The world around our businesses is constantly growing more and more complicated. Even with all of the information in the world at our fingertips, we can become paralyzed and over-complicate the everyday minutia of our businesses. In order to think like a CEO, every CEO-minded person in your business must focus on one thing: simplicity. This simplicity should focus on two specific areas: your people and your decision making. By focusing your attention on simplifying these areas, you’ll see that growth is just a step away.
The very first place every CEO-minded person must start to simplify is with their people. The way you manage your people will determine your culture. Is it simplistic or over complicated? Let’s start here. Introducing simplicity into your culture starts with how you relate to your people. In order to think like a CEO, you must take a “managing-by-walking around” approach to your business relationships. Troy Giles, Senior Manager at PayPal-Site Reliability Engineering, believes this is the key to changing your culture. He says,
“You have to get to know your people. You have to talk with them, manage meetings by walking around, by understanding not only what they do for to company and how they move that along in their projects, but their goals, their aspirations, where they want to go, what is success defined for them.”
What this simply means is that we must get to know our people in order to discover their driver—the reason they get out of bed in the morning and try to align their work with this driver. Giles says this will have the greatest impact on the multiplication effect and create a culture that employees love to be a part of.
The second thing simplicity in our business can help with is our decision making. One of the aspects of Troy’s job is to ensure that the PayPal site is secured and functioning at a high level. This requires a ton of attention and decisions that must be made. He tells his people to break down their processes and decisions into the smallest possible atomic level they can, then go one step at a time. He likens it to climbing Mount Everest. In order to climb the peak, you must start small—the first step—and then build from there.
This will help when you face challenges in your business. Thinking like a CEO requires you to be proactive, rather than reactive. Getting out in front of these challenges that will present themselves occurs when we have made decisions to handle them before they arise; setting ourselves, our people, and our businesses up for continued success when disruptors come.
Coaching your people through the decision-making process will look different for nearly everyone on your team. This is why we start by getting to know our people. Those who are new and fresh will need a little more attention, a little more coaching. Those who are more seasoned will still need to see your presence, but they will know the steps that you’ve engrained in them and will trust the process. What this allows us to do as CEO-minded people is to help encourage our people to become the best versions of themselves, which will affect their individual lives and their professional lives as—making everyone more successful.
In summary, Troy challenges us to keep our businesses simple by:
- Teaching us to truly get to know our people by walking around to manage them.
- Teaching us to simplify our decision-making process, bringing every decision to the smallest atomic level to help us be proactive rather than reactive.
- Teaching us to simplify our practices to ensure we are creating a culture that helps our employees become the best versions of themselves.
There is no room in business for over-complications. They disrupt our practices and slow down our progress. By focusing on simplicity and building trusting relationships with our employees, our businesses will begin to take off!
To hear more of my interview with Troy Giles about keeping things simple in your business, click here.