7 Practices Every CEO Should Avoid

One of the biggest mistakes I see clients make is believing that their business success solely depends on their individual success.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Your negative and positive decisions are what determine your business success.  

Consistent, small decisions form habits.  Good and bad.  The better the decision making process, the better the outcome. How do you know if your habits are supporting or suffocating your business?  We’ve talked to Fortune 100 to 500 clients in all industries to come up with the consensus on 7 business practices every CEO should avoid.   Each of these can be attributed to business failure in combination or by themselves.  Once you have read through this article.  Do a thorough self reflection to determine if you are doing any of these things on a daily basis.  

Once you have identified which of them you ARE doing, if any, come up with a plan to replace each negative habit with a positive one.  Do what works best for you, your business and most importantly your customers.  There is no cookie cutter solution to business success.   

Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen

New CEO’s, and even seasoned ones, often find themselves in a position where the path that lies ahead, is not in focus.   We’ve been taught, in life in general, that when we don’t know something, we should seek out expert advice or someone who has been in our shoes before.  

While there are certainly many advantages to doing so, if you are finding yourself stuck on the hamster wheel, moving but not making any forward progression, then it could be that you have “too many cooks in the kitchen”, which is the ultimate recipe for failure. 

Asking a Pilot for Medical Advice

Just as asking too many people for advice, listening to the WRONG people can also send your business into a tailspin.  Think about it.  Let’s say you go through all the trouble of having one or two mentors and they are not the RIGHT ones.  Would you ask a pilot for medical advice? The same applies to business.  Don’t ask someone who’s never owned a business or your type of business for advice. 

There are 2 main people you want to avoid seeking business advice from.  This is not an all-inclusive list, by any means:

  1. The Subversionist (AKA the ultimate hater)  
  2. Machiavelli (AKA the down-low hater)

Call them what you want to on the surface.  At the end of the day, each of these individuals are a “hater”.  Some are more obvious than others.   

Don’t be alarmed. Trust your gut! It’s gotten you this far in life. 

Learn to Let Go

Your business is your baby.  As it should be! Not being able to watch your baby grow up and survive without you, is an extremely toxic habit that promotes a destructive work culture. 

You can not expect your business to grow if you are busy working IN it and not ON it.  We’ll talk more about that in another article.  Expert level staff don’t want you looking over their shoulder while they do their jobs.  Learn to delegate and trust the people you have hired to perform the tasks that need to be done to keep your doors open.  You cannot give 100% to 100 different aspects of your business.  #Message

Keeping Yes Men Around

Ideas are the fuel of your business.  Most importantly, varying ideas from different people — not just yours as the CEO.  Not being able to work with people who don’t always agree with you or who challenge you is a huge mistake.  Yes men only accomplish one thing —  stroking your ego. 

Not feeling free to express ideas, or your honest and humble feedback in a business setting is a huge red flag for today’s employees.  

Encourage people to think outside the box and SHARE those ideas with you. Your bottom line will thank you! 

Not Investing In Yourself & Your Team

Knowledge is power.  Regardless of how many years you have been in business, investing in your continual education is integral to the growth of your business, and ultimately its success.  The people who are keeping your business running and operational also need to be invested in.  Technology, people, and industry specific training are most beneficial for all of you. 

While FREE courses are good, paid courses are thorough.  If everyone could Google business success, everyone would have it.  

Staying In Your Safety Bubble

We are creatures of habit, by nature.  Business is no different.  Whether it’s embracing new technology, a new customer base or a new location, as CEOs we must be willing to adapt what worked well in the past to what the current situation calls for.   It’s called stepping out of your comfort zone. 

It’s not about forcing anything, but being flexible enough in your thinking to be able to see the entire picture.  How some of the old fits in and maybe even compliments the new and vice versa.  

Trying To Be Someone Else

It’s tricky navigating this crazy world of entrepreneurship and oftentimes CEOs can lose sight of what makes their business model, and the business itself unique.  Especially as competition grows and gets more stiff.  

It’s easy to look at what the influencers are doing, or what happens to be trending on Twitter and try to mimic that instead of remembering what made you successful in the first place.  If you haven’t reached success, trying to be someone else won’t help you get there.  

Remember to set yourself apart from the competition and to not get drowned out by the noise of what’s “in”.   There’s nothing wrong with trending, as long as you remember to find that healthy balance of trending content with originality and purpose. 

Now that you know some of the habits you should avoid as a CEO, keep in mind that these are habits that can be easily overcome by simply changing two things. The first is your thought process and the second is your follow through.  

Continually reinforce decisions — which become habits — with positivity.  Continually grow, learn and most importantly, have fun!  Remember, you cannot do it on your own, so make sure you get your team on the same page!  

See you at the top! 


  • Latasha Chubb

    L. Renee started her career as a Grant Administrator for the State of Ohio, where she wrote a $2 million block grant. Now a four-time published author and Financial Coach, L. Renee is passionate about helping individuals and businesses build wealth and overcome negative thoughts about finances and money. According to L. Renee, building wealth is not just about money, but also about the freedom to live life on your terms.

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