CEO’s Job Description

All in all, the corporate job or entrepreneur dream ends up in being the CEO (for most people). Call it what you want, I know some people don’t like titles, but let’s just say that for the sake of the exercise that the position is CEO.

The CEO has 3 main and most importante duties.

1. Set the vision and strategy for your company. 

Ever seen the ” We develop sustainable products and solutions for our customers in the markets the we participate in”  mission? No timeline, no objective reasoning, no company values in it. What about google’s mission “to organize the world’s information”.  Now does that sound like something you might wanna be part of? I can see them already doing it. 

Acid test, if your employees don’t know your company values, mission or vision, or all of the named, you are doing something wrong. They have no clue where they’re going. If your mission is too generic or difficult to understand, chances are your employees won’t understand it, and far less your customers will know your reason of existence.

2. Build the culture that you want your company to reflect.

Inject some personality in it. If you want your company to be the best company in the world, what kind of people do you need? How will you retain talent? Do you try to retain your employees by giving them more money? Is part of your culture being mercenaries? Maybe you should consider thinking about Zappos, who declared “If we get our culture right, then everything else falls in to place”. They offer their employees thousands of dollars to quit, and most of them don’t take it.

3. Team-building. Hire, fire, manage people.

A players like to play with A players, not B or C players. In fact, allowing B players will cause your A players to leave. If you are the smartest person of your team, your company may be growing as fast as you grow, which in business years it can be as fast as watching grass grow. The reason behind this is that you can’t be the best at everything, it is absolutely impossible, and that is precisely the reason why you hire people in the first place, to make you “better, faster, stronger.” 

I know I said 3, but here’s a bonus for you. “Protect your cash flow”. Don’t run out of cash. It’s hard enough as it is with more and more competitors each day in all industries, you gotta find a way to keep your BOE (Base Operative Expense) as low as possible, and maximize your margins (reasonable for your customers). At the same time look for cash cows to help you stay dry on rainy days and you are set to go. I know, easier said than done, but hey!, that’s the job right?

All my best,

Arturo San Vicente

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: arturosvy@gmail.com 

 

Source for inspiration: 

http://www.steverrobbins.com/articles/ceojob

 

Teamwork, Not a Work Team

To my understanding, there is a huge difference between a work team, and teamwork. The first and most clear difference is a matter of plain language. Try writing together “workteam”, and you will misspell, they cannot go together, while teamwork can. When I think of perfect teamwork, Barcelona FC comes to my mind, and probably to a lot of you.

No, I am not trying to teach English or anything, I am just trying to prove a point. When it comes down to work as a team, the most important thing is to actually become one entity, one that together and in a compact way has all the variables needed to succeed. In team sports, generally we have the offensive and the defensive guys, all led by a mastermind, the head coach or manager. If the team is weak in defense, even if they have a great offense, chances are that they will have to put more pressure on their offense, causing burnout and probably failing. If the team is great in defense, but can’t score, they put more pressure on the defense, because they have no room for mistakes. The same goes for business, you may be very good in manufacturing and production, but if your marketing skills are failing, no one will know about your product and therefore you will have no sales. You have good sales skills but don’t have a powerful product, no R&D, and you are cooked. So, for that, I’d like to share a few insights of what, to me, takes to form a great team.

Share the knowledge

Do not keep knowledge to yourself; be unselfish, because at the end of the day, you are only as strong as your weakest link. When it comes to sports, mentorship occurs naturally, more experienced player’s influence in youngsters and make sure that they succeed to make the team better. When creating teamwork in businesses, it is very important that transparency occurs, share all of the knowledge that you can with your team, the more experienced, smarter they are, the better your business will go.

Forget about the routine

Although it is true that practice makes perfection, practice does not build team spirit. Get creative, dedicate time to your team, and open a space for your team to question everything. Try new ways of managing your team, do something together off the court, whatever it is, do not fall into complacency. When I say off the court I also mean outside the office. NBA teams have the NBA Cares program that invites players to help people that need it the most, and that creates a bond among players, a common theme. In my short experience, I have found that demanding or giving an order works, and you will have 100% attendance of the people, but most likely you will have 5-10% interest, when you invite and persuade, you might have 5-10% attendance, but you will have 100% interest, and chances are that attendance will increase along with interest. Remember, you are dealing with people, just like you. The methods and techniques used by Pep Guardiola to make Barcelona the team it is, are often questioned, yet respected, for example in 2009 Champions final when he showed his team a comparison video of them to gladiators, to motivate them, and ended up winning 2-0.

Manage wherever you are

You may be the coach, you may be the power forward, you may be the “boss” (although I don’t personally like that word) or you may be a subordinate, but that doesn’t mean that you are excused from managing. You can manage down, up or sideways. The reason I don’t like the word boss, is because a boss is a title very easily earned, and it depicts imposition and hierarchical superiority. I rather use the term leader, to earn a leader tag is hard work, a boss makes people follow, a leader is followed by people because of what they do, and I could go on and on about the differences, but I think you get my point. Getting back to the point, management is just as much as doing, as listening, if you don’t know the people you are working with, don’t expect to be able to manage. To my point of view, there is not such a thing as an “unmanageable” person, there is however a place for bad managers, and great managers. If you think that you are a bad manager, do not hesitate, you can learn and do better, if you think that you are a good manager, think again, and learn again, it is not an easy skill to master, but once you have it all sorted out, it will pay off (this I can guarantee).

Make your vision clear as water

Make sure that everyone knows your vision and how is everyone accomplishing to get there. This I believe is very important, if your subordinates can’t read where are you going, that’s the direction that they will be working… the “I don’t know” direction. When your team is focused on understanding and executing your goal, and believes in you, chances are they will succeed.

After all, it is all about the team, if one member of the team is disengaged, he / she can become a cancer to the team and bring all of the morale down. When your team is highly motivated and engaged, there is not much that you can’t do. Be a team player, encourage teamwork, no only be part of a work team.

 

Praise your Dennis Rodman

I am on vacation for my grandfather’s 80th birthday, and I thought I wouldn’t be writing this weekend at all, but based on your feedback and motivation I feel like I owe it to you, so here it is to you.

For those of you who don’t know, Dennis Rodman was a very classy guy, he was an icon to the NBA. He had tattoos all over, dyed his hair in crazy ways, fought on and off the court, and had a flamboyant life. Always taunting opponents, as well as the occasional fan. Long story short, his actual life was way more noticeable than his actual game. But I’m not here to praise his off court life, but his inside the court job. He was great at what he did, the dirty game, for this his nickname “the worm”.

Dennis Rodman did the job that no one else wanted to do, he would go inside the paint and fight elbow to elbow with most of time bigger guys than him, passing the ball, getting rebounds, even though he was only 6 ft 6 in. His actual game was often seen as unnoticed, since he dedicated his time working on the mind game, dirty game and not in scoring points, making dunks or 3pt shots.

In business we often see many Dennis Rodman’s and since leaders often believe their job is not as important, don’t give as much appraisal. I think that every business has it’s own dirty jobs, whether it is the guy in that office making sure the system is always up, or the guys from customer service who have to swallow complaints, or any other jobs that most people do not want to take and is crucial to the business. That’s what I call sticking out your chest for your team!

Those who do the dirty job in any business or sports deserve the leader’s respect for doing what they do, and most of all, their attention, they need to feel engaged and part of the team, and should know and see clearly what their job is in addressing the big picture for that team or company. The better these players do that dirty job for you, the better your team will perform, and every now and then we should say… Thank you Dennis! If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here!

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com