The 9 most pervasive advice C.E.O.’s give to themselves and their colleagues

In an effort to quantify how C.E.O.s use a wide range of advice, researchers at the University of Michigan Research Center for the Measurement of Executive Performance asked the top bosses of 500 US…

The 9 most pervasive advice C.E.O.'s give to themselves and their colleagues

In an effort to quantify how C.E.O.s use a wide range of advice, researchers at the University of Michigan Research Center for the Measurement of Executive Performance asked the top bosses of 500 US companies to provide their top executives with an annual anonymous survey. Among the advice, the researchers discovered that C.E.O.s almost universally rely on detailed personal advice from their family and close friends in order to help them grow and innovate.

The advice this employed included tips on the workplace (learn to work well with colleagues), philanthropy, and retirement planning. Leaders tended to make this advice public, linking it with a hypothetical interview scenario (say, “As CEO, I’m asking myself, ‘What advice would my mother give me to help me achieve my goal of being part of the $4 billion club in three years’).

The researchers found that none of the advice involved asking a psychologist for help with executive ambitions, but rather, it was the type of advice that allows a C.E.O. to “move up the ladder of influence and power at work and with family and friends.” “Make sure you know how people feel when things go wrong, and adjust if you’ve made a mistake,” one executive told researchers. “Take responsibility for things, but at the same time understand where you failed and what would have made it right.”

The advice that motivated the most C.E.O.s to take action in 2014, according to the study, was that “develop and implement management strategies that get the most out of your own people.” Career paths that utilized developing managers were more successful, with CEOs who reported that their teams developed managers also achieving higher productivity and higher stock-price gains.

Respondents highlighted the importance of controlling expectations, and relating daily performance goals to team members’ “career potential.” A CEO whose job was to “pull each employee’s own career potential forward” took specific notice of both team members’ individual talents and if they were ready to reach their own goals.

“Concentrate on getting the most out of your team” was noted by 40% of C.E.O.s. It isn’t actually a great way to run a company – and it’s not only one the C.E.O. should focus on. Every employee and manager should build career potential by connecting with their peers, superiors, managers, and customers – but everybody shouldn’t focus on career potential.

Here’s what I learned when I learned to love the way I work:

At the start of the process, the manager and the team member should focus on making a “mission statement” of what they care about, and why they’re working to create that mission statement. Prioritize who to help and who to run down a path. Once there’s a vision, don’t shut down the different ideas that will make that vision a reality. Focus on your end goals and conversations. Break down the day into micro-moments of time. What moment might you have to help a colleague get promoted? What portion of that day is open to provide a reference check for this colleague? Who could you talk to or offer feedback to today? If you answered no to one or more of those questions, you’ll be depriving your team and yourself. Write your top goals for the day, and move forward on those. Ask questions as you discuss them. Why are you asking these questions? Who is the leader that’s leading these conversations? Perhaps you don’t have a manager who’ll talk to you about something as abstract as career development. Ask a colleague to ask you about your leadership, your goals, and whether there’s anyone who could offer feedback, especially in the startup phase of your career. If your top goals include developing younger leaders – and you’re a manager with team of younger leaders – why don’t you start by having conversations about the “habits of others” that you’re observing? It may be difficult to have a direct conversation about what’s your initiative and what’s company-wide initiative. Ask your leadership team to have a conversation with you about how you can make these two projects more aligned. Expand outside your organization. Long before you think about career development, you should be acting on career goals. Cultivate a web of relationships. Build your network. Ask a member of your network to share advice with you in the sense of “How can you help me?” “How can I learn from others?” “What do you do for fun?” “How can I get a job?” “How can I connect with you?” “What is a successful mode of leadership?” ask to members of your network. You should look at your friendships as a collection of mentors, not one client relationship. Share your goals

Leave a Comment