The CEO Eye Roll

Busy executives are time poor. Pressure is constant. Meetings chew up 75% plus of their time during the day and many work into the night. Meetings are the bane of executive life – Why are we here? What is the purpose of the meeting and is it even still relevant? What do we want to get out of it? Who should be here? What makes CEOs and senior executives irritable in one to one or group meetings? No matter how good an idea or strategy might be some people cannot nail it. They:

  • Cannot get to the point (How much longer before I cut this off?)
  • Have not prepared (Go away and come back when you have done your prework!)
  • Makes ill-informed or uninformed statements (This person is not executive material)
  • Don’t understand the context of the situation / the political climate (Does this person have any idea as to its chances of success in the environment?)
  • Cannot read their audience (they have lost them but do not realise it. Pay attention to the non-verbal signals!!)
  • Think that when someone says “yes” or nod that they are agreeing (they are likely just acknowledging what someone is saying and encouraging them to move on)

Yet as visionary leaders Chief Executives are expected to top the emotional intelligence charts and care; to take the time to “grow” people; recognise and deal with risk before it bites them on the derriere; achieve maximum quality performance; be super attentive to clients; be highly intuitive and insightful, and, get outstanding results.

Yet as visionary leaders Chief Executives are expected to top the emotional intelligence charts…

Leadership is demanding in a complex world spinning faster. People are at greater risk of criticism and public critiquing (guilty until proven innocent). Speed and ambiguity are continually in play. Information abounds but what is “gold” and what is brass and how would you know? Who is clever enough to interpret information and successfully “pan for the gold” and know how to use it in the right context and to maximum effect? Not everyone can work with these elements. What do people respect in a leader to want to follow them?

  1. Being able to be clear about direction and why
  2. Can communicate in a way that makes sense
  3. Can synthesize and interpret data quickly and accurately
  4. Can instill a sense of purpose and responsibility and ownership
  5. Can get people to understand what it really means to stand in the shoes of the client/customer and why that contributes to success
  6. Can grow ownership, performance, results and accountability that builds pride in delivering
  7. Sets the bar high and helps people get there
  8. Listens, understands and calls the games. If the games are not called and owned it weakens the spirit and the sense of purpose
  9. Is resilient and tough with insight
  10. Understands the business through different lens-people, information, money, service, standards, value
  11. Is committed to results through teams

What do you people think is important? You are invited to add to this and send me your views.