If you’re a CEO, managing an efficient workforce is one great task inherited with the position. Keeping your office organized, efficient, successful… this is a constant challenge to say the least!
Of course, I can hear my own sarcastic remark of “boohoo boss!” ringing in my ears from days when I was not in charge. What do CEO’s have to challenge themselves with? Doling out disjointed tasks at his leisure? Stretching out meetings to mind-crushing lengths while taking time away from my pressing project, the deadline of which he himself moved up? Directing a blase glare at Williams for his rampant immaturity in the break room?
In my wannabe leader’s mind, I can see these issues from the other angle now. Each thread of this anonymous complaint stream reflects failures in my old boss’s ability to manage his workforce – the very problems I am riddled with. How can I balance informal, personal relationships with the professionalism and respect that they demand? How do I maintain the right strategic balance of approach-ability with authority? I have reduced this need into 8 steps – 8 big keys to being a better CEO, and therefore creating an efficient, less sarcastic workforce (no promises on the latter count).
1. Pick your battles. Every issue that arises is not a fight – so ignore that primal “fight or flight” instinct and focus your efforts into two groups. Fight for the ultimate success of projects via selecting the areas of workflow on which you can resolve bottleneck issues, and secondly, teach your employees to fight their own battles when it counts. If they know how to fight for their projects, you simply will not have to!
2. Make goals obvious. If you keep the end in sight for your employees, they will flourish. However, when you pile on endless workloads to your teams, they become dysfunctional and stressed. Set manageable deadlines and make sure you assign work to teams that are not busy. No one works well when overwhelmed- not even you, big shot!
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. What does that idiom even mean? In this case, it means that you should not overvalue the fantasy of “being creative”. Creativity is never original, but great creativity means USING LOGIC. Don’t threaten your team with a need for “new ideas”, but teach them to repurpose old ideas with new twists. That way, your company culture and branding stays the same – it just gets refreshed.
4. More Churchill, less Stalin. Motivate your workforce with more than just the firing squad… or in this case, the HR department… by leading without demanding respect. Even if you don’t have your teams’ full appreciation, make a point of recognizing and praising successes rather than demonizing minor errors. This will motivate them and improve efficiency – the desire to succeed will supersede the fear of failure and consequently, lead to fewer mistakes.
5. Sleep it all off. Leading is tough work. Make sure you’re getting enough rest. Nobody likes a CEO who is both wound up and unable to manage. Our brain relies on renewing itself through sleep, so make sure you get that minimum 6 hours. 2 REM cycles will help you kill the stress hormone and allow your mental health to improve. With your job, you are going to need it.
The efficient office comes with time and great leadership. Be the CEO you were meant to be – it’s all manageable.