I came across an interesting article in the New York Times (online edition). As I read through it- I realized- we are all CEO’s of ourselves- the most promising company any of us can ever hope to run. How a CEO behaves in his own company to lead it towards success, is what we must all do. Through education we gain the tools for the outline.
How to Be an Effective CEO
By Bernard Lunn
The Effective Executive
Peter Drucker’s “Effective Executive” was written in 1966. It is a slim tome and easy to read, even if the language is a bit dated. Drucker focuses on how to allocate time, because you can get more of almost any resource except time. His advice to find time for uninterrupted work is particularly relevant to today’s multi-tasking world. He is also very clear about the need to allocate enough time for people. If you need an hour with someone, don’t think you are being efficient by rushing through the meeting in 15 minutes.
CEOs allocate resources. The first resource they need to allocate is their own time.
One popular book today is “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” by Marcus Buckingham. Drucker was a big proponent of accentuating a person’s strengths rather than managing their weaknesses.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” first published in 1989, is a self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold over 15 million copies. Covey observes the following habits in effective people:
Habit 1: Be proactive.
Change starts from within. Most people react to external forces. To lead effectively, you have to overcome that natural tendency.
Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind.
You cannot lead unless you know where you want to get to.
Habit 3: Put first things first.
This is similar to what Drucker recommends. You need to have a very clear view of what is important, so that you know what to spend time on. Note that this often means leaving your comfort zone by acting on tasks that you don’t naturally like or feel competent in performing.
Habit 4: Think win/win.
Seek agreement and relationships that are mutually beneficial. In cases in which a win/win deal cannot be achieved, accept that agreeing on “no deal” may be the best alternative. In developing an organizational culture, be sure to reward win/win behavior among employees, and avoid inadvertently rewarding win/lose behavior.
Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
First seek to understand the other person, and only then try to be understood. Stephen Covey presents this habit as the most important principle of inter-personal relations. Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of your own experience. Rather, it is putting yourself in the mindset of the other person, listening empathetically for both feeling and meaning.
Habit 6: Synergize.
Through trustful communication, find ways to leverage individual differences to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Through mutual trust and understanding, people can often solve conflicts and find better solutions than would have been obtained through either person’s own solution.
Habit 7: Sharpen the saw.
Take time out from production to build production capacity through personal renewal of the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Maintain a balance among these dimensions.
This is just a segment of a larger article- to read it in its entirety, click NewYorkTimes
So- now that you have all been officially promoted to CEO of your educational career, what did you take from this article (or any other) to implement into your new corporation?