Be the CEO of your Life


I was in a meeting recently and a gentleman stood up and posed a challenge to everyone in the room, “Don’t sit back and let things happen to your customers. Act as if you’re the CEO of your territory.” It really was a pretty interesting concept and as everyone around the room would raise a concern about what was going on with their particular situation, the gentleman would immediately come back at them with a, “Okay, as CEO of your territory how are you going to solve that problem?”

This got me to thinking about how this same concept applies to all aspects of a person’s life. And it’s not only in business, but also in our personal relationships, family interactions, and even what we feel about politics or the customer service at the corner grocery store. So many people sit back and watch things happen to them and then quickly pipe up with their complaints about what a travesty it is. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • “If only [insert name or department] would listen, this company wouldn’t be such a mess.”

  • “That [insert name of politician] is going to destroy this country!”

  • “My wife/husband/partner never listens to me, always yells at me, treats me poorly, makes me sad.”

  • “I hate it when [person] insists on hogging the TV remote.”

What does a CEO do when they’re in charge of something? Well, some CEOs are completely worthless and they fail to make decisions, or even worse, they make stupid decisions and (either way) things quickly start falling apart around them. This applies to all aspects of a person’s life. If you fail to take actions or rush to make poor decisions you will quickly see things nosedive.

Being a true CEO of your life means doing two distinct (and quite different) things:

  1. Figure out what you can do to fix a situation even when you don’t immediately feel like you have the ability to do so.

  2. Realize somethings aren’t that big of a deal and you just need to let it go.

It’s actually that simple. Either you do something or you don’t. There’s no in between.

So, if your Love of your life is doing something that you can’t stand, think to yourself, “What would a CEO do in this situation? Would they address the problem and establish expectations? Is it something that would warrant the CEO’s attention?” If it is a major situation that is causing damage to your relationship, then speak up and say that what’s happening is no longer acceptable. If it’s important enough, don’t sit back and think that there’s nothing you can do. There’s ALWAYS something you can do. If it’s a minor situation, you need to decide if this simply is just a part of being with with your Love. Once you start approaching your life as a CEO, you will realize that you’re in control and you have all sorts of options.

Likewise, in your business world. There’s always something you can do. If there is a process that isn’t working so many of us simply fold our arms, pout, and commence with the complaining about what a mess everything is. How about trying to seek out people who feel the same way you do and making a business case? If the head of a department won’t do something that seems so absolutely clear to you, have you put together a business case about the revenue you’re going to lose? What would a CEO do?

If you’re not happy with what the President, Member of Congress, or local school board is doing, have you attended a meeting to raise your concerns. Have you picked up the phone? Have you written a letter to the editor? Don’t be a victim or someone that rants and raves about what a mess everything is. Do something about it!

If your Love, isn’t doing what you feel is necessary for the two of you to be a success then it is time that you take control, stand up for what is important, and also realize that some things aren’t worth the effort and should be let go.

The next time something in your life challenges you, think about what someone who is in complete control would or should do.

Be the CEO of your life.

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