10/2/18

CEO Shoptalk – Time Allocation

Time allocation is a critical consideration for the CEO of any size enterprise, but particularly for CEOs of small businesses and startups.

Big Red Car here. Been in Savannah spending time with My Perfect Granddaughter offspring of My Perfect Daughter, the red head.

So, when I am there, I get into a convo with a young C-suite type guy and we are discussing how a startup or small company CEO should allocate his time.

It is a conversation I’ve had with a million CEOs. It is a universal problem faced by all CEOs.

How does one allocate their time as the company is faced with growth in a crawl, walk, run scenario?

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09/21/18

Decisionmaking – Quick Decisionmaking

Big Red Car here on a glorious Friday. Well, actually, it’s rainy, but it is still Friday.

So, I was in conversation with a fellow graduate of Virginia Military Institute and we were discussing, of all things, the purpose of the VMI Rat Line.

Your first year at VMI, you are systemically challenged (akin to waterboarding, but who’s quibbling about technique) to learn how to be a cadet, absorb the military regimen, and study something like civil engineering. It is a hard row to hoe.

This is called the VMI Rat Line. Other places call it “torture.” It is a system which VMI has used since 1839 and they are not even considering changing it. About 2/3s of your class will survive it. Sometimes, only half. It makes Airborne and Ranger Schools seem a little tamer.

VMI Professor of Artillery and Philosophy Stonewall Jackson standing guard over Matthew, Mark, Luke, John combat veterans of the Mexican and Civil Wars. Keeping an eye on things down range.

To which, my classmate posed the question: “Why?”

To which I answered, “To prepare novitiate Army officers to be able to make a multitude of decisions under pressure.”

He graded my answer at B+. I protested and he upped my grade to an A-.

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08/5/18

Control – SNAP, an exemplar in control

Big Red Car here filled to overflowing with a good church sermon. I will have to digest it a bit.

So, one of the things the Big Red Car preaches to his CEO coaching clients is, “Retain control of your company at all costs. When you lose control, the probability of your being replaced goes up astronomically.”

This is what the Big Red Car says when a venture capitalist wants to make an investment resulting in an “after money” equity ownership of 20%, but wants two seats on a five-man Board of Directors.

“Uhhh, CEO, if the VC owns 20% then he gets 20% of the board seats. That’s one, not two!”

Interestingly enough, CEOs seem to always win this argument. This is a matter of control.

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08/2/18

CEO Shoptalk – Traits of Leaders

Big Red Car here on a beautiful, sunny Thursday. Ahhh, on Earth as it is in Texas, y’all.

So, I’m at church on Sunday listening to the sermon – I love and desperately need a good sermon – and it inspires me to think about some of the traits of great leaders – not “good” GREAT!

I come up with four traits which seem to separate the great from the good and the mediocre.

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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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