CEO driveby

I've learned that CEOs need to be careful about the perennial CEO driveby.
As CEO, I have permission and responsibility to go outside the normal organizational boundaries to make sure the organization succeeds. I can ask what is going on in any part of the organization. Here's the problem with careless use of this right:

  • Simple inquiries can and often are mis-interpreted as a request... or worse yet, a demand to do something.
  • The random question or suggestion in the midst of an on-going process can and often does have the opposite effect -- it can interrupt ....or worse yet, undermine forward momentum of an existing team or manager.

Thus, the name -- CEO driveby.  I've learned the way around this is simple -- don't do it. Resist the temptation. (easier said then done) Make a note of your inquires and suggestions and bring them up during your weekly meeting with your managers.