It’s not just lonely, but also unique at the top. You must hold yourself accountable for certain responsibilities that cannot be delegated to others. The challenge is that, if you’re like most CEOs, you also hold yourself accountable for many items that could indeed be delegated.
If you are buried in the weeds of your business 24/7, your business will eventually bury you. Yes, most CEOs must devote significant time to working within their business. But if you haven’t already developed the discipline of spending at least 2% of your time each month (about a half day) stepping back and working on your business, your business is likely to continue to run you rather than the other way around.
What are those unique accountabilities that only you can assume?
- Establish your vision of where the company needs to go, and communicate it clearly and frequently.
- Find and retain employees who can help get you there.
- Lead the creation and routine updating of company goals, strategies, and action plans that will help get you there.
- Protect the corporate assets (physical and financial) while making sure you are using them to help get you there.
- Assure that the various parts of the company are coordinated and working together to deliver customer value at a profit, and to help get you there.
In a sense, being CEO has a lot to do with attitude and perspective. Consciously accepting this higher level of accountability is a way of your ultimately exiting your business on your terms.
Why not keep score for a few months? Copy the list of accountabilities and keep them close by. Make a daily or weekly note of your estimated time spent in each of the five areas. Hold yourself accountable – or get somebody else to do so – for tracking how much time you actually spend on these important areas. Then make appropriate adjustments.