As CEO, you are your organization’s energy; a powerful force for action, progress and other remarkable things.
In your capacity, individual desires and preferences take a back seat to the needs of the business in total and those around you: Employees, Customers, Community, Board.
Doing so every moment of every day, you could lose touch with what excites you about your role. The terrain when climbing the ranks to the top spot was very different than the one you’re standing on now. Accumulated experiences and new circumstances have changed what gets you juiced.
Deliberately reconnecting with what sparks your energy could change you and your organization. To get started, ask yourself:
- What is it about my role today that fascinates me?
- Why do I love this industry? This company?
- What goals or ideas excite me?
- Which personal values do I get to practice every day?
- Am I invigorated by complexity? Unraveling and solving difficult problems? Watching others flourish under my guidance? Working shoulder to shoulder with other A-players?
- What should I change to make this an incredible place to work?
CEO life can intrude on your awareness of what inspires your unique contributions to the organization and its people. Getting back in touch will help you shape your role to fit your new and evolving passions.
CEO calendars are jammed. Every topic, meeting and personal connection is on the clock.
The clock is now running the business.
Eyes are on time rather than on needs. Conversations hurry to conclusions. Thoughtful responses are growing more unlikely. Exploration? Within narrow limits. Alignment? There’s no time to be sure.
“I don’t have time” masks the realization that something other than what’s on the agenda may be more important. “I didn’t have time” is the reason something or someone slipped through the cracks. “There’s no time” moves past uncomfortable or inconvenient issues. ”Let’s discuss when there’s more time” devalues people and concerns by putting them on the back burner.
Time constraints are today’s reality but the CEO in particular needs to slow down. The costs and risks of over-scheduling are too high for the business and the one in charge. (If your lieutenants can’t drive progress on important issues without you, that’s a different problem and separate topic.)
Try closing your office door for four or five hours once, maybe twice a month to think about–rather than react to–the business. Unravel complexity and get to the real heart of matters. Plot what’s around the corner and scenario-plan impacts on long term strategy. Retrace steps. Refresh options. Gift yourself with a friend/advisor, an industry expert who brings a strong external perspective and knows a thing or two about your world and what’s ahead–someone with no biases or personal agenda who sees what others miss, poses the right questions, challenges assumptions or confirms decisions.
Emerge as an even stronger leader by changing your relationship with Time.