The CEO’s Compass is designed to provide you 8 compass points that you can go into to steer the ship back on track. This week, my ship was in a complete fog due to my 2nd COVID Vaccine and while it appeared to be wasted time, it’s probably the greatest time to help me to get back on track. In the process, I’ve learned 3 things that will help The CEO who is also navigating through the “Fog”
Sitting on my couch knowing I took the day off to simply “be”, I felt so unproductive short of clearing out email, organizing my calendar and filing. It was during this time of such brain fog and lacking complete creativity to start something new, came great clarity in what was “off track” and a message for the CEO.
Purpose via Strong Messaging
I took the time to go through a video of a recent coaching session and while I appeared to be on track, my coach said my messaging was still not of the quality and consistency I needed. I saw myself struggling with the concept as I’d been putting in so much effort, but as an outsider, they said it was not conveying strongly enough my business and how I serve my ideal client. When I look back on this session, the fog started to clear up for me; despite effort, the message was still not coming through strong. The CEO’s Compass has been my navigation tool to get me back on track in times gone by and I needed to dust it off to help myself now. Only then could I begin to service the clients who could use my support.
And so I ask you, does your company’s messaging transcend throughout the organization. If you kicked the boxes and spoke to your support staff, would the long term vision or purpose of the company ring loudly? If not, what kind of message is being conveyed directly or indirectly through the behavior of your team? And despite all the marketing and PR to convey your messaging to your customers, it may not be coming through via your front line workers.
Now, I’m not a brand messaging expert by no means, but when it comes to articulating “Purpose”, the compass point right next to your true north “Peace of Mind” may be critical via rolling up your sleeves and getting purpose and messaging rooted deep into your culture.
Performance via Prioritization
Clearing out my email and getting myself ready to offload some of my “administrative” tasks to a virtual assistant was a priority for me up until I entered the “Vaccine Fog”. But as I was clearing away the email, the file transfer activities and deadlines to create more content, I realized my priorities were broken. I’ve been in this place before thinking I needed more help when my decision logic and as a result my “Performance” was not on track. I’d put so much effort into my content & marketing creation efforts, I lost sight of my business development goals and needed to steer the ship more in that direction. Sales & Marketing feeds the top line growth and to achieve “Peace of Mind”, I needed to prioritize those efforts.
In the CEO’s case, I’ve seen your people rewarded for getting the order out the door, managing through that audit and high fiving when they whittled down the inventory backlog. All activity based work that needs to get done and your people feel good for surviving to tell their story. But is the right priority? Sure we need to do these things as part of operational work, but do your people understand what it takes to focus on work that will enable you to reach the outcome of your business; moving customer relationships from transactional to partnership. Do they understand that time spent in personal development is an investment in the future leadership and maturity of the people? What activities do you need to engage in that make the business unique and interesting vs. seen as a commodity?
Unless people spend time creating a roadmap to move the needle from A to B where 5-10% of each day should be focused on this work, you’re never going to create a mature and scalable business. When your people don’t lead their own roadmap towards a greater purpose or outcome and their performance is purely judged on transactional work, you clearly don’t have a performance focused workforce.
Pride as a source of Creative Energy
While navigating my enduring “Fog”, I also started to feel a sense of loss; did I have to give up my creative passions in favor of steering my ship’s focus on Purpose and Performance? I love the creative outlet of writing and podcasting as a way of connecting with people and creating meaningful relationships. It is that creativity that is part of my DNA and what makes me unique for both myself and others who encounter my work or create a relationship. As I reflected on a potential loss in my work, I quickly mustered up the courage to know that I still need to maintain my relationship with my “Pride” and find ways that serve my business and clients vs. being an energy drain. It is for that, the content & conversations I will have going forward need to serve the “Purpose” of my clients now and the ones I haven’t met yet. By maintaining what I’m so proud of with a minor course correction, I should be able to achieve true north or “Peace of Mind”.
When I think about you, the CEO, I often think about someone who is “Dropped in” to a new situation and needs to quickly assess your landscape and make the best decisions to move it through rapid transformation. The thing sometimes that is missed is you may have all the technical resources and processes already available from the ocean you just acquired. It’s about spending time with the people to understand their unique qualities and harness that creative energy to get back on track. There is plenty of time to enhance, improve and make more cost effective, but critical now is to work with what you have now in order to build trust in the people to follow your leadership and to maintain their confidence they can still contribute to the greater purpose.
When we preserve the “Pride” of the people and the process that has made it successful until now, we maintain a strong foundation that is needed in order to build upon it and bring it through rapid change. Once everyone is on board because you paid respect to what they bring forward into the next journey, they’ll be there for you through the rough waters. When you get through the short term challenges, they will engage with you more willingly when it comes to investing time, money & resources for that business step change you were commissioned to do.
So as I come out of my “Vaccine Fog” and gain clarity on how to steer my ship, I offer you a tool for you to determine if you are on track or do you need The CEO’s Compass to see you through your “Fog” and get you and your team back on track.
For my free assessment tool, email me and put “Get my CEO’s Compass Assessment Tool” in the subject and I’ll get it right over to you. (firstname.lastname@example.org) This will give you a sense if you’re on track or which Compass point you need to focus on. If you’d like to talk through the tool, let’s connect for a free 15 minute call.