How To Get Yourself Fired As CEO? It May Be Simpler Than It Seems
Most unsuccessful CEOs get fired because of one simple but fatal shortcoming. This has nothing to do with their skills or proficiencies, but with the way they get things done. Make sure you’re focusing on the right things in your organization.
There is a great amount of talented CEOs who have remained at the head of their companies for long and bountiful lapses of time by focusing on commitment and making things happen.
But what about those who fail? What are the reasons why some of the brightest people get fired from their jobs as CEOs? Eckhard Pfeiffer, Bob Allen, Gil Amelio, Bob Stempel, John Ackers. What brought them down?
This issue is extremely important, not only for CEOs, but for everyone involved in business: the company, investors, customers, suppliers, partners, employees, etc.
Yet the matter is simpler than it seems.
The big, bad problem is a flawed strategy execution. It is not a lack of vision or a faulty strategy. It is failing to get things done.
Obviously, this is not the only reason a CEO can fail. For example, if the company has an inherently bad strategy, people little engaged with the company and its culture, or if the market is ignored, and the CEO fails to amend these fatal flaws, it is a safe bet to say that they won’t be around for long.
Recent studies show that in today’s extremely competitive market, underperforming CEOs are removed from the front of their companies at an increasingly rapid rate. Now more than ever, CEOs have a great pressure to succeed and to do it quickly.
So, what are they doing wrong? More often than not, they don’t have the right people in charge of the company’s key roles. And even when they may notice this, most unsuccessful CEOs fail to correct these situations on time. Their successful counterparts, on the other hand, fire whom they must but invest a great amount of their time and efforts on people, because they understand that they are the company’s heart and backbone. For example, Jack Welch from GE says: “The day we screw up the people thing, this company is over”. Unsurprisingly, GE has one of the highest longevity in top executives’ rates. Welch understands that getting the right people in the right job is essential to the company’s strategic and long-term operation.
A CEO’s job, as a decision maker, is to determine the company’s course and guide the company through it by using select but powerful initiatives. These must be implemented one at a time, and in such a way that they become entrenched in the company’s culture.
Once these initiatives are defined, it is the CEO’s fundamental job to make sure they happen. Successful CEOs will make sure all their employees know exactly what their role in the whole process is. They closely and meticulously keep track of all critical assignments and get their employees to really commit to getting things done. They understand the importance of being the drivers of change within their companies.
This is also the reason why successful CEOs strive to always be well informed of both internal and external factors and trends that may affect the organization. Unlike failed CEOs, they face market realities head-on and make the necessary decisions to keep the business ahead of competitors.
Even in the cases where the company’s structure has a COO in change of operating the company, it’s the CEO who has the ultimate responsibility of knowing exactly what’s going on in his company in order to master the strategy’s execution (and be more likely to keep his job for a while).
Yes. Formulating the right strategy for the company is important, but it’s less than half the battle. To thrive, CEOs have to focus on those things that are oftentimes taken for granted: execution, decisiveness, follow-through, and delivering on commitments.
How well are you executing your strategy?
Studies have shown that a bad execution and NOT a flawed strategy is the cause behind 70% of CEO failures. How well are you executing yours?
At Trissa we use a comprehensive approach to consulting services, education and technology to help our clients move from idea to action. We work with visionary executives looking to excel in their industries and that wish to coordinate their efforts with a strategy in order to achieve greater results.
Author: Trissa Strategy Consulting
Source: Charan, Ram and Geoffrey Colvin. Why CEOs Fail: It's rarely for lack of smarts or vision. Most unsuccessful CEOs stumble because of one simple shortcoming. June 1999. Website. March 2013.