Tag Archives: LinkedIn

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

The CEO as Moral Leader

CEOs might take direction from Cicero when it comes to virtueWhat obligation does the CEO have as the moral leader of a privately held enterprise? Sounds like a good roundtable discussion that could result in energized conversation for hours. It will not take that long to make my point.

Personal virtue was part of the Roman culture 2000 years ago. Although the Roman republic turned out to be a failed experiment, and the ensuing empire was far from flawless, the Roman concept of virtue had a lot to do with the profound influence of that culture on the history of Western Civilization.

I often preach the importance of defining core values for any privately held business. Continue reading

3 Things I Learned Today

To their own detriment, CEOs often fail to set aside time for informational seminars and networking.

“Thinking with the (Business) Stars 9/26/2012

This morning I participated in a two-hour event for business owners who came together for a briefing in 3 diverse, high-impact areas: HR Litigation Landmines; a practical approach to Social Media; and what experience teaches about Business Exit Strategies.  I learned:

1-Never ever write a recommendation for a past employee.

2-If you want to attract younger customers in any business, you have to have and creatively utilize a company Facebook page.

3-If your exit strategy includes you financing part or all of the selling price, odds are you will end up back in your business long after you planned to be gone. Continue reading

Is Your Vision Like a GPS?

CEO Guide?

Where do you keep your map?

How would you like traveling with a GPS system that was audible-only?  As you neared each intersection, a robot-like voice would issue the command.  “Turn right now” or “continue straight”.

How much easier and less stressful is it for you to already have the general map to your destination in your head?

So it is within your organization.  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

Quiet, Please

Great CEOs know when and how to listen

Marian, the Librarian

You run a business.  That gives you the right to talk…a lot, if you so choose.  And clear communication is important.  Articulating your vision for the business, the values you hold dear, and an overarching purpose for what you do, are all important (and too seldom discussed).

Your employees benefit from your wisdom as well as from your sense of direction.

However, in your passion for moving your business forward, or under the pressure to get things on the right track again, Continue reading


Inspiration to initiate

Poke the Box

I recently re-read Seth Godin’s Poke the Box.  In the words of the author, this book is “a manifesto about starting”.  I re-read it because of the frequency with which I encounter the disease of not starting.  CEOs I work with sometimes become frozen for a period of time in a state of non-starting.   In addition, everyone who has employees has, at some time (constantly?), had to deal with an employee who refuses to take any initiative.

I have lifted the following four statements directly from the book, Continue reading

Your Business Should Be Like Spaghetti Sauce

Product Customization

Spaghetti Sauce

Have you discovered your formula for success in business?  Does it include focusing your resources and efforts on being truly outstanding in your industry? If so, great!  However…because we humans are so complex, and because you are doing whatever you do for other humans, being outstanding in your line of work is not enough.

Author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell describes the success of Howard Moskowitz in helping Prego spaghetti sauce achieve leading market share in the U.S.  The secret was not in developing the single, best-tasting sauce on the planet.  It was in realizing that tastes vary from individual to individual.  Prego’s success came from having over 30 different sauces so that each consumer could discover one that delighted.

No matter what product or service you offer and deliver, Continue reading

Managing Through the Dips

Cycles are inevitable in all areas of life

Ups and Downs

Three things happened within the past 24 hours that reminded me of the value of a leader who can manage effectively through the cycles.

1)    One of my clients was shocked by the sudden resignation of a key employee.

2)    My Major League Baseball team was swept in a three-game series by an intradivisional rival, keeping them in the basement of their division.

3)    One of my clients offered the “Thought for the Day” at the beginning of our peer advisory board meeting that captured a differentiating factor for any successful entrepreneur: belief that their efforts would eventually pay off. Continue reading

Soft Spots

I saw a medical specialist 7 months ago.  Three weeks after my visit, I received an insurance company statement indicating what was covered and what I should expect to be billed for.  Two months later, when I had not received a bill from the doctor, I called his office and was told they could not find the paperwork from the insurer.  I emailed it to them.  Three months later, I called again to explain I still had not received a bill.  They told me they were running behind on getting billing out.  It’s now seven months and still no bill!

This crazy episode has caused me to start asking my CEO clients: “What are the soft spots in your business processes?” Continue reading