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.

Continue reading

07/26/17

Training — Baron von Steuben Style for CEOs

Training again, Big Red Car? Really?

OK, dear reader, we will have one last crack at training for the CEO. Promise.

Today, we discuss Baron von Steuben. You know the Baron, right? Drillmaster of Valley Forge, no?

Get this book by Paul Lockhart. Great read. Been around for some time and it is a great book to inspire a CEO.

Continue reading

07/23/17

Training — like the Rangers, training for the startup

Training table for the Big Red Car today — looking forward to a nice steak with a 10W40 mushroom sauce.  We are talking training today for both the Rangers and the startup.

So, in the continuum of crawl, walk, run — somewhere about the walk to run transformation, the startup should start thinking about training.

If you look at this picture of these sharp Rangers, the difference between them and the rest of the straight leg Army is the quality of their training. They train to their mission.

U.S. Army Rangers with the 75th Ranger Regiment make up the “honor platoon” in a funeral procession to the gravesite of Gen. (retired) Wayne A. Downing during his internment service at West Point, NY, Sept. 27, 2007.

Continue reading

07/21/17

Risk — A Four Letter Word, CEO Shoptalk

Today, we talk RISK, y’all. It is a four letter word and it can be profane, if you let it.

Big Red Car here on a sunny, Texas day which will give rise to a 103F temperature during which the BRC will be hanging in the pool, floating.

OK, so today we talk about risk. Risk is what drives startups. When you overcome a risk, you wander into the Winner’s Circle and collect your winnings at the mythical PAYWINDOW.

But, what is risk? Risk is different to different people. If you are a green, first time founder/CEO, then everything is risky after you have tied your shoes (the reason why new CEOs should wear slip-ons).

If you are a fifth time, serial entrepreneur, then your view of risk is different.

Continue reading

05/25/17

Courage — CEO Shoptalk

Courage is quiet. It is unassuming in its moment.

Big Red Car here in the ATX where it is that time of the year when it’s 65F at dawn and this afternoon it will be in the low 90s. Those first warm days are a blessing, but it’s almost June and it’s almost summer, so bring it, Mother Nature. Hit me with your best shot!

Today, we talk about courage. The dictionary would have you believe that courage is the ability to face danger or difficulty without fear; or, the ability to act in accordance with one’s beliefs or convictions in spite of criticism.

Not buying it, y’all. Courage is the ability to act despite the fact you are wracked with fear. It does not vanquish fear. It acts in spite of fear.

Continue reading

05/20/17

CEOs — Doing Tough Things Shoptalk

No tough things for a Big Red Car today, just chores.

Big Red Car here on a big day for chores, accumulated, undone chores. Bah humbug!

Before we head to do our chores, how about a bit of shoptalk for CEOs?

Being a CEO is a great job. Don’t listen to the hair-shirt-of-the-month club and their “it’s lonely, so lonely at the top.”

But, if you’re going to be a CEO, you have to do tough stuff sometimes.

Italy 2010 Computer 020

What seems tough the first time, isn’t tough the third time and when you do tough stuff, you get used to and comfortable with doing tough stuff.

Continue reading

04/30/17

Values & Skin In The Game

Do you embrace values which require you to have skin in the game? Or are they and you all talk?

Big Red Car here using The Boss’s computer while he’s at church. The Boss needs to spend more time at church. Needs a good sermon.

So, I get on the issue of values with that cute Mercedes convertible who lives over on Gaston Avenue. We’ll talk sometimes and sip some 10W40.

whiteMBconvertible

Big Red Car’s “friend” over on Gaston. They like to sip some 10W40 on weekends when The Boss is distracted. Nice set of headlights?

She’s hot on the subject of values and I ask her, “What about values?”

“Don’t get me started,” she says and burps. The 10W40 is good, but she has a little indigestion. She’s still cute.

Continue reading

04/26/17

Leadership Style — CEO Shop Talk

Leadership style or cattle today? Hmmm, which one?

Big Red Car here on one of those Texas days that makes you want to get on a horse and herd cattle up the trail, cross the Red River into the Indian Territory, and kick up your heels at a dance hall in Abilene, Kansas.

IMG_1658

Listen, Big Red Car, I am not going to Abilene, Kansas. I like it right here. Go away, Big Red Car. Notice the lovely earrings. Cattle are controlled by numbers and they are assets on the hoof.

Maybe not.

OK, so I wrote a blog post a while ago about finding your “authentic” leadership style. I was talking to some CEOs (me, the Big Red Car, not that other guy, The Boss) and we got on the subject of leadership style. Everybody got hung up on the word “authentic.” Haha, it was funny.

Finding Your Authentic Leadership Style <<< read this

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading