Have you ever wondered what CEOs really want? What does a CEO expect from his/her organization, its senior team and the individual players? Generally it can be summed up in two words: creative alignment.CEOs want team members who are creatively aligned and able to:
1. Handle Stress Effectively
Stress can be good. Stress can be bad. It depends on the type of stress. Being able to recover from stress in a fluid and adaptive environment becomes a stand out point for the management team. Being demoralized in any of your failures is not a good omen for success. Learning adaptive behaviours is important.
2. Hone their Risk Radars
This is a tough one. There is always a balancing act when it comes to risk. From the CEO’s perspective, senior management shouldn’t play it safe, nor should they live on the edge. There has to be a balance. The senior team must be keen on introducing new approaches with a tinge of risk. If the senior team are safe players then they provide little if any advantage in an accelerated world.
3. Build Positive Stakeholder Relationships
The entire management team has to realize that they are the business ambassadors internally and externally. All eyes are on them all the time. No CEO can afford to have a management team member that is a nay-sayer, who engages in us-versus-them language or is conflict prone. An engaged and creatively aligned management team knows that adjustments must be made for the good of the organization.
4. Create New Business Models
The senior team needs to get along and be the advisors to the CEO. There is little time for isolationism and individual egos. If the management team is unable to create new business models to move the business to new heights, the CEO and the company will be immensely disappointed in its ineffective movement.
5. Establish Creative Productivity Gains
Every CEO wants their management team to be innovative. The team must bring productivity to the business by way of increased effectiveness and efficiency. You must be proactive and scan the business environment for improvement opportunities. The management team’s ability to foster people and business growth is paramount to its success.
6. Take Business Routines Seriously
A good routine is always good for an organization. Eighty percent of the company’s work can be pre-established while the other twenty percent is always reserved for emergencies, rush jobs and responses. Getting the established processes in place and ensuring that other teams adapt to the routines of the organization is part of what makes things better.
7. March to a Mission
Management teams must creatively align themselves with the needs of the organization. CEOs are constantly asking, “What are the three to five things on the strategic agenda of the organization?” and “What is the management team doing to make it happen?” The CEO has every right to expect the management team to be on mission. The ability to creatively align means to be purposeful.
8. Invest in the Success of Others
Action speaks louder than words. As a management team, the ability to invest in others is an important recipe for success. When it comes right down to it, the most valuable asset of the organization is its people. Today’s organizations cannot afford to have its intellectual capital treated disrespectfully. It is management’s responsibility to ensure they make the right investments in people.
Good CEOs know that if the individual players on the team are creatively aligned they will row in the same direction, at the same speed, with the same consistency. They will also find solutions and adjust to circumstances as needed. From a talent management perspective, that spells success. But you knew that, didn’t you!