The best CEOs are those who figure out the right levers to pull, choose great people to be on the team and motivate great behaviors through an inspiring environment that respects and generally cares for the well-being of its employees.
Unfortunately, being a CEO is a bit of a grind. Well, actually, it’s a lot of a grind. You have a million things to do, planes to catch, people with problems, products you can never sell enough of, and why, for the love of god, do things continue to get more and more complex? And let us not forget that you are meant to emerge as the one who fosters inspiration, sees the way and brings clarity to complexity!
Old school CEOs resemble the famous visual of a chicken with their head cut off. They are always pushing, creating a sense of urgency, trying to get more and more done, seeing all the gaps and are, frankly, worn out. They burn out and they burn people out. Sometimes it works. Most times it fizzles.
Now, maybe as a result of my old age, I’m ready to take it up a level. My mantra is be a GRACEFUL and SKILLED CEO. Why? Because the chicken with its head cut off may cover a lot of ground, but it is really not a good leader. Very few little chicks follow this crazy bird around.
The reality is that IP and cash can only take us so far in today’s economy. What is increasingly and seriously driving the success of today’s top companies is its people -- innovative, motivated, smart-working and “great-to-work-with” people. And, those companies have great CEO leaders.
As you strive to be the best kind of CEO, ask yourself these hard questions:
Are you demonstrating the characteristics that you want your people to emulate?
Are you taking care of your health? Not just your physical health, but your mental health and wellbeing as well?
Are you giving yourself opportunities to think clearly about the business?
Are you being clever about choosing the things that matter – as opposed to advocating doing everything at once?
Are you rewarding innovation, creativity and trying new things?
Are you giving kudos and positive vibes?
Look in the mirror. Are you the chicken with its head cut off or the graceful, skillful CEO?
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