All heads turn to you in the boardroom. Another big decision on the tip of your tongue. The moment before you raise the question. “What is your recommendation?”

Empowering, rewarding and satisfying as it may often feel being the CEO of an organisation, there is no doubt the position comes with a truckload of baggage. Making decisions daily about the future of your business carries a heavy burden. Sleepless nights worrying about future employment of staff. Wondering if strategic decisions will stick not to mention competitors. And, for many organisations a brand-new concern, are we contributing to our community and being socially responsible.

We live in a society where all of these questions are now under the microscope. Organisations not only judged by the bottom line but instead their contribution to the community in which they reside, even the footprint they are leaving on our planet. Talk about pressure.

This week the Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, an American global investment management corporation sent a bold message to global companies:

“Do better, or expect consequences. “To prosper over time,” he said “every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Even business investors are demanding more from the chosen organisations they provide valuable funding for.

Often viewed as bulletproof, CEO’s can feel a reality far different from the daily perception of others. The stresses and strains of the role can be taxing, almost debilitating. The word collaboration so frequently mentioned yet making it a reality in your business somewhat more difficult. Building a constructive culture another handbrake if left to chance.
With so many variables determining your success we have chosen four gifts every CEO should seriously consider;

1. Key stakeholders in key positions

Surrounding yourself with the right people is paramount. You may not make the decision when it comes to appointing directors however you certainly have the opportunity to appoint and grow your executive team. The very team that you trust implicitly, that drive a constructive and sustainable culture and the team that remain aligned and present a united front when those boardroom doors re-open. A team that consider the contribution to community, embrace change and find joy in others success. Pick wisely and invest heavily in making this team a winning formula.

2. Engage a personal mentor

Just as important, some say more is ensuring you have a mentor, a sounding board, an advisor removed from your business. Providing an un-biased and non-judgemental view, allowing you to bounce ideas, download frustrations, being equipped to understand the challenges you face and reasoning through solutions. Building your self-awareness and harnessing your energy and enthusiasm. Ultimately ensuring you still believe 100% in the vision for your organisation.

3. Show and encourage vulnerability

So often you witness the world’s most inspiring CEO’s harnessing a powerful gift, the gift of vulnerability. They find it effortless to share the fact they don’t possess all the answers, they surround themselves with far smarter people than themselves and empower their teams with autonomy to formulate the solutions of tomorrow. They share the company vision and allow those most skilled to provide the solutions. They share their weaknesses and distribute responsibility. They collaborate, ask questions and have a “learn it all” attitude. We all love to follow those who have the courage to share their imperfections.

4. Show Compassion

Compassion is the gift of feeling what someone else must be experiencing without wearing the burden yourself. The intentional contribution to find happiness and well-being for another.

Harvard Business Review produced a great article on the gift of Compassion;

The term “leadership is lonely” is often only realised as you climb that corporate ladder. As bigger decisions and responsibilities flow your way, your internal operating system kicks in and either limits or enhances your ability to make key decisions.

So before attending your next boardroom meeting, take the time to STOP, evaluate the health of your executive, engage a mentor and embrace the gifts of vulnerability and compassion.

After all, perception is reality and we all believe you’re Superman.



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