What Is the Most Debilitating Challenge CEOs Face?

What Is the Most Debilitating Challenge CEOs Face?

CEOs and business owners: If you had to identify the most debilitating challenge in your business environment, what would it be?

There are many to choose from! In meeting with business leaders, I’ve found some similarities in their answers as well as differences. Sometimes, this depends on the industry in which they’re operating. Other instances reflect the size of their business. In some cases, the challenges are specific to being a “new” CEO versus a legacy one.

Yet, overall, the message I get is that being in a leadership position comes with a lot of responsibility. And responsibility leads to pressure. Pressure to perform. Pressure to please stakeholders. Pressure to keep the business focused on its vision and mission.

Not to mention the pressure of ensuring everyone stays employed. Or, as has been the case during the “Great Resignation,” pressure to be able to find dedicated employees. The hiring and onboarding process takes time, resources, and energy for multiple company team members. Not just human resources, but department heads and lateral position teams. What are they not doing while dealing with employee turnover?

With all this in mind, there are some top barriers CEOs and business owners face. It’s impossible to wrap the entire discussion up and tie it with a bow, but here are some factors to consider…

6 Key Challenges Business Leaders Face

1) You have to manage a LOT. There’s strategy, execution, and the people you’ve enlisted to make the business successful. Whether it’s sales, marketing, HR, IT, customer support, product development, or anything else, every component needs your attention.

2) There’s the question of growth—how to make it happen and how to predict its viability. What can you tell your stakeholders about the next quarter, year, or two years? Are you truly being accurate in your projections?

3) Another big obstacle is aligning business units and their objectives. “Silo” has become a negative term in the business world. (Good news, it is still fine in the farming world.) Could misaligned efforts be keeping you from achieving your goals?

4) What about finances? Even if you have a CFO, there’s still the matter of maintaining healthy cash flow and improving profitability. The CFO often serves as the “gatekeeper,” so you still have to preserve the vision.

5) Here’s one that keeps CEOs and other business leaders/owners up at night: communication. How can you successfully open lines of communication within the company and then keep those lines open? A closed-off CEO is a recipe for disaster. 

6) With all of these duties on your plate, when is there time for planning for the future? You know it’s an integral piece of your business puzzle. Yet, keeping up with the rest while putting out daily fires doesn’t allow for much long-term vision.

Old Challenges, New Solutions

I want to assure you, even the most seasoned executives experience these struggles daily. It is not a new concept in the business world. The difference comes into play—between seasoned and successful—among those who know how to mitigate them. 

These challenges will always exist. That’s just the truth about the business/entrepreneurial landscape. The question is, how will you choose to overcome them

If the answer is bringing in additional expertise, that doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. A fractional COO could be exactly what you need to give you the breathing room to do more of what you’re good at—and less of what you’re required to do.
I’m happy to chat with you to see how I can help. You can connect with me here or email me at michael@consultstraza.com. Looking forward to speaking soon.

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