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Stefan Kazakis on 23 November 2019

Try This Exercise: The Imaginary CEO

Why do some business owners consistently outperform their competitors? Why do some people become champions while others fall short? What skills do you need to improve to reach your highest potential?

To begin with, this all starts with YOU!

I'd like to introduce you to an exercise I love to do with my clients. Have a think about this: if you hired a new CEO or GM, what would you expect this person to deliver in accordance with the size of the market you are in?

What would success look like? What growth would you expect? What level of productivity? What percentage or number of clients would you expect over the next year, two years, five years? Be specific. Think about it and write down some numbers.

Now, here’s the kicker: what goals do you have for yourself? Are they the same? If not, why not?

If you’re running the business, why don’t you have these high expectations of yourself? Why do you think somebody else could do better than you can?

If your goals for the imaginary CEO were bigger than your goals for yourself, you have a problem. In fact, you are the problem!

Until your goals and expectations of yourself are much bigger you will get in the way. You won’t allow other resources, people or structures to come into your business to allow it to reach its full potential, and you won’t be able to push the people you do have to achieve their personal best.

This exercise is about honest self-assessment, about looking at your business without emotion. It's about brutal truth!

If you’re not doing what you would expect somebody else to do in your shoes, why not?

It requires grit and resilience to push through to succeed as a business owner, and if you are being honest with yourself, this exercise will help you determine if you're really meeting your responsibilities as a business owner.

I encourage you to listen to this week's podcast with Jacqui Harvey. In 2009, Jacqui decided to leave her corporate career to take ownership of Yarra Valley Gourmet Foods. Ten years later, the business's continued growth and success is testament to Jacqui's leadership, determination and resilience.

Power to you! 

Stefan Kazakis
CEO, Business Benchmark Group

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