#073: Advice to New CEOs (or Those Who Want to Be) [Podcast]

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been more than two years since I left Thomas Nelson Publishers. After fifteen years at the company and six years as the CEO, I stepped down to pursue my life-long dream of being a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur.

Almost immediately, several of my readers asked, “Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to a new CEO?”

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This is a great question. I would encourage new CEOs—or those in any leadership position—to consider seven truths:

  1. Your position is not your identity.
  2. Your position is temporary not permanent.
  3. Your position is a privilege not a right.
  4. Your position is about faithfulness not achievement.
  5. Your position is about them not you.
  6. Your position is about stewardship not ownership.
  7. Your position will require more than you can provide on your own.

There’s one last thing I would say to new CEOs: take care of yourself. Make your spiritual, emotional, and physical health a priority.

During your tenure, you will experience more stress than you can imagine. You need all the resources you can muster.

You might be tempted to put yourself last. Don’t. If you die of a heart attack, burn out emotionally, destroy your family, or lose your faith, you will be of little use to anyone.

Listener Questions

  1. Shelley Levis asked, “How do I remain supportive of my spouse while pursuing my own dream?”
  2. Alex Barker asked, “What do young leaders need that they are not getting in the marketpalce?”
  3. Brent Dumler asked, “How can I find ways to be more productive?”
  4. Mark Hust asked, “What advice do you have for a beginning speaker?”
  5. Scott Eblin asked, “How do you lead people who were formerly your peers?”

Special Announcements

  1. I am reducing the number of speaking engagements I am accepting. Most of my slots for next year are full, but I have a few left. If you are interested in considering me for your event, please check out my Speaking Page.
  2. If you are considering launching your own platform—or just getting serious about it—you need to start with a self-hosted WordPress blog.

    This is not as complicated as it sounds. In fact, I have put together a step-by-step screencast on exactly how to do it. You don’t need any technical knowledge.

    By the way, I just updated this screencast a few weeks ago, so it has the latest and greatest information available. I walk you through the entire process in exactly 20 minutes.

  3. My next podcast will be on the subject of “13 Ways to Frustrate Those You Lead.” So, if you have a question on this or any subject, please leave me a voicemail by clicking below:

    This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because, if I use your question on the show, I will link to it—just like I did with the callers in this episode.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What is one new habit you would like to build into your life?

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