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CEOs: Do You Run Your Company Well?
Here’s the question phrased a bit differently…What key elements turn your company into:
1. an attractive acquisition candidate
2. a great, fun place to work!
3. a valuable asset for all shareholders
There’s no need to create your own list of key elements because the next section of this newsletter not only has the list of key elements called The Run The Company Well List, but there are suggestions on how to use it.
The Run The Company Well List
My list has fifteen key elements that encompass the business model, planning, leadership, people, customers, products/services, finances, operations and advisors. Does (insert your company name here) have:
1. a clear, focused, comprehensive business model
2. a cohesive and well-tested growth strategy
3. an outstanding leadership team that works well together
4. a problem solving culture that is based on trust, accountability and fun
5. a motivated, loyal, skilled workforce that is well treated and compensated fairly
6. unique, high quality products and/or services
7. innovative go-to-market tactics
8. happy customers, whose needs are well understood
9. a diversified (not concentrated) collection of profitable customers
10. a strong and defensible competitive position
11. a balance sheet that is rock solid
12. a P&L that shows consistent growth, high margins and a justifiable expense structure
13. lean processes, effective information systems, strong financial controls
14. well cared for fixed assets
15. great advisors: Board of Directors and/or CEO Peer Group plus outside professional confidants
Today I’d like to dig deeper into #3 and #15 by reviewing the OPPOSITE of having great leadership and great advisors. What if an organization has a significant, persistent problem within the organization’s leadership ranks? I call this condition being Stuck in a Ditch. Getting Stuck in a Ditch is a result of having one or more of these 6 challenges:
1. Weak, uninspiring leadership: The CEO does not have the necessary vision, leadership or management skills to direct the company.
2. No respect: The CEO does not command the respect of the organization.
3. The CEOs leadership style=strange behavior: The CEO’s (or could be the dominant, controlling shareholder) behavior causes constant anxiety throughout the organization.
4. Corporate governance is broken: There is continuous tension about the ‘lack of alignment’ and ‘who we are’.
5. Meddling: The constant, meddling actions of the controlling, outside investors in the day-to-day affairs of the organization have a direct, negative impact on the organization’s performance.
6. No hands on the wheel: A good governance framework does not exist. There is no active Board of Directors or Board of Advisors; if one does exist, and it is only ceremonial in nature, that is almost the same (or worse) than not having one at all.
Any combination of these six issues clearly puts a major dent into The Run the Company Well List. People are perceptive; each one of these six situations is obvious to the employees. These Ditch conditions can lead to indecision, constant bickering or fighting and prevent the organization from moving forward with conviction towards common goals.
How can you put The Run The Company Well List to use in your company?
Lists can create conversation and discussion. More important,they can initiate ACTION.
Suggestions on how to use the list:
1. As your personal pocket guide while you prepare your company for sale
2. A roadmap to kick off a 2013 operational improvement plan
3. An ongoing discussion tool with your Board of Directors/Advisors
4. The agenda for an offsite meeting with your senior leadership team
5. A quiz for the WHOLE COMPANY: Give it to all your employees, have them answer Yes, No, or Not Sure for each item, tally the results and publish the findings.
Download The Run The Company Well List by clicking HERE
* What is a ‘marlinspike’?
*The marlinspike is a nautical implement that is used to unravel nautical lines. It is also used to sew the lines together to join them, creating greater strength, or to create useful or decorative items from nautical line.
Detangling and sorting through the complex issues in a STUCK company is similar to using the marlinspike to detangle, sort through, and weave together a much stronger and long-lasting nautical line. Whether trying to achieve a more secure future for a boat, or a company, the marlinspike approach may be needed. Jim enjoys the sea, its wildlife, and kicking around boats and marinas.
Connect with Jim
With a name like McHugh,
I couldn’t resist sharing
some March 17 shenanigans
CEOs: Do you need an objective look at your Run The Company Well List?
Nothing beats human interaction.
Here’s Jim’s offer for March:
1 Hour of Free CEO Coaching by Jim McHugh
by phone or online video chat (Skype or Google Hangout)
No strings attached
To contact Jim, go to email@example.com and I will forward to Jim McHugh
The Marlinspike CEO is written by Jim McHugh. Jim is an Entrepreneur, CEO Coach, Optimist, Instigator of Positive Change…and Fixer of Stuck Companies.
CEOs, family owners, investors and Directors enlist Jim to be their ‘fresh pair of eyes’ and confidant.
Jim is also a long time friend and a person of high ethics and integrity.