CEO Resolutions for 2016
January 19, 2016 David Kiger Business2Community

CEO Resolutions for 2016

New Year’s resolutions often take a familiar pattern: health and fitness, getting finances in line, spending more time with friends and family. When it comes to making resolutions for your business, the new year is a great time to examine opportunities for growth.

Here are 10 resolutions that could be worth taking on for CEOs and business leaders.

1. Re-emphasize the Vision

As the new year starts, CEOs should ask themselves: is everyone in the business on the same page? Are we all moving toward the same goal? If the answer is yes, then that’s an encouraging way to enter 2016. If it’s no, then that could be a trouble spot as Ron Yekutiel writes for

Without a clear understanding of a company’s vision, mission and culture, employees can get lost in the dark with little direction or motivation,” he writes. “Remind team members what the company stands for and the grand vision being brought to life. The new year is the perfect time to refocus everyone around the company’s mission to ensure that employees are excited and inspired by their work.”

2. Consider Reorganizing

Dig into the company’s overall organization. Are there inefficiencies in how tasks are completed or in the org chart itself? It may be time to start the process of reorganizing internal structures, as Mike Harden writes in a story for

“Look at reporting structures, hierarchy and how practices and functions are grouped,” he explains. “Many CEOs leave the existing structure and reporting scheme in place long after it’s outdated. Strive for efficiency and smart workflow. If you have more than five direct reports, analyze how you can decrease that number by combining functional areas under your key staff.”

3. Attempt to ‘Under Schedule’

There’s a phrase that might cause CEOs to scoff or chuckle. If the workday is nothing but an endless string of meetings, it could be time to take a step back and evaluate whether the business is getting much value out of this process. Is the time involved worth it? Do you really need to be present for each of these meetings? Are there better uses for your time? Elizabeth Grace Saunders explores this in a story for Harvard Business Review.

The ideal amount of meeting time varies from position to position,” she writes. “But as a general rule, you’ll end up with your best experience of time if you have four hours or less of meetings per day, or group your meetings together on certain days so that you have one or more meeting-free days. Outside of work, your life can feel much calmer if you have at least one unscheduled weekday evening and, at least, half of a weekend day that’s more relaxed. During that open space, block in time to move ahead on projects and activities that are important to you.”

4. Delegate

A CEO may feel the long list of responsibilities and daily tasks is just part of the job, but it’s worth considering whether or not that’s the best way to proceed. Can others take on some of these duties, and would the amount of time saved allow you to pursue new opportunities?

“Too often, CEOs do other people’s work for them,” Harden writes in his story. “We use every excuse in the world to justify this: ‘I can do it better, faster, etc.’ ‘I need it now.’ ‘My VP of operations is already overloaded, so I have to pick up the additional work.’ ‘This is my area of expertise.’ This list goes on. You aren’t developing your subordinates if you keep doing their work. And, of course, we complain that we don’t have enough time to do the things we absolutely need to do. Whenever you are doing a task, ask yourself this question: ‘Whose job am I doing now?’ If the answer isn’t ‘my job,’ then you need to delegate it to the correct person.”

5. Focus on the Actual ‘Leading’

There is a difference between “running” a company and “leading” a company, as Ann Charles notes in a story for This ties into what she describes as the need for “selflessness” on the part of a CEO.

It is critical that chief executives have ambition for the success of their company, rather than just for themselves,” she says. “With the exception of the finance industry, selflessness is in, unbridled greed is out. C-Suite decisions must be prioritized based on the good they bring to customers and employees first. Without those two pillars of corporate America, there is no company.”

6. Maximize Efforts

If a CEO ever hears the words, “That’s just the way we’ve always done things,” he or she should stop and make a note of it. That “way” could be grossly inefficient, and could indicate that other elements of the business are inefficient as well. Harden includes this idea in his piece.

“Every organization institutionalizes policies, procedures, workflows, programs and sales techniques that no longer work (if they ever did),” he says. “We keep doing the same things over and over again, and can’t figure out why we aren’t getting the outcomes we need. Every CEO, manager and staff person should review their initiatives, tasks, policies, etc., and ask the tough question: ‘Are these achieving the results we want?’ If something doesn’t work, stop doing it. If a policy is outdated and doesn’t make sense in today’s environment, change it. It’s that simple.”

7. Know Your Employees

Although it may seem fairly obvious to some, many large companies tend to have a large distance between the corner offices and front desk. This isn’t good for creating healthy relationships amongst employees of the company, regardless of their level. Making real attempts to get to know employees can go a long way towards building a positive work environment. Laura Garnett writes about this for

“Top CEOs know that a people-first attitude will take them and their business far,” she says. “When you focus on your employees and making them happy and engaged in their work, everyone — including the customer — benefits. Try meeting a new employee every week. As a CEO, it’s important to show that you are available and willing to lean into a people-first attitude yourself. Talk with people in all departments and at all levels. If your company is small, make a point to keep in touch with everyone on an ongoing basis.”

8. Think Empowerment

An overbearing CEO can prevent his or her employees from flourishing and reaching their full potential. Examine where you must be involved and think about areas where you can take a more hands-off approach. Yekutiel explains this in his story.

“Autonomous workplaces are happy ones,” he says. “Step back and give employees the room they need to complete the job they were hired for. A survey of 2,000 office workers conducted by AtTask and Harris Interactive found that 35 percent of those surveyed said they lose valuable working time to excessive oversight. Check that employees have the tools and the freedom to do their job and to have challenging and fulfilling careers.”

9. Provide Additional Training

This might not be top of mind after employees have established themselves in their roles, but they may crave the chance to develop other skills within the workplace, out of pure interest or the desire to move up the ladder. Establishing ways of continuing training processes can lead to enhanced morale and more ambitious employees, Yekutiel explains.

“Improve and advance the skills of employees by launching an internal ‘university’,” he says, “essentially a professional development and training program, in which team members can earn certifications. Rewarding excellence in the program will help to sharpen the skills of top talent while improving job satisfaction and fostering career growth.”

10. Enhance Mentoring

Day-to-day responsibilities can often result in CEOs forgetting the importance of mentoring their less-experienced employees. This can apply to younger people that could be considered as protégés, and also in seeking the wisdom of your own mentors. The benefits of mentoring are strong going both ways, as Garnett writes in her story.

“People learn best from other people, especially when it comes to people skills in the workplace,” she says. “A great mentor won’t just tell you the answers; he or she will coach you through the problem-solving process, so you can learn along the way. Commit to being a more engaged mentor — that’s the number one sign of success for this type of relationship. Great mentorships help employees get and remain engaged in their work, and it helps to reduce employee attrition. While you’re at it, reconnect with your own mentors, and see how they can inspire your own work.”


This article was written by David Kiger from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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