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“If you want your company to grow, you must first grow as a leader”, this is the first rule that every business leader must learn from day one, this because leadership for the organization is of such importance that it ends up defining the course and the impact on your market.
The problem is that no one really teaches you how to be a CEO, we learn everything by trial and error. Nobody guides us to achieve a balance with our personal and professional lives. It is a big change when you go from selling a product or service to managing an organizational structure where you are responsible for a team, cover payroll, general costs and make the best decisions; which can become overwhelming.
The 2021 Global Leadership Study by Development Dimensions International found that more than 60% of business leaders feel extremely exhausted at the end of the workday, which impacts their personal lives and, consequently, their companies. That is why you must work on yourself and grow your leadership, think of it as first putting on the oxygen mask on an airplane: before helping others, you have to help yourself. If you are a CEO with drama, then you will fill your company with drama.
After advising hundreds of entrepreneurs, I have realized that most of them do not have a management system to help them in their leadership. They have accounting, finance, recruiting systems, but almost none have a leadership system. Here are some ideas that have allowed me to develop my leadership system:
1. The routine frees you
Entrepreneurs want freedom, this is the reason why they start an enterprise; unfortunately, many end up enslaved by their organizations. The key to helping entrepreneurs win their freedom is in discipline: if we want to master any technique we must start by executing it through a systematic process.
This is a lesson that my mentor Verne Harnish gave me: “routine sets you free”, which has been fundamental to free me from the chains of struggle, worry, drama and debt. Practice a morning routine that allows you to thrive physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My morning routine is to wake up at 5 in the morning, do 45 minutes of exercise, either on a treadmill or while riding my bike. I meditate for 15 minutes and then I dedicate 1 hour to urgent things in my company. When my son wakes up at 7 in the morning, I am ready to share time and energy with him because I have spent 2 hours focused on myself.
2. The 25-year framework
Salim Ismail, an entrepreneur and futurologist from Silicon Valley, conducted an in-depth 4-year study of the innovative and disruptive companies that are dominating the world market such as Uber, Slack, Google, Ted, SpaceX, Tesla, among others. What he discovered was that each and every one of these companies shared an element, a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP). All of them were clear about their mission of impact and transformation in the world that, like a compass, tells them where they are going and what they must do to get there.
Just as a company needs an MTP to align its employees and scale, you also need a long-term vision to align everything you do and thus progress. When you have a long-term vision that acts like your North Star, you can navigate the challenges of day-to-day life to focus quickly. The concept of a “25-year framework” comes from Dan Sullivan’s book The 25-year Framework . If you have a 25-year framework, it has a hundred quarters. So how will you strategically plan your company? How will you execute your strategy day by day? To scale your impact, you really need to focus on the long term.
3. Deliberate practice
If we look at the highest paid people in the world, they tend to be from professions like sports, entertainment, and music. In these types of jobs, people spend 90% of their time training or rehearsing and only 10% of their time executing. Because they practice so much, they execute at a higher level, and in return we are willing to pay more for their work.
In business, the opposite is true. We spend 1% of our time learning or practicing to improve our competitiveness, but 99% of our time is spent executing on the job. As leaders we must reverse this scale, stop being corporate firefighters constantly extinguishing fires or solving problems, but start investing time in training and strategic thinking.
And why deliberate? Because you can train by yourself but do it wrong, it is best to surround yourself with experts who can guide you to avoid mistakes as well as the problems they have had to face and, with this, you can nurture your leadership.
That’s the most important lesson: if you stagnate in your growth, your business will too. You must grow faster than the challenges that your business will face and have a lot of control with your personal life, achieving this requires that you design your own leadership or executive management system.
If you want to know more about how to build this personal management system, I invite you to download the free Impact X module. Impact X is the methodology that I have created from my 25 years as an entrepreneur and business advisor, and it summarizes the practices of the world’s best CEOs to scale your impact with less drama. Download the free module at the following link: https://hubs.li/H0ST3Nx0