1)Have a broad focus on the Business Activities. Executives coordinate and ensure alignment of activities towards achievement of set goals. Business activities are complex, involving several processes and skills with responsibilities being manned by talented people. The executive must avoid the temptation of micro management. Any executive who engages themselves in all company activities may end up like Steve Jobs, Apple CEO. He was too engrossed in micro managing his company and paid insufficient attention to a diagnosed case of cancer and his life was cut short. The question should be asked who is more important in an organization, the CEO or the people.
“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” –John C Maxwell
When CEOs focus on themselves as the most important key change in an organization, they get destroyed by expectations of the people. An executive who develops and enlarges the capacity of their people will get better results, great collaboration and invaluable team support. In any organization, the workforce (people) are always more important. CEO comes and goes but the builders of the organization are the people.
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”–Sheryl Sandberg,
2) Lack of accountability. The executive job is a top echelon job. He is the boss and reports to no one. This perhaps is the greatest danger facing any executive- lack of accountability to no one. The position makes executives break existing rules, create new ones for their convenience and interpret policies to suit their egos.
“There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release.”- Eddie Van Halen
Any power hungry CEO may never make a mark because his vision will be blurred by their unfounded arrogance. Executives who work for corporations must subordinate themselves to a board or supervisory authorities to remove the tendency of recklessness and tyranny or toxic leadership.
“You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect.” –Rosalind Brewer,
- Working in silos. Success is a team sport which some CEOs fail to realize. Some as a way of dealing with their complex or for the fear of their inadequacies being sported do chose to work alone or with a select few they find less smart than they are.
“One main reason why most dreamers cannot take their dreams off the ground is that they keep their ideas to themselves alone. The fact that you think you can make it alone is the first step to your failure!” –Israelmore Ayivor
The job of executive leadership is getting better and a more lasting result through others. Business success is never a solo effort. An executive who cannot function in a team comprising of critical minds is suffering from incompetence complex. Always being fired-up by being told things they want to hear by team members is the beginning of downward slide to failure.
“Very few big executives want to be surrounded by “yes” men. Their greatest weakness often is the fact that “yes” men build up around the executive a wall of fiction, when what the executive wants most of all is plain facts”.- Burton Bigelow
- Handling of soft issues. Many executives major focus are P&L issues and profitability. These in most cases aren’t reasons for their rough rides in their official capacities.
Mark Murphy of Leadership IQ.com in a survey interviewed 1,087 board members from 286 organizations where CEOs have been fired and results showed the following
- 31% got fired f0r poor change management,
- 28% for ignoring customers,
- 27% for tolerating low performance,
- 23% for denying reality and
- 22% for too much talk and not enough action.
These are all soft issues which become major determinants of these executives tenure.
“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats”.-Sue Grafton