In today’s rapidly competitive business environment, companies cannot settle for incremental improvement; they must periodically undergo performance transformation to get and stay on top.
Amidst these great tasks cut out for the CEO, recruiting or hunting for one is as intense as it is turbulent. Especially in cases where there was no CEO succession plan in place by the Board of Directors. Through the lack of planning and preparation, organisations open the door to scrutiny and criticism. Mckinsey’s report on Board Preparedness on Succession Planning revealed that “while 84% of Directors believe that the importance of a CEO succession plan has increased, the sad truth is that only about half of boards, have one in place.” This illustrates both the intensity of CEO appointments as well as the task that lies ahead for the CEO. As stipulated by Mckinsey’s report, the CEO helps a transformation succeed by communicating its significance, modeling the desired change, building a strong top team, and getting personally involved.
Radio Africa’s Group Marketing Manager and Program Controller Kiss 100, Caroline Mutoko addressed CEO’s during the CEO Apprenticeship Program (Uganda) module in Nairobi under the thematic topic, ‘Working on my CEO Brand’.
Building a Band of Modeling Desired Mindset and Behavior
Successful CEO’s typically embark on their own transformation journey. This is because their actions influence how employees behave. “Leadership is hard and scary. Everything will spin and rotate around you, as long as you have the position. Authenticity will also be expensive; you have individuals around you who will tell you what you want to hear. When you get to the helm, everyone models around you. How you behave is how your employees will work,”
Tough Job in Pursuing Impact
“People have turned leadership into a position to serve self-interest and so everyone around sees it as an opportunity to align themselves with the “Boss”. “We need to start believing in Leadership and giving Leadership its gloss.” Just in East Africa, leadership in its self has taken a beating. I urge you; bring back the shine and its good reputation.” Leadership is hard because you are dealing with people with multiple personalities from varied cultures. This will consequently put immense demands on your time, energy, and resources.”
Making People Uncomfortable will be your Job
There will be no substitute for rolling up sleeves for the CEO and neither for his or her team. “Your employees don’t have to like you but they will respect you for your results.” Your team needs leaders, and often you will be required to demand more from them, because you are aware of their potential and because for your team to truly grow, they have to leave the comfort zone.”
Be Respected or be Loved
They say it’s lonely at the top, yes, it is! “Employees who are good workers are important because results are results. You need to know who will work for you. Thinkers are different from workers. You need them too. Your thinkers will challenge you, sometimes they will see things that you can’t see and last of all; your mantra is, ‘You win!’ They might not have liked the one who is at the top, but they respect the results. Will you use the position to acquire status or to drive the results? The office you bear will always precede you and hence you must be very aware and careful of the trappings of the office.”
About the CEO Apprenticeship Programme
The CEO Apprenticeship Programme (CAP) was designed to attract relatively young but experienced Ugandans, female and male, to establish peer and CEO networks, offer training and basic coaching to prepare them to become future CEOs. It was launched in January 2013, with 30 delegates who interacted in a coaching experience with two Uganda-based CEOs each session, every Saturday of the month from January through December 2013. These sessions allow 24 CEOs (Uganda and Kenya based) to share their experiences in running businesses and provide a platform to learn as well as network as future CEOs.