CEO GUIDANCE: The economic case for excellence

October 30, 2020
By Rowan Belchers

I admit to having found myself in situations where I’ve been more excited about a client’s achievements than they are. Sometimes, those instances make me question my fundamental business hypothesis that ‘excellence leads to reward’.

This article I came across on McKinsey’s excellent website reassures me. It speaks to how the lion’s share of economic value goes to the few outstanding businesses while lesser businesses get a radically reduced share.

The drop off is very steep. Companies in the top quintile capture nearly 90 percent of the economic profit created, averaging $1.4 billion annually and only one in twelve companies leap from the middle to the top quintile.

To these few go the significant spoils.

Aside from the sheer joy, a CEO can gain from the coaxing of a business to its optimal level of performance, the economic payoff of excellence is significant.

It’s worth inquiring about your relationship to ‘excellence’ as it can go to extreme ends of the spectrum:

  1. Does excellence attract you in your business life?
  2. Is this excellence seen through any lenses other than profit?
  3. What parts of your CEOship (including yourself) are less than excellent, currently?

Remember, CEOship is a craft.

It is way more than merely a role or a title. It is worthy of in-depth scrutiny, curiosity and investment.

That’s how excellence happens.

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers

Rowan is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders globally, partnering with clients who seek customised leadership solutions. Rowan is a highly respected advisor to CEOs with over two decades’ experience in guiding businesses and their leaders towards reaching their fullest potential. Rowan leads The CEO Project, a Lockstep initiative.
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