The job of a CEO begins with a leadership role. The essence of your leadership role as a CEO is to make the organization effective -capable of doing the RIGHT things. An effective organization is one with the right people all occupying the right positions collectively engaged in doing the right things. That is;
‘right PEOPLE + right POSITIONS + right ACTIONS = EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION’
Making the above equation a reality in an organization is the primarytask of the CEO as a leader. It is a three-fold task that begins with you the leader. The above equation is ‘what’ you need to do as a leader, as you must have probably noticed, the underlying theme in the equation is the word “right.” Which clearly captures the whole essence of the role of the CEO as a leader -making an organization effective. I wish these were all you needed in order to succeed in your role as a leader, but there’s still one missing element in the equation that is vitally important. That missing element is YOU – the leader!
Here’s what I mean.
Building a successful business takes the collective efforts of others and not just the effort of only you the owner. It is not a one man show. As bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki rightly observed; “Business is like making babies, it’s not something you can do all by yourself; it requires the collective efforts of others.” You see, while no one person (leader) can single-handedly build a great company; one wrong person (leader) can single-handedly bring down a company. How? When you as the business owner begins to think it’s all about you. This is usually the case with most small business owners. I know you are the owner of your business no doubt, but you also need to understand this fact; before you chose to become a business owner, success was very much all about you and the result of your personal efforts, but now that you’re running your own business; success is all about others and the result of their collective efforts.
A majority of businesses fail largely because of this singular factor, so it’s highly important you understand this crucial point and begin to make the necessary paradigm shift early. The success or failure of an organization depends largely on how well the CEO plays their role as a leader. As the CEO, your role as a leader demands that you shift your focus from yourself and begin to focus more on others and what you collectively want to achieve. Management guru Jim Colins in his legendary book “good to great” talks about the kind of leadership required to take an organization from being a good one to being a great one; ‘level 5 leadership’.Here is what he identified as the key trait of a ‘level 5 leader’; “ambition first and foremost for the company and concern for its success rather than for one’s own riches and personal renown.”
Business is a team sport and only the teams with the best players can win. To build a winning team requires a leader that not only wins but also knows how to lead a pack of winners and make winners out of losers. Winners being who they are don’t naturally like to hang around losers even though that loser bears the title of a CEO. That you now occupy a leadership position as a result of your CEO title doesn’t necessarily mean you are a leader. Being a leader is much more than occupying a position. As I pointed out last week in the first article in this series, positions or titles doesn’t make you; functions and duties do. As a CEO in your role as a leader, the bulk of your work is mainly people-centered. Your functions and duties (responsibilities) majorly revolve around working with people and leading them. And when it comes to people, knowing ‘what’ to do alone won’t do the trick. People are not things, they don’t care how much you know and can do until they know how much you care and make them feel. Therefore, knowing ‘what’ to do is only one part of the story, knowing ‘who’ to become in order to do what needs to be done is the main story.
The real challenge here is gathering the right kind of people to work with as a team, for only the right kind of people can be truly effective -capable of doing the right things. You see the right people are very rare to find or attract because they only submit to the right kind of leadership. They are not predominantly motivated by how much they are paid; they are mainly motivated by passion and will only follow the right leader whose vision, goal or objective they consider worthy of their commitment and loyalty. You cannot out rightly buy them over; you earn their commitment and loyalty. Figuring how to be the right kind of leader is your main responsibility as a CEO. So here’s the big question;