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12/11/2018 – News / Food Processing / CEO / Leadership / Business

5 ways CEOs can lead more efficiently

5 ways CEOs can lead more

Author and strategic advisor, Mark Green, offers tips on how CEOs can change their behaviours to ensure their strategies are efficiently executed.

In business, the adage “it starts at the top” can prompt an uncomfortable question: “Can the boss finish what he or she started?”. Many CEOs and entrepreneurs wrestle with this challenge, with both short- and long-term implications. Meanwhile, a disconnect develops between the CEO's initial big-picture vision for the company and its seemingly sporadic execution toward those goals.


The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 highlights the issues of greatest concern to CEOs; among them is a lack of alignment among senior leaders. The last problem any CEO wants is an inability to get everyone on the same page, aligned and executing their strategy.


“I’ve witnessed CEOs struggle with this question: ‘Why is it so difficult to execute what I already know I should be doing?’,” says Mark E. Green, a speaker, coach to CEOs and author of ‘Activators: A CEO’s Guide to Clearer Thinking and Getting Things Done’ ( “They and their teams generally know what to do and how to get it done. But they avoid the decisions and actions they know could advance their success,” he explains.


“All roads lead back to obstacles within your mind. New behaviours leading to execution require new ways of thinking,” continues Green, going on to list five ways for CEOs to change behaviours that obstruct them from leading their company efficiently and effectively.


“If/when, then”


Green points to a study on influencing behaviour by German researchers, who found that formulating an ‘if/when, then’ plan – stating a specific time to accomplish a task – provided a cue to provoke the desired response. “I’ve worked with many CEOs who were not classically trained in accounting and finance, and are overwhelmed by numbers,” Green says. “Such fears drove them to avoid financial information and reports. Making an ‘if/when, then’ statement compels them to change the behaviour.”


“Relate and repeat”


To change, one needs to believe that change is possible. “Cultivate relationships with those who can help you see that the change you desire is attainable,” Green advises. “Then repeat by testing out the new behaviour or thought pattern and seeking feedback.”


“Know when to say no”


As the company leader, being a giver is important – but not to the point where sacrifice damages your own performance. “Credible research shows that high-performing givers knew when to say no,” informs Green. “Track your yes-to-no ratio. It’s the only way to protect your time, energy and focus as a leader.


“Forget perfectionism”


Green says perfectionism is a waste of time and energy for a CEO. He references the ‘80/20 Rule’ – also known as the Pareto principle, first articulated by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto – which holds that roughly 80 per cent of the effects come from 20 per cent of the causes. 

“The 80/20 Rule also applies to perfectionism – the majority of the value in any endeavour comes from a small amount of the overall effort,” Green asserts. “Perfectionism frequently limits our progress and fuels our fears. If you can keep the 80/20 Rule in mind, you can reduce your fears and accomplish more.” 


“Hold yourself accountable”


One way that CEOs and entrepreneurs can judge their performance is by asking themselves self-assessment questions daily. “You need accountability strategies that require you to evaluate your progress and focus on the importance of your goals,” stresses Green.


“Often, the best way to modify a behaviour is just to jump in,” he explains. “Seek out examples of the behaviours you want to employ, embrace some discomfort, and emulate them until they begin to feel natural.” 


About the author

Mark Green, author of Activators: A CEO’s Guide to Clearer Thinking and Getting Things Done (, is a speaker, strategic advisor and coach to CEOs and executive teams worldwide.

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