We are living in one of the most exciting times in history. Massive change is upon us, and it’s happening at a speed and scale that’s unprecedented. The possibilities and opportunities that await are vastly greater than anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. And what’s incredible is that anyone can take advantage of these opportunities. That’s why SXSW is such an amazing place. It’s all about opportunity.
I have long believed that one of the most important components in seizing opportunity is for folks to be their own CEOs — to become the visionaries, innovators and trailblazers they so fervently respect.
I know what you’re thinking — not everyone can be a CEO. But, I believe that “CEO” is more than a position, it’s a state of mind. In my observation and research, there are seven ways to maximize your potential and shift your thinking from CEO as a title, to CEO as a mindset.
Discover Your Purpose Great CEOs always have a purpose. It is the driving force of everything else and it has never been more important than right now.
Be Disciplined CEOs understand that everyone has constraints. We can achieve greater success if we have the discipline to focus our time and attention on long-term goals, while innovating within our constraints.
Be Passionate True enthusiasm for a business, its products, its people and its mission cannot be faked. CEOs are passionate about what they’re working on and what makes them tick. CEOs don’t fester on the negative, or what’s not working, but rather what is working and how to solve things that aren’t. When CEOs are sincerely enthusiastic and passionate, it’s contagious!
Communicate and Listen We must treat our coworkers like a CEO would treat their stakeholders — incredibly important. Communicate clearly and carefully to them. Don’t just assume people understand - ensure you set clear expectations. But also, listen to everyone — outside parties, other innovators, regulators, peers, employees, and so on — to cultivate fresh ideas and perspectives.
Leverage Others Leverage your coworkers and other resources to help you succeed. Successful CEOs have an eternal optimism bubbling inside them, and they leverage everyone and everything around them — for problem-solving, motivation, collaboration, you name it. The folks around you are your resources. Leverage them to help chart your path forward.
Let Others Lead We can’t do everything alone! Great leadership is often demonstrated by empowering others to lead — whether that person is a peer, superior or direct report. Successful CEOs know they aren’t always the expert. They know when to take a back seat, let others showcase their talent and provide insight into their area of expertise.
Take Care of Yourself We tend to take care of everyone and everything around us (professionally and personally), and put ourselves last. But physical and mental health is so critical to being successful. Taking time to care for yourself will pay massive dividends in the long run.
These are fairly simple and intuitive learnings, but they have made such a big difference in my own life and career. I hope you’ll JOIN ME at SXSW as I walk through these steps in more detail, sharing personal experiences and key insights from industry executives.
Photos and content provided by sprovided by Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Capital One Financial Services.