Strength, conviction and self-belief are essential to your leadership role, Martin elaborates...
I was working with a CEO last week. He works in an environment that is extremely fast-moving and somewhat disorganised. He also works with some strong characters. Recently the board made a decision that he didn’t really agree with. It was a critical decision that impacted the long-term success of the organisation, and after six months of implementing on it, it was clear that the decision was a poor one.
During our coaching session he said “I knew at the time that we were doing the wrong thing”. And he’s the CEO.
He did voice his opinion at the time, but he did so only mildly.
Instead he chose to go with those who were stronger and more convincing. He has investors who have significantly more experience.
They tend to verbalise this, so he feels he needs to value their view more strongly than his own.
Obviously taking on board the feedback of others is important.
But remember who knows the business best. And remember who has the executive role and who the advisory one.
It’s quite common for leaders not to follow their own wisdom, especially if they’re new to their position or their situation (“I’ve not done this before, what do I know?”).
Perhaps you’re too used to being influenced by the views of others; perhaps the environment is so fast-moving that it feels like you don’t have time to think; perhaps you just have some limited thinking about your own worth.
As a leader of an organisation at any level, I say to you that one of your primary roles is to speak up and stand for what you believe in. That is fundamentally why you have the role that you do.
Your leadership role is now more about thinking and strategising, than it is about doing.
To that end, I encourage you always to tune into your gut, to make time to listen to your inner wisdom and to be strong and clear about sharing that wisdom.
Your views might not always be popular.
Others may well disagree strongly. But particularly on important strategic topics, sharing your opinion clearly articulately and convincingly, being a stand for what you believe in – this is the primary game of leading a high-growth SaaS business.
If you experience this and want a little more help, we’ll happily have a no-strings call to talk it through. We’ve helped hundreds of leaders like you with their thinking on topics like this. It’s amazing what a transformational difference, a small shift in your thinking can make, on how you feel and how you operate.
Written by Martin Palethorpe, founder of The Pragma Group.