In my experience the leaders most capable of creating sustainable superior results and successfully seeing the need and leading change are those with a capacity to challenge the way they view situations/issues. They understand that the “lens” thru which they view a circumstance, can be as critical, perhaps more critical than the circumstance itself when it comes to creating results. When this highly self aware, and courageous, perspective is taken, the range of possibilities really opens up.
So, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts, intended not to serve as advice, rather to stimulate your own thinking, support you in seeing your own lens…. and perhaps possibility.
Observations, thoughts, and actions for CEO’
One of our observations is that most people are far more capable of creating extraordinary results when they are clear about what they want and why its important to them on a personal level. They are more committed, more excited.
A related issue is to be clear about why you are in business and realize its about much more than the money. This is not to the detriment of financial success, quite the opposite, this larger sense of purpose is going to be more fulfilling for you and others and is the force that will drive the most extraordinary and sustained financial success.
Many entrepreneurs are seeking valued advisors today. It is a great practice, more than that its really necessary in todays world. Are you doing so and are you clear about the intent of having advisors and are they capable providing input in a way that is useful to you?
Beyond the initial creation process, innovation is typically stifled and limited in most companies by mechanical rather than expansive intentional thinking. Is the level of creativity brought to bear to advance your brand today the same as the level of creativity and innovation that spawned the creation of your brand?
Is there someone close in your company that will throw rocks at your brand in order to constantly stimulate new thinking?
No matter how many great people get hired, significant growth will out strip their capabilities rather quickly unless there is a huge investment in the development of your key people as leaders.
Are in you investing in the development of your people as leaders in an intentional and visionary way? In support of your brand and your culture?
And the development of leaders is only credible when the CEO/Founder and his/her core team are enthusiastically and visibly engaged in their own development, setting the norm for expectations of others.
The old models of coercion and motivation are less relevant today. The best leaders are able to inspire others as a result of finding their own passion and inspiring themselves. That happens when they become more conscious, more mindful, to use words that will become increasingly critical to high performance CEO’s. Then development is contagious.
Todays most successful CEO’s will create relationships and perceived value with their clients/customers and employees and venders, well beyond the transaction involved in the purchase of the product or service, payment to a vendor or compensation to staff. This clarity of a larger shared purpose and is a source of inspiration for the entire organization, provides the opportunity for fulfillment and people functioning at the highest level, beyond what bonuses and stock options can elicit.
Providing this type of purposeful leadership sustainably requires a well-developed self-awareness on the part of the CEO and a willingness to actively, consistently engage with the entire organization; teaching and learning.
New organizations frequently have amazing cultures of engagement, enthusiasm and commitment. This somewhat natural phenomena in beginning just seems to dissipate without thoughtful, systemic and at times systematic attention from the CEO/Founder. And it looks a little different for each organization. It’s not like putting in supply chain software. It’s more like breathing life into an organization as it evolves. Its very surprising and even hard to comprehend the fragility of a culture, given how robust it seems in the beginning. In my thinking it is the single most important and largest time component of your job as a CEO.