If you, as a CEO, are high-performance orientated, you should always have your eye trained on the total performance of your business. This is the essential marker of your CEO contribution.
In this context, CEOs operate in one of two modes: either pushing your business for greater performance (Value Creation) or figuring out a way to recapture performance that has been lost (Value Retrieval).
In order to do either, your mandate is to get the various components of your business to work together to shift the performance needle. This is systemic leadership in practice: being the puppet master that pulls multiple different strings of your business in a coordinated way.
These components require steering, not doing the work yourself, and many of them are in play at once, thus requiring the systemic approach:
- Product innovation
- Customer relationships
There are many aspects of the CEO role that are dry, but this isn’t one of them. This is where your business leadership ‘chops’ are tested, and committing yourself to this more sophisticated challenge (either Value Creation or Value Retrieval) is a highly rewarding experience.
With the constantly shifting business landscape being what it is, it’s unlikely that you will ever be in a middle ground between both business modes. It’s either one or the other. Being clear about which it is will help give your CEOship accurate intention and alive energy.