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Are You Proud to Be a CEO?

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The other people who work in a company place a lot of trust in the CEO. They identify with them, and want them to succeed. They hear them as speaking for an entire organization. It is easy for them to see the strengths, and weaknesses, of an entire company or an intense personal experience reflected in the decisions of one person.

This is, in part, the result of the way we choose CEOs. Most people work in organizations where they have almost no significant involvement in selecting a CEO in their working life. They either work for companies which have established leadership, or they are not invited to participate in the selection process.

At the same time, another thing about being a CEO that is woven into our culture at a very basic level is that anyone can become a CEO.

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We live at a time of amazing opportunity. The myths of our culture reinforce the belief that almost everyone, given the right situation, could become an effective CEO. The books we read, the movies we watch, repeat that message again and again. The American Dream reinforces our unconscious belief that it just takes good common sense to run a strong organization.

The belief in our inherent ability to lead effectively makes it more difficult to trust in the decisions of a CEO. It is easy for us to resent decisions we do not understand, particularly when we could do just as good a job ourselves. If our common sense approach would make us a strong CEO, why do we not deserve all the perks those executives get?

The serious, life-changing responsibilities of being a CEO go far beyond understanding financial realities and predicting productivity. Becoming a CEO is filled with our own hopes and expectations, as well as those of everyone around us.

Are you proud to be a CEO? What kind of CEO would you like to become?


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Greg Richardson
Greg Richardson
Born in rural Wisconsin, Greg Richardson was raised to be very strategic. His life and work have been a voyage of discovery beyond anything he could have imagined. Greg is a recovering attorney and university professor. He has served as a criminal prosecutor, a legislative advocate, and an organizational leader. Greg has recruited, trained, and developed volunteers and staff members for a wide variety of companies. He brings his experience, focus, and sense of humor to each of his endeavors. Greg is also monastic, a lay person connected to a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur, California.His experiences with monks have taught him the deep importance of working from a person’s, ad an organization’s core values and principles. Greg is a deeper, clearer listener. He knows the benefits of silence and reflection. In addition to balancing being monastic and strategic, Greg has a strong appreciation for the virtues of craft brewing. He is on a personal pilgrimage of craft breweries in Southern California, and he writes a monthly column about craft brewing for an online magazine. Greg now lives in Southern California.

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