CEO is a wonderful job. It can become the absolute fulfilment of your professional aspirations. As CEO you have the opportunity to create an inspiring environment for your colleagues and to create more leaders.
We wrote about the hardships of being a CEO and many readers replied to say that the CEO job has fantastic upsides. Agreed!
- Your hands are on the steering wheel. You propose strategies to the board, and with your management team you get to set the priorities of the organization. You make decisions on resource allocations. When these efforts bear fruit, you will have a wonderful sensation of accomplishment and fulfilment.
- You own your timetable and priorities. Although you are constantly in the service of others (and you may be needed to solve crises on short notice), you have the right and duty to perform that work at the time and in the way that you determine. You have the right to say no to events that try to make it onto your calendar.
- You have control over your interactions. As you set the tone for the company culture and how you deal with the surrounding world, you have the honor of working with people more talented than yourself. You get to influence or set the topics of discussions, and you will receive useful input and advice from others.
- You learn about yourself and you improve your professional skills. This goes back to the challenges of being a CEO. A useful side effect of the challenges is the steep and positive learning curve that they force you through. You grow.
- You exert a positive influence on the professional careers of your employees and on the success of your customers and partners. A CEO thrives on identifying and solving problems for customers, helping the customers succeed. This is also what creates success for the company that you are CEO of. Among the most rewarding things for a CEO is to see an employee rise to new heights. At that point, more than any other time, do you realize that you are in the service of others.
It is important when you are a CEO that you remain yourself. CEOs tend to look up at other CEOs and learn skills from each other all the time. That’s healthy. But there is no “one CEO size” that fits all. You were hired for your strengths and for what you stand for. Keep doing that. You shouldn’t try to be a CEO you are not.
The job of the CEO is to produce the desired results, and the ultimate test of a CEO is whether those results are achieved also long after he or she is no longer around in the organization.