Thursday, March 16, 2017

How Young CEOs Address Sustainability

Sustainability is more than a buzzword, it’s one solid metric for long-term business success. As a younger CEO, sustainability is one of the best ways to establish your reputation and instill confidence in your team. Unfortunately, too many young leaders focus on starting strong and finishing well. They don’t focus nearly enough on keeping everything moving in the right direction. Sure, sustainability isn’t as “exciting,” but it’s where the rubber meets the road.

One of the most vital aspects of sustainability is personal growth. You and your team all have to be actively engaged in getting better at who you are and what you do. It’s not just about measuring numbers, it’s also about expanding your capacity to succeed.

Another aspect of sustainability that is your responsibility as the CEO is mentoring. You need to take an active role in developing your people. Training, skill development, cross training … anything you can do to invest in your people. Don’t sit back and expect them to do it all on their own. You need to set the standard, be the example, and, most importantly, provide the resources necessary to help them develop.

Bring in different thinkers with unique perspectives. If everyone agrees or thinks the same way you do, you have limited yourself without even realizing it. In that situation, you will never be able to grow beyond your own imagination and understanding. But, by intentionally adding different perspectives you encourage a more creative environment that can expand your ability to solve problems and meet challenges.

Communication. You’ve heard this one before, but it needs to be said. Communication can make or break your success as a leader. You need to be clear in your communication, and you must be willing to do the work of purposeful listening.

You have to take calculated risks. Yes, this is the fun one. But it can also be the one that drives you right over the cliff. Without risk, there is no growth, but when you don’t learn how to take careful, calculated risks, you can turn opportunity into unexpected consequences.
Finally, you have to deliver results. Entertaining new ideas, communicating well and taking risks don’t matter if you can’t turn that investment into success. At the end of the day, nothing else matters if you don’t deliver positive results—for your investors, for your customers, your team members … and yourself.

What are your thoughts on this list? Have you been able to excel in any of these areas? How has that impacted your leadership or business success?

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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