Monday, September 21st, 2015


People want the CEO role for all kinds of reasons. Many have strained for years to finally get the top job. They want to “win” the role of CEO. Others are brought  to the role from outside from a company where they didn’t “win” the role.
Not as satisfying as it might look. Others “accept” the role with a kind of gentile 
humility (whether false or true) and often don’t “grab the role by the horns”.
Some CEO’s like the power and have a kind of mafia swagger to the top position. Most enjoy the perks and the money.  

There is, however, another profile for the CEO that can almost be sensed viscerally. There is the CEO who loves the literal job, loves the business, can’t think of another career or work they would be happy doing and continue to be eager to do the job long after hired. This CEO relishes the day to day challenge and feels more alive facing them. Is their ego involved? Of course. Is the winning and money important. Yep. But the truth is that they are the CEO wherever they go. (Ask their spouses!) They will lead. They will create. They will push the envelope. They won’t be satisfied. They will fill a room with their presence. They will irritate. You will know they have been in the room.  They will make a difference. Oddly some natural CEO’s are not so great at other roles as they move up in an organization. They do best owning the whole ball of wax.

I write this in honor of a colleague  and friend who just became CEO of THE FRESH MARKET and of several others friends/clients in CEO roles now who RELISH the role. They love the good and the bad, the every dayness of it, the cup of coffee of it, the tough Board meeting of it, the fire hose of it. This is the “Duck to Water” CEO. Wanting the job is a huge part of doing it well. Good luck to all the ducks out there.


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