Even over the past ten years alone, there have been so many changes in the criteria as to what makes a CEO successful. Over that decade, the way in which successful CEOs think about themselves, their style, companies, communities, and employees has evolved. In today’s workplace, no matter what sparked the recent changes in CEOs, there are eight clear conditions for modern-day success.
Note: Some of these may involve you stepping outside your comfort zone.
Purpose Equals Drive
In the past, many companies revolved around shareholder values and what made the most sense for those in the boardrooms. However, times have changed and that simple is not the case anymore. Modern-day companies, the successful ones at least, are all about the employees and the customers. Therefore, CEOs should look to unite the customers, employees and shareholders in the pursuit of one shared goal or purpose. Everyone likes to get behind a positive cause, so outline exactly how each person can play their part.
A decade ago, when unemployment figures were higher, there was almost a sense of power from executives when hiring new employees, as if there were few other options so little effort was required. These days, unemployment is at an all-time low and the majority of CEOs are looking to hire new employees in the next 12 months. These modern-day workers are free agents and will choose the workplace that best aligns with their core values and desires, so you need to create an employee culture that appeals!
The average large business will have five different generations working for it at any one time. Therefore, it becomes impossible to tailor your company to any one group of employees. The best thing to do is to promote collaboration and respect above all else.
In the modern world, with social media grabbing hold of news within seconds, there is really no other way to be than transparent, whether you mean to be or not. Therefore, it makes far more sense to embrace this! Be open and honest, take on both positive and negative feedback, and focus your attention on improving. People will respect the honesty, which in turn breeds loyalty within your team and customers. Celebrate success and learn from failure.
Vulnerability Need Not Leave You Vulnerable
While vulnerability in business used to be seen as something to avoid, times have changed. As a leader, being open about failures and mistakes, shows that you are open to improvement and growth. By brushing mistakes under the carpet or pretending to have all the answers, you only set yourself up for failure.
Detail is Key
In the past, high-level executives could get away with performing a cheerleading role from the sidelines. These days, all the information and data you need about your business from top to bottom is available at the click of a button. Therefore, there is no excuse not to keep on top of it and use it in a positive way. Know the numbers and apply them, but don’t micromanage every little aspect of the business. You can make strategic decisions as a CEO, but in order to do so, you must first understand the details in order to give relevant guidance.
Challenge Makes Change
Surrounding yourself with yes people is a huge mistake in business. You want trusted employees and advisors who challenge your decisions and points of view constructively when needed. Feedback, both positive and negative, breeds success. Confirmation bias, hunting for people to agree with our decisions, is a recipe for disaster. Be strong in your decision making, but also be open-minded enough to change when needed. Set up a process by which you can receive unbiased feedback on decisions.
When it comes down to it, you need to make the decisions that matter. If you can’t make the big calls on time, you will cost yourself, your employees, the company and the customers. The mark of a poor leader is always someone who can’t make tough decisions. On the other hand, the mark of a successful leader is someone who can make a decision, but be equally open to changing it if needed. There is no problem with making the wrong call or going for something bold that falls short, as long as you learn and adapt. Unfortunately, people who think they can make decisions without accountability will fail. In truth, that is a huge part of your job and the buck really does stop with you. However, you should involve your employees in the process because you cannot make informed decisions without allowing yourself to be informed by people and data.