Work with the board more effectively. Not working well with the BOD is the fastest and surest way to compromise the strategy, impede productivity, and sabotage your own advancement.
Hire the best and brightest. The simplest explanation for their failure is many CEOs don’t hire the best talent and then compensate them fairly and competitively. .
Have a succession plan. Identify your top talent and dedicate your resources to creating experiences and skill building to move these people through the pipeline.
Fire when necessary. Not firing underachievers not only obstructs progress, it prevents your placing a top performer in a key position, which encumbers short term gains and delays the long term ones.
Realize that what got you here won’t get you beyond. Independent thinking and self-reliance probably help explain why you are an executive. But the very tendencies that got you here won’t get you to the next level of success. At the top, cohesive efforts, democratic leadership, and active listening tend to be underdeveloped but much-appreciated behaviors.
Concentrate on strategy. Running any kind of organization lends itself to handling the day-to-day issues. However, only those leaders who dedicate time to developing a strong strategy ever take the organization to new levels of success.
Hold your team accountable. Not making senior members responsible for the execution of the strategy you took the time to develop is a common mistake CEOs make.
Champion change. The only constant is change. CEOs who can’t or won’t champion change and then become an agent for its implementation doom the organization to the limitations of the status quo.
Understand that delegation always trumps motivation. Yet many CEOs perceive an advantage to an “open door policy” that invites people to drop in anytime. First, time is your only non-renewable asset, so squandering it cannot be in the best interest of the organization. Second, even though availability and responsiveness are laudable leadership qualities, building dependence is not.
Put your own action orientation on hold. With your leadership, others will accomplish impressive goals, but your job is to lead the work, not do it.