Do you remember that moment in time?
That moment when it became more real?
It became more clear?
It became more weighty?
For some Founding CEOs it was when an employee shared that they just finished signing the paperwork on their family’s first loan mortgage…a 30 year fix-rate mortgage. The number seemed to stick in your head.
For some Founding CEOs it was when you signed a commercial loan document with a “cognovit” clause and you finally knew what it meant.
For some Founding CEOs it was when the Managing Principal of your venture capital investing firm pointed out that he can actually replace you with a “professional CEO” if you don’t meet the growth expectations they were anticipating.
For some Founding CEOs it was when some patent troll appeared after waiting in the wings for you to reach a more positive cash flow before they filed an intellectual property infringement lawsuit.
For some Founding CEOs it was simply when you had to fire your co-founder.
Whatever the event was, many of you have told me there have been these moments in time, time periods, or even big events that somehow made you feel the weight of responsibility that comes with being a CEO.
It’s hard for others to understand what this feels like.
So, what do you do when that feeling settles in? Do you keep moving forward? Or, does the feeling slow your progress and cause doubt?
If the feeling causes you to doubt and impedes your progress, you may want to ask yourself a few questions:
- Why did you start the business in the first place?
- Is there anyone else in a similar industry and spot that you can talk with?
- Would journaling help you process your feelings?
- Can a CEO peer group help provide you the support you need during the times you feel this way?
- Would taking an inventory of the things that are going well help ease your mind?
- Can you take advantage of your team more effectively by sharing more responsibility with them?
It’s the latter question that I often find can be the root of this special sense of unease when the weight of leadership responsibility descends upon your shoulders.
Build and empower a great team, and you’ll find your ability to handle the situations outlined above much more achievable.
What do you do when the weight of CEO responsibility slows you down?