While talking to CEOs and executives in high growth verticals, we came across the most common thing which most overwhelms them is the persistent and unrelenting feeling that they have to run the company aggressively or something will fall apart. While these feelings are neither ingenuine nor unavoidable, but these also lead to emotional and physical fatigue, which ultimately hurts their capacity to carry out their real job in turn.
While talking to a CEO last week, who once worked in the role of senior manager quoted saying that he had to learn the hard way of how to tactically handle getting overwhelmed when he was compelled to hire lieutenants. There was once a quote which described Steve Jobs as unstructured 50% of the time, which usually is true for most of the inventors as well. That’s roughly real, I suppose.
Spending time away from tactical duties helps you to:
Think Strategically. While interacting with CEO of a growing fintech startup, he mentioned that he took a break after continuously unstoppable work and this gap gave him time to think deeply about the company’s strategic growth and soon it leads to a public company acquisition. Usually when you keep worrying about the routine tactical issues, you slowly loose your strategic thinking capacity.
Fix critical problems. Save yourself from exhaustion as you’re going to get involved as a senior exec to stabilize your ship while you also need to ensure you steer it with right direction. This is particularly popular in company start-ups where you are frequently fodder for the senior execs of the client to chew on to defend your team. This is both exhausting and humbling, and if you’re tired, it can not be accomplished.
Yeah. Persuade. As you start growing, as a CEO you cannot always run your company in a battle or combat mode. You need to encourage, persuade and direct your team to bring forward appropriate leadership to the front and stabilize your growth. An unique framework and a structured approach which you have built inside your organization, reflects how strongly you sail forward.
As a CEO, how much time do you spend time thinking? Start thinking instead of making. You are a merchant of dreams who sells ideas to their team and customers, and persuades them to make it a success. Stop playing the role of a designer, rather be a creator. It is important to remain at the right level of abstraction and leave a lot of unstructured time.
You need to move away (partially) from tactical business operations when you have reports for your reports and begin to trust your direct reports to handle day-to-day operations. Though there won’t be a day where you can be 100% away from tactical operations, but you certainly will move away in a significant manner and focus on strategic growth. You will be working on your business as a spectator, while your team will be directed by you to work in the business. A big move is the change from a player-coach to a true leading executive.