05/30/18

CEO Shoptalk – Pruning the Organization

Pruning the organization, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a gray day in the ATX. Just let that haze burn off, y’all.

Today, we talk to and about CEOs/founders/entrepreneurs who have spent a couple of years building an organization, have some revenue, and about 1-400 employees.

You know who I’m talking to, don’t you?

You are not quite happy with everything, but you have customers, revenue, a viable product, and you’re building your company.

Now, it’s time to do some pruning. Pruning the organization.

Even the Angel Oak outside Charleston could use some pruning? Don’t you dare touch this tree. There is a debate as to its age. Some say it is 500 years old. Some say it is 1500 years old. It was there before the American Revolution.

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04/24/18

CEO Shoptalk – Staying in Your Lane

Staying in your lane, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny Texas Spring day. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

So, the Big Red Car talks to CEOs all the time and I am seeing an odd trend. CEOs are wandering a bit.

They wander a bit because they are successful and they wander a bit because they are not.

When they are successful, they wander because they can afford to do it. [Pro tip: We never make as many mistakes when we are broke. We can’t afford to.]

When they are struggling, they wander because they are looking for that inflection point which will put their compass on the azimuth to the Promised Land.

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02/13/18

Reading – CEO Shoptalk

One of the keys to personal development and success in business is reading, y’all.

Big Red Car here on a early Tuesday morning (40F headed to 49F and cloudy) with a lot to do today, but I will find the time to read for an hour today without fail.

Reading is the difference between being the King of the Jungle or a cub. Not bad to be a cub, but you, dear reader, want to be the King of the Jungle, don’t you?

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01/29/18

Mentoring – Austin Techstars

Today, we talk Austin Techstars mentoring.

Big Red Car here on a truly gorgeous Texas day. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all. Texas being Austin By God Texas.

It’s 45F headed to 65F. I love these crisp mornings and warm afternoons.

So, today we talk mentoring, in particular Austin Techstars mentoring.

The Boss has been a mentor with Austin Techstars for some time and has enjoyed it thoroughly.

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11/20/17

Critical Thinking v Emotion (Feelings)

What exactly is critical thinking, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a crisp Monday. Been gone to Savannah and New York City for my annual pilgrimage to celebrate somebody’s birthday, to see the Broadway shows, to eat decadent food, and to watch the NYC Veterans Day Parade. Missions accomplished.

On the plane back, I got to thinking about the issue of critical thinking. Somebody whose opinion I respect said that much of what is going on today is driven by a failure to think critically, accelerated by an intellectual laziness to simply follow one’s emotions.

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10/14/17

Principles and practices – CEO Shoptalk

Principles, Big Red Car? How about a Texas v Oklahoma prediction instead?

Big Red Car here on a cloudy Saturday waiting for the Texas v Oklahoma football game to start. We light it up at 2:30 PM Texas time.

I used to go to the game in Dallas for about a third of a century. Then #1 son took his show on the road and I stopped going. Sigh.

Now, I am going to watch it on the telly. But, I can get snacks all the time. Unlimited beef jerky, the thick kind. Also, Orangina. Lots of orangina.

So, today we talk about the way a CEO guides their company to the Promised Land. The Promised Land is a self-defined concept, but it is whatever you want it to be.

We talked about the difference between firings and layoffs last week.

Layoffs — CEO Shoptalk

Firing People — CEO Shoptalk

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10/4/17

Firing People — CEO Shoptalk

Firing people and laying folks off is a hard day. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.

Big Red Car here on a cloudy, but soon to be sunny, day in the ATX, God’s country. On Earth as it is in Texas! Muggy today.

So, a CEO has a series of things she struggles with. We talked about that right here:

CEOs — Doing Tough Things Shoptalk

One of those things is terminating employment either by firing someone (for cause) or laying someone off (not for cause).

They are both difficult to do. Here’s some thoughts on the subject.

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09/28/17

Critique — CEO Shoptalk

Everybody needs a good critique, right? Ahhh, criticism is the breakfast of champions, no?

Big Red Car here on a cloudy Texas day. Only going to be in the low 80s today. Time to start thinking about the swimming pool, eh? Haha, Hell no. Swimming today, y’all.

So when you’re a CEO you will receive and give critiques. Makes sense, no? Performance appraisal — feedback — is the breakfast of champions.

Today, I want to get your mind right about how to receive this when it is you being critiqued. Ready?

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09/23/17

Facts & Strategy

Facts are nice things. Not as nice as a root beer float, but nice.

Big Red Car here on a cool Texas morning with the Fahrenheit set at 72. Hello, Fall!

So, I am in the midst of helping a bunch of CEOs either craft their first crack at strategy or to revise something they did some time ago.

Writing strategy is an exercise in storytelling. It is fiction. It is the future and all writing about the future is fiction. It is fiction you intend to make come true, but it is still fiction.

It is, however, based on facts.

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