Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Beneath CXO vigils - insights from developmental expereinces

CEOs and Entrepreneurs in whose vigil enterprises run, have been a special focus of my services in the recent years. I noted a few of their personal tendencies that you may label as salient behaviors. Lasting impressions are made from stand-out behaviors that are consistent.
While there’s so much that can be dissected from these insights, I am merely skimming the surface of what may be a faint reflection of the deep structures of beliefs and assumptions these entities hold. When financial success is achieved in spite of competence and not because of it, the blind-spots I’ve inferred of CEOs and entrepreneurs are as below
  1. When financial success is achieved in spite of competence and not because of it, the blind-spots I’ve inferred of CEOs and entrepreneurs are as below
    1. Overlearning is the bane of these beings. Repeating an over-learnt and tried and tested process is insensitivity to emergent context. This afflicts leaders most in growth phases, when new forms of talent are difficult to engage with this attitude of overlearning. The certitude in their opinions outdoes the self-improvement ethic .
    2. Courage of Presence Courage to be mindfully present in situations diminishes when impulsiveness exceeds the watchfulness required to attend to detail. While organizations were small, errors of risk-assessment did not prove as costly. This is in my experience, true of interpersonal situations as much as in situational variables that have no interpersonal impact on the leader.
  2. Surprisingly, leaders from larger conglomerates make life hell for smaller organizations they join as business heads because of a few related tendencies. Let me recount a few of them.
    1. Optimism is not the same as Enthusiasm When in a larger organization, these leaders were under the wings of a taller leader. In reflected glory, they join smaller outfits only to discover that the magic ebbs faster than can be recreated. Reason? Their optimism exceeds their enthusiasm by a huge distance. That is to say that their sense of challenge in the moment is muted, and they feel they may see a better day in the future without requisite analysis of their new situations. Their poor self-esteem gets ticked by trivial incidents in the business environment and even mild criticisms.
    2. Paralysis by Analysis is not a new term. However, when the impact is on low innovation and a conservative embrace of the business challenge, there is a clear syndrome that I observe. Risk assessment or the critical thinking required to tease pros and cons of a situation is treated as the same as risking itself. Risking is a behavior of emotional investment. Risk assessment is relatively an analytical process, with emotions detached from the conclusions of such analyses. Leaders stay stuck in this syndrome too long.
So do I see more successful patterns too? Of course I do.
  1. Such leaders are both open and yet certain of their opinions.
  2. They do not lose empathetic connect with their team members evenas they set expectations or discover directions with them.The marvelous aspect here is that they know their interpersonal boundaries in this regard very well, lest they risk the loss of the relationship itself.
  3. Their self-esteem is a gorgeous balance of receptivity to feedback and self-acceptance. Their vulnerability is a dignity that no accolades can certify, but an internal knowing that needs no branding.
  4. Their strategic acumen that comes from analytical prowess is balanced by a mindful presence that reaps from the courage of being present to others. They have a fine awareness of whom else they impact and how!
What have you experienced of late in this regard? Let me know, will you?