The Secret Lives of CEO’s

By Susan R. Schilke

I spend my business days in the world of the middle-market CEO and key executives. I run a peer forum program, and do one-on-one coaching sessions with all participants every month. Then I facilitate all day meetings in which members share their key business metrics and priorities for accountability, and present their biggest decisions for feedback from their fellow members.

I have the best job in the world. (And I hope all of you feel the same way about what you do every day.)

For over 22 years, I’ve worked with high-achieving business leaders. And I have learned their secrets. I’ve decided it’s time to share.

Of course, I would be out of business very quickly if I actually shared the confidential information that my members share with me and their groups each month. But if I’m careful, I can share a lot of what I’ve learned and continue to learn every day.

I can share what they’re reading and why.

I can share the tools they use to be more effective, and stories about the impact.

I can share what they’re talking about, what’s important to them, what they’re doing to get better.

I won’t use names and specifics. But I will tell you some of their secrets.

Here’s the first one – they are wonderful, caring people.

Collage-better quality

Sometimes you don’t see that right away because they may seem intense and focused – powerful and business-like. Middle-market CEOs and owners take a huge financial risk. Not just to start a company – in fact, that’s a small risk compared to what happens once the company grows and prospers. CEOs of successful companies have a higher level of financial rewards, yes, but they’re also leaving a large portion of their growing resources at risk every day. It takes a tremendous amount of investment in buildings, vehicles, materials, inventory and receivables to keep a healthy company strong. And things like economic downturns, industry upheavals and terrorist attacks put it all at risk. Every day.

And think about this – in addition to an ever-changing competitive business environment, a CEO of a middle market company may have dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees. Their decisions have tremendous impact on all of these individuals. CEOs and business leaders know this, and they don’t take that responsibility lightly. They join a program like TeamStrength because they want all the help they can get to make the best decisions for their organizations – their team and the families they support.

If they seem stressed, they have good reason.

They strive to do their best and improve constantly. Don’t doubt their commitment.