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.

 

Focus on the big picture

It’s been a pleasant ride so far writing this blog. I hope that you are enjoying it as much as I am.

Focus and determination is one thing that differentiates winning from losing. Sports and business people have to remain focused at all times for any situation that requires an immediate reaction while keeping sight of priorities and end state.

Balancing levels of concentration can be compared to lighting a candle with a match in a windy place. You have to balance timing and windage, and once it’s lit, keep it from going away through careful protection. If you light your match too fast the wind will blow it away; too slow and it will burn your hand. When it is lit, you have to help it with your hands and body not to get blown off by the wind. It’s the same for concentration, internal and external factors will try to blow it away, but if you are focused and you can keep that concentration, you will not lose your sight or vision.

With the help of  small doodle I will try to explain what I mean.

1. Know your objectives

Define where you want to be, wether it is a professional athlete, an entrepreneur, a business owner, you must first decide what is it that you want. Tennis player Juan Martin Del Potro claims that it was always his dream to win the US Open. He knew where he was; Tandil, Argentina, a city with around 100,000 habitants. He was determined and chose to go for that milestone. In 2009, he achieved his dream, not only was he the 5th youngest person to win it, but he beat Roger Federer, for many claimed the best tennis player in history. He got to where he wanted to be.

2. Decide if you want to be better than the rest.

To be better than the rest, you must be willing to do things that no one else wants to do. This is when your passion comes in question. How much do you want it? How much are you willing to stand for what you want to do? If you quit, you will be like the rest. Quitters never win, and winners never quit, so decide that you want to be better than the rest. Mark Cuban sold stamps, then opened a bar, then opened a company where he claims he passed nights without sleeping, reading all day, memorizing, to accelerate his process. He was selling during days, and learning during nights. He also claims he went 7 years without a single vacation. His company became successful, he sold it, and became a millionaire. Then he moved on to acting in a movie, and finally purchased the Dallas Mavericks. If you look back at step by step in what he did, it doesn’t look like he had a clear path. But if you look at the big picture, his X at the top was very high, and one thing was clear as water… He was by no means going to be like the rest.

3. Don’t let anything obstruct your vision

Life will sometimes take you to places that you don’t want to be, and it is going to move you around at times, but wherever life takes you, do not lose sight of your goals. Make those extra efforts and don’t give up. Donald Trump saw himself not only in bankruptcy but in debt of billions. Life took him there, and although is not a nice place to be, it helped him increase his concentration and remain focused on his goals. He is now one of the most successful real estate developers and an icon of New York. Josh Hamilton was drafted as a first pick overall in 1999 draft. After that, the world never knew anything about him. Life took him to drugs and alcoholism, but in 2007, he cleaned up, ragained his focus and caught the league by surprise. He slammed a record breaking total of 28 Home Runs in a HR Derby, won a batting title in 2010, and took the Rangers to a World Series. He is now so focused and dedicated to his goals, that in playoff wins he convinced his whole team to celebrate with ginger ale instead of champagne!

4. If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big!

Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile”. When you decide that you want to be in the top 5%, you have less competition. Athletes look up to other athletes and become them, and same thing happens to successful business people. What I mean by this is, measure yourself against the best in what you want to do, and you will easily surpass the rest.

Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com