Tag Archives: Goals

Unique Job, Lonely Role

CEO accountabilities are unique within the enterprise

A CEO

As CEO, or business owner, or company president, you occupy a unique and a lonely position. Not surprisingly, your job description is a one-of-a-kind, whether you have actually written it or not. You are accountable for certain high level responsibilities, because only you can perform them. It is these responsibilities that should be your guide to priorities, to how you spend your company time.

Here are the universal accountabilities for someone running a private business, regardless of the size of that business. Continue reading

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What to keep, what to shuck

Every CEO should read Built to Last

A Business Classic

This week I led two sessions of my Workshop on Strategic Thinking. Preparing for these sessions reminded me of the significance of the 1994 business classic by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last. One of the most important concepts of the book is the theme, Preserve the Core / Stimulate Progress.

Especially at the start of a new year, Continue reading

I’d rather have a root canal…

The CEO often needs an outside expert to reduce the pain and increase the effectiveness

AnnaMarie Mazoch DDS, PA

Attitude is everything.  If I go to the dentist expecting to be hurt, there’s a good chance I can make that happen.  If you begin your business planning process expecting it to be drudgery – or worse (and you really would rather have a root canal), it’s probably going to be drudgery – or worse.  My dentist does not hurt me.  She has the expertise and equipment to deliver results performing the most difficult procedures while keeping the patient relatively comfortable.

You’re expecting me to point out a parallel with strategic planning, and I won’t disappoint.  Continue reading

Planning – Necessary or a Waste of Time?

CEO planning includes strategic thinking and tools for recording those thoughts

Record your strategic thoughts.

To plan, or not to plan – Most CEOs openly admit to the value of planning, regardless of the level of effort they put into it. Those who do not see value in planning have their reasons: The creative entrepreneur finds the structure of planning simply too restrictive.  Or, the world simply moves too fast. Any plan is immediately obsolete.

Whether these are rationalizations or heartfelt beliefs, I beg to differ.  Continue reading

Constant Connection

Cell phone can hinder CEO productivity.

Cute, but distracting

Near the start of a recent peer advisory board meeting, the CEO to my right was noticeably jittery.  I asked him if everything was OK, and he explained that he had decided to leave his cell phone in the car for the morning.  He believed it would be a good idea to get away from it for several hours to devote his full attention to the meeting, but he was definitely showing some physical signs of withdrawal. Continue reading

Fuzzy Vision?

CEO and Corporate Vision

CEO Lynn Nathan takes the long view

Does every CEO have a clear vision of where they are trying to take their company?  Do you?

Almost every book published on the subject of strategic planning emphasizes the importance of a long range vision, a clear picture of how the business will be different in 5 or 10 years.  Self-help entrepreneurial books include the same emphasis.  Why, then, do so many business owners struggle with this concept?  When asked, “How big do you want this business to become?” why do so many answer, “I don’t know”?

Because it’s the truth.  Sometimes you don’t know.  You may be so focused on surviving the current year that you can’t allow yourself the luxury of looking ahead to better times.  Or, you simply don’t know where you want to take the company ultimately.  That doesn’t mean you’re inept.  This “vision thing” just is not a priority for you at this time.

The crucial question is whether your business suffers for lack of your vision. Continue reading

Resolved to Grow

CEO New Year's Resolutions

My “Resolutions”

A new year is launched and they’re at it again – telling us we need to formulate our New Year’s Resolutions.  I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions (except…well… see below).  But it occurred to me that this resolution concept might be useful in dealing with the challenge of the first step in the strategic planning process – articulating your vision.

Yesterday I sent to my family members a list of my seven “resolutions” for 2012.  These were not goals – i.e., they were not specific and measurable in the manner of good business goals.  Rather, they were direction-setting commitments.  For example, number 3 was “to be increasingly creative in what I do.” Continue reading