CEO Insights

CEOship Insights

A collection of ongoing bespoke CEO specific insights to supplement your learning journey.

CEO LEARNING: The gifts that ‘BlackLivesMatter’ offers your business.
As CEOs, you have that power more than most and the invitation to you is for you to use your power to create energised, cohesive communities and powerful, generous human beings.
CEO LEARNING: Marriage and CEOship.
CEOs need to say more.
CEO LEARNING: Superior discontent: grumpiness done well.
I’ve spent a lot of time listening to CEOs’ complaints and I’m always stuck with how the energy of our conversation takes a dive that requires course-correcting.
CEO REFLECTION: Know your performance-gap.
In every pursuit, there are two fundamental performance markers for leaders: What am I contributing now? What am I capable of contributing? There are many conversations to be had about the gap between these two points, but let’s focus on one: Honesty.
CEO INSPIRATION: My birthday wishlist for you.
As you know from reading my weekly posts, I live for the ‘mission’ of the CEO and all that you folks can accomplish through your work and businesses. So, I dedicate my birthday wishlist (at least in this environment!) to you and your work.
CEO GUIDANCE: Recovering your true nature
As a CEO, you have to recover your true nature if your genius talents are going to be (re)unearthed and applied at their fullest potential within your business going forward.
CEO GUIDANCE: The economic case for excellence
As a CEO, it’s worth inquiring about your relationship to ‘excellence’ as it can go to extreme ends of the spectrum.
CEO INSPIRATION: the exceptional work of a craftsman.
As a CEO you can lead your business with all the attributes of that Acura NSX production team. You can produce the wonderful creations that they produced, in human form and in organisational form. But. You’ve got to believe it’s possible. You’ve got to be a dreamer.
CEO PIT STOP: The 4 fundamental contributions of a CEO
Focus on the 4 fundamental contributions that you make as a CEO.
3 Questions CEOs should be asking at this time of the year
The three most important questions you must be asking at this time of the year. Strategy, energy and talent.
Does any work still need to happen in person?
With our increasing ability to be in physical proximity with each other, we should start to think about which work engagements should revert to happening in person.
Rituals & need for organisational recuperation
Rituals add meaning and density and depth to anything we do, regardless of how simple. 
Keep an up-to-date & relevant CEO dashboard
Dashboards are valuable for two reasons: they build the perspective CEOs require to bring about Optimal System Performance and the information must be supplied by others and curated for your benefit. The heavy-lifting is done by others, thereby providing the CEO with crucial buffering.
Break the monotony of Zoom meetings
Meetings that start without inviting the full intelligence, energy and humanity into the conversation feel dry, undynamic, and predictable.
As a CEO, when is the right time to invest in yourself?
At a minimum, try to be direct and honest with yourself about your current ‘state’ regarding whether a learning intervention is required. Even if you choose not to embark on one, acknowledge the true reasons behind that choice. That alone will be helpful.
The power and pitfalls of your thinking
Great thinking is having a hyper-accurate map that takes you directly to the pot of gold. Low-quality thinking is having a map that is inaccurate, purports to take you to the same pot of gold, but leads you somewhere else.
To lead is to move: the role of physicality in leadership
Leading inevitably involves movement. It is a physical act: making decisions, changing direction, halting, evolving, initiating, accelerating and course-correcting. 
CEO Masterclass: Get to know your organization in a whole new way.
In this CEO Masterclass, you will explore cognitive ways to think differently about the dynamics of their business, rather than just how it looks on a page or screen. You will learn a hands-on review of your business, how to create a different perspective and what brilliance can you unlock in a short time frame.  
Turning your organisation into a Thinking Environment
This CEO Masterclass will focus on how you can turn your organisation into a thinking environment and will outline the benefits and possibilities experienced when CEOs create space for thinking in their organisation. 
The ‘story’ of your business: can you tell it?
Move away from the updating (which I’m sure you do well) and allow yourself and others to see their work story for what it is: a never-ending set of linked experiences that can be reframed into an engaging and extraordinary story.
"Performance meets Joy": Exploring a new blueprint for CEO success
This is part one of a four-part CEO Masterclass series. In this Masterclass, you will learn about changing trends amongst global CEOs, the concept of 'Performance' and how it is altering CEO best-practices and how to redesign your approach to CEOship.
“Chasing the challenge”: Is your Exco’s challenge everything it could be?
When we start work with Executive Teams, we often help the CEO conceive of a clear, visceral, practical target that the whole team can work toward. 
What part of your CEOship requires external expertise?
As a leader, you need to look hard at what total skill-set you need, look hard at what skills you don’t have, and fill the gaps with expertise as fast as you can.
A ‘leadership license’: would you qualify?
A ‘leadership license’: would you qualify? Fundamentally, leadership is about taking partial responsibility for the good of others, a fact that gets lost in the ‘noise’ that often accompanies executive leadership: status, compensation, power, profile.
‘Concocting’: a vital CEO-skill that you might not have clocked
As a system-leader - or enterprise leader, as the CEO position is nowadays being referred to - you are responsible for bringing a whole bunch of people, energy, initiatives, ideas, hopes, capital and technology together in a manner that ‘wins’.
The two most important questions a CEO needs to ask.
Where does your business play? And how does your business win? Two vital questions that a CEO needs to ask to ensure they are set up for success.
Having tough conversations in dispersed work environments.
Tough conversations push people to the edge and bring up fear-based responses. That’s why they go wrong: they take people to their ‘learning edge’ where they are operating beyond their comfort zone, giving rise to a host of sub-optimal behaviour patterns.
How good is your advice?
One of the implications of doing a ‘Superjob’ is that it is crucial to appreciate that one person cannot understand - or be effective - at every aspect of the role. The structuring of your counsel needs to be thoughtfully done to plug the gaps that you might not fill.
The CEO Quick Response Forum
To help our CEO community lead through this lockdown, we have created the CEO Quick Response Forum which aims to keep us all connected and supporting each other with shared learnings.
The CEO Quick Response Forum - Virtual-Exco Best Practices
Virtual-Exco Best Practices: Getting impact from your leadership group. The quality leadership required from you is dependent on the freedom you have to strategize and think. This freedom can only come through the support of your Exco team.
CEO Quick Response Forum: Achieving 20% better performance and 20% more joy.
There is an excellent coaching question that goes like this: "What would you say if you were 20% braver?" 
The CEO Quick Response Forum - Remote 'teaming': getting the most of your teams.
It's stating the obvious that most 'rules of engagement' within the business community have changed. One such change is that collaboration now needs to happen at an even higher level of efficacy, but without the benefit of being close to each other.
Thoughts about a quality CEO response to the Coronavirus
Great businesses survive by approaching challenges better and differently than their competitors. Think ‘great’ right now, in the most holistic sense of the word, and formulate your best possible response to this virus.
PwC’s 2020 CEO Survey : What you need to know
Challenging times are generally about mindset. The big take out from the annual PwC CEO Survey is that CEOs need to be resilient, creative and resourceful.
The enduring relevance of Warren and Charlie and why they still matter.
Your leadership style, tone, approach, language and attitude needs to match your own natural talents so that leading is effortless due to its authenticity.
The passing of Jack Welch: A legacy to celebrate or to learn from?
My take is that Jack Welch was a solid person, a good leader and is worthy of our attention. His way was neither evergreen nor for everyone, which is surely a leadership learning for all of us as we seek to find our own particular leadership ‘genius’. 
The ‘inner game’ and the ‘outer game’ of CEOship
The ‘inner game’ and the ‘outer game’ of CEOship prompts a way of thinking when it comes to Leadership.
A clever way to diagnose why you might be failing
As a CEO, these days it is absolutely impossible to be excellent at every aspect of your broad and diverse role. It’s useful to have a clear and easy way to diagnose why you may be struggling with elements of your work. 
What is your central intention for the year ahead?
Intention is a hugely important concept as it largely determines your reality. Lacking intention means lacking focus, resulting in a mediocre or unwanted result.
Check your alignment to ensure a year of success
There are varying degrees of ‘alignment’ and as a CEO, you need to check your alignment to ensure a year of success for your organisation.
A CEO Christmas Wishlist
A CEO Christmas wishlist for under your tree this Christmas this year.
What was your CEO hypothesis?
It’s the end of the year and by now your body of work as a CEO has been determined for 2019. Have you succeeded? How do you know?
Are your biases in check?
Good quality thinking is the lifeblood of success and executive leaders who make crucial system-impacting decisions, need to understand their biases far better than they currently do.
A 'Safe' CEO - Are You One?
I really like the word ‘safety’ as it is devoid of corporate-speak and goes directly to the point: are you fit to lead an organisation and it’s people. Are you ‘safe’?
Will you be a winner, or will you get slapped in the face?
Many CEOs have taken no action on issues like climate, inequality, poverty, global resource constraints etc. And maybe, in the short term, that is an understandable view: ‘This won’t come to bear during my tenure, so I’ll kick it down the road.’
Two trump cards CEOs don’t realise they have
Two trump cards CEOs don’t realise they have: Choice and hope.
The CEO check-in
There has never been a better time to be a CEO as the optionality about where you work, how you work, who you work with and what you do has never been greater. This is even more true for the CEO, given your ability to make change.
What CEO 'Gear' Are You In?
My experience is that CEOs seldom recognise that their own impetus as a system leader needs to be in alignment with that of the business. If this is not the case, it’s like the car is wanting to go faster, but is not in the right gear, or not in gear at all – metaphorically speaking, of course.
Fatigue is real
Fatigue is real, and particularly at this time of year. In my view, fatigue has very specific pre-conditions for executive leaders.
Accelerating your CEO Craft
The CEO Accelerator is an expertly crafted three-day learning experience for a selected group of CEOs, offering a deep dive into building CEO craft.
CEO Masterclass Dinner: Planning your CEO activities for 2020
The last CEO Masterclass for 2019 will help CEOs focus on their 2020 planning.
Questions for CEOs to contemplate
Great questions bubble away under the surface until they rise up at just the right moment. Some questions - and many others - are designed to keep you on your CEO 'toes', keeping the building of your leadership craft front and centre.
CEOs and Sales
In this current period of economic and social upheaval, one of the most important things to watch is sales - the lifeblood of any organisation.
The CEO's dance between dreaming & grit
Part of the craft of becoming a CEO is having full access to not only the big-picture thinking but also to the unglamorous endeavour that is often the making or breaking of a business.
Understand your Genius
Hear our CEO Advisor Rowan Belchers explain how to uncover your own CEO "genius" in a practical, user-friendly way.
Genius CEOs
The Genius CEO podcast showcases the unique approaches high-performing CEOs have to building craft.
CEO Masterclass review: Forging a positive relationship with Complexity.
Leading a business in complex times is different. It is not the same as leading in ‘complicated’ times and the difference is important.
CEO Masterclass review: How to build an authentic African business
Compare your current CEO craft with a set of character traits that Genius CEOs embody.
Succession Planning - Securing your business’ future
There is a way of doing Succession planning that can deliver a result that leaves all personnel and the organisation in general, better off. It stands to reason that we seek this out.
The CEO position: Vocation or a Title? 
Excelling at the CEO position requires a passion that goes beyond merely having the title.
The risks of being an 'un-deep' leader
Being ‘deep’ is a requirement for today’s business leaders simply because the complexity of business requires the ability to think in a complex way.
Standout CEOship
Compare your current CEO craft with a set of character traits that Genius CEOs embody.

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For CEOs who wish to develop their CEO craft.