As a business leader are you working yourself into or out of a job?
In 1996, the CEO of Texas Instruments died on a business trip. The press reported after a dramatic, successful turnaround during his tenure, he left the company with a strong management team and a wealth of capable people. This CEO prepared his company for the unknown, and with his passing no significant change in stock price or operations was expected by the markets.
As a business leader, are you preparing your company for the future? As a business leader you are responsible for the future of the organization even if you are not there. One CEO commented that he tries to make only 15 decisions a year and leave the rest to his management team. He chooses to focus intently on the strategic path with a 10 to 20 year horizon. While this may be considered unusual, it does illustrate the need not to confuse the urgent with the important. The urgent is putting out today’s fires; the important is laying the foundation for tomorrow’s success.
These are your responsibilities as a business leader:
Vision: Big Picture, Looks Ahead, Blue Ocean Thinking, Set Course
Mission: Establishes Organizational Mission
- Guides organization through leadership
- Sets priorities
- Drives tactical execution
- Aligns corporate principles and values with tactics and tools
- Head cheerleader
Organizational Values and Philosophy:
- Sets values, tone, standards, culture and integrity of organization
- Builds capacity through others
- Gets the right people on the bus, gives them the best possible tools and information to execute their role in a timely, informed, and accurate manner
- Everyone is paid to think
- Coach / Team Builder: Celebrates and acknowledges successes
- Restlessness: Constantly focused on moving forward and accountability
- Risk taker, eliminates road blocks, final decision maker
- You can delegate authority but not responsibility. The business leader is ultimately responsible for the successes and failures of the business.
Captain of the Ship
- Defines organizational structure, allocates resources and right sizes the organization.
- Track business environment and trends
- Has the pulse of investors, customers, and vital negotiations
- Develops strategic relationships and alliances
- Mediator, negotiator, judge, parent
The business leader does not do what another member of the organization should be doing. They should not get involved in the operational minutia, becoming the chief fire fighter or micromanager. You should be doing only what you can do.