If you get a chance, there's a top podcast by the Harvard Business Review on the 4 Behaviours of Top-Performing CEOs. You would be forgiven for thinking that CEOs are the most well educated, business-savvy, mistake-free people in the corporate world, but you'd be wrong.
Elena Botelho, a researcher for an article entitled "What Sets Successful CEOs Apart notes that there are four key skills:
- Speed of Decision-Making: making decisions quickly, even if they are wrong.
- Engaging for Impact: Getting internal and external stakeholders to buy into their work.
- Adaptability and Flexibility: Changing with the business and economic environment.
- Reliable Deliverability: Showing up and doing the work in a reliable fashion. Being available, in other words.
Botelho also notes that many top CEOs have made massive mistakes in their career/businesses. Interestingly, they weren't scorned for these errors while going for new jobs, rather they were seen to be able to make difficult decisions and 'daring to try'. This is crucial when we think of examples like Blockbuster who stuck to the status quo, instead of buying Netflix and embracing the future of video.
So remember, the next time you're afraid of making a big mistake, it could actually be viewed as a positive point on your CV in years to come. Food for thought perhaps...