The Joys and Sorrows of being a Founder / CEO / MD

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There are few things in life more exciting, exhilarating and enjoyable than leading the growth of an organisation.  There is huge satisfaction in having a clear mission, pulling together a great team and inspiring them to strive for success.  And the rewards that come from getting there can be extraordinary.

Having supported leaders, it is also one of the greatest challenges anyone can undertake.  From my experience and research there are an enormous number of challenges leaders face including:

Maintaining motivation and belief when the going gets (really) tough

Dealing with responsibility of constantly making vital decisions

Being clear on your role and value (when you could be doing almost anything / everything)

Taking big risks with huge consequences

Focusing when there are too many opportunities

Dealing with overwhelm, lack of belief and lack of confidence

Keeping a positive mindset regardless of circumstances

Needing to develop new skills to overcome new situations and challenges

Showcasing strengths and mitigating weak spots

Embodying belief and vision (whilst seeing the whole picture and some of the potential challenges)

Managing uncertainty and having to deal with constant unexpected contingencies

Loneliness and lacking people to trust

Cutting through bullshit (sycophancy, lies, delusion, procrastination) and creating a culture of respectful honesty

Balancing developing people with getting the job done

Making tough people calls (hiring, firing, rewarding)

Being constantly judged by everyone (board, investors, customers, team, the world)

Balancing work with life and family

If you’re currently in this type of role, I’m sure you’ll recognise some of these challenges – and please feel free to add your own to the list.  It’s so valuable to know that you are not alone.

The great news is that with hard work and the right support, these challenges can be overcome.  That is why I love my job as an executive coach providing support and insight to get there.  It’s not always easy or pretty, but for the right person the growth and joy that comes in the journey can feel like the ultimate joy.

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