The CEO mindset: becoming an employer

The CEO mindset: becoming an employer

Working for a business and being the business owner are two very distinct and different roles. Why then are so many CEOs still working in the same way they did as an employee? That’s the question Sally Lawson herself a business owner for more than 30 years, finds herself asking over and over.

I was 18 when I launched my letting agency business ‘ so I’ve not been in the same position as most where I’d got deeply rooted in the mindset of an employee before I became an employer.

But in the three decades since then, I’ve seen it time and time again where staff decide to venture out on their own. They may be fantastic at what they do ‘ but they spend all their time thinking about how to launch their new business, and not enough time considering that they’re effectively relaunching themselves as a CEO.

It requires a totally new mindset ‘ and it’s startling just how quickly the fortunes of the company begin to turn around, once the owner realises this and takes on board the tips that can help them start thinking like a CEO.

Brain training:

If you’ve been in a role for a long time, you tend to get comfortable ‘ and that’s when progress stalls. As a business owner, you simply can’t let yourself get too comfortable, else it’s not just your own development which grinds to a halt ‘ it’s the growth of the entire agency at stake.

It’s all about learning, growing, changing ‘ keeping things fresh for customers and the staff themselves, and always being prepared to try something new. Training your brain to adopt this CEO mindset will see you step away from the crowd, and begin the journey of success.

Feel the fear:

Fear of trying new things holds us back both personally and professionally. Again, as a CEO, you’re not just holding yourself back, but also the growth of your business.

Try something today which scares you, and the chances are you’ll realise it wasn’t as bad as you thought. As soon as you get into the mindset of ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’ you’ll realise you can do anything.

Take it all in:

Learning as much as you can ‘ whether it’s through reading books, taking on new qualifications, or watching educational videos ‘ not only helps you to position yourself as a subject expert, but also means you’re more likely to be able to tackle challenges as and when they arise.

As a CEO, you’re not just responsible for thoroughly understanding your sector, but you also need to take on as much business knowledge as possible. You may have other people in charge of your HR, accounting and other functions ‘ but having an overview of the fundamentals is an absolute must. You have the prepare yourself to run the business you want to build ‘ so visualise what you want your business to be and ask yourself ‘what do I need to learn?’

Manage your time:

As an employee, you may have been used to completing any task required of you. But as the CEO, everything you do should be a task which pushes the company forwards or adds value to your business. Completing routine tasks might seem like a helpful thing to do ‘ but it’s not in the long-term, if you’re so immersed in the business that you’re not stepping back and looking at your goals and how to achieve them.

Professional athletes spend so much time on personal development as they simply won’t win gold without the right mindset ‘ it’s the same for CEOs: no one gets to the top of their game without having a winning mentality.

Sally Lawson
Sally Lawson

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