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Are you CEO material? Yvonne wonders

Saturday morning. Rainy, chilly, a great day to stay in bed. No such pleasure awaits me. I'm up and Rainy_dayfaced with the usual tasks - housework, cooking (yes, Virigina, sometimes I cook), shopping, and ... writing. I'd much rather lie back down and grab a good book. I have a dozen or so right by my bed; books I've been meaning to read, and books I've promised to read. Along with books I should read.

Let's keep this post short - the title, Are you CEO material? - is for a purpose. I'm participating in a CEO Fellows group locally. We're a small group of executives - which, in itself, is a relative term - after all, the sole proprietor is an executive, isn't she? Depsite being an employee of one.

So, this particular small group of executives, made up of folks from all walks of professional life, met at the Country Club of Rochester for our first full-day session of learning how to be a CEO. Our host, Bruce Peters, CEO(?) of PeerHQ, the question mark is for Bruce, if he stops by. I'm not sure he uses the title CEO. His website says, Co-founder. But...we're all co-founders, or founders, of our business. The question is: what else are we? If we're leaders...then, CEO or President is the standard recognition, right?

I'm not sure you can learn to be a CEO. You can earn an MBA and go on to become a CEO, doesn't prepare you for the life choices you'll have to make. And, no amount of schooling can really prepare you for dealing with clients, customers, vendors, family, etc. etc. People being unpredictable, and all. Instead, it helps to figure out what your "personal core purpose" give you some solid ground to stand on.

This fellows group is designed to help us ask the right questions, make informed choices, and learn enough about our "personal core purpose," to be able to deal with the trials and tribulations in front of us, as we grow our businesses. Or, not. Not everyone wants to grow his or her business. Some people are happy maintaining. Regardless.

The day was grueling, although all we did was sit. For the most part. Our presenter, at this session, was Pat Murray. He 'entertained' us with stories - all designed to show us something. Illustrate something. Get our gray matter humming. I admit that part of the time I wasn't listening. I was observing. Pat was more than just another great speaker and storyteller. He was down-to-earth and approachable, a word I'm using more and more, thanks to Scott Ginsberg.

In my musings, when I wasn't paying as much attention as I was expected, I watched Pat closely. Watched his mannerisms. Listened for his tone of voice. Watched where he looked, WHO he looked at - when he looked at us. I wondered how he came to be so comfortable up there, in front of a group of so-called CEOs. Maybe it's just a natural talent. I don't know. I do know that I do a fair amount of public speaking and  - I would like to become as good at it as Pat is. Maybe...someday.Life_my_purpose

Meanwhile, I need to concentrate on my "personal core purpose." The reality is, as I sat there listening, and taking notes (i.e.: leading is intensely personal; what price am I willing to pay to be - whatever it is that I want to be? ask a lot of questions, it's in the seeking of answers that you discover the solutions; reality always wins; freedom fund: having enough $$ to be able to live for a year, without a regular paycheck!), I began to understand the need to explore my inner self, before I move too much farther in building Windsor Media Enterprises. It's that Life Plan the Sloan brothers talk about.

Pat quoted a philosopher whose name I negelected to jot down, saying, "People have a deep seated need to be 'special' and 'heroic' " Pat also quoted Lee Thayer a good bit - we'll be hearing Lee at a future date. Lee is the author of Thinking, Being, Doing...a book I've read and in process of re-reading.

I don't know. As the monthly sessions continue, I hope to find out. First, I need to explore my "personal core purpose."

Do you know yours?


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Hey great post. My name is Eric and I'm the author of "Leading at Lightspeed" (blog, and title of my new book coming out soon!) Feel free to use any of the content from my blog (w/credit)! You can find it here: executive business coaching

Craig Flynn

Yvonne--is this a CEO-Fellows II only blog?

Sheree Toth

Hi Yvonne,

Glad you enjoyed the first day! Can you email me the Blog site you mentioned at the dinner for charaties? Thanks, Sheree


Hi Yvonne,
I lost your email, would you mind emailing me? Thanks!

Phil Gerbyshak

Great question! I believe my personal core purpose is to help as many people as I can, in any way that I can. Of course, I can't do everything, so one think I can do is connect people to other people I know who CAN help them.

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