If you want to move up the food chain, you have relatively few good sources of information, notes Steve Tobak, corporate problem-solver and “The Corner Office” blogger.
“If you think you can learn what works in the real world from anyone but someone who actually succeeded in the real world, well, let’s just say you might want to rethink your potential,” says Tobak.
Here are Tobak’s five ways to behave like a CEO:
1. Fix critical hotspots and leave everything else alone. Successful CEOs rapidly identify trouble and resolve it with precision. Too many hotspots? See the next point.
2. Hire functional experts who also are good managers. For years, the watchword has been, “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” In other words, you should hire with the notion that you can train good managers in technical know-how. That’s rubbish. The world is too complex and moves too fast. You need both experience and management skills from the outset.
3. Business comes first. “Business and customers always, always, always come first,” Tobak says. That’s not to ignore processes or morale, both critical to high-functioning organizations. But work comes first.
4. Manage up. If you’re a manager, provide your boss with what he needs to succeed. If you’re CEO, provide your customers with what they need to succeed. Sense that your boss, peers or customers aren’t getting what they need from you? Meet with them one-to-one and ask.
5. Help “manage the company.” Own the whole thing, not just your silo. Leaders who think their group is all that matters never move up. A broader perspective on what’s good for customers and good for the company can make the difference in your career.
— Adapted from “Want to Move Up? Learn to Manage Like a CEO,” Steve Tobak, “The Corner Office,” BNET.
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