Generally speaking, CEOs are a pretty good bunch. They articulate vision and strategic direction, define the culture and values for their organizations, and contribute to their communities. But they are not infallible. Mistakes are made, even by the best CEOs. In many cases, mistakes are forgivable. Even recoverable. However, there are a few mistakes to avoid:
Assuming the team is aligned
CEOs are responsible for articulating vision and strategic direction. But simply articulating it isn’t enough. “So let it be written, so let it be done” doesn’t work in business. The hard work happens AFTER the vision is communicated. Effective CEOs take the time to align their senior team to their vision, clarifying roles and accountabilities to deliver, and getting everyone on side to drive execution. This can be laborious and painful at times as it can surface differences of opinion and conflict. No matter – results will not materialize without this important step.
Getting disconnected from the board
It’s often a love/hate relationship between CEOs and their boards, leading to the same kind of dysfunction that can befall any relationship – lack of communication, avoidance of conflict, counterproductive decisions and actions. Dealing with the complex dynamics of board relationships puts even the most experienced CEOs to the test. But in the end, the board approves or disapproves of strategic direction, evaluates the CEO’s performance and – let’s be honest – determines compensation. Thus, attending to board relationships is of the utmost importance.
Going it alone
The role of CEO is paradoxically isolated. On the one hand, CEOs interact with and lead hundreds or thousands of people, both inside and outside their organizations. On the other hand, because of the nature of information they are privy to, confidants are few and far between. CEOs take it upon themselves to aggressively protect the position and reputation of their organization, which makes candor risky at best. And CEOs are human and fall prey to the same crises of confidence as the rest of us. Great CEOs establish and leverage relationships with trusted advisors – attorneys, accountants, consultants, and coaches – who help them navigate the terrain of their job.
Time to stop going it alone? Contact The Bailey Group at 763-545-5997 to learn more about our CEO coaching and advisory services.