The hard-to-fathom absence of a CEO Strategy

Most other aspects of businesses benefit from having strategic thought applied to them. But not the CEO: the most leveraged, impactful ‘force’ of them all. Why?

Strategy improves everything. It’s like getting a ‘shot of excellence’ in the arm.

You all understand and appreciate the benefits of strategic thinking:

  • Clarity
  • Intent
  • Cunning
  • Nuance
  • Effectiveness
  • Explicitness

Given the above, it seems foolish not to apply strategy to everything we do: life, health, marriage, parenting, retirement, friendship, etc.

And yet …. I’ve never encountered a single CEO who has a personalised, comprehensive representation of their work. I’ve wondered why for years and I’ll share my suspicion: CEOs give primacy to their business over themselves.

If I’m right that is an important observation to note. Leadership theory is unanimous in recognising that the quality of the person pre-determines the quality of the leader.

CEO first!!

So, what if you – the CEO – puts yourself at the front of the queue for once and crafted a CEO Strategy all of your own?

Here’s what I think could go into such a thing:

  • Your behaviour patterning: what it is, and when it helps or hurts
  • Linking your patterning to your organisation: when I show up this way, the business responds that way
  • Success hypothesis: this + that + this + that – this – that = success
  • Naming your business’ organisational journey: where the business is currently and where the business is headed
  • Key leadership themes: 6 high-impact initiatives that drive your organisational journey
  • Your learning agenda: what character, skills, and knowledge you need to acquire to drive that particular organisational journey
  • CEO checklist: keeping the implementation of your CEO Strategy on track

The kicker to creating a CEO Strategy that works is to make it visible, memorable, concise, comprehensive, transportable. This is critical.

I’ve been innovating with a CEO Strategy product recently. I’ve implemented it with three CEOs over the past month or so and am very pleased with the singular ‘picture’ it creates. It makes the complex, vast CEO position so much more manageable and clear.

If you feel drawn to having a personalised CEO Strategy driving your performance, reach out.

Happy week ahead, all.

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My weekly missive, CEO Sundays, is published at 5pm every Sunday evening. The writings cover CEO topics exclusively: how-to’s; thought starters; leadership insights; reflection opportunities; research.

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