Businesses have a C-Suite to make sure that all the elements of running the business have proper oversight. Each part has a different responsibility that complements the others and is necessary for the organization to be successful. The CEO is responsible for driving vision and moving things forward. While the CFO, CIO, COO and any other executive officer you think is necessary are all very important, it must begin with the CEO.
How leaders, or anyone for that matter, choose to govern their lives and leadership is no different. There is a need for a C-Suite in our personal lives – something internal that governs us. A sense of allowing oversight into the decisions and direction things take in our lives. Sure there may be competing interests, but there is an ever-present guide to direct our path.
While it’s absolutely essential to have this personal C-Suite, the order in which you approach it is equally important. For we men, it’s pretty common for us to gravitate to Competence as our primary default setting. For women, it can be common to gravitate towards Community as a default setting. Men like to fix stuff and women value relationships. Sure there are varying degrees, but this is about as accurate as any generalization can be.
What is strangely missing is Character. It’s not that we don’t value it, but we don’t immediately go to it as our first choice. Our Character will determine the quality of our community and the impact of our competence. Just like vision and direction must come from the CEO, our personal vision and direction must come from Character.
If we base our vision and direction on Competence, we will only focus on those things we do well and will be completely out of balance. If we base our vision and direction on Community, we will be more concerned about building community than accomplishing things. We could dig 10 layers deep on this, but you get the picture. Basing our vision and direction on Character gives balance to how we do Community and how we express our Competence.
When you’re taking a shower in the morning, are you thinking “Who will I be today?” or is it more “What will I do today?” Community and Competence are based on what we do; Character is more about who we are. Let me challenge you to get your personal C-Suite in order so your leadership has a better chance of not just surviving, but flourishing.
What can you do to make Character the CEO of your C-Suite?