Monday, August 28th, 2017



Make that two lessons (among) many I’ve learned from working with over twenty-five CEO’s

My website doesn’t seem to be working right for me (I may well be the problem). Made me want to bite through steel for about five minutes. Realized I can’t fix it tonight. No skill. No resources. I’ll turn to a book deadline and work on that.

Here are the lessons. Assess quickly what is wrong. Even faster, assess what can be done. Do what needs to be done. Breathe and let go.

Speed is the game changer for a CEO. I remember a lousy Board Meeting where none of the presentations were going well. Mine, on diversity, kept getting made shorter. A two hour presentation ended up being twenty minutes during lunch. Later, almost every male Board Member mentioned something to me about the quality of the food — fantastic, too cold, more fruit next time, better tea flavors. (Thanks, I’ll get right on that gentlemen after I do my job as VP of Organizational Development (at that time).

We, the presenters rode back to headquarters in Maine from Boston. I saw how quickly my more experienced colleagues moved through outcomes of the disastrous presentations, did not agonize about their own performance and shifted to what to do next. I agonized, was going to write a formal letter to the Board about all I hadn’t covered but was rescued by my CEO at the time. “Let it go.”  Another to become CEO said, “Shut up and go back to work” in a good way!

I do not know of a single person (woman or man) who I know as CEO who is not good at this kind of fast adaptation to set-backs and moving on with learning but very little self-chastizing. There is no time for it and no value in it and they all learned  through experience to press on. In fact in a true crisis like a hurricane (blessing on Texas) this CEO skill comes to the fore in almost ewquisite precision of assessment and action with no waste of any kind.

All this to say. Hope I can post this. Moving on with no fuss. Soon to be good.




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