. This may include starting their own family, or facing severe challenges outside of the workplace. To deal with these challenges requires flexibility.

CEOs like Dorer have embraced these shifts in worker perspectives, leading to a philosophy that delivers more employee freedom. Not only does this leave their people feeling empowered, it helps build loyal relationships.

"But," you may be wondering, "how will I know my people are really working?"

The answer again comes down to that single word:

Results.

Because if they can do the job well, do you really need to see them do it?

Or, as Dorer puts it:

"I leave it up to [my people] on how they accomplish what it is we want to accomplish. So, try to empower people to do what they can do best--I try to stay out of their way--and create a real supportive environment."

Now that's what I call great leadership.

Published on: Jun 26, 2017
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