Every time I hear someone say “I want to be a CEO, I always say ‘Get ready for the ride!’” Being a CEO of an organization or your own company means that you’re responsible for executing the strategy of the organization. You’re in charge of structuring its DNA and it usually doesn’t come with a handbook. There’s a lot of information available on many professions whether you want to become a doctor, lawyer or even a manager but, when it comes to being a Chief Executive Officer, that job requires on the job training.
When it comes to influencing change and driving results, each organization has its own style. However, there are practices and principles that CEOs share to drive that change in order to continuously add value and live up to the expectations of the stakeholders.
Decide what kind of leader you want to be
Before you can create change or execute any strategy in an organization or in your company, you must first go within and figure out what kind of leader you want to be. Everyone has different leadership styles but it’s your job as the CEO to figure out what that is and communicate that to your top-level team. Communicating your style or even having it written down somewhere will allow your closest team members to not only communicate that throughout the organization but also hold you accountable.
Vision and Mission
Having a strong purpose that is communicated daily in the organization is the biggest key to any CEO’s success. Does your organization understand the mission and vision? Is it written and posted somewhere for others in your organization to see? Is it used in trainings and other forms of communication? Remember, the people in your organization must know why what they’re doing matters and what differences are they making in the world.
This leads into the second most important principle: people. Are your people happy and engaged in the business? Are the right people doing the right things? A successful and result-oriented organization cannot exist without good people that also include vendors, lawyers, and accountants. The key here is to practice evaluating all the key relationships surrounding your business and working with key people to make sure you’re hiring the best.
Once you have great talent, the next principal is to create a dynamic culture. Never be afraid of great feedback and the truth. One thing the pandemic has taught us is that culture is not only important to your organization but also to the people. People want to be excited when they come to work. They want to be in an environment that inspires them to be better and to grow. Let it be okay to make and learn from mistakes. Teach the concept of failing well and don’t concentrate so much on looking good but focus on accomplishing goals.
Excellent management and being clear on both communication and accountability is the key to executing strategy and goals. As a CEO, your job is to meet with the leaders of your organization and make sure progress is being made. Make sure everyone is not working long hours spinning their wheels and fixing things that don’t move the needle. Do you know who’s responsible for what task? Is it assigned and is that person held accountable for ensuring the goals are met? Earlier I said it is your job as a CEO to remind your organization of the mission and vision- are the company’s plans and performance posted visually somewhere? Remember, if you keep communicating the mission and vision and create a great culture, executing on goals and objectives will not be as challenging.
The world is constantly changing and so is technology. CEOs have to constantly remind themselves to be open minded and creative. By doing so, you allow your organization to stay on the cutting edge of innovation and opportunities.