Who am I?
Not what you were expecting? Not, how should I be managing my team effectively? Or, what are the essential skills to strong leadership? Or how can I be more successful?
Well, all of the questions above begin with the first question.
As a CEO, you are the heart of your organisation. The brains behind the business, and the soul within the culture. Everything comes down to you.
This might seem overwhelming but it’s actually very simple. If someone asks that very question to me, ‘who are you?’, I’d probably tell them that I’m female, I’m young-ish, I live in the UK, I’m a writer. But these are just facts. The question ‘who are you?’ refers to your character. Your ideals. Your principles. Your morals, and your traits.
There are a series of steps you can take to find the answer.
Step 1: What is your character?
Before you do anything else, whether it’s building a house or applying makeup, you need a strong foundation. Think of the people you look up to. Perhaps, somebody you aspire to be like. These people are admired because of their characters. The way they present themselves and the principles they follow. This will enable you to develop a sense of integrity, so you will never again have to ask the question ‘who am I?’.
Step 2: Are you Trustworthy?
Building a business successfully is a bit like the start of a friendship. Your character and your actions are make or break. You need to show people they can trust you. We know that people are more likely to make a purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust. People need to believe in you in order to believe what you are putting out into the world.
Step 3: Do you create culture?
Think of your employees as dinner guests. You would top off their drinks, serve them with your finest culinary skills, and consistently ask whether they require anything else. The same should be done for your employees. You should aim to create a thriving and healthy workplace culture, allowing your team to feel nurtured, to best help them flourish. This will boost morale and motivation, leading to more success for the company.
Step 4: Are you a good listener?
Usually you talk-the-talk before you walk-the-walk, however many CEO’s seem to get this the wrong way round. They’re so busy doing all the time that they forget to communicate. Not every employee would describe their CEO as empathetic. However, regular and honest communication is valued by employees as it helps them understand how to be more effective in their own roles. Most HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. However, most leaders are ‘talkers’ and might forget the value of listening.
Step 5: Do you accept responsibility?
You must take responsibility for the company, acting in the best interests of it, rather than doing what might seem easy. You have to take ownership of the business because every team needs a leader. You must define your leadership and create a template for others to follow by example.
Step 6: Can you adapt?
CEO’s in this day and age need to be flexible. It is an inevitable aspect of business now. Circumstances can be altered in an instant, and change can appear out of the blue. You and your team need to become resilient to stand up to change and be adaptable to survive it. You must learn to swim at the pace of today’s business world, and stand strongly against the waves to avoid being left behind. It can be quite lonely at the top and my coaching programmes could provide you with the latest tools to retain your competitive edge during times of uncertainty and change.
Step 7: Where is your heart?
A customer or client uses your business or services because they trust it. Your employees go the extra mile because they believe in you, and are driven to succeed for the company. To create these feelings in people, and foster these relationships requires integrity, empathy, and honesty. Your actions must come from good intentions which come from a heart in the right place.
So, there you go. In order to move onto thinking about strategy, plans, and procedures, you need to start at the bottom and move up. This will be the foundation of your leadership, the base for the connections you forge, and therefore the pinnacle for a successful company.
Need to learn how to improve your communication skills?
I can help. Why not join me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation where I can show you practical tools and skills that you can implement instantly to overcome the challenges you are facing. Let’s chat.