What the Top 1% of CEOs Know That You Don’t!
This is How These CEOs are
Generating $100 million+
(while simplifying their lives along the way!)
Why are we better at solving other people’s challenges than our own? Why do we as companies tend to suck when it comes to solving our biggest challenges? I get to work with a fair number of companies and I hear them say things like we’re stuck, we’re spinning our wheels, we’re running in place. Now, you don’t got to be a pattern recognition genius to start conjuring up a picture of a hamster on a turn wheel.
When I come together with companies to grapple, to help them grapple with their biggest challenges, it feels a lot like watching a hamster on the turn wheel. If they just had some better perspective, they could get the real forward movement they’re looking for. So what traps them up?
Three things really jump out. Thing one; they tell themselves “we’re too busy” to get together as a leadership team, as a team, as a group, whatever, in order to address our challenges every week, too busy. This reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw that said “I am lost but at least I’m making good time”.
Entrepreneurs, beware that the most dangerous kind of bullshit is the kind we feed ourselves. “I’m too busy” works when we were kids, not so well when we’re leaders. When I was back in college, I was too busy to stop for gas on the way home because I was excited to see my family and my girlfriend. What happened? I end up on the side of the road with an empty tank. This was before the days of mobile phones, back when I was too busy to even get a Triple-A membership, I ended up there for two and a half hours waiting until some nice old guy picked up a couple of gallons of gasoline for me… To busy. Second challenge companies run into is they’re too shallow. So they tackle their challenges each week together but they get through them quickly as they can instead of as deeply as they can.
So, we’ve got a client that’s a building – building developer. One of their clients discovered some asbestos in the building and they got together as a leadership team to discuss this challenge and they realized that what they needed to do was ultimately get a contractor who would be more comfortable with asbestos to replace this other contractor that ran into the asbestos issue with that particular client. Now, when they solved that issue in all of about one minute, I turn to them and I said “guys, do you feel like you’ve really gotten to the heart of this challenge?” they said “what do you mean?” I said, “well, do you think this challenge and anything even remotely like it is never going to crop up again?” suddenly the visionary chimes and he says “you know, something doesn’t smell right here, I want a review of every freaking contractor of ours and not just once, every year you’ve got to make sure they’re meeting a very high bar”. And a discussion ensued to ultimately make that very actionable. That discussion and the solution that emerged, that gave this team comfort. That issue, that challenge was resolved. It wasn’t going to crop up again.
So here’s the thing, right? If you solve your challenges so quickly, right, a quick hamster isn’t getting anywhere better or anywhere different than a slow hamster. You could throw the world run around, they’re moving so quickly, they’re not getting anywhere different. Too busy, too shallow. Third challenge is playing politics. What does that mean? When you prioritize protecting your ego ahead of solving the biggest challenges you’re facing, it gets in the way.
So, one of our other clients is an apparel manufacturer. The woman who founded this company started out, humble beginnings designing. Well, many years later, about 7 million in annual revenues later, she’s still stuck doing some of the design. I spent a day with them and during one of the breakout sessions, one of the breaks, I asked him to team members “do you think she should still be doing design?” they said “hell no! If we bring it up though, she curses us out. Cheers us out. Sometimes she’ll just walk out of the room”. Her ego is all over this thing.
A little later that day, I asked her, I said “do you think you should focus on your role as a visionary, a CEO?” and she says “yeah”. I said, “okay, so do you think you should be doing less design, maybe no design at all?” said, “I don’t know, you know, what do you guys think?” the team says “no, no way”. She lets them have it, rips it to them, starts walking out of the room, I couldn’t believe it. She stops, right when she’s about to walk out, turns to me and says “what do you think?” I said “well, could someone else do the design?” she said “no one here”. I said “how about out there?” she said “it would take all my time to find someone like that”.
Long story short, she made it her top priority the next quarter and found that person with relative ease. See, here’s the thing, you can only worship one God and if you make that big thing protecting your ego, guess what happens, any time you are the cause of some challenge the company is facing, no one is bringing it up. That would be corporate and career suicide. Fish stings from the head down.
If you are the head of your company and you, you’re busy protecting your ego, so too will everyone else in that entire company. And once everybody’s busy protecting their ego, first and foremost, that means any of the because kinds of challenges you’re going to face as a company, the people challenges, they’re off the table, right? In protecting your ego, you’ve just neutered the company. Too busy, too shallow playing politics, right? Those three traps that keep companies in this kind of inertia, moving and moving, they all play into this mindset or they feel like companies have or they feel like they can get somewhere better if they just basically keep doing the same basic thing they’ve been doing.
Remember when Einstein said “insanity is defined as doing the same thing you’ve been doing but expecting a different result”. If you – if you as an entrepreneur are looking to systematically change things up, to get to a different level, to break through the ceiling, I invite you to watch the next video I’m going to make where I’m going to talk about How to Tackle Your Biggest Challenges or click on the link you see. Come visit us at Helm.CEO, set up a one-on-one consultation, a strategy chat with me or one of my team members because we exist to help entrepreneurs break through the ceiling and get to that next level.
I’m Josh Klenoff, founder of The Helm and I look forward to seeing you soon my friend.