Visions of Leadership

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Right about now, you've made the discovery that if you intend to push your company beyond its current plateau, you will have to change the way you relate to your work. You have doubtlessly concluded this next level mandates you to let go of things like hiring, product design, perhaps even day-to-day sales - many things you handled in the past - and focus yourself on your role as CEO.

There are three stages to making the transition from chief cook and bottle washer (CC&BW) to CEO (source of the management and direction of the business).

They are:

  • Understanding your highest value contribution to your company and focusing on that role.
  • Recognizing your position as a leader and owning the job.
  • Delegating everything else, and holding others accountable.

My last article, Time Well Spent, deals with transition one. This article will examine transition two - recognizing your position as leader and owning the job. Next month I will cover the third transition, Giving it all away.

As CEO of your company - you are no longer the "head of everything". It is up to you to provide leadership. That's the job. No ifs, ands, or buts. The sooner you recognize it the better. Being the leader entails certain responsibilities which cannot, under any circumstances, be delegated.

By the way, much has been written about the qualities of leadership. But leadership is not about qualities, such as "strength of character" or "integrity". While those things are useful, if you aren't already imbued with "a winning personality", it can take half a lifetime to develop one.

The core responsibilities of corporate leadership - which you cannot delegate - include:

  • Owning the vision and the strategy to realize the vision;
  • Communicating the vision to insiders and outsiders;
  • Enabling others to act to realize the vision;
  • Developing new leaders.

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