As we talked about in a blog earlier this year that it’s outcomes, not output for you as you rise the ranks of leadership, the discussion is coming up more often – so what do I do? Yes, there is more strategy over work product and checklist box-checking I get it. What’s the next version of me supposed to do?

Good question.

Let’s get some table stakes out of the way. Most leaders asking this question aren’t wondering about the actions you need to take to show up and be a good leader. You need to lead your team and hold people accountable. Then what?

Here’s what we’ve found most common across our CEO and owner community:

1.Culture – You have to hold on to, shape, reinforce and live by your values and culture

2. Vision: once the five or ten-year vision is cast, you need to hold on to, shape, strengthen and make decisions that are in line with the vision and direction of the company.

3. Leadership team: Hire, grow, and facilitate the leadership team into a well-oiled machine. If you ever want to take more than a couple of days off, then you need a team you trust to run the company like you would. You won’t do that unless you are intentional about it.

Here’s where it gets fun.

The rest is up to you.

Where are your strengths? Where do you have maximum impact?

Are you the financial guru? Is marketing light your fire? I find CEOs are builders, so they love to be in charge of building the next big thing in the company, whether that is a product, service, relationships, strategic alliance, etc.

You have to name it to claim it, and then make it a part of your daily, weekly, and monthly activities.

Let’s trot out Steve Jobs as an example. The two parts of the company that he held onto were product development and marketing. Were their financial, operations, logistics, and other challenges? You bet. But where was his strength to lead the company at the highest level with maximum impact? Product and Marketing.

If you are saying “operating the company” in your head, then congratulations. The company is as big as it’s going to get, and you own a job, not an asset that you are going to be able to sell. Owning your job is a large part of the entrepreneurial dream, but be intentional with that decision. If you want or need to sell the company to achieve your goals then you need to step up and into different roles.

If you are unsure where your focus should lie, ask your executive team and your spouse. They will have you nailed on where the best use of you will be.

Hold onto culture. Set the vision. Develop your leadership team. Then put yourself in the best place to have maximum impact.

It’s not output; it’s outcomes. Create significant outcomes by stepping up into your best role as CEO.

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
December 13, 2019
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.