Think like a CEO: The No. 1 Way to Fail


For some, it can be lonely at the top. It can be stressful. Sitting at the top of the company, all the eyes are on you for direction. Something goes awry, and it’s your fault. An employee drops the ball and loses a $2 million account and it’s your head. Something negative is said about you in the press, and you have to react immediately.

Success means a lot of different things to a lot of people.

While we all share similar drive, we all share in the stress at the top, too. The long hours, the heavy responsibility, the hard work will weigh on you. The pressure is always on.

However, how you cope with it can make or break you and even your business.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is now, the spotlight is on.

When Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was caught on video in a heated exchange with an employee, his reputation took a hit. He was forced to issue an apology not long after. That exchange should have never taken place, though. He lost his cool.

That’s now how a CEO should ever react to an employee or any one.

He failed to listen. He failed to think about his words. He failed to act appropriately.

In order to be successful, you need to make sure you understand it. You do that by listening and understanding what is being said. That way, you have a better understanding of the issue at hand, and can plan out your next move well.’s Jeff Bezos faces incredible amounts of stress running a $474 billion company where everybody knows his name. He can’t afford to lose this cool. The last thing he’s going to do is risk his $83.5 billion fortune by handling a stressful situation the wrong way.

To handle stress, he doesn’t waste a lot of time thinking about it, he told Entrepreneur.

“I find as soon as I identify it, and make the first phone call, or send off the first email message, or whatever it is that we’re going to do to start the conversation – even if it’s not solved – the mere fact that we’re addressing it dramatically reduces any stress that might come from it.”

So how do some of the most stressed CEOS and entrepreneurs handle stress?

They stay organized well. They refuse to get caught up in the panic and chaos. They remain professional, as the leader. Without a leader, there is disarray. With disarray, there comes more stress. With more stress, some lose their minds and their business.

They also focus on solutions, and not the problems. They take breaks. If something is making you stress a bit too much, breathe. Go for a walk, laugh with your kid. Marissa Mayer once noted that, “I pace myself by taking a week-long vacation every four months.”

The worst way to ever deal with stress is by thinking about giving up.

Not everything will work as you hoped. It has forced some to consider giving up on everything.  But what have you proved doing so?  Nothing.  By giving up, you give up on success.

"On every adventure I have been on – whether setting up a business, flying around the world in a balloon or racing across oceans in a boat – there have been moments when the easy thing to do would be to give up. By simply not giving up, brushing yourself down and trying again, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.” – Richard Branson

The better you manage stress, the more productive you become.