Let’s start with a test. How would you answer the following questions?
- Do you have a vision of where you will be in 5 years and do you articulate it to your best friend and others?
- Do you have a “board of advisors” who will help you achieve your aspirations?
- Do you know what your goals are for the next year so you are moving toward achieving your vision?
- Are you moving toward your goal every day?
- Do you have a marketing plan?
- Is your product and your packaging beginning to represent what they need to be in order to achieve your vision?
- Are you spending time and taking responsibility for making your vision a reality?
How did you do?
I believe that in order to accept the role of CEO of You, you must first accept the importance of taking responsibility for you and spending time on you. If not, you are “letting things happen instead of making things happen for you.”
In other words, you are “outsourcing” who you want to be to someone else!
Let’s think about your vision. The important point is: How would you describe what you will be doing in 5 years. Begin the sentence with ‘I am…” This is very different from: “I hope to be…” Write your vision down so it becomes more real and you will be able to discuss it with others.
Your board of advisors is very important to making your vision a reality. You need a team who will: 1). provide advice and feedback, 2). be a mentor and an advocate, and 3). open doors to others who will be helpful to you. Who is on your team?
Given that you now have your vision, it is much easier to develop yearly goals and work on them every day. It is important to have an achievable plan and take responsibility for making it happen.
I have found that my goals changed every three to five years and that is alright. They changed because my business changed and my passion for what I wanted to do changed. Change is good, but remember: it’s important to have a vision of where you want to go, or you will let things happen to you rather than make things happen for you.
Other questions to ask yourself are: how you are marketing yourself and developing your product and packaging so you will achieve your vision? What roles and responsibilities do you need? Who needs to see the value you are delivering to your organization?
An important point: you need to have performed the role you want before you will get it. In my case, I needed to perform manager roles before I could be promoted to a manger position.
I have not seen a CEO of a successful company achieve their strategy without taking responsibility of what they wanted to achieve. This is a critical success point for you.
A successful CEO invests time in their company. As women, we give our time to everyone else. We deserve some of our time to make our vision a reality.
Are you the CEO of You? I hope so.
About the Author:
Susan Butler was the first female to work at Arthur Anderson & Co. in 1965. Fourteen years later, she became the first female partner of the company’s consulting organization, Anderson Consulting (now known as Accenture), which is the world’s leading management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing organization. She is the author of the book “Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World” to inspire women around the world to become successful leaders much like herself. It’s time for women to break that glass-ceiling and become women who count.