5 key issues often overlooked by CEOs

The success of any business organisation depends on its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who reports to the board of directors. The CEO supported by his or her team   is responsible for policy implementation in addition of being in charge of the day to day operations of the organisation in accordance with the approved strategic plan or business roadmap. The CEO is responsible for guiding management and staff in focusing their effort in performing those activities that enable the achievement of the goals of an organisation within a given timeframe. This means a successful CEO focusing his or her effort on the achievement of the goals of an organisation. There are however a number of issues or challenges that prevent a CEO on achieving the goals of an organisation. The key issues are summarised as follows;

Visibility in the market

A CEO can only attract the attention of current and potential key stakeholders to an organisation if he or she visible on the market. The CEO is a chief spokes person of an organisation and links the organisation to the outside world. People and organisations will only do business with people and organisations that are known to them.  In addition the CEO and his or her team must build   the trust with the potential customers that an organisation will deliver on the promise.  Remember the potential customers can only know the products or services of an organisation through its staff led by the CEO. The visibility of an organisation therefore depends on the visibility of its CEO. The CEO cannot also carry out his or her key role of attracting serving and retaining customers unless the CEO is visible on the market. A CEO that is not visible on the market is doing a great disservice for the organisation.

Leading by example

I have come to learn through practice that staff are guided by practices and actions of the CEO. Staff will be arrive very early in the office if the CEO is regularly early in the office. Staff have a tendency of arriving in the office slightly earlier than the CEO in order to be out of danger.  It is therefore the CEO’s responsibility to give good examples to the staff for them to emulate.  For example the integrity of staff will to a large extent be guided by the moral tone set by their CEO. Do not be deceived as a CEO that your actions good and bad will not be known by staff. There is a lot that is communicated to the rest of staff through the staff that are close to the CEO. As a CEO you have to avoid issues like improper accountability of travel allowance, misuse of organisation assets and poor time keeping among others. Good and bad practices of the CEO tend to spread across the organisation like bush fire.

Sharing of   knowledge

I have come to learn that the quality of decisions made by the CEO depends on the quality of information the CEO has at his or her disposal. As a CEO you also benefit much more from your staff when you share your knowledge with them through coaching, discussions and training sessions. Once staff realise that you have positive attitude on sharing information, they all start sharing their information they have with you. Otherwise staff will hide information from you once they notice you have a negative attitude towards sharing of information. The staff performance will also depend on the quality of information they receive from the management team led by the CEO.  Your   effectiveness as a CEO will depend on your attitude towards sharing of information within an organisation. It is important as a CEO to encourage within the organisation the culture of sharing information as a way of improving the quality of decisions. Quality decisions positively impact the quality of products and services produced by an organisation.

Do you build profitable relationships?

Your success as a CEO depends on the type of relationships you have with people and players in the market. The work of the CEO is to guide the process of building right and profitable relationships with public including key players in the market. Your organisation needs support from people and organisation as it moves towards its mission. You have therefore to build good relationship with people and the organisation for purposes of promoting your business and personal image. You need other people and organisations that will help you in attracting potential customers to your organisation. The personal image is also important as people and organisations want to deal with a CEO that has a positive attitude towards various life and business situations.

Do you set aside time for recharging?

In life I interacted with many CEOs that do not have time for recharging themselves because they are too busy with matters of the organisations they lead. Their time is fully allocated to running up and down with day to day operations of the organisation and the balance if any is allocated to the family and friends. They do not have time for themselves to be quiet alone in order to recharge or re-energise themselves. I have also come to note that there are some CEOs that have a fear of being alone to dream and to rethink of how to direct the organisation. These CEOs love to direct their organisation through committees and meetings and they rarely have views of their own to guide the way forward. It is important to recognize that in life majority view is not always the most correct view. As a CEO, you need time to be alone to critically think about the challengs facing your organisation and the unexploited opportunities. It is your view about the challenges and opportunities that you should share with the team for further comments. Finding time to recharge also enables you to assess your relevancy to the organisation. Quite often CEOs may be liabilities to the organisation without deliberate intentions.  You can only change the way you look at challenges and opportunities if you are able to establish your shortcomings in life. During the time for recharging you may also set time aside to meet with your personal coaches and role models in life.

Author: John Muhaise Bikalemesa

Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited