Why Most CEOs Fail To Inspire Ownership In Their Teams?

Skye Khilji: For many CEOs and business owners, they often feel like they’re the only one who’s working in the company and the team should be helping to drive the business, but they’re not always kind of pulling their weight, which is a common phrase that we hear used. Is it the team that needs changing usually or is it just the fact that the team has not been aligned in the right way?

Rajesh Nagjee: This is a very interesting question and it really, really goes way back into the time when everybody in the core team was in the school. As a student, every student on a daily basis is trying to stay out of academic trouble. And the critic can be themselves, can be the parents, can be the teacher, or can be the person who’s going to provide admission to them in the college that they want to go or the school that they want to go to. The constant drive is to make that mark happen so that they stay out of trouble. And for the 17-18 years of their life on a daily basis, that’s all they’ve been doing. When they go and join a company, they’ve changed schools, and instead of the principal that was there, now the business owner or the CEO is the principal. And all they’re doing is trying to stay out of trouble and here’s the CEO who’s trying to align his core team and here’s the core team that’s trying to stay out of trouble. And both these are conflicting endeavors or conflicting jobs that they’re doing.

Unless there’s an appreciation on both sides and we are able to find out how can we bring alignment of purpose, the alignment of the core team and the CEO, once you get them aligned on scaling up a business, growing the business, accelerating the business, then there’s a lot of shift in energy, in approach, in dynamics that starts to show up. But I see working with organizations across four different continents is irrespective of which company, which sector, which place, the core team is all the time subconsciously trying to stay out of trouble. When you meet them and you talk to them everything is great, but if you really notice they are all the time hedging their bets, they’re kind of protecting their backside. And here’s the CEO who is kind of banging his head on the wall and in the midst of all of that, there is progress, there is growth, there is success. But if you really, really align both the purposes, then there’s an effortlessness that comes in to scale up and grow the business.

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