I was recently at a client’s house for a Sunday lunch and noticed a printed, laminated document on their fridge. It was titled ‘Our family values’ (an idea I’ve shamelessly stolen from this very special human/CEO Philippa Geard, the founder of an equally special business RecruitMyMom) and doing for my own family – banning my kids from downloading rubbish music onto my phone being Rule Number 1 …)
I reflected on how different each family’s values would be, and necessarily so. But what was evident was that this family had a very clear idea of what made their family ‘tick’.
This is the exact skill that can be applied to your businesses, but – in my experience – seldom is. CEOs often drive very noble and effective initiatives that create solid impact across the business, but to me, it stops short of creating super-impact.
The piece that’s missing is an intimate knowledge of the business: an almost intuitive understanding of the nuts and bolts of the business and the inter-relationships they have with each other.
I imagine there might be a response from you, the reader, that goes along the lines of “Is that really necessary? It sounds complex”.
This is a fair response. For me, it depends on the ambition you have for success. I’m learning that ambition differs from one CEO to another and as a practitioner, I’m becoming better at tuning into this ambition and meeting the CEO where he/she is at. So, yes, maybe this thinking is for the CEO who has the appetite to stretch themselves and do some deep inquiry into the workings of their business and to see where the various +1%’s are on offer to drive optimal performance.
This quest for Optimal Performance can be quite abstract thinking and it needs a title in order to make it more relatable.: I’m calling it “Cracking the CEO Code” and I’m busy with a few CEOs on this journey at the moment. It’s really compelling and drives the CEO’s skill set up the ladder of efficacy in a way that feels practical and intellectually stimulating.
Give it a try. What do you think the ‘secret formula’ is for your business? Can you name it? Can you work with it?
My contention is that once you have it, you’ll have a super-tool that might well be unrivaled by any other.