Inside the Mind of the CEO

Orange Papers
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Sat at the top of the pyramid, the CEO takes ultimate responsibility for setting the vision and spearheading the company’s direction. It’s why they account for 45% of overall performance.*

Yet over half of senior executives say their top team is underperforming, and less than a third of frontline colleagues believe their company’s management processes support the achievement of business objectives. It opens a perilous gap between strategy and execution, which left unaddressed could cause a company to plummet towards failure. And complacency in addressing the issue is the precipice before the fall.

The role of CEO comes with a lack of peer-to-peer support. Through our Board- level interactions with organisations who are on transformation journeys, it’s clear that for those who are leading the charge, it can feel incredibly risky to show any vulnerability that could call your direction into question.

We set out to create a community and facilitate the candid conversations CEOs need to navigate the virtually unprecedented current business context. As well as to challenge conventional wisdom, to explore new ideas and strategies – and ultimately to feel better equipped to navigate the ever-changing business landscape.

In this Orange Paper we share some of the recent insights from the community:

  • Find the right balance of ‘where’ and ‘how’: people need to know where the business is heading as well as how it intends to get there.
  • Empower mission-based teams: rather than protect the organisation from complex and difficult challenges, expose your talent to it.
  • Work as one: understand your team’s capabilities, experiences, and mindsets to overcome their weaknesses and play to their strengths.
  • Embrace difference: leaders need to lean into learning and listen to the experiences of those around them.
  • Lead yourself: when you know how, when, and where you and your team are most effective, you acquire the ability to scale a business that is fit for the future.


Written by
Sullivan & Stanley