Advising the Seasoned CEO

Big Red Car here. Had to get up at 4:00 am to get My Perfect Daughter to the airport to go back to NYC. Hey, I’m tired. I’m an old Big Red Car. Nah, I’m dong just fine.

So The Boss is talking to several of his brilliant CEO clients. They get on the subject of no longer being gangly startups and where they can get good advice as small and medium business CEOs. 

They understand they’re not going to be startups for the rest of their lives. Who doesn’t understand that? Let’s talk about advising the seasoned CEO.

Take a look at this blog post for a fair discussion of the issue. You Will Not Be A Startup Forever <<<click on link

When you have a sustainable revenue of $5-100MM, you are no longer a startup.

So where does a SMB CEO go for advice?

Peer to peer contact

One of the most powerful ways a CEO can continue to grow is to develop and nurture peer to peer contact with other CEOs.

One of the best ways to do this is through membership in such formal groups as YPO (Young Presidents Organization) or Vistage. There are a number of such groups in bigger cities many of which are sponsored by the local chamber of commerce.

Seek out and foster peer to peer contact. A CEO can best learn from another CEO.


Another group which can be accessed is SCORE through the Small Business Administration. Here is a link. SCORE<<<click on link

SCORE has been around since the early 1960s and has over 380 chapters nationwide. They have an excellent website here. SCORE<<<click on link

SCORE provides all kinds of business advice and has an extensive mentoring program.


Ultimately leadership and management of any enterprise has to be directed by the CEO and he/she must have a unique, authentic and genuine voice and leadership style. We wrote about that here: Finding Your Authentic Leadership Style<<<click on link

Read about your leadership style and educate yourself. Don’t just read the contemporary stuff, read some Drucker. If you don’t know who Drucker is you are in for a real treat!


Find a good CEO coach who has actually been a CEO. There is a lot of coaching out there from former accountants, lawyers, venture capitalists which is great if you’re interested in accounting, the law or venture capital. If you are a CEO then find a coach who has been a CEO for a few decades.

Talk to him and listen to him. It can’t hurt.

Do not call him when your pants are on fire and the fire department has not yet arrived. Talk to him when things are going just fine and let him get a sense of your skills and a chance to understand your vision for the company and how it is operating in smooth water.

Develop a relationship. Let me say that again, develop a relationship so that when you need him you don’t have to spend your time educating him about you and your company. It is small potatoes financially in the greater scheme of things.

Remember you are responsible for managing your own career. President Obama is way too busy to take a personal interest in you.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to your spouse. Surprise her/him with a chocolate bar and flowers. Can you imagine how suspicious they will get?