Real Leaders

Interrogating the Validity of Your Business

Over the past two years, the business landscape has changed in a material way.

  • The question of people/talent is very fluid at the moment (flexible work, high resignation rate, shortage of skills)
  • Supply chains have been disrupted globally
  • Inflation is on the rise, affecting margins
  • Global access through online channels is fully accepted, which has opened up new possibilities
  • Geopolitics is shifting fast

In my experience, there is a (natural) reluctance on the part of CEOs to question the validity of their business. The fallout of a negative answer is probably just too much to bear. So, often the response is to ‘hit and hope’, not rock the boat and hope things turn out alright.

The problem with this approach is that it represses legitimate anxiety, which festers and compounds over time. The results are predictable: loss of sleep, scratichness, tentative leadership, lowering of confidence to make important moves. No one can ask or answer this question for a CEO. Maybe a board will raise the topic, but the ultimate responsibility — at least for a CEO who wants to lead with conviction – lies with the CEO. The experts from the complexity school of thought recommend ‘nudging’: small, micro-steps as opposed to over-brave leaps forward.

The micro-step here is to simply raise the question publicly, ideally with your Exco.

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