Listening to the people who say you’re such a great specialist and your work is just awesome isn’t quite as important as your own feeling, but it is very rewarding. As the director of the company, you will hardly ever be satisfied. There are always better numbers, more experienced competition, customers who don’t know your tool yet, smarter people and unanswered questions. There will always be more room to manage, create something, plan, improve, teach, check, doubt, predict, motivate, communicate, and more.
You have a love-hate relationship with your job. It gives you some moments of glory, but also terrible migraines. You’re the executive who pushes the boundaries both of the product and of themselves. CEOs are target junkies that never have enough time. There are no unfeasible targets, and you think you’re the only one able to fix everything. The deeper you go, the more details you have to solve. The more you learn, the less you realize you actually know. It’s kind of like the Ouroboros.
Being CEO is very physically and mentally demanding. The job literally wears you out. You’re tired from constantly managing, talking and thinking. Very often you’re almost out of energy. All the pick-me-ups you use start to fail. Every day you are like a juggler, trying to keep many different tasks under control. You try to throw them to the air as high and carefully as possible. And, well, sometimes you know how to do that, but more often not. It varies from hour to hour, but there are lots of ups and downs.
To be CEO is a creative, colorful, challenging mission. You need to be versatile, and something new comes across your desk almost every day. Something you’ve never seen before, never decided on before, and something you need to get prepared for before you start attempting to solve it. This superhero role prepares you to deal with your life issues — you’re a stronger person, and it helps you to keep emotions under control. You know that every problem has a solution, and are more patient and humble. It helps you to understand different kinds of people and makes you more empathetic. Your role is a blend of manager, leader, psychologist, mother, friend, coach, mentor and pastor. You become the owner of many hats.
It’s better not to fight it. It’s your job. Part of your DNA. Accept your mission. Give your CEO world some rules. Use some useful tools. Do things that matter and give you a lot of energy. Enjoy every day, cause this is a day you learn something new and exciting.
Let’s take a look at ten of my rules that I have lived by, which help me tackle my mission as CEO.
Integrity is much more important than anything else. If you have strong integrity, you have everything. It defines what you do and don’t like, and includes rules that help you make all the decisions. If you don’t know what to do next, integrity is here to help you go back to your basics and decide or show you the right way. Simply put, how could you possibly make decisions regarding the company with a mess in your mind?
Timing is crucial. It is discouraging when people come and deliver results late, and I try to not be one of them. Both my calendar and a big picture plan are two very important tools to know what to do now, tomorrow, next quarter and next year. A leader without a plan is like a ship without a captain.
Currently, the world is changing dramatically. Our life is one huge change. Everything is part of some kind of transformation. You have to be agile to survive. I go to bed at night and the morning that follows brings a lot of new stuff. You can plan everything, but my advice is to plan — at most — 60% of you and your companie's time. It is great to be ready to change something if needed. It means you should be flexible, and not only at the gym.
I know you don’t want to do it. I know that you are the one who can do the job in the best possible way. But you should realize that you can’t do anything! Seriously, delegate it. Trust a little bit. Mentor, lead them, teach, and let others take the initiative. I like the feeling when you realize you can count on someone. Like, 100%. Let your people grow to become an extension of you so that one day you can rely on them without doubt or hesitation.
I’m very passionate about personal growth and am continuously looking for ways to self-improve. I like helping others to grow and so I share everything I know. The more I know, the more I realize there is so much out there that I don’t know — so much more that I have to learn. I read a lot. All type of books! To be CEO is like to be a walking library. You can see me reading expert books, novels, philosophical works, psychological studies, many different magazines, etc. Reading is like your third leg; it helps improve your balance and stability. I meet a lot of interesting people and they teach me what they know. I learn from people who inspire me. I hire people who are better specialists than me so that they can teach me something new every day. My advice is: constantly level up your current skills, and try to learn something new every day.
I know you love your job. But the primary reason that companies exist is to generate profit. Money-wise, you have to do everything to allow your company to grow — acquisition of new clients, expansion, and hiring people to your team... You will need to think like an entrepreneur.
Your team includes people who have their own families, kids, problems, wishes, dreams and health limitations. They are just like you. Try to see things through their eyes and imagine living their lives. You’re a boss, but you should be a friend when needed. Talk to your team a little more. They will appreciate it. As a result, their motivation and loyalty will grow significantly.
Verify everything you hear, see and read. Don’t judge someone without asking the other side. Make your opinion after you get all the information. This is the best advice I’ve ever gotten. Do not make your judgment too early. If you do, it can bring many troubles and misunderstanding.
You’re not a robot. You need to relax and clear your head. Every Monday, I stay home or travel somewhere just to breathe better air and move a little bit more. I call it mindfulness Mondays. I leave all my work in Prague and travel to the mountains or some lake. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to call or send any emails. I simply wish to be left alone that day.
Your body is important. After all, you only have one of them. There is no “body B.” I used to have terrible migraines. But after I started visiting a physiotherapist, everything has changed. I go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Almost every day, I prepare meals that are healthy and able to add new energy to my brain and body. Try to be in better physical shape with each passing day.
So these were some of my hacks. It would be great if shared your experiences with me. Let’s have a cup of coffee and talk about it. I can’t wait to learn something from you. Give me some feedback or let’s just stay in touch here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hanahabermannova/
Two years ago, I was working as a teacher. Initially, I liked my job, but as time went on, the overwhelming desire to use a baseball bat while at work became too much. I returned home in a bad mood, which didn’t help home life. There were only two ways out of this situation. The easier one was to turn on autopilot at school every morning, solve nothing and hope I didn’t end up in a madhouse or alcohol treatment center. I chose the second option, decided to leave the education field, and completely change careers.