What Enables CEOs To Do Well In Their Establishments

Capacity Game in the Eye of Entrustment (Part 3)

Although everyone wants to be successful, success is rarely achieved by all. This is the first truth about being an enabled CEO and successful leader.

The second truth is that being an enabled and successful CEO is a journey, and as much as the term CEO has been grossly misused by anyone who cares for a cute title, itโ€™s not peculiar to Africans. I would like to refer to this misconception as “an ambitious ignorance”. 

Should Owning a Business Make You Assume The Title Of a CEO? 

It’s a good thing to be ambitious and to aspire for the top. But does attaching the title CEO to your name make anyone an actual CEO? 

Who Is a CEO?

A CEO is not a title to pick off a shelf at will. If you have followed the story of Mary T Barra here, you will surmise that it took her 30 years and one month to become one. Last year, Barra was described as “GM’s most important CEO since Alfred Sloan.” Forbes.com; Dale Buss, Jan 31, 2021.

Business Insider follows suit by describing her as the most influential CEO in GM’s history.

It makes you wonder if CEOs are a special breed of people? Who is a CEO? What makes a CEO successful? What empowers them in their different establishments? 

Empowerment, a CEO’s Right Or The Company’s Right?

A CEO is an abbreviation for Chief Executive Officer, standing as the leader to all other officers and directors in a company. A Chief refers to the highest in authority within a group of people like you’d have with a Chief of Staff, Chief of Police, Chief of Clan, or the Chief of an Association. 

What Enables a CEO?

Enablement is giving a person or a group of people the authority, means, or power to do something. If every leader would assume the position of an enabler, who wouldn’t love them? So how do CEOs make enablement possible in their establishment?

The following process activates the CEO enabling force: 

  1. Their Strategy. 
  2. Their People
  3. Their Culture

The Strategy Of CEOs Who Enables Success In Their Establishment 

Fifty-five-year-old Doug McMillion began his career working at Walmart in his teens as a truck loader. He is the second case study we will explore as leaders who started from bottom to top. You can read about bottom to top leaders here.

A sneak peek at one of his Linkedin posts shows how he addresses the Walmart workforce as “associates.” 

“Each year during Associates Week we award company’s highest honor to those who embody the spirit of entrepreneurship. This year’s winners are Sam M. Walton and Tom Ward. During the pandemic, we had to quickly innovate and scale pick up and delivery to meet huge surge in customer demand. This work done by Tom and their teams transformed our capacities not only for 2020, but puts US in a position of strength for the years to come…” 

(LinkedIn Post; emphasis mine)

People, Strategy, And Culture In Enabling Establishments

Let’s look at Doug’s reference to Walmart’s workforce as associates, considering that an employee is a significant contributor and an equal in respect to the opportunity to show their worth, to innovate, promote and execute original ideas. This address is given without any biases about the employees’ position, whether as a junior or a senior workforce member. 

The second phrase we are exploring is the “spirit of entrepreneurship.” Nothing empowers a leader as much as the team he has empowered through the company. Another LinkedIn post captures Doug’s announcement of Walmart’s provision of access to full tuition for associates’ continuous education. According to his post, 52,000 associates have been enabled through this initiative. 

To innovate and scale is another strategy that rests on the people in an organization. Although a leader drives the company’s goal by a set of defined schemes, the entrepreneurship spirit enables a CEO to bring the company’s vision to fruition through the people this same company has enabled. The company is then collectively able to meet the demands, drives, and forces of the oneness of purpose already established in the company’s culture.

Finally, the vision of any successful organization must run into the future, but with clarity that the future is not one that any CEO can travel alone or bring to reality by their singular success. They must learn, hone, and activate what it takes to take teamwork, performance, and results from me to US. 

I will close with a captured post by Mary T Barra, “I came for the opportunity to make a career out of an interest in engineering. I stay for the chance to work every day with the GM teams who are proving that technology driven by purpose can change the world”, Mary T Berra, LinkedIn Post. 

As you read my final notes here, let me ask you two things; please respond in the comment section:

  1. What can growth-minded career-driven individuals learn from these people?
  2. What can business owners learn from the CEOs in these organizations?

๐—œ ๐—ฎ๐—บ ๐—”๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜†๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ฎ ๐—”๐˜„๐—ผ๐—บ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ถ, Towards the Smartest You.

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