“Chasing the challenge”: Is your Exco’s challenge everything it could be?

June 15, 2020
By Rowan Belchers

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. 

Without a clear target, you may end up with a groundhog day situation where each Exco meeting feels like the last, with no end in sight and no pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow. 

It is 100% the duty of the CEO to name this challenge – it should excite you as much as it excites your Exco. 

Examples might include:

  • “A rock-solid culture by year-end”
  • “25% increase in revenue in Q3”
  • “More joy across the business, starting with us”
  • “Global expansion initiated by January 2021”
  • “All COVID-19-related impacts operationally integrated by year-end”

This technique is like gold for the CEO as it aligns your fastest, fittest workhorses with your specific agenda. Not to take advantage of this seems foolhardy (notwithstanding the extreme volume of activity you’re all managing at the moment, which I feel great empathy for). 

Exco’s are a place for the CEO to paint their masterpiece. They aren’t meant to be only about tracking progress and pushing forward. They must also be creative, ‘sensing’, collaborative, stretching and joyful.

Rethinking an Exco process is incredibly stimulating and generally leads to a marked improvement in all aspects of performance.

With this in mind, how enticing is the Challenge that you’re Chasing? 

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders across the African continent, 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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