What you should never do as a CEO...

by Evan Davies, Chief Executive - QLD | |   Managing People
What you should never do as a CEO

There is plenty of information on what you need to do to conquer the role of CEO. But sometimes it helps to know what you should not do, so that you can avoid being considered a failure. If your fear of failure is strong, read on to find out about the things that will prevent you from being bad.


Here's a list of four things a CEO should never do:

  1. Avoid risks

    As CEO, it is your job to be the company's risk manager, but not all risks are bad. The opportunity to expand into other markets or to launch new offerings has inherent risks. However, avoiding these types of risks will simply keep the business running at status quo. It will most likely not be able to compete effectively in the long run. In this situation, avoiding this potentially positive risk puts the business at a greater, negative risk.

  2. Get stuck in your ways

    'Why fix when it isn't broken' is a dangerous approach. Understandably, when something works, it is really difficult to make decisions regarding adjustments. However, in order to find continual improvement, it is critical to be open to new ideas, new approaches and new ways of doing things. Listen carefully to the ideas of others, you don't know where the next big thing will come from. Without ideas and innovation, there's no company, no edge and usually no future. It doesn't matter how awesome your sales team is, you can wither without continuing to evolve.

  3. Forget to be human

    In the mid-80s, the Gillette Company launched an advertising campaign for its 'Dry Idea' antiperspirants, introducing what eventually became one of the famous ad slogans of all time: 'Never let them see you sweat'. That may be great advice for appearance, but your people will find it much easier to like and follow you if you are someone with which they can identify. Don't be bigger than life. Be accessible, take responsibility for actions and let your people know you care. Don't be the boss who walks in with a strut, carries a vibe of entitlement and looks Teflon-coated and unapproachable. Show some humility. Be super professional, but try and approach things with a sense of humour and humanity.

  4. Be a martyr

    A martyrdom approach serves as a disservice to the CEO and the company. Your role as a leader is to leverage your resources effectively. If you don't allow the people around you to take responsibility and perform their share of the work, you will be underutilising the skills and strengths of those in your team. You are also running the risk of not only coming up short if doing everything on your own, but also burning yourself out. You're the ultimate example of what a representative of your company should be. Don't make the mistake of asking your team to 'do as I say, not as I do'. They won't. You'll lose your credibility and potentially lose good people.

What can you add to the list of 'what not to do as a CEO'?

The CEO Institute was founded in 1992. It is now Australia's leading membership organisation for CEOs and senior executives. It provides a forum for over 1,000 Chief Executive members to connect and share their learning with each other. In 2011, The CEO Institute became the world’s first global certification body for CEOs, and in 2013, partnered with UNESCO in support of the "Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education". In 2014, they began offering their programs globally.
The CEO Syndicate is an exclusive peer support network for CEOs. The first meeting of The CEO Syndicate program was held in Melbourne in June 1992. Offices were opened in Adelaide in 1996 and Sydney and Brisbane in 1997, with Perth launching in 2007. In 2015, the New Zealand office opened.
The Future CEO program is a certification course designed by the business leaders of today for the business leaders of tomorrow. The first Future CEO meeting was held in Melbourne in May 2012. In 2014, the "Future CEO Scholarship Fund for Women" was established, and continues to be offered today.

Membership of The CEO Institute is by invitation only. To register your interest click enquire.





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