Chief Executive Officer is one of the most coveted positions in a company, yet it's probably the least understood. Most people have this idea that t
Chief Executive Officer is one of the most coveted positions in a company, yet it’s probably the least understood. Most people have this idea that the CEO is all-powerful and can do what they please, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you’re running a company, there’s no time to sit back and put your feet up.
As the CEO, it’s your job to meet the needs of your employees, investors, and customers — all while continuing to grow the business. You better believe your competitors are constantly coming up with new ideas and strategies to expand their companies, so how are you going to keep pace with them?
These are five things every CEO should be doing to help grow their business.
1. Choose wisely.
A leader is only as strong as their team. As the CEO, you need to choose your management staff carefully. From top to bottom, all levels of leadership will be the lifeline of your business. They are critical for delivering the organization’s values and performance expectations to the customer-facing employees.
I’ve often found the most challenging part of building a high functioning leadership team is making sure everyone is on the same page. Strong personalities and differing opinions can sometimes get in the way. Make sure that beyond experience and qualifications, your C-suite level collaborates, supports, and challenges each other and the company to do better.
2. Plan ahead.
This may seem pretty obvious, but planning for growth is the best way to make it a reality. Your business plan should be what I like to call ‘ambitiously realistic’. You don’t want to set yourself, or the company up for failure, but you also don’t want to set the bar too low. In my experience, I find it helps to regularly revisit your plan and measure its success often.
3. Show it, don’t just tell it.
As CEO, you are the face of the company. Leverage your personal brand as much as possible. You can’t think of Apple without thinking of Steve Jobs, Facebook without Mark Zuckerberg, or Virgin without Richard Branson. Building your brand as CEO will ultimately drive revenue and help gain exposure for the company.
There are different ways to do this. Personally, I do a lot of public speaking. From widely attended conferences to smaller workshops, jumping on a panel or being the keynote guest is not only a great way to network but also learn from others who are doing incredible things with their own companies.
4. Never stop hustling.
Business development is the foundation of success for any company and the key to growth. As CEO, you need to think about every aspect of development including expanding into new markets, bringing in new clients and innovating new products or services. If you aren’t continuously developing your business, you’ll end up falling behind.
5. Leave time to think.
There’s something to be said about finding time to just sit and think. We’re always plugged in. When we have a minute to be alone, we’ll spend it sitting on conference calls, listening to podcasts, or catching up on emails. There’s so much pressure to maximize every second of every day that the minute we’re not doing something we feel like we’re wasting time.
There’s a reason LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner sets aside two hours of uninterrupted thinking every day. Don’t be afraid to find some time for big-picture thinking, it will end up making you and your team much stronger.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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