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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Are you allowed to want to be a CEO?

I’m not sure if I do. And no one has ever asked me — except one lunatic headhunter. But isn’t CEOing something that requires an invitation?

Where else … name any other situation where you show up and ask to the leader. Aren’t the best leaders invited to be leaders?

Listening to the 800-CEO-READ podcast of an interview with Justin Menkes, author of Executive Intelligence, I kept quietly hoping I was bright enough … intelligent enough to rank. Again, I’m not convinced the CEO spot’s for me. But I sorta, kinda want to find out if I could do it.

It’s a bit like the server job I tried to get while in university. The restaurant was trendy and exclusive. Once I found out I got the job, I didn’t want it anymore. It might be the same here.

But casting out a screen on the things I am … I don’t really know a lot. I can’t tell if I’d need to. What really gets used … what’s the gap a CEO fills? Knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom … in what ratio?

If knowledge is like construction materials — you either got them or you don’t, then intelligence is like knowing where to put all the pieces in a house that hasn’t got a blueprint, and wisdom is understanding if the house should be built and where to put it.

In order of rarity it’d go wisdom, intelligence, then knowledge. But, according to Menkes, the ranking for CEO goodness is intelligence and knowledge. Wisdom isn’t discussed.

And if I could pick one I’d take wisdom.

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Copyright Jeremy Heigh

Commentary

Well, maybe its sour grapes, maybe its justification, but shooting for the very top may involve
principly deciding to pay the price…in terms of family life and single minded focus. I
think the ambition of the spouse, combined possibly with home life avoidance, may be
contributor factors to the extremes of success.

I have read that shooting for the top and playing well can get you close, but ultimately
the very top job, and the difference between vice-presidents and CEOs is often a function of
luck.

There is also the question of desire – and the belief that “getting to the top” will
scratch the itch…figuring out what the itch is, and what will satisfy it, is not so easy.

There is apparently a link between super success and the failure of fathers to acknowledge
accomplishments of the acheiving offspring.

I have also detected that many super achievers are using power to compensate some sort
of physical limitation – which is a phenomena that I view sympathetically

then there is this..

“Civilization was built by men to impress their girlfriends” Unknown

“I think everyone should be rich and famous, so that they can know that this is not
the answer” Jim Carrey

It’s not sour grapes Randy, you’ve always been a great adviser in this area.

A few things are worth noting. First, I’m not really sure CEOing is for me. Maybe for some of the reasons you’ve mentioned but mostly because I can’t see myself doing it.

Second, I think you are equating an interest in CEOing with a singular interest in cash. For me this isn’t even close to right. I’m looking for the thing I’d do for free. Something I’m naturally passionate about. Cash, while it remains the bloodline of life, isn’t the point.

Third, I think you’re wrong. Not in fact but in principal. I agree that it’d be a real trick to find a powerful CEO with a healthy marriage, healthy kids, and a healthy body. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Just unlikely.

I believe, deeply, that principles define the criteria for decisions. And a principle driven choice would never put in real jeopardy my wife, my son, or my health. Those parts of my life would be sacrificed for other reasons and it’ll be a lie if I ever say I lost them as a consequence of my career.

Rolling backward from those principles, they define my priorities, which in turn define my goals, relationships, and interests. Bluntly put: I’m not interested in people that would have me sacrifice my life for their business.

That keeps me out of the running for those kind of spots.

But, regardless, I was thinking today that Dr. Heigh has a nice ring … what do you think?