CEO-You: 5 Secrets To Navigating A Successful Career
This post is part of the Professional Independence Project series.
Whether you are self-employed or work for a large corporation, being a CEO-You can help you navigate your career and can assist with reaching your goals. Before you can promote yourself to CEO-You, it is important to understand the responsibilities of a CEO.
Here are five responsibilities of a CEO and how you can apply them to your life as a business professional, freelancer, or community leader.
1. Create and live the vision
The CEO must create and live the vision for their company. As a CEO-You, your vision might be solving one of the world’s problems or climbing the corporate ladder. Identifying a personal vision can be a challenging process and that vision could change several times throughout your tenure as CEO-You. However, creating and living a personal vision can bring fulfillment to your work and give it a deeper sense of purpose. It helps remind you what is most important when you weigh both work and life-related decisions.
2. Surround yourself with top talent
The CEO of a company can only go so far alone and must surround herself with top talent. As a CEO-You, it is also critical to surround yourself with talented people. A network of friends and industry professionals that embrace your vision will look out for your best interests, keep you focused, and help you when you get into a bind.
3. Solicit advice from the board
The CEO of a company often answers to a board of directors. As a CEO-You, the good news is you get to select your own board of directors. If you have a spouse or significant other, they are already on your board. Fill out the remainder of you board with people that can help you in areas that you are not an expert in. For example, if you aren’t a legal expert, identify an attorney who you can bounce questions off of. If you are not tech savvy, identify a technology mentor that can help you stay current with the latest software and apps.
4. Constantly self-evaluate
The best leaders at the top are constantly evaluating their performance and looking for ways to improve. As CEO-You, slow down and evaluate your performance every 90 days and after each major project you complete. Assign yourself a grade similar to a performance review. Doing so can help reassure your confidence when things are going well and help you course correct when you aren’t getting the results you desire. Evaluating your performance after each project you complete can help you capitalize on things you did well and uncover mistakes or inefficiencies you ran into along the way. CEOs are notorious for being extremely hard on themselves. Take a page from their book as CEO-You and don’t settle for mediocrity.
5. Maintain awareness of the competitive landscape
All CEOs must pay attention to their competition. Understanding competitors’ strategies, products, and value propositions helps a CEO keep a pulse on the big picture. As a CEO-You being aware of the competitive landscape is slightly different. As a CEO-You your competitive landscape might be knowing how your peer group is performing and what certification or degrees they are they earning. It is measuring your work versus theirs. While viewing your peer group as competitors can bring all sorts of emotions into play, it is a good exercise to make sure you are focused where you should be focused.
What professional and life situations are most important to apply the CEO-You concept? What additional advice do you have to help others look at themselves as a business-of-one?
Want to take control of your career?
If you want to take control of your career, check out our fall series, the Professional Independence Project. Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing expert advice and insight on how you can build a successful career you love.
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