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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08/8/17

Graduation — CEO Coach

Big Red Car here in the ATX in a grayish, cool day. A great day for a ride in a convertible!

So, I’ve been in CEO coaching mode for about five years now and there have been some great successes. Some failures, but way more successes.

CEO coaching assignments don’t last forever — neither does high school or college.

There comes a time when a CEO is best served by getting a different view of things or to just take a breather. Some CEOs finish their work and are ready to move. Other CEOs sell the company and no longer are CEOs.

The Big Red Car (actually The Boss, but I’m taking over the space in his head) has had all of the above.

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08/6/17

Heads Up — CEO Shoptalk

Heads Up, Big Red Car? Really?

Big Red Car here on a muggy Sunday morning which is a little gray. We get the cooler temps in return for the grayness. Fair trade?

So, the Big Red Car, has spent the last couple of hours removing cast iron sinks from black granite countertops in anticipation of new countertops — Carrara marble — on Wednesday!

[Big Red Car’s vision of Hell is removing cast iron sinks (weigh 400 lbs) with a plastic putty knife and spit, bare hands.]

But, that’s not what we want to talk about, is it?

No, we want to talk about a CEO with his head down working his butt off. [You may re-gender the “his” to “her” at your leisure.]

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08/2/17

Flying Solo — For CEOs Only, CEO Shoptalk

Flying solo, Big Red Car? Where did that come from?

Big Red Car here on a cool and gray ATX day. Only getting to 88F today, downright cool. Hot tub tonight for the BRC? Hell, yes!

OK, so there are a number of analogies between flying airplanes and startups — takeoff, reaching cruise, landing. Startup, scale, exit?

One of the most apt analogies is the idea of FLYING SOLO.

Me, the Big Red Car, and the Bonanza with the cross country tip tanks hanging talking aviation v startup mojo. Yeah, I’m looking pretty damn RED.

In life, one doesn’t receive power, one TAKES power. Think about that for a second. Flying solo is about taking power.

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