“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” Robin S. Sharma
By Perminus Wainaina
In all my 7 (+) years working as a CEO and leadership coach, I have gained invaluable lessons on what makes a phenomenal leader.
2017 for me was a journey of 12 months that culminated in polishing my expertise both through success and failure.
Looking back, it is clear that no great CEO has had a smooth ride to the top. It is always a journey marked with struggles, strategies, passion and commitment.
Having what I’ve learnt more so in the past year, I write to share with you 6 fundamental lessons I learned as a CEO and how I plan use them to better myself in 2018.
What are these 6 lessons?
- Be open to change
Change has been said to be the only constant in life and sure enough, it is. In 2017, I observed that some changes I implemented did not directly translate into the results I had expected and hoped for.
On the flip side, I realized that I was rigid in terms of taking a new idea on board when in essence it would have had a positive impact on the organization.
In 2018, I have become more intentional about accepting change even when it seems to be outside of the scope of the organizational mandate.
Additionally, I plan to be more open-minded in terms of receiving new ideas especially when they appear unconventional.
- Success is built upon a vision, strategy and commitment
The process of attaining success cannot be done haphazardly.
It is a thorough process that should involve a clear cut vision, a strategy of attaining the vision and an unrelenting commitment to the vision.
Last year I came to understand that as a CEO, it is not enough to have a vision; you also need a comprehensive well detailed strategy of attaining that vision.
Similarly, my commitment to the vision and strategy saw me attain new levels of success in my career and personal level.
- You must have a strong and self-driven team
In my position of leadership in 2017, I realized the need to energize the team and constantly keep them motivated.
In the bigger part of career path, I have been privileged to work with a team of diverse members who exhibited different personalities and skills that blended and propelled us to realizing our annual objective.
In 2018, I am more prepared to take up more team members who possess a good deal of technical and ideal soft skills that will contribute towards obtaining the organizational goal. Strong-willed and diverse skilled personnel are a sure bet in bringing new ideas in the firm that can pull the organization to new heights.
- Remain focused; keep your eye on the prize
In my profession as a HR professional working with a reputable recruitment firm, I have learnt that there are a lot of distractions in the world.
There is need to remain focused. I work in a firm that offers tailor made services for employers and job seekers; I have noted that I need to exhaust all possible opportunities in my field.
In 2018, there is no room for mediocrity.
- Become more technologically savvy
The world is becoming more and more digitalized. With competition increasing every other day, the importance of being adept with new technology cannot be over-stated.
One of the crucial things I needed to learn in digitization was the intricacies of digital marketing and technological tools such as Google analytics and Search Engine Optimization.
- Encourage feedback mechanisms
As a CEO, you must by all means champion for a system of feedback. I learned that this is how you make informed decisions that not only affect you as a leader but your team members, your clients and ultimately your organization.
In 2018, I am intentional about encouraging my team to offer me feedback that is bent on bettering the organization.
With this in mind,
I truly hope that you can draw personal lessons from mine and become a resourceful and successful CEO.
Perminus Wainaina is the CEO and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services Ltd. A HR consultancy firm based in Westlands Nairobi.