The Character Traits and Skills of the Successful CEO — Brainstorming

Big Red Car here. It is a beautiful day already in the ATX and it’s Saturday! Yes, Saturday!

So, it’s time for a little more discussion of what it takes to be a successful CEO.

You have to be a brainstormer!

What is brainstorming, Big Red Car?

Brainstorming is a process for generating creative ideas — could also be solutions, creative solutions — through an intensive bout of discussion or thinking. There is a knee jerk to suggest that it is a “group” thing but a CEO may engage in some solitary brainstorming.

It should be free wheeling, unconstrained, spontaneous, non-judgmental, and liberating.

In the brainstorm, there are no bad ideas. There are lightning bolts, but no bad ideas. [OK, there are some bad ideas. Sorry. I thought we were playing T ball for a second there.]

What is the process, Big Red Car?

Like most things, it starts with a notebook — a Moleskine notebook is best. [Haha, any freakin’ notebook will work as will a whiteboard or a yellow pad but the Big Red Car is mad for Moleskine notebooks.]

1. Think about a subject.

2. Write down your first thoughts in a stream of consciousness.

3. Don’t stop until you have at least ten ideas.

4. Then begin to evaluate, analyze, criticize, discuss them — do not be personal or judgmental, be critical — even if you do it with yourself.

5. Throw out the bottom half and begin the process anew on the top half.

6. Pick two to analyze further. This is the “takeaway.” Take it away and work on it.

Stop then and go have a Reuben sandwich and if it is Saturday, you can have a beer with it. [Pro tip: Have a big deli pickle with it. The electrolytes in the pickle juice will replace the lost brain cells and regenerate your creativity.]

That’s all there is to it.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be kind to yourself and one other person over the age of 50.