Putting up the Everest Base Camp was a very good exercise for me. It helped me remember why this whole blog is about – and its about keeping things real. I think some of the ‘negative’ thoughts or questions over the last few months didn’t make it into the blog. So although this is not how I feel at this moment, to keep it real, I want to capture some of the feelings that go through a CEOs head.
The purpose of this is to remember that from outside, as CEO we, by necessity must present ourselves as successful, competent, confident, a little higher than life, certain in our actions, determined.
And although most time, 99% of the time, this is actually quite a true, there are moments where we don’t feel so strong. So, here is some thoughts that I had over last few months:
1. Why am I doing it – it’s bloody hard work – and I could so easily take all this pressure off myself? Answer: I can’t imagine doing anything else – this is my passion. But, the answer is not there in those moments.
2. Am I steering this ship in the right direction?
Answer: we make bold decisions about strategy. We look like we know 100% without a doubt that the direction is right. But, there is no lighthouse out there to tell us which way to go, there is only intuition, vision of the future. So this question comes more often than not, when there is challenges on the way – and the path chosen doesn’t seem to be so easy. The way I get around these moments is to remember that first, nothing is easy, nothing. 2nd – to trust myself, because in the past all the tools that I’m using now to guide the company had worked and worked well – and now with time they have even improved. But, bottom line, do we suffer from doubt – yes! Do we overcome it? Yes!
3. I think I can do anything, but can I really?
Answer: this seems to come WHEN there is a lot of things going off track – and then loose the sense of internal locus of control and feel instead that the locus is external. When I get this feeling, my solution is simple: take one issue, fix it. The locus moves back into yourself, and then it is the CEO that is the master of the world, not the other way around.
Overall, I think the CEO main battle is with himself. It’s quite a mental warfare that we must fight with ourselves, and be prepared to overcome those moments when they come. With time, you get used to it, and you can overcome that much quicker get through those times. But I think this is also what makes CEO special – we push during the times where 99.99% of the population gives up. When we push, it’s the mental part that has to be strong – because quitting is easy. Winning is hard.