Just like anything else in life, CEOs also come in various categories; we have those who make their companies great and those who bring their companies pain; we have those who lead and those who rule; we have those who win and those who lose. What makes them different?
That’s the focus of this unusual article. I want to briefly discuss 3 simple ingredients that will distinguish you as an unusual CEO. But first, let’s start by understanding who a CEO is.
Who is a CEO?
- A CEO first and foremost, is a person
- This person occupies an administrative position
- The position demands the performance of certain functions
What is the implication of the statements above?
- One, whether unusual or not, all CEO’s are human beings just like you and me. They do not possess extraterrestrial powers nor are they super heroes. So what makes an unusual CEO different from ordinary ones? The answer is knowledge–doing things in a certain way as a result of a deeper understanding. The difference between the results of any two people or group of people occupying the same position and engaged in the same activity is knowledge. Knowledge makes the difference between winners and losers, success and failure, rich and poor, great and ordinary.
- Two, all CEOs unusual or not, occupy the same administrative positions. You see, position doesn’t really count.
- Three, all CEOs unusual or not, are expected to perform certain functions in order to fulfill the conditions of occupying the CEO position. The title CEO comes with a load of responsibilities for those who find themselves in that position. You can’t accept the position and shun the function; you either stay clear from the position or be prepared to do all it entails!
So What Makes You An Unusual CEO?
- Firstly, since a CEO is a person just like you, what kind of a person is he or she? This brings us to the first requirement for becoming an unusual CEO–character. Character is about the CEO’s role as a leader. Does he/she possess the essential qualities to lead people towards the achievement of a common goal by inspiring unusual performance?
- Secondly, since being a CEO is more of performing certain functions rather than filling a particular position, what skills do unusual CEOs possess that enables them to perform these required responsibilities? This leads to the second element of the model–competence. Competence is about the CEO’s role as both an entrepreneur and a manager. Is the CEO capable of creating change consistently through the periodic introduction of innovative products/services? Also, besides creating change, does he have the managerial skills of sustaining the changes he created? Is he/she capable of developing systems and processes to sustain change and integrate them into the day-to-day operations of the business?
- And thirdly, since unusual CEOs make things happen, what kind of outcomes do they strive to achieve? And so we have the last requirement for becoming an unusual CEO–result. Result is about the CEO’s Key Success Indicators [KSI]. What are the visible impacts of an unusual CEO’s performance? What does his ability to lead [character] combined with his ability to create change and manage processes [competence] all sum up to? In other words, what are he/she’s achievements?
The combination of the three key factors above constitutes the requirements for becoming an unusual CEO. In other words, becoming an unusual CEO means answering the three questions below.
- Who are you? – Character [Values and Habits]
- What must you know? – Competence [Entrepreneurship and Management]
- What must you do? – Results [Internal and External]