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3 Things CEO’s Must Do

I picked up an unknown number a few days ago, thinking that might be the delivery guy ringing me to receive a parcel. It turned out to be an old acquaintance I met through a business seminar 7 years ago.

In the last few years, both of us went our different ways to build our different dreams. My interest has always been in entrepreneurship and business; while his lies along the lines of forex investing and ways to grow passive income and then to retire within a few years. I think he did that during the lockdown period already!

Why would someone like him with piles of cash sitting somewhere in his portfolio and assets decide to be a “BUSINESSMAN”?

Doesn’t he know that running a business versus forex trading are two worlds apart?

He had never worked in a corporate; nor has ever led a team and certainly did not have any experience handling paperwork or compliance-work as required by certain acts and laws.

He will have one hell of an adventure as the CEO of his own company!
(Why would he not retire happily and spend his time and money to enjoy the little joys in life?)

How would I know that he will have one hell of an adventure?

First and foremost, a CEO must learn how to ‘LEAD’!

The vision and the big picture of the company must come from the Founder himself! In most businesses, the founder is the CEO, and initially, the CEO is the ‘Chief Everything Officer’.

If the CEO does not know how to sell his vision, his plans, his directions…. then, it is tough to sign up people to get on board his ship. Should the CEO want “great talents” to join him, then he must be precise in what he is selling and who he is selling to. (On top of that, choosing great talents is also a skill a leader must learn to develop.)

Communication is a skill where many of us will make this our life-long lesson. We can only communicate to the extent that we have clarity about “the plans” and what we want to communicate about.

It is just as important that we know how to convey messages through text (typed form); or through spoken words (language, tonality, how people get our message when they listen to us) or through unspoken form (i.e. hand gestures when we speak face-to-face, body language, the way we treat someone, etc).

Being CEO is being the “Leader” of the company. People look up to you for directions, for instructions, and most of the time for motivation or inspiration. Some CEO’s lead their team towards greatness; while some CEO’s bury their fears amongst the mistakes of his team.

*REMEMBER THIS: “An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lion led by a sheep.”

Hence, to be the lion is not about being fierce, forceful nor aggressive…. To be the lion is how you can make sheeps believe in their greatness.

Second, a CEO must learn how to ‘FOLLOW UP’!

If you ask me, I think it is both art and science in following up. I call it ‘art’ because there is no fixed way to follow up effectively. What work for some may not work for others. Following up is mainly a combination of communication and relationship. It is in those conversations with another human being that we know a person’s trigger points.

Follow up is also ‘science’ because there are proven methods that when it is done in a certain format, step and procedure, it is effective! One actually knows what is going on with his company!

Requesting for report and grooming his team how to report and when to report is part of following up. Without reporting, one would not know the progress of his team and activities. Sometimes, it is not about having enough activities to generate revenue for the company but stopping by to care for the people doing those activities are just as important.

A great CEO knows what their team is going through and knows how much to push the team to strive for greatness and excellence.

Third, a CEO must be willing to groom and empower!

Be that rare CEO who seeks to empower the next generation of management by honing their unique skillsets, addressing learning gaps and understanding what makes them tick.

Maybe these 3 points are super generic, and one could easily find them on the net, but to implement concepts and to practice leadership is an experience no words can describe.

Life is not straight-line. Therefore, what has worked in the past may not work today. What worked for you may not work for me. What happened in one industry may not have the same outcome in another.

My friend will have one hell of an experience as a businessman because he will grow much when he gets in the game.

All the best to this friend of mine! I am rooting for your success!

From the desk of,
Cynthia Chiam

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