What We Learned from Talking to 60 Different CEOs
Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast, where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a Strengths-Based approach to people, teams, and culture.
In this episode, we discuss common pain points for CEOs and C-level leaders and what we’ve learned about how to navigate them. Whether you’re a C-level leader or a fresh new hire, we give tools that can help everyone navigate the challenging landscape of today’s work environment. Enjoy!
What We Learned from Talking to 60 Different CEOs
Recently, Brian and Dr. Linda Schubring were at an annual conference for CEOs and C-level leaders who were gathered to learn how to be better at their jobs and what they do. They had the unique opportunity to be key presenters in talking about how to build team culture within a business system. It gave Brian and Linda a chance to address many different CEOs and C-level leaders at the same time about their current business and personal needs. They sat down together, were present, and were able to network, exchange information, and really listen to CEOs and other C-level leaders in a new way.
Once it was over and they had a chance to look at their notes and compare, they saw some themes emerge. These themes are not just unique to CEOs and C-level leaders within a business, they’re really unique to everyone. By paying attention to what those themes are, it can be advantageous to understand how we can all address these issues for ourselves, too.
What is Different About Change Now?
In all six sessions, there seemed to be a layer of fog that has settled into the top 40% of executives’ vision. As if the leaders could kind of see something, but they couldn’t see enough to get the whole picture, and that created a sense of discomfort. They talked about the post-pandemic landscape in every session. Everyone felt that there was a need and they named it differently, but the clarity of how to lead through it wasn’t crystal clear to people.
C-level leaders need to be able to handle a lot of uncertainty with resolve and an attachment to values and purpose. How do you lead, move forward, and grow? How do you invest in your people? or leave a lasting legacy?
Naming Needs, Goals, and Struggles
In their sessions, Brian and Linda explained tools and systems to build a positive team culture and weaved in how to develop methodologies for building that culture. Next, they asked CEOs and C-level leaders to pause and push their chairs away from their organization. What did they see or note? What are the pain points? And how can they name them?
The sessions really gave leaders the opportunity to name their needs, their goals, and their struggles. Naming is a neurological need, our brains need to name things. Once the leaders began to name their needs and struggles, they began to relate and understand in a new way.
The Needs of CEOs
After talking with 60 different CEOs and C-level leaders, Brian and Linda heard the following common themes in their needs:
- Outside pressure
- Distrust of the organization
- Engaging employees when bringing them back to work
In summary, leaders were asking: how do we navigate change and not just lead through it, but realize that change has pain points that are attached?
Common Goals of CEOs
As C-level leaders leading change, Brian and Linda also asked about their goals for themselves and their organizations. The following five goals came up consistently:
- Better communication
- Clarity of direction
- Growing relationships
Not only were the executives naming their needs, but they also had a goal beyond their needs. Like most C-level leaders, they still had dreams and ambitions that saw over challenges, but they still had the challenges in place.
The Biggest Challenges for CEOs
Brian and Linda noted six common struggles that were shared amongst CEOs and C-level leaders. The biggest challenges were:
- Delegating work and accountability
- Focus and executing on business goals
- Sustainability of leadership
- Partnerships within the business
If you’re finding yourself resonating with any of these pain points or personal needs, perhaps by naming it you can realize that you’re not alone. There are other people and leaders in other positions that are also facing these needs or struggles.
Your Leadership Needs, Goals, and Challenges
For leaders and employees at any level of an organization, our hope is that you find some comfort in knowing you aren’t alone in facing your needs and struggles. They are way more common than you think. The next step is to ask for help.
It’s rare that there’s a one size fits all solution for every leadership team. Get some thought partners that can help you think outside of your usual thinking – we can help! We’d love to hear from you, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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