For some reason, this has become a theme in early 2020.

“I feel like I’m faking it.”

“I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“I’m making it up as I go every day.”

Exactly. That means you are doing it right.

I’ll let you in on something no one wants to say out loud. We’re all making it up; from the Fortune 500 CEO to the small business with ten employees to the solopreneur.

Why is that?

As a manager, you are tasked with efficiency, optimization, and output. These are based upon tasks and relationships that occur over and over again. These are your operational processes, structure, and product and service delivery.

In contrast, as a business owner or leader in the organization, you are tasked with vision, creation, ideation, strategy, and outcomes. All of which are new and frequently changing.

If you are doing it right, then you’ll be leaning into things you and the organization have not done. Yes, experience counts. Situations ten years ago can inform you about today, but they are not today.

With each new success or failure, there is another one ahead that is new. Your company, the market, the business environment, client mix, government regulations along with vendor and employee age and experience all change as times change which is all the time.

Of course, you are “faking it.” So is everyone else. Everyone is “ducking” it. Calm on top and kicking their legs like mad underwater.

It’s OK to feel like you aren’t in total control. You aren’t.

It’s OK to feel like you don’t know exactly which direction to go. You don’t.

“Seriously? So I’m just supposed to live with it?”

No. You have to have a plan with how you will deal with the uncertainty and make wise decisions based upon what you do know.

The two most important things you can do to make wise decisions are to

Inside: Cultivate and trust your executive team

You need at least one (if not all) of your executive team as trusted advisors. They need to be creative questions askers. The team needs to understand how to unwrap the real challenges inside your company – and then put together the right solutions to move forward. If there isn’t a high trust culture, then you are truly alone in decision making and that creates a lot of stress and anxiety.

Outside: Join a community of other business leaders

When you are in a safe, trusted, and high capacity community of other leaders, you’ll get a new sense of confidence and counsel. When you hear everyone’s situations, challenges, and opportunities not only will you see and feel, “Oh them too? It’s not just us?” AND you’ll get wise counsel from experiences you haven’t had in return.

This inside-outside approach will allow you to navigate the unknown with a clearer picture of the path forward and less anxiety, stress, and fake it feeling.

Faking it? Me too. Develop your inside/outside approach to decrease your risk and increase your positive influence, impact, and outcomes.

Interested in an outside community? Join Us. We have several spots open today in Kansas City and Virtual CEO/Owner and Key Executive teams that are filling up fast for spring. Don’t get left out. Make 2020 a year of growth and impact.

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
February 6, 2020
Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he is the CEO of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.