What I Think About CEOs Who Win
I’ve seen them, I listen to them, they listen to me, I know them and I’ve been historically correct at recognising patterns.
Call this a one-on-one. Usually when I write I have an audience of one in my mind but I don’t mention that. Have this as a one-on-one talk.
And listen, I’m not here to talk motivational bullshit like “do good”, “work hard” and stuff like that. We’re over that, I’m not looking for showers of likes — if I would, I’d be doing the motivational speaker guy thingy. If what I’m saying resonates with you, it’s for you.
I think people who win care. I think they understand that it can be a plus-sum game (as opposed to a zero-sum). I think they’re looking for that double thank you, where both people thank each other. They think long-term which is what everyone does when they worry about the future, but the difference here is that they pencil the long-term.
They believe, so they’re more optimistic than pessimistic. They live in a sort of a fantasy world in their head out of which they can step out of when it’s needed. But every now and then they go back in to that fantasy world to see what else is going on there — it’s what gives them vision.
They may be called workaholics — but they know it’s not work. We use the word “work” as it’s socially approved and commonly understood. You don’t want to rub it in people’s face that from the macro perspective you’re just driven by that belief, so you say “yeah, I’ve been working. How about you?”
They had some superhero/es in their childhood and they’ve also had a moment when they decided they’re next to the superhero level. Or that they will be, sometime in the future. Remember the dreamy stuff?
Because of that, they have a… some call it weird, some call it sociopathic, some call it inspiring, others delusional — they have this idea that they’re on a mission. To do something for the greater good — it’s a fantasy in their heads but hey, believing it and being aware of it somehow balances it. It’s the drive for the day-to-day direction.
The big ego discussion
Surely they have a big ego — or at least have had it at a moment. Stay with me here. Something hurt, inspired, affected, moved or stirred them at some point. Or they think they have to prove something. Then they mature but remnants of those might still be there. And it’s a damn hard thing to go deep within yourself and make peace with some stuff that’s there.
Very very few though manage to get past this and find a perfect balance. A balance that still gets them going but at the same time they’ve already won. They know that if it doesn’t “go well”, the ride was fun.
And don’t get me the wrong way. I’m not saying they’re going past it and become relaxed with everything that happens. I know these people as well and they simply don’t perform as much as the specimen that I’m referring to because they’ve got nothing to lose.
This specimen that I’m referring to is aware of both stances but wants to keep the stress in check. She or he is aware that stress is what causes progress so they don’t want to become to hippy/dreamy “I’ll let the world take me somewhere” — though they could do that.
Lastly, the most important thing
Intent. Their kept-in-check ego awakes when an employee is doing better and better on its own rather than for the company. But their intent is what wins and that’s what not only lets the (now ex) employee go on their way. It’s their deep intent which actually facilitated this happening some years ago.
It’s the good intent that instigates the employee years before to build their own personal brand, even though it may be at the cost of their place in the company. But the cause is clear: a better something.
And hey, if you’re a CEO who wants to “keep the secret to themselves” — no worries, this article is not for you.
One last thing
CEOs who win don’t keep the bill. More figuratively but also literally. They let “bad things” happen and choose not to persecute/punish every single thing. Whether there’s a god or not, something somehow always makes sure we all learn our lessons — so if you did wrong to me, I won’t keep the bill for you.
About Ch Daniel
I run chagency, an experiences design agency that specialises on helping tech CEOs reduce user churn. We believe experiences are not only the reason why users choose not to leave but also what generates word of mouth. We’re building a credo around this belief.
I’ve also created an infinitely-valuable app for sneaker/fashion enthusiasts called Legit Check that impacted hundreds of thousands over millions of times — check it out at chdaniel.com/app
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