Being the leader of a business isn’t always glamourous. More often than not, your time is going to be spent figuring out where your company went wrong.
In the book Great CEOs Are Lazy (Inc. Original Imprint, 2016), leadership consultant Jim Schleckser argues that the best CEOs aren’t the ones who spend 100 hours every week at the office–instead, they are the ones who know how to effectively spend their time. In the following edited excerpt, Schleckser, the CEO of the Inc. CEO Project, a coaching and peer advisory organization, explains why that many executives struggle to find time to address organizational problems.
Continue reading The Single Most Important Job of Any CEO
It all begins with answering a crucial question: What makes your business unique?
Southwest Airlines, Google and the Ritz Carlton are three of the most successful companies around. But what makes each of them so successful?
The answer is that all three of these companies have a crystal clear understanding about what their basis for competition is and have completely aligned their business around that.
Let me explain, with a nod to Michael Porter and Brian Tracy.
Continue reading The Secret to the Success of Southwest Airlines, Google, and Ritz Carlton: It’s Not What You think
It’s a question many CEOs start asking when their company reaches a certain size: Is it time for me to look for an advisory board?
It’s worth noting that the question relates to creating an “advisory board” which is very different than a board of directors or fiduciary board, which involves legal obligations.
In deciding whether you need an advisory board or not, you need to start by deciding what you want your board to help you with.
Continue reading Do you Need a Board of Advisors?
Eventually you can’t count on superhero employees and have to deploy systems if you want to scale.
In the earliest days of most companies, entrepreneurs can’t afford the systems that exist in bigger companies. Instead, entrepreneurs rely on hiring super-talented people skilled in doing everything from serving clients and delivering products to closing the books.
Continue reading How to Scale Your Company By Shifting From Talent to Systems
While lots of mergers fail, and if you had to pick one reason – it is companies rushing in without really vetting the potential match.
It seems there is news everyday about a proposed merger or acquisition between two companies. While buying another company is certainly a viable strategy for helping your company achieve your long-term vision, the statistics about the failure rate of acquisitions is certainly sobering. One KPMG study found, for example, that 83% of all M&A deals end in failure.
Continue reading How to Try Before You Buy a Company
Sharing equity with your team can be a powerful motivator, and there are two basic ways most firms do it.
Continue reading Two Ways To Share Equity With Your Team
Kids and employees have an amazing ability to pick up on when our behaviors don’t match up with our words.
For those of you who are parents, you will be all too familiar with the fact that we tend to say one thing, but do another – which is something our kids are great at pointing out. Kids have an amazing ability to pick up on inconsistency, especially when our behaviors don’t match up with our words.
Continue reading As a Leader, Everything Matters
Every business has the occasional fire. When it hits, you should have plenty of people who we call “Firefighters” while avoiding folks we label “Snow Cones.
“Every business, from successful startups to well-established corporate giants, hits a rough patch or two. It’s just a part of doing business.
But if you’re going to weather those storms as an organization, you’ll need people who can handle the heat and won’t melt under pressure. In other words, you should be hiring plenty of who we might call “Firefighters” while avoiding bringing on folks we might label “Snow Cones.” Let me explain. Continue reading Are Your Employees Firefighters or Snow Cones?
Warren Buffett knows great financials are critical to the success of any business, they are really just outcomes from having a strong “machine” and an impenetrable “moat” for your business.
When you ask most CEOs about their vision for their business, they usually give you an answer built around metrics like number of customers, market share, or profitability.
But what I would argue is that while all of those numbers are critical to the success of any business, they are really just outcomes that result from having a strong “machine” and a “moat” for your business. Continue reading Moats and Machines: How Warren Buffett Analyzes a Business
A word of caution for any entrepreneur who has founded a business and remains active in it: you might need to fire your CEO – yourself.
Of course, every owner of a growing business knows what it’s like to play multiple roles. But let’s focus on the distinction between two of them: owner and CEO.
Continue reading Are You an Owner or an Operator: Why You Might Need To Fire Yourself?