CEOs have a reputation for being decision-makers, yet ultimately, CEOs are leaders. Even so, decisions and leadership are intertwined. Being a strong leader requires making decisions that create transformation within an organization. Whether it’s transforming company culture, improving policies, or strengthening client relationships, CEOs are the leaders that put everything into motion.
If you’re a CEO who wants to make an impact on your company, here’s a list of 3 actions that will make you a stronger leader.
1. Hire dedicated IT support
To understand the impact of your decisions, put yourself in the shoes of your employees.
Imagine you’re an employee trying to make a copy of an important document that must be mailed to a client that day. You push the copy button and nothing happens. You shake the copy machine and yell at it, but it still won’t make a copy. If you drive to the local mail center to make a copy, you’ll miss the rest of your equally-pressing work deadlines. What do you do?
An employee in this situation wouldn’t stress out if they worked for a company with dedicated IT support. They’d simply call the support line and troubleshoot the issue over the phone.
Now imagine a scenario where an employee attempts to log into their company laptop, only to discover it’s been locked by the latest ransomware software. While an IT tech support team can’t bypass ransomware, they can help prevent ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks by performing regular network security assessments. They can also install software that automatically enforces strict security policies.
Having dedicated IT support will make daily life easier during technical breakdowns and will keep your company data secure. Your employees will trust you more when they know you’ve got their back.
2. Model a strong leadership strategy
Strong leaders model their leadership in a way that inspires others to adopt their way of being. The best leaders show people how to be rather than only telling them what they should do and how they should act.
Modeling strong leadership requires holding yourself to high standards, especially where communication is concerned. Strong leaders model the following behavior:
- Clear communication. Strong leaders communicate clearly and fully. They explain the “why” as much as possible. To get a team fully on board with decisions requires explaining what’s going on rather than just barking out orders.
- Full responsibility. With a few exceptions, strong leaders don’t point fingers or look to assign blame or fault when something goes wrong. Leaders look for solutions and rally teams to move forward. Conversations dealing with fault are handled privately and picking on the person who caused the situation is not tolerated.
- Trust in individual expertise. It’s impossible to know everything about every position in the company. If you’ve hired the right people, trust that they will provide their expertise to the team. If you hired A-players, your team members will know more about certain subjects than you. This is a good thing!
- Accept and act on feedback. Perhaps the most important aspect of being a leader is the ability and willingness to accept feedback, no matter how critical. Then, act on that feedback. Nobody is immune to having room for improvement. It’s hard for people to see their own mistakes, so consider it a blessing when others point things out for you. Not only will you resolve issues faster, but you’ll show others how to graciously accept feedback without taking things personally.
Any traits you want your employees to adopt should be modeled. Sometimes modeling can take the place of a conversation.
3. Manage your talent ruthlessly
Have you ever hesitated to fire someone who wasn’t a match simply because you saw the best in that person? While many employees will have potential, if they aren’t expressing it, let them go.
Anytime you retain employees that aren’t a match for the company, you’re wasting valuable time and payroll. Cut your losses and be ruthless with talent management. Let the weak players go and search hard for top talent. Don’t settle. Once you find your A-players, you’ll be glad you didn’t settle.
Transform yourself with support from other CEOs
If you want to transform your organization, you need to transform yourself first. Personal transformation is the foundation for strong leadership. Better yet, pursue personal transformation with other CEOs so you have access to a support system where you can reinforce and support the goals of one another.
When you become a strong leader in your own life, you’ll have an easier time leading others.