Why don’t CEOs do the things they know they need to do? Because they’re too busy dealing with other people’s issues. They don’t have time to focus on their own priorities.
This is true in virtually every company we’ve worked with. Every job has a story attached. Every customer has their own emergency. Every salesperson has special needs for pricing or delivery schedules. Everyone wants you to deal with their emergency before anyone else’s emergency.
You’re in a business filled with conflicting demands. You want to make customers happy, but you also need to find ways to be profitable.
Don’t become a Prisoner Of Other People’s Priorities. That’s POOPP. And it’s no way to be a CEO.
As a CEO, you’re constantly confronting difficult choices, and the choices are often so difficult that it’s hard to pick a path forward. Sometimes you’re too busy fighting fires. Other times you may not have confidence you’re making the right choice.
CEOs are too often prisoners of other people’s priorities. It feels like a permanent problem. Even when you have the best managerial intentions, there’s never enough time to come up with a perfect solution, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to come up with any solution at all.
Declare your independence. Give yourself the gift of time – to think about your business, to follow up on issues that can’t be resolved all at once. Take a closer look at your operating results and your financial results. Take the time to do the things you know need doing.
No one has to tell you that you need to make major changes in your business. And no one can tell you what changes to make or exactly how to make them.
Only you know what’s right for your company. So free yourself from POOPP, and do some thinking about the biggest question of all: what direction should you be taking your business?
But while you’re figuring it all out, you can do something today to ensure your company stays intact and healthy, by extracting profits from the business you already have.
You don’t need a crystal ball, but you will need to maintain a steady focus and work with a sense of urgency.
Hundreds of CEOs are facing the same issues, and they’re making it work. The top-performing CEOs have decided that it’s time to stop being held hostage.
You can do it too. But it all starts with making a promise to yourself – that you’re no longer going to put up with POOPP—that you’ll no longer be a Prisoner Of Other People’s Priorities