CEO pains that no one sees….

09 Feb

This is dedicated to all my CEO friends out there. All your staff are looking at you thinking what a cushy job you have and that you probably don’t do very much. Let’s face it, we all thought this before we became CEOs.

The reality is, it is lonely and quite painful up there. Just like parenthood, no matter how hard you try, you can never understand it until you become a parent. Same thing for a CEO, you will only understand what the job of a CEO is like, once you are in the seat.

This morning I was with a CEO friend. While we have only known each other recently, there is something about him, which makes me like him very much. Maybe it’s his humbleness; maybe it is his honesty and sincerity or maybe it’s just that he is a very kind soul.

Whatever it maybe, I have a soft spot for him and this morning we were going to have a very hard chat. Hard because I had a commercial proposition in front of him and I wanted closure on it. But as soon as I walked into his room I sensed something was not right. His looked troubled and his mind was troubled.

As soon as he shared his thoughts, I said to him, lets forget the commercial proposition. There are things that you need to do and unless you do it, you will not have peace. You will always be contemplating the big “IF”. He had decided that he was going to crack down hard on non-performers which is correct but there seemed to be pain in his mind.

Professionally, I have reservations about his plan, and I did say this to him. I asked him for reasons or evidence to support his plan and everything he told me, I thought, was very symptomatic and not addressing the root cause.

But every time I put myself in his shoe and ask what would I do as a CEO, I had to agree with his action. After all, it is the CEO’s neck that is on the line! So finally I summarized by telling him, he had to do what he now so strongly believed in and whether right or wrong only time will tell.

I hope to be able to meet up with him for lunch soon just to chat and I wish his staff are able to see the agony he is in right now and lift their game quickly.

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Posted by on February 9, 2007 in Leadership


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