What? Look, you are the executive team that runs your life. You are the CEO, the Chief Everything Officer. Your life and career deserve the kind of C-Suite thought leadership that is often reserved for the business realm. In order to develop a strategy, you need to step into the role.
Let’s look at some of the attributes of a strong C-level exec to see what I mean. You don’t need technical, functional or even industry specific expertise as much as you need some other key strengths. We’ll ignore or downplay some of the not-so-nice aspects: egos, living your life in meetings, having more work than one person could possibly do, and the complete lack of satisfaction that comes with task completion. Here are 7 strengths you should cultivate as the CEO of your life:
- Vision. A CEO needs a clear vision and perspective. You have to have a high level vision of what you want out of life: to achieve, to include, to experience, to share, to make, to do, to feel. As CEO you are responsible for making sure that you have a cohesive vision, and that it is YOUR vision for YOUR life.
- See the Big Picture. The C-level execs look at the issues on the table in the context of the whole picture, not in isolation. Your life – as a whole – is the big picture. Your career, while important, is just one component of your life. You need to be able to keep the larger objectives and long term goals in mind, and maintain balance between all the different areas of your life. You are responsible for making sure all of the details line up in the direction you want to go.
- Prioritize. Strong leaders set clear priorities and use them to make decisions. As CEO of you, you need to be able to set priorities, to recognize when there are competing priorities, resolve the conflicts, and reset the direction when things get off track.
- Rely on others. A strong leader knows that he or she doesn’t know everything, and that on occasion you need to call in some outside experts. They build a team, and they know when to delegate. As CEO of you, you need to cultivate trustworthy advisors and competent support. You need to know when to listen, and when to speak.
- Take appropriate risks. Any CEO knows that there are times when they have to take risks. Risks are unavoidable. They want to minimize, mitigate, and manage. Ultimately, though, choices have to be made, and risks taken. So as CEO of you, you need to have the ability and willingness to take appropriate risks and to know what “appropriate” means for you!
- Make Difficult Decisions. C-level executives make decisions all the time – that’s really the bulk of their job. And many of those decisions are hard and unpopular. Likewise, you have to be able to make the critical decisions and the difficult choices, making sure that they are in line with your vision and priorities.
- Leadership. Great C-Suiters seem make bold and brilliant moves. They recognize opportunities, seek good advice, take appropriate risks, and make difficult decisions that align with their vision and priorities. That’s what you need to do to be CEO. You own and lead your own life, as well as your career.
The point of this article is perspective. As you create your strategy, I suggest that you intentionally grab the big leadership role, hold the perspective that you are the CEO of your life, and deliberately cultivate the 7 strengths. Up next: Step 2. Getting Clarity
This is Part 2 in the blog series: You Need A Strategy! (link to Part 1: Intro) No matter what is going on in your life or your career, creating a strategy is one of the most empowering things that you can do to guarantee success and happiness.
In the midst of a career crisis or transition? Sound like the kind of things you’re thinking about? Want help thinking through your strategy? Request a Strategy Session. Email to set it up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maggie Huffman is a best-selling author and Life Coach, specializing in making business skills “transferable” to life skills!