After managing employees since the age of 16, I realized that my success was 100% dependent on the performance of my team. Now, I coach CEO’s around the world how to be the best in their industry. As a CEO, you have a unique role. You’re expected to perform many wonders for your organization and it can be easy to lose track of your priorities. I see many CEO’s fall into the trap of trying to do too much. If you just focus on these seven elements, you’ll outpace many of your peers. Allow your team to do what they are good and focus on what you need to be good at which is below.
1. Create a Unified Vision & Inspire Your Team
This one seems cliche but it’s seldom done well. Create a vision that every person in your organization wants to see come to fruition and inspire them every day to follow that vision. It’s not too much to expect everyone on your team to be on board. I’m a firm believer that strategies and tactics don’t fail, people do. The number one internal factor for why organizations fall behind their competition is their people. You may have employees who are not on board at all, don’t believe in the vision strongly enough or are opposing your vision all together. If you’ve ever rowed a boat, you know that even one person rowing in the wrong direction can slow you down significantly.
2. Pick Your “A” Team
It’s your responsibility as the CEO to pick the right people for your team. Yes, you want to have your executive team play a part in deciding but ultimately you need to ensure that you have “A” players on your team. Never settle. I’ve spent countless hours coaching CEO’s on their people. Surprisingly, this seems to be the weak spot for many of them. You are human, I get it. You want to give your people a chance, I get that as well. But if you’re having the same conversations with the same people over and over again and they’re still not making progress, it’s time to find someone else. There’s a reason why “B” and “C” players spend more time on the bench.
3. Coach Each Individual Team Player
As the CEO, your role is to coach and mentor each individual on your team. You want them to have an internal drive for self-growth and self-improvement but there are some things they will need your help to develop. When you see the magnifying effect of coaching your players to be better every day, there’s no way you’ll miss out on a coaching opportunity. There may be an underlying fear that what if you coach them to be so good that they end up leaving. That’s okay. They’ll always remember what you’ve done for them and karma will pay you back.
4. Develop Your Team
Aside from coaching each individual, you must also coach your team as a whole. Your job is to ensure that they are progressing as a unit and functioning effectively and efficiently. As each team player progresses and the team progresses as a whole, you’ll see a significant improvement in productivity and results. Your coaching time should be split 50/50. Half your coaching time should be spent on individual coaching and half on coaching the team.
5. Hold Your Team Players Highly Accountable
The buck stops with the CEO but accountability must be taken at all levels: you must hold each team member accountable, the team members must hold each other accountable, each individual must hold themselves accountable and your team must hold you accountable. This four-point accountability ensures that every person is doing their part. Four-point accountability is the most underrated, yet one of most effective tools for improving creativity, productivity, and growth.
6. Remove Obstacles From Your Team’s Path
Your team will face obstacles and part of your role as the CEO is to help remove them. It could be a board policy, a team member who’s not doing his/her part, or it could even be your leadership style. Your ultimate responsibility is to ensure that your team has the knowledge, skills, tools, resources and freedom to do what you hired them to do. If they can’t remove the obstacles themselves, it’s time for you to jump in.
7. Truly Care About Them
It can be easy to get caught up in the “business” aspect of running an organization. Just remember that the more you care about your people, the more your people will care about your business. There is no value that can be put on caring about each person on your team. It’s truly priceless. Your team members are creatures of emotion, the more emotion they feel for you and your organization, the better they will perform. Also, remember that your business is built on clients. If you want your clients to be Super Fans of your organization, your employees must be first. For more information on creating Super Fan clients, you can get a copy of my book “Super Fans” at https://superfansbook.com/
Focus on these seven elements and the rest of your responsibilities as a CEO will become much easier. For the next 12 months, put a plan into action to measure yourself. Which of these are you doing well? Which of these do you need to improve on?
To get more tips on leadership, check out our podcast episode on Great Leaders Do These 5 Things by clicking here.