01/5/18

You Have Permission

“May I have permission to live?”

Big Red Car here on a cold, Texas day. Ahhh, winter is fierce in Austin By God Texas. It’s 53F and going to be 70F on Sunday. Ahhh, Texas winter is fierce. Respect to y’all who live in the Panhandle, of course.

So, the Big Red Car is talking to some of his favorite CEOs for some end-of-year chatter and some beginning-of-the-year planning. One thing that comes up is that we are often our own worst barrier to success.

The BRC has always said, “A lot of success is being 80% right, but done on time.”

This is not intended to diminish lofty goals, but to say that how we execute things is dependent upon time constaints. The only truly equal asset in the world is time. We each get the same amount of time in a day as a billionaire.

But, the big thing is we don’t seize the moment. Lately, it feels like people need permission to be great. So here it is.

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11/1/17

Career – Managing Your Career 2017 and Beyond

Career, what career, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here in the ATX on a gloomy, wet day. Ahh, it is still good, y’all. Will be 80F by afternoon and maybe, just maybe, the sun will burn through.

Today, in our new gig economy, it is almost impossible to get the word “career” out of one’s mouth and not have it drown in your smile. Companies don’t provide career opportunities; and, companies in or around the tech space, the startup ecosystem, make no bones about it. They are all headed to the pay window and one can only hope to have a few stock options with which to enjoy the trip and then find another gig on the flip side.

But, in spite of this, YOU still need to take care of YOU.

That’s what we are going to talk about today — you managing your career in the day of the gig economy.

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10/26/17

Exit Interview — CEO Shoptalk

Exit interview, y’all?

Hello, dear readers. It is 66F here in Austin By God Texas. It is clear, crisp, and lovely. It is sweater weather.

So, the last couple of posts we have discussed how to fire and layoff employees.

When you part company with an employee, a useful exercise is conducting an exit interview. An exit interview may provide a soon-to-be-former employee an opportunity to harness their candor and tell you some things they might not if they were dependent upon you for their next paycheck.

The question is how to conduct the exit interview?

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10/23/17

Leadership Changes — CEO Shoptalk

Leadership changes can effect policy which can alter outcomes. Leadership changes are critical to outcomes.

Big Red Car here on a glorious Texas, Austin By God Texas, day. Ahh, on Earth as it is in Texas!

One of the easiest ways to change outcomes is to change leadership. I say this in the context of business leadership (startups, in particular), but the example I will use has to do with the Middle East and ISIS. Hello, America!

If you have been following the unending war in Iraq and Syria, you will note several interesting things.

ISIS is kaput and it is only a matter of time before its leadership is dead, and its footprints disappear.

Let’s explore how this happened.

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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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09/12/17

Editing for CEOs — CEO Shoptalk

Editing for CEOs, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a perfect Austin By God Texas morning, y’all. Day for a long run with the top down in the 70F weather? Indeed!

OK, today, we talk about editing in the context of finally getting you to commit to writing the Strategy for your company, dear CEO. Just a first draft.

That is Strategy in the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture continuum with a side of crawl, walk, run. Whew! That is a mouthful.

Nothing is done until it is done and that means you have to edit it. So what exactly does that mean?

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09/3/17

Growing Up — Job Descriptions

Job descriptions, really, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a gorgeous, sunny Texas day. All the rain has lowered temperatures, everything is green, and it feels like fall already (which doesn’t normally happen until mid-October). Houston is still flooded, but it is starting to drain. Now, the real work begins.

I had a hard time figuring out the right title for this bit of wisdom, so I used Growing Up – Job Descriptions. I would have to give myself a D- on the title. Sorry. The message is deeper than that.

I am seeing a lot of successful startups failing to improve their basic functions as they get out of the cradle into the crawl, walk, run continuum. I am also seeing some struggling to make it so.

Working with a more mature, serial entrepreneur on a largish turnaround, it became apparent how different it is when a startup is using crayons and a more mature enterprise — even a turnaround — is able to operate at a higher level, using fine point pen competence.

So, when do you know that you have to take off the training wheels? Not important, as long as you know you have to one day. Here is an example.

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