The CEO’s Hardest Job

Last week I saw an interview on PandoList with venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, managing partner at Andreesen Horowitz, about his approach to CEO coaching. Ben said something really interesting, which goes something like this: “Working with CEOs is almost entirely psychological. That is, the mechanics of running a business — like how you structure an organization or hire an executive — are pretty straightforward. But it’s the emotion and psychology of it that makes it challenging. For example, maybe someone you really like loses a territory as part of a decision or even gets demoted. Dealing with those strong emotions is what’s hard and that’s what CEOs really need help with.”

Although I do have a unique approach to structuring and hiring, Ben’s right. The hardest part of growing a business, absolutely, is dealing with negative emotions. The setbacks when a deal doesn’t close, the life-and-death struggles for capital, the frustrations of your team not executing fast enough, the sadness of having to let someone go, the energy loss from toxic relationships — all of these emotions can be incredibly challenging to process. Even more, the negative impact they have on critical business decisions and relationships is significant yet greatly underestimated.

What makes dealing with negative emotions especially important for organizational leaders like CEOs is that effective people don’t make decisions with their “rational” minds alone. Like all of us, they must bring their whole being — brain, heart, and gut — into the equation. When we’re stuck in a strong negative emotion, however, this hampers our ability to be productive, see things as they are, access our creativity, and make clear, powerful decisions. So how do you quickly navigate through a negative emotion?

In my experience, the absolute best way is to work one on one with a coach or mentor. There may be times when you can’t or won’t do that, however, so I’ve created a fast alternative for you. It’s a series of online tools called “Lifesheets” that allow you to transform negative emotions like anger, resentment, confusion, inner conflict, guilt, shame, or a sense of wanting or lacking into greater insight, clarity, and peace of mind. It takes about 15 minutes to complete a Lifesheet and the result is a measureable shift in energy, perspective, and overall clarity. You can use them anytime you need to make a shift and the more you use them, the greater the total transformation. So if you’re ready to shift your energy and take your perspective to a whole new level, then click here, choose the negative emotion you want to process, and get started.

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About Lex Sisney

Lex Sisney is an expert at creating breakthroughs in individuals and organizations. He's grown from co-founder and CEO of the world's largest affiliate marketing company to follow his passion as CEO Coach to the world's next generation of expansion-stage companies.