March 22, 2011

The Big CEO Challenge

woman walking

What am I hearing most about in leadership and CEO Coaching these days? … ‘The stretch’.

  • How do we downsize and innovate?
  • How do we isolate retrainable talent, let go of change resisters and attract inspired leaders?
  • How do we plan our future strategies when we can’t yet see where our products and services might fit?

Business pace is speeding up – from global corporates to entrepreneurial start ups. Technology, information availability, outsourcing, professional development, consumer education, global availability … all of it contributes to more choices being offered more frequently and creatively to more people. There’s a definite sense that if you stand still the world will move by so speedily that you’ll struggle to catch up.

Here’s the Big CEO Challenge then: “how do I create a future-healthy organisation with inspired, open-minded, way-showing leaders who will motivate their teams to serve our customers, clients, readers, viewers and listeners with respect and integrity in this opportunity-packed new business era”.

We’ve got to get our heads around the fact that the past doesn’t equal the future. The way forward requires a shiny new road map. And the beliefs and values that built railroads, encouraged competition, and taught ‘job for life’ are not those that will succeed in this time of ‘more for all, less to none’.

A Chief Executive Officer’s most powerful strategy is to be clear and to be bold – and if you’re not quite in that head-space & heart-space it doesn’t take much to shift there;  invest in your personal & professional development until you fully sense you’re out front and re-energised.

Hundreds perhaps thousands or millions are looking at your every move – all you’ve become has been leading to this moment: if a complete re-organisation is required, communicate it, plan it and do it. If the hiring of new talent is the solution for your business longevity, make it happen. And if you know you’ve got to managing the decline of selected brands before launching a new phase, do it with transparency and integrity – how you handled it will become part of your legacy.

And wait … there’s more (happy days!); leaders and teams are looking to their CEOs to have something beyond a great strategy and rich experience. The world wants to see honorable decision making, transparent accountability and respectful communication go hand-in-hand with innovative product and brand development and pristine customer service.

I give you Mark Zuckerberg of Google, “When you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place.”

And so it is.

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