Holding the position of CEO of any size organization is challenging and downright tough on anyone. No matter your background, it usually involves many humbling experiences and is typically not for everyone. As the ultimate authority with your organization you are continually contemplating the “what if’s” and ask yourself questions like, “What do I do when the world crashes down around us?” You will have no one to turn to within the organization, at least not to pass the final decision off on someone else. No, instead, you have to be ready to execute and after the dust settles on any matter, leave your team feeling led, not left behind. In doing this, you should only ever point the finger at yourself when something goes wrong. Is this “tough love”, perhaps, but totally necessary in my opinion.
Remember this, 100% of the situations that turn out badly or produce chaos are absolutely your fault (period, full stop)! You’ve got to own everything. After all, if someone on your team does unfortunately make an error, remember, you hired them, gave them their directive, outlined the specific tasks and sent them on their way to perform it. Yes, that was you, so own it, course correct and move on. Do not allow yourself to point the finger at another department head, outside source or executive team member. In doing this, you will only be reminded that you also hired them as well, and those around you might conjure up a diminished view of your abilities.
Whether you’re just starting out and your team consists of you and one other person, or you are leading a company with 100+ people in multiple locations, you owe it to everyone to keep a cool head, THINK through the issue, cultivate a solution and execute. It is no coincidence that the word “execute” is the very core of the word “executive” as in Chief EXECUTIVE Officer (CEO). You have to be able to make the call, every time, even when the stakes are high. This role is not always pretty, and there will most likely be many setbacks and bumps along the way. This role, which is commonly the pinnacle of one’s career, leading well, to produce the best outcome, is beneficial for everyone involved.
After reading this far are you still thinking you want to be CEO? Will you lay down your pride, acknowledge and move on when issues arise? If yes, when any issue presents itself and the people around you are looking for guidance, own the error or problem and do your best to create a system to never let it happen again.
Oh, those beloved “systems”, but that’s a topic for another story still to come.