By Melissa Raffoni
In your role of CEO, you face tough choices every day. The path is often unclear and even the very best of you can falter. Some of the most costly missteps are ones that can be avoided. Here are five mistakes you don’t want to make:
1.) Thinking you know the answers and not collaborating with other CEOs. In a CEO Collective (peer group) meeting yesterday, one of our CEOs was weighing the pros and cons of accelerated growth, versus slower and more controlled growth. In the end, the group came to some strong conclusions on what to do and not do that were completely customized to this CEOs specific business, its ownership, its industry and his strengths as CEO. This exercise reminded us all of the power of the collaborative process and the importance of vetting big decisions with other credible colleagues who know you and your business. Making decisions in a vacuum is a sure-fire way to fail.
2.) Forgetting that your demeanor, attitude and words matter. A lot. The best CEOs have egoless-confidence. As a result, they often forget that others look to them not only for business direction, but for tone and inspiration. If the CEO is frenzied, the organization will be frenzied. If the CEO is structured, the organization will be structured. If the CEO is entrepreneurial, the organization will be entrepreneurial. If the CEO cares about culture, the organization will have a strong culture. It’s like a parent-child relationship; children undoubtedly carry many of the traits of their parents.
3.) Being too open when setting strategy. The best CEOs are open to the ideas of the stellar leadership team they have built, but the role of the CEO is to set direction. A CEO should walk into a strategic planning meeting clearly communicating direction and vision and then, be open. Most experienced executives appreciate having a place to start when it comes to strategy, especially since the larger portion of their day is focused on their operational day jobs. It also makes for a more productive conversation, which all team members appreciate. The CEO's role is the oversight of all the functional areas of the business, putting him or her in the best seat to set direction.
4.) Getting stuck in the day-to-day and neglecting strategy. In the case above that illustrated the need for collaboration, the CEO was living the pain of day-to-day growth strains. With the encouragement of his peers, he took a step back and what resulted was a more thoughtful plan that tied targeted growth to key strategic goals. Building a thoughtful plan requires time away from the business, the office, the clients, and the blocking and tackling. Not once have I heard a CEO say, “developing my plan was a waste of time.” But often I have heard a CEO say, “I really need to take step back and look at the business, develop a plan and align my team around it.” Bottom line, spending time on offsite planning, prepping for it, and making sure you have structures in place, such as regular strategy meetings, time to work on strategy, and CEO Peer meetings, will ensure you stay out of the weeds and do one of your most important jobs—setting and managing the strategic plan.
5.) Holding on to the "wrong fit" team members for too long. Each year we ask our member CEOs, “What mistake did you make this year that you wish you didn’t?” Year-over-year, the number one answer is, “I held on to person X too long.” Contrary to popular perception, the best CEOs are often great human beings, which is why people follow them, but this fatal flaw of holding on to someone too long in the hopes of making it work can have detrimental effects. Keeping people in the wrong roles or keeping the wrong people in the organization will create damage that is difficult and painstaking to repair.
- March 2019
- Feb 28, 2019 Are You An Engaged CEO Champion? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions Feb 28, 2019
- Feb 28, 2019 5 Signs It's Time to Make a Change to Your Exec Team Feb 28, 2019
- Jan 30, 2019 6 Key Practices of Companies with Award-Winning Cultures Jan 30, 2019
- Jan 30, 2019 How to Make Sure Q1 Doesn't Get You Down: Focus First on Yourself, then on Your Company Culture Jan 30, 2019
- December 2018
- Nov 26, 2018 Are You a Graceful CEO? Nov 26, 2018
- Nov 7, 2018 9 Steps for an Eye-Opening Assessment of Your Leadership Team, Strategy, and Strategic Planning Process Nov 7, 2018
- Nov 5, 2018 Are You Tracking Projects or Tracking Results? Tell the Truth. Nov 5, 2018
- Oct 15, 2018 Does Your Leadership Team have High Executive Function? Oct 15, 2018
- Feb 20, 2018 Finding the Sweet Spot Between Inspirational and Operational Leadership Feb 20, 2018
- Jan 8, 2018 Top 7 CEO Personal Development Goals for the New Year Jan 8, 2018
- Nov 21, 2017 Smoother Sailing Ahead for CEOs Who Stay at the Helm of these 5 Core Responsibilities Nov 21, 2017
- Oct 3, 2017 Why You Should STOP Thinking about Cascading Goals to Your Organization Oct 3, 2017
- Jun 19, 2017 5 Essential “To Dos” for Every CEO’s Summer Plan Jun 19, 2017
- Jun 5, 2017 Preparation Makes Perfect: 5 Tips for Preparing for Your Strategic Planning Session Jun 5, 2017
- Jun 1, 2017 Strategic Planning: Why Start with A CEO Presentation? Jun 1, 2017
- Sep 2, 2016 6 Reasons Why Traveling for Pleasure Will Make You a Better CEO Sep 2, 2016
- Jun 29, 2016 The CEO's Role in Managing Culture: Do What You Believe in Most Jun 29, 2016
- Apr 21, 2016 CEOs share the top 15 REASONS they make time for a CEO Peer group Apr 21, 2016
- Nov 10, 2015 2015 CEO Collective Retreat Recap Nov 10, 2015
- Jul 22, 2015 5 Mistakes Even the Best CEOs Make Jul 22, 2015
- May 4, 2015 At the Heart of The Matter: 6 CEOs Share What They Love Most About Their Jobs May 4, 2015
- Mar 24, 2015 How to Improve Your Strategic Scorecard Mar 24, 2015
- Mar 24, 2015 What a Strategic Scorecard Is and Why You Should Care Mar 24, 2015
- Nov 20, 2014 CEOs “Find Their Tribe” at the Raffoni Group’s 9th Annual CEO Collective Retreat Nov 20, 2014