Have you managed to make your CEO redundant? Part II

I last wrote about this on the Lifeskills Enrichment blog (now defunct) on 7 Apr 2010. Since then, a lot has taken place and I’d like to add one or two more thoughts to what I’d already recorded.

On 20 Apr 2011, I had the privilege of being at a talk by Professor Peter Hawkins on Leadership Team Coaching at the Civil Service College, and I recorded what occurred to me in another blog post dated 22 Apr 2010. Being rather impressed by his eruditeness, I proceeded to order the book. At this writing, I am still in the process of assimilating it, and I intend to write a book review and post it on this website not too far down the road.

Now, back to the subject of making our beloved CEOs redundant. Being a Significance Coach, I find that Purpose is of paramount importance in galvanizing teams to perform beyond even their own expectations, because the expression and manifestation of Purpose can take on a whole array of and an entire multitude of forms. Do you know your Purpose? What is the raison d’etre of your company? Do you know who your real stakeholders are, and what they need and expect from your company? Knowing our Purpose brings focus and meaning to everyday work activities. It is like the story of a reporter approaching three men who were laying bricks. “May I ask what it is you’re doing here, Sir?” the reporter asked the first bricklayer. He answered and said, “I’m laying bricks. Can’t you see I’m laying bricks?” “I see”, said the reporter. “Thank you”. The reporter turned to the second man and asked him, “And what are you doing here, Sir?” The second bricklayer answered, “I’m making a wall. I make good, strong walls”. “Remarkable!” the reporter exclaimed. Then turning to the last bricklayer, the reporter asked the same question, “What might you be doing here, Sir?” The last bricklayer turned slowly to the reporter and with a big smile enthused, “I am building a cathedral!” Now, what do you think the reporter’s response was?

Purpose and Vision are so essential to sustaining a high performance team, yet those are what most of us seem to grapple with all the time. Get your Purpose and Vision right, and you would be well on your way to achieving Significance!


The next point I have is the importance of knowing our Sphere of Influence and knowing our Sphere of Interest. Simply put, our Sphere of Influence encompasses those areas over which we have direct control. Examples could be how many clients we would contact per week, number of site inspections per month, how many upgrading courses to conduct per year, and so on. Our Sphere of Interest would include areas which would affect business performance, but over which we have no direct control. You might be familiar with a few of them, like competitors’ activities, changes in consumer tastes and preferences, changes in trade policies in a supplier’s country of origin, etc. We all need to simply exert control over our Sphere of Influence, and to be sure that we keep up to date with what is happening in our Sphere of Interest, so that we are always prepared for any contingencies. As far as increasing the redundancy of our CEOs, what we are doing here is acting like our own body’s Autonomic Nervous System, which ensures that essential bodily functions like our heartbeat, or those myriad reflexes which keep us alive, continue whether we are aware of them or not. This reassures the CEO and allows him to concentrate on what he is paid to do – visualize and strategize. As he does so, there is a continuous stream of feedback back and forth, resulting in a continuous flurry of activity all aimed at keeping the company at the optimal state to best exploit the theme of the moment, delivering consistently great value to all stakeholders, keeping abreast of developments and enjoying the resulting endorphins that, in appropriate amounts, contribute to continuous growth and learning.

Well, I think that’s enough for this post. Reflect upon what I’ve shared, and I hope it helps bring you up a notch in your journey towards Significance!

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