Here’s a big secret many HR executives don’t understand: You’re not the only ones in your organization who have trouble getting the CEO’s attention.

Keep in mind that nearly all CEOs suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. Not literally, of course. But they’re constantly juggling priorities – so it’s hard to get and keep their attention. If they don’t see value quickly, they’ll become impatient and move on.

So here’s what’s important to them:

  1. CEOs think in terms of “optimal deployment of resources.” Chief executives all understand that their organizations are counting on them to allocate the company’s cash, people and physical assets in a way that maximizes return on investment, or ROI. Since resources are always limited, bad decisions on how to deploy them can be catastrophic.
  2. They spend a lot of time managing risk and uncertainty. CEOs travel in uncharted territories, and they’re vitally interested in anyone who can help them identify – and avoid – the land mines that nobody else has considered.
  3. They live in the future. The CEO’s #1 job is to figure out where the organization should be in six months, 12 months, five years. Sure, they care about the present – but they count on their managers to execute the operational details day to day.

photo credit: bankdis

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