If a company is a ship, then the chief executive officer is at the helm steering their organisation towards its goals. Their decisions determine how well the business sails and how it can overcome obstacles along the way. That said, the responsibility of the CEO is a challenge in itself. Your best decisions can deliver fantastic results to your company’s figures, while your worst might drive the company to the ground.
- Learn your priorities and keep evaluating them.
To-do lists are for managers who need to keep track of tasks that need to be done for the day or week. As a leader, you have to learn the things you should strategically prioritise in a longer period, a month, a quarter, a financial year.
- Have a strong sense of purpose.
Understand the importance of your role in the organisation and use this as a motivation to refine your leadership craft further. This should encourage you to work beyond the mere survival of your company and come up with decisions that can make a difference to your business and everyone who benefits from its operations.
- Give value to all stakeholders.
Your stakeholders include your company’s shareholders, your employees and your clients. Understand their needs and think of solutions to address them. It would also be best to balance these needs against each other to develop decisions that deliver value across the company and your market. In essence, you take on the role of a servant who has the privileges to get things done.
- Be ambitious with your goals.
Be bold with your goals and drive yourself and your team beyond your limits. Staying within your comfort zone is a surefire way towards stagnation. Expect complaints on the impossibility of the task, however, and be sure to address them by guiding your employees and helping them achieve the results that you expect.
- Set the rules.
As a CEO, you should clearly define what you expect of your people. Do not compromise or set the bar lower to accommodate underperformers. Regardless of how stringent or lax your rules are, you should uphold them consistently and be willing to make the adjustments needed as your brand grows.
- Strengthen your resolve.
Understand that your role comes with low emotional moments interspersed with gratifying feelings of achievement. Criticisms are also abundant with every decision that you make. That said, you should stay committed to your decisions and learn not to break under any pressure. Otherwise, you will signal weakness that will make you look unreliable to your team and easy prey for people who want your power.
You don’t have to be superhuman to run an organisation effectively. But you will need leadership expressed through your goals, resolve, priorities and a clear understanding of your role. You will have to be someone your people and your stakeholders look up to and trust to steer your company in the right direction.