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BLOG No. 4 - QUESTIONED – ARE YOU A GREAT CEO AND WHAT MAKES ONE?

May 07, 2021 - Jonathan Wigley, CEO & Founder of AHS

I do love my role and one of the big reasons is the interactions with people in general. I had a causal call with a candidate for an executive role in our group earlier this week for which I was not the decision-maker as the final candidate selection was in the capable hands of some of our related team members but normally, they like my opinion to add to their decision-making process. In these situation’s the only question I ask these candidates is to ask what questions they have for me. I find this gives me a great insight into these candidates, their priorities and how they think. 


This week one of the questions the candidate asked me not only was a great one but one that made me think and reflect. It was to quote “Do you think you are a great CEO and what makes a great CEO?”. My first thought was that we have got to hire this candidate.


My responses were as follows which I hope can be a benefit to those starting as a CEO or aspiring to be one. As always these are just my thoughts and opinions based on my experience.


Response to Are you a great CEO?

I explained that that is not my question to answer, that is for our team, clients and other stakeholders to answer. As I am a founder, owner and CEO it makes it even more relevant to consider the opinions of those who have to interact with me rather than my own opinion of myself which would be insular, to say the least. What I did explain this CEO role was my first and so was I ready and fully equipped for the role? Totally not but I knew I did not have all tools needed but had a desire to acquire them. I was honest with myself and still am.


Response to What makes a great CEO? 

I explained that I am always learning and trying to improve my performance as CEO which is one of the factors of being a great CEO, we must always learn and never believe we are the finished article. I mentioned that I could not cover all aspects as I will not know them all but will give a few thoughts on what I have found to be priorities when trying to be the best CEO I can be. 

· Listening, hearing and digesting: This gives me more viewpoints, perspectives, opinions and data to make a decision when needed. This leads to making sure you have the right people around who are willing to share their thoughts and views. This environment of feeling comfortable to share and be valuable is essential for evolution. Also creates a sense of worth for all which is needed.

· Be consistent: Forget your mood swings, ego and self-concern. All stakeholders need to be comfortable in understanding your expectations and emotions so they know where they stand. It is not about me it's about the organization.

· Be a great communicator: Keep all stakeholders informed and up to date and ensure communications are well explained and justified. “Because I said so” is not a justification.

· Be decisive: Make a call and communicate. None of us always make the right decision but one needs to be made and decisions can always be adjusted later. Hold our hand up when we called it wrong. Shared victories are always sweeter and shared fails lighter.

· Be supportive and caring: We are all human beings and need support and care. These actions are essential for all stakeholders to thrive. All teams are a sum of all parts. 

· Never demand of others what you are not willing to yourself: People follow leaders, not titles so we always need to set the example to inspire others.

· Establish a family company culture: We all want to belong and a CEO is a parental role. Values need to shared and bought into. This needs to protected and evolved at all cost and this means some people will not fit into the organization regardless of their skills and experience. 


In summary, I enjoyed the chat with the candidate and it left me energized with our human race. 

We can all achieve our dreams and to do so we will always need help and support from others. Cheers to unlimited futures for us all. 

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