Wednesday, October 27, 2010

8 Key Patterns of Successful CEO’s:

Every President of their business wants to be successful. Here are 8 patterns that describe successful CEO’s:

1) A person who respects others

2) A leader that attracts top talent

3) Someone who really knows where and how their business makes money

4) A forward looking leader

5) A manager that establishes specific performance objectives

6) A leader who is sales oriented

7) One who possesses an appropriate level of detail

8) A President who attracts and listens to good outside advisors

If you employ these 8 patterns, chances are you’ll run a highly successful business.

Next week’s blog: Why New Businesses Fail:

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don’t Be Blind to Embezzlement Signs:

Jan Quintrall of Spokane’s Better Business Bureau wrote an article in the Spokesman Review a few years ago regarding embezzlement signs. Here they are:

1) The person that reconciles bank accounts cannot be the one who writes the checks.

2) The person who opens the mail, receiving checks or processing the credit card batches should not be the person who makes the deposits

3) Do spot audits with your CPA. Honest employees won’t object.

4) Do background credits check on any employee who will be handling money or products prior to hiring.

5) Cross-train and move duties around every once in a while.

A final note: it’s almost always the “trusted, long-term employee” who embezzles. Remember, they know your system and if procedures aren’t air-tight, they know how to circumvent them.

Next week’s blog: 8 Key Patterns of Successful CEO’s:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Need an Advisory Board:

Even a small company needs an outside advisory board. An advisory board can clarify strategic direction as well as provide diverse opinions on how to handle thorny issues. And, someone who is not an insider in the company will generally have a more dispassionate view than employees who have a vested interest in the outcome.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “How can I afford a board of directors when I’ve only got 8 employees?” The answer is, if done correctly, you won’t have to pay them anything other than perhaps a lunch now and then!

Get to know other President’s of small companies from different industry groups. Ask them to join you in an ad hock advisory group that will be available whenever one of you has an issue. These President’s will probably jump at the chance to have someone else’s advice because they face problems just like you do and many times they have questions on what’s the best course of action to take.

This informal group doesn’t need to have monthly meetings or any other structured arrangement. Generally speaking you will only need to get the advice from one or two of the members and it can be done over breakfast or perhaps on the golf course.

We all know that running our companies can be a lonely job. Well, this loneliness can be alleviated by having other President’s who face the same issues you do. And, guess what? You’ll probably make a few lifelong friends in the process.

Next week’s blog: Don’t Be Blind to Embezzlement Signs:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Overled & Undermanaged???

Remember the old saw that “leaders do the right thing and that managers do things right?” Well according to Henry Mintzberg in Business Week, today’s businesses are overled and undermanaged.

Strategies that end up being successful should not be conceived at the “top”. Rather they should grow throughout the organization via a kind of distributed leadership. Studies show that vital information is typically transmitted to a CEO informally, oftentimes orally, rather than in formal reports. Leaders who are removed from day to day managing aren’t going to get these messages.

Management can be messy and requires an enormous amount of work by the leaders of business. If, you as President, don’t spend the appropriate amount of time managing, don’t count on your managers to spend the necessary time managing either. A prime example would be Ken Lay at Enron. While Ken was out hobnobbing with world leaders, his President, Jeff Skilling was driving the company into bankruptcy.

According to James G. March, “Leadership involves plumbing as well as poetry”. So, remember, the best leaders are good plumbers as well.

Next week’s blog: You Need an Advisory Board: