07/26/19

Voices — Listen To The Voices

Pal of mine says, “You need some mindfulness training, amigo.” SOB is constantly critical of me, but that’s what pals are for, no?

I admit at the instant he said that I was a little perplexed, but I recovered quickly and Googled “mindfulness” to ensure I knew of what I spoke. I did and the confirmation was empowering. It is always useful to know exactly what words mean.

I came away with the idea that mindfulness was my focusing on the present moment while in touch with my many and varied feelings, thoughts, emotions, and other physical bodily sensations. I ran it by Mr. Mindfulness and he said, “Si, amigo. That’s mindfulness.”

I even did a little on-line course to align my mindfulness meridians and to just get woke AF. Woke is on the same side of the church, but a different pew.

“Woke” is being alert to the injustices of modern society with a particular emphasis on racism. As you know, I am white, old, conservative — so I am almost by default a racist.

So, I said to my pal, “Oh, you mean listen to The Voices in my head.”

He looked a little perplexed himself, so I described what I was saying to him. He’s a damn good listener, particularly if you buy him a CFS (chicken fried steak). This CFS is from The Monument Cafe in Georgetown, Texas. It is a noble establishment serving CFS worthy of mindful persons.

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07/25/19

CEO Shoptalk — Knowing WHY

Long time ago, I got a call from a CEO, says, “Wow, that worked like a champ. Thanks.”

I had no idea what he was talking about, so we chatted. Apparently, he had had a problem and I had told him to look at something on The Musings of the Big Red Car website, he did, he applied it, and it worked. Problem solved. Bravo!

Then, I asked him the money question, “Do you know WHY that worked?” 

Image result for success images

Painful, awkward, ask-Dad-to-marry-his-daughter-style silence ensued.

“CEO, do you know WHY that worked?”

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07/15/19

Adapting Leadership Style

One of the gratifying things about working with CEOs who are developing their skills is to watch how they become stronger and more flexible as their problem solving becomes more sophisticated and situational. This is leadership style and voice.

Each successful leader will try out several leadership styles and a genuine voice to advance that style. We have talked about that before.

What is also important is to know that there are multiple ways to solve problems in the course of translating leadership goals into reality.

There are different methodologies based on the current — instant in time current — situation. These different methodologies require a CEO to think carefully about style and voice.

Allow me to use a flying analogy.

When you learn to fly an airplane, one of the critical skills is landing the plane. Pilots define a “good landing” as one that you can walk away from, but that is grossly oversimplistic.

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07/12/19

CEO Shoptalk — The List of Horribles

Nice day in the ATX. Nice day to talk about the List or Horribles.

The List of Horribles is something which a CEO of a startup or small business WILL encounter along the way to the finish line (pay window). These things — not all, but some — will happen.

“Come on, Big Red Car, really?” you say in that skeptical voice of yours, the one your mom used to call your “whiny” voice.

“Yes, dear reader, dear CEO, many of them will happen.”

Here is you (female CEO?) dealing with the List of Horribles. The guy with the helmet head is a Venture Capitalist finalizing the negotiations of a down round.

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07/10/19

The Whine Line Protocol

The Whine Line Procotol, Big Red Car? Do tell.

So, your Big Red Car was engaged in a bit of  discussion and blog reading in which the subject of how to deal with problem hires or heretics — do not dig that word in this context — was bandied about.

A couple of things came to light, but the most important is this — dealing with employees both good and not so good is a normal part of CEOing.

Your generation did not invent sex or business; dealing with less than perfect employees is not a problem unique to your outfit. It is just a normal part of CEOing, and you got that gig.

Employees are dynamic. Your star marketing person may become your challenge and vice versa. Here are you and the employees on good days.

It is all just part of running a team, a company, CEOing. It is normal and you don’t need to be firing people for a little whining. The challenge is to keep the whining within a tolerable level.

That requires you to develop your own personal Whine Line Protocol.

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07/1/19

CEO Shoptalk — Situational Awareness

CEOs have a hard job. Keeping it is one of the most difficult parts of the job. Keeping your job as a CEO may depend on your ability to understand the situation — something pilots call “situational awareness.”

In an airplane, you have several instruments that an instrument-trained pilot scans to determine the situation — speed, direction, level flight, climbing, descending, fuel status, GPS (redundant), and George (George is the autopilot). I have taken to calling George Georgette.

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06/28/19

Beyond Meat — Show Me The Meat!

OK, maybe the title today should have been “Where’s the beef?” but you get it. What you will not be getting is any real beef.

Image result for beyond meat logo

A logo is fine — actually I think this logo is lame as Hell — but here’s the faux beef you really want to see.

Beyond Burger™

Please note the lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles — vegetables on vegetables. Think about that.

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06/8/19

CEO Shoptalk — Lancing the Boil

Glorious sunny day in the ATX, y’all. So, what does “lancing the boil” mean, Big Red Car?

[Early stage, pre-MVP hamburger looking at you in the Hill Country.]

Suppose for a second you are a CEO — tough job. You have dealt with one of the List of Horribles, that compendium of distasteful things a CEO does that comes with the job and justifies the equity stake.

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