A truly successful CEO is able to combine really big thinking with down and dirty execution. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have had two bosses who worked that combination well.
I was reminded of the power of this combo a couple years ago when my son recommended a book by Howard Bloom titled, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism. This one is filled with big ideas. I wondered how many American CEOs were reading it. Here are a few pithy excerpts:
- “A little choice is freedom. Too much choice is agony.
- What drives you? Desire is the force behind every exchange, behind every bit of commerce between you and me. Desire is the force behind supply and demand…an emotion.
- Capital is stored vision, stored courage, stored persistence, stored persuasion, stored imagination, stored daring, stored promotion, stored advertising, stored social organization, stored fantasy, stored ego. (As opposed to the Marx theory that capital is merely stored labor.)
- Carry your consumers in your heart. Crusade on their behalf. Don’t posture for your peers. Fight for your audiences. Fight for the creators in your company.
- Your business is not to plunder, but to please.”
My journey through this book awakened me to the realization that truly effective business leaders combine their understanding of the big ideas behind capitalism with their ability to create and execute a potent business plan. They think the big thoughts which help with their visioning and values processes, and they inspire and delegate and lead their troops to the achievement of company objectives in an extremely competitive arena.
The lesson is that great business leaders understand the history of civilization and the role of capitalism in that history. In addition, they are skilled at establishing an environment for strategic planning and skilled at implementing those plans. That’s a winning combo in the world of business!