Lately I've noticed a pattern among CEO's that I have been in conversation with. Many cannot get out of their own way and therefore are unable to move forward. There is nothing more frustrating then knowing where you want to go and not be able to get there, especially when the buck stops with you.
Here are five ways for CEO's to get out their own way in order to increase profitability, while decreasing stress. This advice also applies to those who are on their way to the top.
1. Less Talking and More Doing
Having the same discussion about the same people months later and wondering why nothing has changed does little to improve the condition of the organization. In fact, this approach usually makes matters worse. If you believe these people are really keepers, then provide them with the support they need to perform at their best. Otherwise, find replacements who can rapidly help you achieve your objectives.
2. Invest Rather Than Cut
Make a list of companies that have successfully cut their way to profitability. Now think about the companies who have invested their way to profitability. Which list is longer? Most successful organizations achieve their position by investing in the organization. Think twice about your actions, before you cut your way to bankruptcy.
3. Let Your People Manage
Many CEO's have a difficult time letting go. In particular, those that are the founders of the company. Yet this is exactly what you must do to take your company to the next level. You cannot drive your firm forward, by sitting in both the back and front seat of the organization. Someone has to be the one looking for the next turn. That someone must be you. If you are unable to trust the people you have hired to do the jobs you need done, then it's time to revaluate your staff or your leadership style.
4. Find a Trusted Resource
CEO's waste hours of their precious time seeking input from a variety of sources before moving ahead on particular matters. This time is lost forever. What makes matters worse is when nothing is done because the CEO feels overwhelmed by the variety of opinions. Imagine how much time you could free up if you had a trusted resource you could rely upon to discuss ideas with. Consider partnering with an executive coach who can help swiftly guide you through those moments when hesitation can lead to procrastination.
5. Face Your Fears
Just because you are the CEO doesn't mean you aren't entitled to be afraid at times. It's what you do in these moments that count. Acknowledge what is holding you back and then make a plan to move forward. As you do so, your fear will dissipate.
You've worked hard to become the CEO. Now get out of your own way so that you can enjoy the success you've earned.