Egos and CEOs

At rTraction, we do quarterly check-ins instead of annual reviews. As the CEO of the organization, we have decided that the check-in will be a 360-style format conducted by our COO Rachel Berdan. A CEO performance review is different than other types of reviews. I think the main key difference is that, when you’re the CEO, everything is your fault. The buck truly does stop here.

As such, the evaluation had an interesting overtone of not only how I was doing living up to our core values, purpose and role, but also how our organization is living up to the same aspects. We use a methodology called “Entrepreneur Operating System (EOS)” to run many of the aspects of our business. One of their tools is the People Analyzer. I don’t love the name. I love the tool.

During our review process we ask both the individual being reviewed and the reviewer to rate adherence to core values (ratings are +, +/- or -). We also confirm that the person “gets” the role (i.e., they truly understand their accountabilities and their contributions), “wants” the role (i.e., it is a role that feeds, rather than drains, their energy) and has the “capacity” to do the role (i.e., they have the talent, aptitude, and time to do the role).

The good news is I scored fairly well on the people analyzer. Here are my results:

+/- Team > Ego
+ Listen, Learn, Deliver
+ Take the lead and sometimes the heat
+ Do Good

Gets it: Yes!
Wants it: Yes! (Being a CEO is great)
Capacity: Yes!

The Team > Ego is one of our more recent core value expressions. It used to be expressed as Team > Self, until we realized that the self is part of the team. What we do not want is team members making a decision based on ego that ultimately hurts the team. What we also do not want is team members making a sacrifice on behalf of the team that hurts them, as they’re also part of the team.

I was scored lower here because I sometimes make decisions that impact rTraction that are not in the best interest of the team but are in the best interest of my personal agenda. As the CEO/co-owner of the business, there is a very complex relationship between my purpose within the company and my personal purpose.

As a practical example of this, I’ll be starting to advocate for the Bus Rapid Transit initiative in our city. Is that an ego-based decision or one that is founded in helping rTraction to succeed in its mission and my role as its CEO? The problem is not the answer as to whether or not the CEO of rTraction should weigh in on such events… perhaps he or she should weigh in, as it could be argued that using one’s influence as a business leader is one of the responsibilities of being in such a role. The problem is that I didn’t consider the implications before signing up.

If I want to score myself as a + on the Team > Ego value going forward, I will have to do more reflection on what using my role as CEO of rTraction means. Is it possible to separate the ego/personality of the CEO office from the corporation, or are they intrinsically linked? What do you think?