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A CEO needs Love
Being CEO means handling all the problems that no else can handle or wants to handle.
In that sense, there’s a kind of gravity that pulls trouble in toward CEOs. And this gravity can sometimes weigh very heavily on their shoulders.
The problem that most CEOs face is that they are alone:
Alone when things go wrong, because they are responsible. They carry a mix of fear and stress that blocks communication and openness. When things go wrong, they face silence, and nobody seems to know how to give them solutions, support and confidence.
Alone when things go well, because the pressure of success isn’t well known or mainstream. Their relatives and friends put them on a pedestal, others might be jealous. The more they succeed, the fewer people who are able to understand their challenges. After all, it’s not that common to succeed.
CEOs need peers more than they need mentors.
Peers who are going through the same process can really make a difference. It’s even better if those peers went through the same process not too long ago. They’re enough in advance to have some perspective, but the past isn’t distorted, they can still feel how it really was.
This is where unconditional love is essential.
Just like when you’re a kid, you need to know that there is a group of people who will love you no matter what. They will be there to celebrate with you, they will be there when things go badly, and they have no direct interest other than being genuine.
That kind of camaraderie isn’t a fantasy, it does exist.
But it requires certain ingredients. The community must be curated around strong values and the rules among the peers must be clear and accepted. Then shared experiences develop a common ground, strong foundations for the community.
The reason why we organize so many interactions among the founders at The Family is to nurture this community feeling, as well as simply giving them the opportunity to make new friends.
Because CEOs are humans, and all of us humans need love.
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