CEO mindset: Vision with action is the key to growth
Starting a business takes grit and determination. As time passes, many business owners focus on automation and efficient systems implementation. Business begins to flow smoothly, which is awesome! A smooth-running engine can feel adequate. It can be tempting to rest on your laurels and continue as you always have. However, a CEO wouldn’t stop there. CEO mindset is what sets the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners apart from the rest!
Assuming you want your business to grow, your mindset is key. So, let’s take a look at CEO mindset and what practical tweaks you can produce today, (no matter if you’re in your first year of business or a well seasoned business), to transform into tomorrow’s successful outcomes.
Beliefs and behaviours of an effecive CEO
When I think back to my previous corporate life. There are certain thought patterns, beliefs and behaviours each CEO displayed. Traits like:
- Strategic decision-making
- Being a visionary rather than being bogged down in the nitty gritty daily operations
- Strong communication skills
- Realistic optimism
- Brilliant listening skills
- Reading people effectively
- A willingness to take calculated risks.
- Understanding the value the business produces
Here are a few practical ways you can introduce a CEO mindset for your small business.
Vision and mission
Have a Vision and plan of what you want to achieve, and how you’re planning to achieve it. Your mission statement is a perfect starting block.
But what is a Mission / Vision Statement?
It’s a summary of an organisations core purpose, focus and goals. While the mission is the ‘what’ and ‘how’, the vision statement is the ‘why’.
Combined, they should be a guiding beacon supporting you as an owner in all areas of your business. From sales pitches, to social media marketing, to the way you engage with your customers or clients. If you’re consistently making decisions inline with your ultimate goals, it will assist with developing a strong brand and differentiate you from your competition.
Your mission statement should also guide all those who join your organisation when it begins to scale. From contractors to employees at all levels. As author Simon Sinek said,
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
As the CEO is the ultimate decision maker, when it comes to setting a company’s vision. It’s important to plan ahead. Where do you want to be in five, ten, or 15 years? A CEO will consider all stakeholders, and have a clear understanding what enables the business to generate value.
Set aside time to plan out your vision and mission – long-term planning. Regularly block off time in your calendar and mark it ‘planning’, this is important for the success and health of your business. Then you can batch plan your quarterly blogs and socials. You know you can market yourself online, to build your brand, but unless you know your long-term goals, these approaches may not be well aligned.
Continuous learning and development
Focus on learning new skills and mindset approaches, as Jim Rhon shares:
Everyday stand guard at the door of your mind.
So, read or study and then apply that to your business or personal life which will in turn positively impact your business.
CEOs rely on subject matter experts to advise them on vital company information, data and issues. They often have a team of advisors and need to report to a Board of Directors to remain accountable and provide guidance. CEO mindset: Consider how you too could benefit from a business advisor, accountability partners and subject matter experts to guide you in various areas of the business.
Physical movement and mindset work
Tony Robbins, is someone I admire, he uses deep practice incantations, along with physical movement to ensure he is in the right headspace. He says
…the more you do something with focus, trying to do it as well as you can, you [build up the fatty layer of insulation around your nervous system called myelin] in your brain.
This will enable your focus and positive attitudes to be sustained.
Robbins also practices mindfulness techniques. For example, saying 3 things he’s grateful for that day. Whilst the incantations are still a work in progress for me, the gratitude statements have formed part of my daily routine, and I am better for it. Who inspires you? And how can you learn from them to continuously develop and grow?
Staying focused on continuous learning and development, for example how to coach employees effectively. This skill is so important as when eventually, the business grows to a point where you must learn to manage the people who manage systems and processes, you will be prepared and ready to become a genuine CEO. So as a business owner, be flexible and adaptive to learn new skills as your role changes.
Systemise and outsource
CEOs look to the future. So why not implement processes and systems that will be needed in the future? If you only focus on the here and now, you may end up with only short-term plans and results, but lacking business direction.
So introduce a company handbook, even if it’s just you! Or have an outsourcing strategy before you’re ready to outsource. Set up your processes and procedures, with the mindset someone will need to use them one day, hopefully soon!
You can have a CEO mindset no matter what stage you are at in your business. Whether you’re about to launch or a well seasoned business owner. Focus on one area at a time and put your CEO hat on. For example, for my business, I’ll own up! I’ve been neglecting my financial management. Which we can all agree is far from ideal for a small business owner. While my accountant is not concerned, as I’m following the compliance requirements. I haven’t paid enough attention to doing it well and efficiently, because I don’t know HOW to do it well, and I don’t LOVE doing it. So I’ve avoided it.
I’m currently using a free accounting software, why? Because it’s intuitive and everything I need for now. But … while it does suit my business as it stands at this moment, fast-forward 2 years, or possibly even 6-12 months, and it’s unlikely to be sustainable. Its free features are incredible, but it also means some processing requirements are more cumbersome and consequently time-consuming.
To put my CEO mindset hat on, I know I need to look at the current issues and the future, I need to:
- Source and receive training from a tax agent or book keeper who is familiar with this software, how to set it up properly, so it’s compliant and simple to report to ATO.
- Look and plan for the future. I intend to grow the business, this software will soon not be fit for my business. So, I’m researching and seeking guidance on the best financial software systems for my business and budget for the next 5 years.
- Take steps to learn bookkeeping for my business. Not because it is a service, I want to offer my clients. But because it is a skill as a small business owner, that I need to know!
- Know how to administer it myself, so I can make educated decisions and clearly define the tasks required.
- Outsource it to a bookkeeper with aligned business ethics, and effective communication skills.
Have a think about your business. What areas are you ready to learn about, or outsource or both?
Finally, if you look at where the pressure is: assess how you can remove it?
Notice it, observe it with no judgement, not saying I’m a ‘failure” or ‘should’ instead step outside of yourself and assess what you need. What takes the pressure off for you? A holistic balance is a key ingredient for a happy and healthy business owner.
So actively partake in activities which reduce stress, help you stay centered, and keep you positively focused. Continuously learn new skills, simplify some areas, Batch plan your quarterly blogs and socials, outsource if needed. Plan ahead in alignment with your vision and mission, and act on those plans.