Trust in CEOs to help any organisation navigate pandemics, disrupted supply chains, labor shortages, geopolitical instability, and climate events has increased. But for government leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, and media leaders the trust they have has decreased. So there’s a strong mandate for CEOs to step up and make a difference on a broad societal stage.
Direction-Setting Mindset: Be Bold
Many CEOs seek to minimise uncertainty and avoid making mistakes in today's complex world. It seems reasonable. After all, for a role with such a large impact on a company's stakeholders, the adage "discretion is the better part of valor" would seem to make sense.
The best CEOs are aware of this trap and, as a result, approach company direction with a different mindset. They embrace risk, believing that fortune favors the bold. They're less of a "taker" of their fate and more of a "shaper," continuously seeking and acting on opportunities to bend history's curve. CEOs that adopt this mindset understand that just 10% of companies generate 90% of overall economic profit (profit after deducting capital costs) and that the top quintile performers generate thirty times more economic profit than the next three quintiles combined.
Organization Alignment Mindset: Treat the Soft Stuff as the Hard Stuff
The likelihood of a CEO's strategy becoming reality is minimal once he or she chooses a course for the company's future. According to much research, just one out of every three strategies is applied successfully. The reasons for failure stem from the fact that change is almost always an emotional issue rather than a logical one. The "soft stuff," such as interpersonal and cultural challenges, account for the vast majority (72 %) of the roadblocks to success. They don't just accept that the soft stuff is difficult; they promise to treat it as such. And they make sure that every senior leader, not just the HR, owns the people-related implications of the strategy. As the CEO, you must address both sides: The technological aspect is simple; the human aspect is complex.
Mobilizing Leaders Mindset: Solve for the Team’s Psychology
A company's top executive team dynamics can make or break it. This is why the quality of the senior management team is cited as the single most critical nonfinancial element in evaluating a new IPO by investors. Their intuition is supported by data: a company's better financial performance is twice as likely when its senior team works together with a shared goal. The finest CEOs understand this issue and appreciate that it is up to them to determine whether their team's work lives up to its potential and propels the firm forward.
Many CEOs begin by asking questions like "How often should we meet?" and "What should be on the agenda?" when considering how to get the most out of their leaders. The best, on the other hand, think about how the team works together rather than what they do together. They focus on resolving the team's psychological issues and allow the mechanics of coordination and execution to take care of themselves.
Board Engagement Mindset: Help Directors Help the Business
One of the most difficult problems that CEOs have is engaging with the board of directors. Why? The CEO's boss, the board of directors, is at the apex of governance. The board, on the other hand, is unlike any other supervisor an executive has ever had. Boards of directors rarely provide significant value to the organisations they oversee. Only 30% of board members say their boards have effective processes, and half of the executives say their boards are underperforming.
The best CEOs don’t tolerate these outcomes. Instead, they eschew the traditional mindset of “my role is to help the board fulfill its fiduciary duties” in favor of a mindset of “my role is to help directors help the business.”
Stakeholder Connection Mindset: Start with “Why?”
While running a firm and managing a board of directors is challenging enough, today's CEOs are recognising that they must contact stakeholder groups more frequently than they ever expected. The emphasis is primarily on who to speak with, on what, and when. The best CEOs, on the other hand, begin with the question "why?": Why should our company be allowed to operate in society? What makes each of our stakeholders important to us? Why are they doing whatever it is that they are doing? Excellent CEOs build strong relationships with the outside world by intimately understanding the motivations, hopes, and fears of their constituency. This helps the business prosper in the long run.
Personal Effectiveness Mindset: Do What Only You Can Do
The various CEO responsibilities frequently necessitate an exhausting schedule. To face this challenge, the best ensure that they are both mentally and physically fit—a difficult undertaking. Personal decisions are made by the finest CEOs to manage their personal well-being and effectiveness. However, there is one similarity. Successful people do so in a variety of ways. They all have one thing in common: discipline. "Prioritising the most crucial issues that only the CEO can solve and delegating any remaining work" is the key to personal performance.