Five CEO Secrets

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Over the past 35 years I have advised many CEO’s during both growth and recession times, and I have identified many factors that make the extra-ordinary CEO, stand apart from the ordinary. There are however 5 key secrets that successful CEO’s do have in common.

The first is that a CEO is absolutely clear that their No. 1 responsibility is to Produce Profitable Results.

A good CEO knows that the prime purpose of business is to attract and retain customers. Therefore they embrace the responsibility that they have to figure out every possible way to achieve this purpose while making a healthy profit.

Because a business without customers can never be healthy and inevitably leads to adopting a policy of attracting more loans to keep going...instead of focusing on a strategy of attracting more customers to keep growing.

It is the role of a CEO to think strategically, as to how strategic ideas can be transformed into double-digit profit. It is not the role of a CEO to think operationally.

The role of strategy is to establish a definitive edge that will deliver value, profitable return and leave the competition standing. For example, introducing Entrepreneurial Leadership, which is the blending of those agile attributes instrumental in the successful founding of a company with the leadership skills required to sustain profitable growth, implements a definitive edge that delivers greater value to both customer and organisation.

The key is to refine and align Operational Attention with Strategic Intention.

Successful CEO’s do not allow distractions. And they know when to say no. Business is not being active with minutiae. It is productively getting done what is important.

Successful CEO’s get things done.  Getting things done is accomplishment. And herein lies the challenge, for most CEO’s may want their people to get things done, yet repeatedly ask about the ‘doing’ of what they want done. 
There are 3 stages of important work: Do, Doing and Done. Only the last is actual accomplishment. And to accomplish great things, there is a clear discipline to ignore distractions.

Particularly those challenges, for example, that the company has no influence over whatsoever. Absorbing all the details and discussions of European Economic and recessionary woes, which you have zero control over, diverts your energy and focus from what you do have command over. As the great founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, said: ‘Success comes from saying no to 1,000 distractions.’

Being resourceful when resources are low. Too often I hear the excuse: If we only we had more resources…or… we haven’t got the budget. If we did we could then initiate the plans we would like.

Actually this is more than an excuse: It is procrastinating about what must be done and certainly an anathema to doing good business.

Because to be very clear: Lack of resources may well be a circumstance, but lack of resourcefulness is a choice.

The real problem in business is a lack of resourcefulness. With resourcefulness, actual resources and budgets are not even barriers, as resourceful innovative thinking stimulates new business that generates more profit. Resourcefulness is key to developing the contributory factors that positively influence gaining ground to produce a profit. Everything else incurs a cost.

The final element is commitment to continue doing whatever is required even after the motivation has left you. It is only tough times that test commitment and prompt CEO’s to take misguided actions.

When funds are low, there is a tendency in business to seek out anyone and everyone to market your product or service to. But your product or service will never please everyone…Do not dilute the value of your product or service and your commitment.

The secret is to re-clarify exactly ‘who’ is your customer and ‘what’ is your market… and then to figure out ALL the best ways for you and your product or service to attract, deliver to, and retain that customer in your market.

Raising your efforts and doing even more of whatever is required of you actually ignites commitment…

Because commitment is not manufactured; it is what you discover deep inside yourself and
Business Reputation comes from Retention of customers and their Recommendation of your business.

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