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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03/28/17

Board of Directors

Big Red Car here waiting for Saturday and the Final Four contests. OK, but I am getting a lot of questions about all things pertinent to a Board of Directors and how to run board meetings and how to deal with board members.

We’ve talked about this before, so let me give you some frames of reference.

Know that I’ve stolen all of this from The Boss who had a lot of boards, board members, and board meetings in thirty-three years of CEOing.

Here it is for your use.

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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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11/23/16

Finish Strong

Finish strong, Big Red? [I like calling you Big Red rather than Big Red Car, seems so much more familiar and folksy, no?]

Big Red Car here on the strength of a trip to NYC to conduct recon on the comings and goings of our nation’s first capital. You did know that, right? NYC was our first capital.

So, The Boss is talking to several CEOs — brilliant persons all — and I (eavesdropper that I am) overhear a common lament: CEOs are struggling to find the finish line in the development of their products. This happens across the board whether it is a bit of software alchemy or a website or a product. Or, even, an organizational development, like hiring some more salespersons.

You have to force a finish line and you have to finish strong.

Big Red Car, can you ‘splain that, please?

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11/21/16

Budgets 2017 — Get Back To Work, Y’all! Shop Talk

Budgets. Nothing says the holidays are coming like budgets. Budgets make the world go around.

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny Monday in the ATX. Ahhh, on Earth as it is in Texas!

So, the election has everybody off their schedule with their lamentations and celebrating.

But, what are you supposed to be doing, y’all?

Of course, you know, you’re supposed to be finalizing your 2017 budgets, Ms. Startup CEO.

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