What Problems are Keeping our CEOs Up at Night?
Books that inspire change
5 Books that Inspire Change for Personal and Organisational Success
November 28, 2017
5 Steps to Your Professional Success
December 12, 2017

There are countless problems facing CEOS today, most of which fall under a few common themes. Here’s a list of the hottest headaches for leaders right now and the one thing they should be focussing on to solve it.

what keeps ceos up at night?

Regardless of the size of a company, being a CEO of one is a challenging job that requires multiple hat wearing and issue juggling.

Here are the most common problems keeping CEOs up at night. (In no particular order)

  • Pace of Technology – How do we keep up? How do we empower our teams?
  • People and Teams –  Employee engagement or complacency, how to breakdown down silos, how to achieve high performance in a short time frame.
  • Financial Concerns – Margins and profit, cost-cutting, shareholder returns.
  • Legal Headaches – Compliance, corruption, safety.
  • Learning and Development – How to implement diversity/innovation/design thinking, keeping up leadership and management skills.
  • Customers – Who are demanding more, how do we stay relevant to the customer with competition coming from anywhere and everywhere? Brand loyalty, customer service, marketing.
  • FailurePersonal concerns in failure, what their legacy will be, bad leadership or decision making.

The Problem CEOs Should Stay Awake For

They say behind every problem is a back story. Okay actually they don’t say that but it’s true. Forcing every issue to the surface is usually a deeper reason and one of the best ways to solve these deeper problems is through focusing on the company’s culture.

A healthy company culture is fundamental to its success. Equally, an unhealthy culture will permeate through everything the organisation does. Now we know we are not delivering groundbreaking news here but the problem with problems is sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. You can’t see the bigger picture because you’re on the ground putting out fires.

The good news is that it’s the small actions that change a negative culture into a healthy one. Yes, you do need to be strategic but creating a culture of success isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds it just requires time.

5 Steps to Creating a Success Culture

Start with Your Why

Question Your Values

Strengthen Your Team Intelligence

Take Action

Keep Moving

Start With Your Why

Last week I shared my 5 Books that Inspire Change for Personal and Organisational Success. Start With Why was one and its author, Simon Sinek, naturally explains the importance of finding your Why better than anyone else. “Everyone has a Why. Why do you get up in the morning? Why does your organisation exist? Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. When you think, act and communicate starting with Why, you can inspire others”.

What’s one thing you can do to find your company’s Why?

Start With Why

Ask questions! Ask ‘why did I/we start this business?’ ‘Why do our employees work with us?’ ‘Why do you work with us?’ ‘Why do our customers choose us?’ Spend time discovering your Why and if you don’t have the resources to hire someone like me to help you and your team pull out what really matters, read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why.

Question Your Values

Like understanding your Why, setting guiding principles for your organisation is one of the first steps to creating a Success Culture.

Core values of an organisation should be word descriptors that really mean something to the people of the company, to be held in high regard, and most importantly, define your point of difference.

It is important to align your personal values with the values of your company, and its culture for success. To do this, your purpose needs to be clear and you need to articulate how your values are actionable on a daily basis.

If you can’t articulate how your purpose, your Why or how your values are lived out then you do and will have discord in your organisation. You will have churn, burn out, unhappiness, and you will be almost guaranteed not to have a successful culture. Because when everyone isn’t living and breathing the fundamentals you will be fostering a culture of negativity.

What’s one thing you can do to review your company core values in an authentic way?

If the core values of your business include the words honesty, integrity, trust – get rid of them! These words, at least when it comes to identifying corporate values, are a crock. They should be a given. Read more about how to set up your company core values without the BS here.

Strengthen Your Team Intelligence

Team Intelligence (TeamQ™) is all about teams working together intelligently to improve performance, communication, and ultimately ensure retention of the best team members. It’s where teams build collaborative relationships, communicate openly, and identify strategies for moving forward as a cohesive unit and working to their full potential.

Strengthening it is all in the magic of communication, and the great news about communication is it is not rocket science! It does, however, need to be honest, authentic and allow for safe conflict.

Team intelligence

Initially, you don’t need to make dramatic changes to your communication just take any moment you have to try something different, something better. The smallest change, like a ‘hello’ or a ‘thank you’ can make a huge difference to a relationship, a silo or workplace culture.

In time, teams will need help to go deeper and they will need facilitated sessions where they have the opportunity to build trust through ‘brave’ communication. Everyone needs a ‘coach’ if they truly want to be the best and see the results and that’s true for work teams as well.

Sharing and building upon whatever you learn will not only help you to make your learning stick and build your professional knowledge, but it can also help others. It creates an environment of progressive development, design thinking and team Intelligence.

What’s one thing you can do to Strengthen Your Team Intelligence?

Communicate person to person not position to position. Take the time to learn who your team members are, what drives them and what they are doing for the organisation. Ask questions with a genuine interest in their role and their lives.

Take Action

There is no time like now. Be present to what you can do at any given moment. Take action because as Warren Buffett put so well “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”  

Getting started on building a SuccessCulture can start today with one small step.

Keep Moving

Success doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that takes time. Understanding time and using it to your favour to build upon what has already been achieved will give you the edge in whatever you choose. Making even the smallest step matters.

Author, Jeff Olson describes it as the ‘secret of time’, which is not only about how things take time to cultivate but how time is actually on our side. It’s about how we can achieve great things if we do something consistently toward that goal.

For a wannabe rock star it might be playing every day without fail for 10 minutes, for a CEO wanting to change the culture of their company, it might take a small action every day like visiting a department to start breaking down the silos.

And therein lies the secret: doing it every day, consistently even when that road to success is paved with the boring little things that are easy to do, and just as easy not to do.

We’re so used to our instant gratification world that we’ve lost our patience. Our attention moves to the next sparkly thing. However, whatever it is you want to achieve for yourself or your business or your team is all possible if you just start and keep moving.

Gabriella Horak WYE business card

As Jeff Olson of The Slight Edge says, “Any time you see what looks like a breakthrough, it is always the end result of a long series of little things, done consistently over time.”

What’s one thing you can do today toward building your success culture?

Contact us to start getting your SuccessCulture edge!