How to Break through the CEO Ceiling

CEOs have many skills and habits that push their business to grow and succeed, but once a business reaches a certain level, often referred to as the CEO ceiling or the CEO cap, some of those same skills and habits can start to drag successful companies down, which in turn can cause unnecessary stress and push CEOs to overwork themselves. In fact, one study discovered “that CEOs of large companies can age faster and die sooner due to the high-stress scenarios of the job.”

What can you do as a CEO with many responsibilities to decrease your stress and still break that CEO ceiling to help your business continue succeeding?

  1. Maintain a work-life balance. Many CEOs are fully invested in their businesses, which is typically a fantastic thing; however, when this begins to impede on important or even regular life events such as a child’s birthday or normal mealtimes, CEOs may begin to experience burnout, which in turn decreases productivity. You can fight against this by making sure you take time for yourself. Take a vacation, and don’t think about work while you’re there. Clock out at the end of the day, and leave unfinished work for the morning. Don’t take work home. As you take time for yourself, you’ll feel more refreshed when you’re at work, and you’ll be able to focus better on the tasks at hand. This will increase your productivity, which will help your business grow.
  1. It can be frightening to delegate responsibilities for your company, especially when you’ve already invested a lot of personal time, money, and effort to get it to where it is today. But if you don’t delegate some responsibilities to other people, you’re much more likely to experience burnout, and your employees are more likely to feel neglected or untrusted. This means everyone is less productive, and work standards may begin to lower. As you delegate more, you won’t have quite as much to overwhelm you, and you’ll begin to feel less stress. You’ll have more time to devote to other responsibilities, and you’ll be able to focus more, allowing you to do the responsibilities you do have better. Additionally, instead of focusing on tasks, you may not be as good at, you can focus on your talents of building your business.
  1. Learn to say no . . . a lot. As your company grows, you’ll have more and more demands on your time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t come with any added time in your day, so you’ll have to decide what’s actually worth your attention on any given day. Saying no to things that aren’t necessary or that other people can do instead frees up your time to do more important tasks or tasks you’re better at. And doing things you enjoy during work will help you feel less stressed and more involved in the company, which involvement will help your business grow.
  1. Focus on things you’re interested in. The role of CEO often comes responsibilities that aren’t always enjoyable, but if you’ve gotten to the position where you don’t enjoy anything about your job, you’re much more likely to burn out and lose interest in your company. While you may not be able to get rid of certain undesirable responsibilities, passing on some of them allows you to be able to focus on responsibilities you do care about and enjoy. This will create more enjoyment for you in your workspace and will ensure you’re using your time and talents wisely. Just because you’ve reached a limit of what you can do by yourself for your company, it doesn’t mean you’ve reached the limit of your company. As you take time for yourself, delegate, say no, and focus on things you’re interested in, you’ll find you had more resources than you realized, and you’ll be able to use them well to push your company past the CEO ceiling.