04/14/17

Vision — Selling and Living the Vision

Vision, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a gloomy and threatening Texas morning in the ATX, which is still a great place to be even if there is thunder on the horizon. On Earth as it is in Heaven. [Haha, On Earth as it is in TEXAS! Were you paying attention?]

The Boss has been at this CEO coaching thing for about five years now. During that time period, he’s worked with a lot of CEOs and C suite potentates. Like all things, folks approach life and the business of CEOing in different ways and have different outcomes.

The Boss has told a very small number of CEOs — “This doesn’t look like it’s going to work.”

There has never been a single CEO with whom The Boss has had that conversation who has been surprised. Most of them came to him with their bags packed and The Boss told them they were right and discussed how to wind things up correctly.

The Boss is likely to be more optimistic than a troubled CEO because he has seen CEOs turn things around. When you have seen lead made into gold, you begin to think anyone can do it.

That is, unfortunately, not true. But, there is a common denominator amongst those who do and today we talk about that.

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04/10/17

Scaling Sales — One Index Card Shop Talk

Big Red Car here talking scaling sales on a lovely — no, cloudy and gray — day in the ATX. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

So, the Big Red Car comes from the school of SALES SOLVES EVERYTHING which means that CEOs need to focus on sales from the first day they start.

Any argument there? I didn’t think so.

But, once you have some sales, how does the crafty CEO scale the sales operation?

Listen up, dear reader, as the Big Red Car gives you a single index card answer. Ready?

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04/1/17

Redemption or Revenge?

Which is better — redemption or revenge? Why not both, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a slightly gray day in the ATX, but yesterday was glorious. Out touring the Hill Country checking out the bluebonnets, the poppies, the Indian paintbrush, and, of course, the cows on the roads.

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Hill Country Big Mac on the hoof grazing amongst the bluebonnets. Be careful driving about the roads where the livestock have the right of way. This is, of course, Texas.

So, in the women’s Big Dance, the Mississippi State girls beat the University of Connecticut girls in an overtime game. The game was won on a last second shot and the final score was 66-64.

That’s Bulldogs triumphing over Huskies, which keeps the fight amongst the bitches (a bitch being a female of the dog persuasion, no?). [See the cheap trick the Big Red Car played on y’all. Not well played, BRC.]

The really story — what writers like to call the “backstory” — is that a year ago, the UConn girls beat the Mississippi State women like red headed stepchildren by 60 points in a Sweet Sixteen matchup. OUCH!

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03/26/17

Deadlines — Moving the Goalpost (CEOs Only)

Deadlines, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a spectacular Sunday morning. The Boss is enroute to church, so I can finally use the damn computer.

So, here it is, y’all. We are going to talk about deadlines.

You will recall I ragged you pretty good about creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Constrained) goals.

OK, so you see the part about “time constrained?” That is the deadline, the goal post.

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03/23/17

The Power of Monkey See – Monkey Do — For CEOs Only

Monkey See, Monkey Do — Big Red Car, have you lost our mind?

Big Red Car here on another spectacular Texas day in the making. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all. [Does that irritate you?]

So, The Boss is talking to a newish CEO and they get on the subject of performance appraisals. The Boss was a CEO for 33 years and in that time period appraised a lot of performances.

The subject isn’t really about performance appraisals. The subject is about using easy tools to do most of the work. To find things that work and mimic the Hell out of them. To stop re-inventing the wheel. Sheesh!

[Normally, the Big Red Car will say, “Your generation didn’t invent sex or business, dear reader.” But, today, I will not.]

Performance appraisal is one of those subjects that rears its ugly head every few years and somebody adds a twist (360-degree performance, full moon appraisals being one of the most recent) which is supposed to make already sliced bread even better. [Big Red Car, a lot of tired ass cliches today. WTF?]

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03/21/17

Employment Agreement Series One More Time

This post was made four years ago and is still relevant today. If you are a CEO, you need an Employment Agreement. Get one and consider the following information when you do.

Here are some blog posts on the issue of C Level Employment Agreements.  Click on each link to read the pertinent blog post.

The Design of Compensation Packages for C Level Execs and Senior Management

C Level Employment Agreement Provisions

C Level Employment Agreement — Position

 C Level Employment Agreement — Salary

C Level Employment Agreement — Benefits

C Level Employment Agreement — Short Term Incentive Compensation

C Level Employment Agreement — Long Term Incentive Compensation

C Level Employment Agreement — Compensation, Something Special

C Level Employment Agreement — Managing the At Will Employee Relationship

C Level Employment Agreement — Termination

C Level Employment Agreement — Severance Package

C Level Employment Agreement — Change of Control Provision

C Level Employment Agreement — Parting Shots

You can do this. I’m counting on you. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

03/19/17

CEO — Learning To Walk

Big Red Car here in the ATX during SXSW, Texas bluebonnets, azaleas blooming, March Madness, and a bit of spring skiing? Is this a great country — Texas, I mean — or what?

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Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush co-existing in the Hill Country west of Fredericksburg. Peak bluebonnet is a few days away.

OK, so The Boss is talking to a youngish CEO.

“I may not be cut out to be a CEO,” says the youngish CEO. “Maybe, I’m just not CEO material.”

This CEO is actually quite brilliant but the CEO-ing gig is kicking his ass right now.

The Boss listens. A lot of dealing with momentarily troubled CEOs is letting the poison out and that requires a lot of listening. Sometimes, they need to be talked in off the ledge.

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03/8/17

CEO Reflections

Big Red Car here in the ATX feeling a little cloudy — ooops, that’s the weather. Me, I feel marvelous. Let’s talk about the first time CEO, shall we?

So, I catch The Boss talking to a pal the other day. They were Second Lieutenants in a combat engineer unit in the Republic of Korea back in the early 1970s.

 

The Proper Young Lieutenant

The proper young lieutenant, having just landed in a rice paddy fertilized with “night soil.” If you recognize those “soiled” boots as Corcoran Jump Boots, then you have a sharp eye. Stroke of good luck, landing standing up, because of the aforenoted night soil.

 

It was a dicey time and they were both platoon leaders. Both of them would end up as Captains within 18-24 months, which was pretty damn fast even for those days.

“So, when did you first think you knew what you were doing?” asked The Boss’s compadre.

“I’ll get back to you when that happens.”

They laughed.

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03/6/17

Advice Redux — CEOs Only

Big Red Car here working on a few wire taps, wait, no I’m not. I’m getting ready to give y’all some free advice.

We talked about advice a lot in the past few years, but it’s probably alright to update our thinking just a little, why not?

So, CEOs need advice from time to time. Why, you ask? Because a lot of startup CEOs are in their twenties and do not have a deep font of life experience upon which to draw to develop their own thoughts. This is not fatal. This is just being young and being young is good. Most of the time.

Experience is expensive. Renting experience — advice — is cheaper. Plus, you can get someone who’s been a CEO for two or three decades to lend you their advice.

Big takeaway — get advice from someone who has actually been a CEO.

Not your dentist, your shrink, some accountant (unless it’s accounting advice), father-in-law (unless he’s an experienced CEO), not a lawyer (unless it’s legal advice), not a VC (unless it’s pitching or funding advice and even then someone who has been seated n your side of the table may be more helpful) — someone who has been a CEO.

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02/26/17

Fundamentals, Try Them

Can we get an “amen” for fundamentals?

Big Red Car here while The Boss is hanging loose in Steamboat. So, I got together with a cute Mercedes Benz from the next block over. She’s a diesel and I like exotic cars, so we had a chat. Her boss owns a business which he started and grew from a gleam in his eye.

“What’s the secret to your owner’s success, attractive MB?”

“He understands, sticks to, and executes on the fundamentals.”

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