Core Values and Principles form the foundation of how a CEO will lead their company. In my book, The Rookie CEO, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!, I introduce the PPLC framework, where the second “P” is for Philosophies. The PPLC framework references Path to CEO, Philosophies, Leadership Style, and Culture. You will be able to connect these dots starting with this post.
I have written previously about how the CEO’s Philosophies can build or bust a company. You can read that article here. In this new “Matters” Series installment, we will discuss why CEO Philosophies Matter. Previous “Matter Series articles include Words Matter, Behavior Matters, and most recently Mindset Matters. I will share many more articles in the series of ongoing posts. This post focuses on why CEO Philosophies form the foundation for leadership styles and company culture.
Key Components of CEO Philosophy
As my book describes, every CEO and leader has their own unique philosophies which are created over their lifetime from their Path to CEO which includes their entire background, upbringing, and the positions and influences they have experienced. Let’s review the key elements that form this foundation for the CEO:
- Core Values, focus on people
- Core Principles, focus on process
- Leads by inspiration and motivation
- Builds and earns trust, respect, and loyalty with integrity and actions
- Shares and discusses business beliefs and purpose
- Displays authenticity and vulnerability
- Provides clarity in open communications and with tools & metrics
This seems like an obvious list of key components and elements, would you agree? Guess what? It’s not easy. It does not come naturally to most CEOs. The problems arise when the CEO brings a set of philosophies such as:
- Closed communications
- Autocratic directive style of leadership
- Hides and does not assign budgets, spending mostly on their own ideas
- Does not communicate performance goals, metrics, or status
- Thinks there is an “easy button” where you can simply buy everything and copy other successful companies without all the hard work
- Expects and demands trust and loyalty without earning it
- Shows cracks in integrity
Both of the above lists can be extended and my book describes examples of both types of CEOs from real behind-the-scenes stories, but for this article, the simple takeaway is that “CEO Philosophy Matters!” I also work with clients who are either CEOs or executives that report to these CEOs who display examples from both lists.
CEO Philosophies Drive Leadership Style and the Resulting Company Culture
You can easily see if the CEO executes from the top list above, the resulting culture will bring to the employees exciting, and exhilarating opportunities, and reasons to come to work every day!
But if the CEO exercises leadership styles based on the philosophies from the second list, most employees will be job hunting. If you are a CEO or leader, look in the mirror and do a personal checkup on an ongoing basis. Steer clear of the second list. Are you honest with yourself? Want help to sort out where you are? There are options available to help. There are companies that perform 360-degree assessments. There are different types of mentors and coaches. I provide customized services that may help some but are not best for every situation. I can provide recommendations based on where you and your company are at the moment. I can help you crush blind spots to help proevent surprises.
But most importantly, start by doing your checkup and be honest with yourself.
Every CEO, business owner, and leader has a unique set of philosophies. Since these have been developed over years of experience, they may not be easy to modify. The most important thing is to learn and understand where you are at the moment and be both honest and self-aware.
You can read my book, read my articles and blog posts, and get the bigger picture of your model of success for you and your company.
Please share this on social media if you found this post helpful! Keep your eyes open for that next post. Let me know if you find my “Matters Series” helpful, and please share via your social media if you do.
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