Business Matters: Think Like a CEO

Please listen to my words: Regardless of your title, how many people you manage, your positioning the company, the salary you make, the amount (or lack thereof) of equity and/or ownership you have in the business, you are the CEO of your own business. You may work for someone else on paper, but you always work for yourself. I want you to OWN this right now.

Every morning, you decide if you’re going to walk back into your company and through the door to your office or the entrance to your cubby. This means that you have the power to bring your best self to work everyday. When you have the mindset that you work for someone, you feel like an employee. I want you to feel like the owner, like someone who has a vested interest in continual personal and business growth.

To make this easier to absorb, I can tell you that virtually all CEOs want everyone in their company thinking like a CEO. Why? Because this is extreme ownership. When everyone takes extreme ownership, the culture grows, the people grow, the bottom-line grows and everyone enjoys the ride a lot more. Everything becomes more fulfilling and profitable.

I want you to take this level of conviction, empowerment and ownership with you to work tomorrow, and I want your thinking to evolve as you’re reading this column. I want you to think like a CEO every second of every minute of every day! Great idea, Jon, you may be thinking — but how do I do that? Here are the first fundamental steps you need to take to start thinking and acting more like the CEO of your own business.

  • Be open minded: Don’t assume. Always listen with new ears and seething with new eyes. Seek first to understand before being understood. Remember, there are many perspectives, not just yours.
  • Know your best and highest frequency: When are you most in tune with what’s going on around you? When do you just know you’re on the right path? When you know this, you can evolve those moments, bring them into other elements of your day and begin to accelerate your business.
  • Have extreme ownership: Leady example by taking ownership and inspiring others to do the same. This requires personal accountability, solid training and, of course, having the right people in the right seats doing the right things.
  • Have impeccable execution: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.Nothing grows your credibility better and nothing destroys your credibility and reputation more than when you don’t keep your word.
  • Take a chance on your ideas: Every idea is a great idea. Many times, the best idea comes from the idea before it. You are unique and have unique perspective, so share it and only great things will come from it. Be open to being vulnerable and having your ideas shot down, and perhaps not getting all the credit for the final idea. It takes a team; be part of it! And remember the words of Sir Ken Robinson: “If you’re not prepared Tobe wrong, you’ll never come up with anything.”
  • Have the courage to make a decision: Grow your confidence to make decision. Leaders are decisive.
  • Always move forward: What got you where you are won’t get you where you want to be. Never stop learning and growing.
  • Ask open-ended questions: As my grandpa used to say, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more; talk less. This is how you get to know everything you need to know.
  • Positively reinforce your team: Everyone wants to know they matter. If you have their heart, you have their trust. If you have their trust, they will walk through a wall with you.
  • Take action: Without action, nothing happens.

I love the question “how would you eat an elephant?” The answer, of course, is one bite at a time. I suggest you take one item a week and grow your skillset in that area.

Everything grows and compounds when done consistently over time. Be patient and commit to the daily ritual of growth and evolving your CEO mindset. This will put you one step closer to your corner office because your actions are a constant reminder that YOUR business matters.


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WARNING: Requires Discipline, Humility and Curiosity: There is one way – and one way only – that you and your business can benefit from my instruction and advice: Hard work. Your hard work. How much your business will grow depends on your passion and your dedication to the concepts I'll be giving you. I can help get you there, but it’s on you to make it happen. I make no promises and offer no guarantees about your success. After all, the only one who can direct your success is you. I promise to give you instruction, advice, guidance, tools, strategies and direction that I know has been hugely effective for me and for others. I’m serious about getting you there, but you have to be serious about getting yourself there and giving it everything you’ve got … times 100. I also won’t give you any advice outside my capacity as a business coach, so be sure to have your own solid team of professional advisors to direct you with your taxes, accounting, physical and mental health, legal matters, insurance, and other critical details. If you are ready to take on the challenge, let’s do this!

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