1. Don’t pretend you’re not really in charge.
If the buck stops at your desk, acting like you’re the same as everyone else won’t work. It’s a bit like parents who try to function as their children’s friends, rather than as authority figures. It may be more fun in the short run, but will likely lead to bad results in the long run.
There are a very few exceptions–one is Morning Star, the tomato processor that has rigorously maintained a non-hierarchical structure since the 1970s. But that takes a lot of forethought, planning, and careful hiring of like-minded individuals. And even so, the company’s non-CEO founder must occasionally serve as decider of last resort when employees are unable to resolve their conflicts.
Being the top decision-maker doesn’t always feel right. Here’s how to make it better.