Watching Yourself Grow

Big Red Car here. Will get to 70F and be very nice today. Some azaleas are budding out and the pear trees and redbuds are going nuts.

It is spring in Texas. On Earth as it is in Texas!

The Boss always says one of the greatest pleasures of the CEO coaching business is watching founders, entrepreneurs and CEOs growing personally and professionally.

You want to be careful and not embarrass anyone or call undue attention to them but it is very gratifying to watch CEOs planning, executing, selling and generally conquering the business world.

The Boss always knows that the CEO has it within him. Having been a CEO for over 33 years and having undergone the same dynamic and transformation, he knows it will happen and he knows it is within every CEO to do just that but still, it is extremely gratifying watching it happen in real time.

Here are some specific — mildly disguised — occurrences which give rise to this observation:

1. The Boss watched a CEO develop a vision and blossom when it became apparent that it was eminently do-able and that he/she (bit of disguise, y’all) could, in fact, do it. The confidence that came from this was amazing.

2. The Boss watched a CEO outsource a critical strategic capability and make it work flawlessly in such a manner that it became an incredibly powerful cost advantage that has driven strategic partners into his arms. This is plain old fashioned expertise. He learned how to do something slightly dangerous — like learning to fly an airplane — and has now created a huge financial advantage. “It’s not a stunt if you can really do it.”

3. The Boss watched a CEO restructure his entire management team bringing in new talent who are capable of propelling the company forward. It was painful at first but he made it happen and it worked.

4. The Boss watched a CEO sell his interest in his startup on a very favorable basis while retaining a significant interest.

5.The Boss watched a CEO close down her company. This was unfortunate but the right thing to do. The idea did not work. We learn a lot from failure. She will emerge tougher and smarter for the experience though right now she doesn’t quite believe that.

6. The Boss watched a CEO grapple with a very difficult legal situation — potentially fatal — and emerge sadder, wiser and surviving on the other side. She is a killer.

┬áThe point of all of this is very simple — as a CEO you will grow and transform yourself in a manner that will surprise you. It is sometimes difficult to see what you have accomplished in a single month but look back a year or three and WOW!

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be kind to yourself today. It is going to be a lovely day.



6 thoughts on “Watching Yourself Grow

  1. Your message applies to the mentors, teachers, and leaders as much as it does to the students. The students have it easy. We know what we want and get to choose the people and path we follow. All we need to do is listen and apply the lessons we learn along the way the best we can. There are plenty of mentors to pick from so we align ourselves with the ones who can help us minimize our risk along the path to global dominance.

    But what happens when you achieve your goal? It seems like it gets harder to grow and transform once you “have everything”.

          • “Having everything” is relative so your answer is not exclusive to the fortunate ones who execute a successful exit.

            I learned something yesterday and am a bit more humble because if it. Thanks.

          • .
            In the end, the things that make you happy when you are 20 will still be the same things when you are 60.

            The pursuit of “stuff” will never really make you happy. In fact, it will make you crazy and distract you. Owning a BMW out of warranty will make you crazy even if the dealership does have an espresso bar.

            What will make you happy is floating in a lake or in the ocean when the sun is at a certain angle, loving someone and earning that love, helping someone who can’t do a damn thing for you, making an anonymous donation to a good cause, being loved by a Labrador and eating breakfast tacos. Writing tight, elegant, beautiful code.

            When your heart, belly and mind are full, it doesn’t make a bit of difference what your bank account looks like.

            Do not let the world trick you. You will still be a 20 year old forever somewhere where it really counts. Feed that 20 year old. In life, it is the angels we feed that determine the outcomes.


Comments are closed.