Confidence. Check. Investors. Check. Kickass Team. Check. CEO Cheat-sheet. Check.
Everyone likes the crazy rush of being on top and following an ambition in life, everyone looks for something new to keep themselves indulged & stimulated, everyone loves their bank balance moving up like burning smoke into the air. This is how a life of a CEO is when he’s out there building his business. Being a CEO doesn’t just mean owning an empire, rather it means setting an example for all those young entrepreneurs who are following in your every step to squander, fight, get defeated yet to stay in the game. There are many prevailing stories of acute depression, or else people who give up. Every new day there is a start-up or a college drop out with ideas bigger than the bank balance. Every new day, there is someone taking guest lectures on how to be different or how to think out of the box. Many stand-up comedians have laughed about it, teachers have spoken on it and researchers have experimented, but rarely has everyone drawn zero on what really distinguishes a badass CEO from an ordinary leader.
Rana el Kaliouby, Affectiva’s CEO has reflected back on her joinery of being a CEO and has given 4 major lessons on what makes a kickass CEO. As claimed by her, being a CEO (or being on top) can be lonely but you need to pen your thoughts down as you go by the journey. And from her way of journaling, she encountered bright & beautiful facts of being a CEO.
CEO Is The Energy Booster
Being on the top and signing super important papers doesn’t mean that you have to be absent from the work environment. In fact, being in constant touch with your workforce is more important than signing those papers. According to Kaliouby, the internal meetings & communicating with her team is like infusing new energy into them, to work better. Even if you don’t hold years of experience or that business acumen, for your team, you are the HERO. They look up to your every move for instant inspiration. So, to be their role model you’ve got to up your game and come off as someone very passionate and optimistic.
He Fosters Culture & Creativity
A CEO is someone who is visualized as a ‘knight in shining armor’ or else an ‘optimistic cowboy’ with a kickass grin to make everything right. There is something contagious about a smiling CEO who has got a happy vibe going on about him. However, seldom a CEO has a smiling face pertaining to the mountain of work on his head, ranging from nagging investors to the crazy suppliers. This is what distinguishes a badass CEO, who knows that he has to get off his high horse in order to make sure that his team is doing right down there. To do that, a CEO has to create an environment that is so stimulating and creative.
Kaliouby has said that culture is the ‘heart & soul’ of an enterprise. She made sure that the culture was orbited around priorities like getting things done, focusing on transparency and ownership as the main points. According to her, if someone wants to hire smart people, then they’ve got to empower them to lead, take initiatives, take risks, make mistakes and be different. A company should make available every guideline about itself, for the employees to take smart decisions. Smart people need to have access to complete information, so as to take quick & intelligent decisions. Thus, smart people need to have ownership and autonomy.
As the CEO of Affectiva, Kaliouby started a Wednesday Check-in which is a weekly company-wide meeting. In this meeting, everyone from top to low-level members participates to share their views and new updates. In the first year, this new initiative was not celebrated amongst the members. But, gradually it became the most favorite day of all the employees as it became the channel to extract new ideas, creativity and a hub of interesting talks.
All the team members very happily share what they are working on, do live demos on the new products and thus get quick feedbacks too. The sales team highlights the key sale ideas and accounts; the marketing team showcases the upcoming events & press activity. Also, on this jazzy Wednesday, the company also celebrates the RockStars of the week where the team members who have out-performed themselves tremendously in the culture get an applause. These Wednesday meetings have now become the hub of debates, talks & discussions panel.
He Knows How To Get What He Wants
Once you know what you want or else there is a vague instinct in your head about what you desire, then don’t stop yourself from going after that. Tune yourself out of all those voices which say, “You can’t do it!” They don’t know what strong stuff you are made up of! Most importantly, write down your dreams and aspirations. According to a study, it was found out that over 200 people who wrote down their ambitions and goals on a regular basis were 42% more likely to achieve those dreams. Also, make sure to surround yourself with positive people who believe in your dreams as much as you do. Already there is a negative voice in your head which tends to pull you back, now you don’t want multiple voices to fuel that inside voice too.
He Believes In The Mantra- ‘You Are Important’
Being a CEO is not only a journey but it is the whole story. To reach that ultimate level, you got to play various roles before you reach there. So, to keep yourself filled with energy and life, you got to sometimes tune out of that busy chaos and find your calm. Indulge yourself into some activities like yoga or art classes, whichever make your insides rejuvenated. Because believe it or not, you need to keep your energies in check.