Becoming the CEO of ... Yourself
by Pamela Ruebusch

When you can show that you are in control, empowered and responsible in your job, you will be given the opportunity to make a difference.

Have you ever seen someone's soulfulness coming out in the workplace? It's a wonderful thing to experience. These are the people who show true leadership, who care about the outcome beyond their own personal gain, beyond their paycheck.

And they are not necessarily found behind the biggest desk or carrying the most senior title. They can be found at all levels of the organization. In fact, we all have to be leaders in our lives, our jobs, our relationships and our careers.

How can you get there? How can you be a leader? With so many stresses to deal with at work and beyond, most people feel they are running on empty before their workday even begins. How can they be expected to dig deeper and find it within themselves to give more at work?

You've got to take a step back before you take the step forward.

We are living in a time where we are expected to 'Do it all' and 'Have it all' in order to feel fulfilled. It's a trap many of us find ourselves in and one that can be hard to recognize and even harder to get out of. But how many of us have stopped for a moment to look at our own personal goals instead of society's pressures on what we think we need to strive for in life? Often, our career falls short of giving us the fulfillment that it once did because the pressures and exposures are so much greater.

Have you ever heard that saying, "if I knew I couldn't fail, I would do..."? How many times in the last year have you felt a sense of freedom, were in "awe of the possibilities", enthused, excited and optimistic about the future?

Most of the time, we don't take the time, or feel we even have the time, to contemplate these notions. What this is telling me is we are spending too much time in the "doing" mode and too little in "reflective" mode.

Why do we need to take the time to reflect? In order to balance out our thoughts and recognize what we have actually done. This can put a whole lot into perspective and allow us to feel the satisfaction of our contribution to our work, our families and our relationships overall. This is part of taking a leadership role in controlling our own destiny. This is part of becoming the CEO of ... yourself.

When you show to others that you are in control, empowered and responsible in your job, you demonstrate a readiness to take things on. People will sense your willingness and afford you the opportunity to make a difference with your work. What's more, you really do not need anyone's permission to have this attitude. You simply choose to do so and then, work towards it. And when you choose this philosophy in work and life, most often, you will walk away from each experience feeling good.

Even if your current boss is an obstacle to your upward mobility and work satisfaction, try to find a way to go beyond the call of duty for that higher common good. Somebody, somewhere will notice and appreciate the extra effort put in. It will come back to you some way or another. What you will find is that it is often not the big things, it's the little things that stand out and make a difference with your customers and your co-workers. Demonstrating leadership can happen in any role within any company at any time.

When good efforts are put forth and good deeds are offered up in your work life, you may begin to reshape your workplace environment and overall landscape of your department, making a larger impact on your company than you might expect. If employees feel connected, safe and cared about, chances are they will go that extra mile. If we communicate effectively with our employees, our vendors and our customers, positive outcomes can result.

Learning, sharing, active communication and the connections we feel as humans are often the sparks that ignite that true soulfulness we seek in the workplace. Giving people space to think and add their values means they will in turn feel their value. And once this human spirit becomes engaged and present in your workplace, a priceless and invaluable capital return to you the employer will be realized.

We all, at one point or another, will be called on by someone or some circumstance to take that quantum leap towards empowerment and responsibility, so why not start now?

Pamela Ruebusch is Senior Partner TSI Group (, one of Canada's leading recruitment, training and development firms in supply chain management. Pamela is well-known in Canadian logistics circles and plays an active role on many industry committees, associations and events. Contact Pamela by e-mail:

This article was originally featured in Canadian Transportation & Logistics
and is reprinted with permission.

Many more articles in Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2004 by Pamela Ruebusch. All rights reserved.

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