CEO = Chief Encouragement Officer

Part 1 – What does it take to Encourage?

I noticed the title of a person who emailed me recently and although he was the CEO of the organization, he used the term Chief Encouragement Officer as his title.  It struck me that many times the Chief Executive Officer of the company does not do the things that they should do to ensure that they encourage those serving in roles that support the organization.

Roget’s Thesauruses lists the following definition to the word encouragement:


  1. Something that encourages: inspiration, motivation, stimulation.
  2. Something that causes and encourages a given response: fillip, impetus, impulse, incentive, inducement, motivation, prod, push, spur, stimulant, stimulation, stimulator, stimulus.

That definition tells us that to encourage means to inspire, motivate and stimulate, to prod, push or spur on.  How many times as CEO’s do we in reality invoke these characteristics in those we lead in the organization?  Not only do they need to be inspired, motivated or stimulated, but they need to be inspired to do what is right, best and most valuable to the company.

 We can also inspire or motivate someone to leave the company if we are not careful how we communicate and what we communicate to them.  Many times we actually discourage, de-motivate or stimulate the wrong behavior.  It is important that we understand the role of encouragement in being the CEO.  We are visible to others, expected to lead and communicate effectively and to be an example that inspires.

With respect to leading a company it is essential that we have a plan for the growth, stability, finances and infrastructure of the entity. We should encourage our staff by being prepared, focused and profitable.

Encouragement in terms of the finances comes from things that the CFO (not Chief Fun Officer) has prepared for you.  Here is a list of things that provide a basis for encouragement to the employees of your company:

  • Forecast of sales/income for the coming year
  • Budget of expenses for the coming year
  • Profitability plan for the coming year
  • Set of Goals for the company as well as each department
  • Set of Goals for the employee in each department
  • Compensation Plan for each employee that is line with the preceding items.

    Are you encouraged by things you don’t know, don’t hear about, don’t understand or don’t experience?

    To me I am encouraged by those things I hear, see, feel and experience.  Therefore, you can possess these things but unless they are communicated and reinforced for your employees, you will not be serving as the Chief Encouragement Officer. 

    If you don’t have those financial tools in place you also may become discouraged.  It takes a lot of work to be a CEO and even more help from your CFO to ensure that your role is seen as an encouragement to those you are working with.

    Don’t leave your staff in the dark, don’t be in the dark yourself. Take the steps to encourage those in your company and you will find by being prepared you will also enjoy encouragement as those around you radiate those feelings. Make sure your CFO provides the financial tools to ensure you provide encouragement

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