Category Archives: Learning from One Another

The Amerine Factor – An Arkansas Leader Emerges

In the past two years, no one has meant more for the Arkansas’ entrepreneur community than Jeff Amerine.  The Amerine Factor can be found in about every good initiative happening in Arkansas relating to making a more vibrant communmity for entrepreneurs to start and grow and be successful in Arkansas.  Thank you Jeff, for all you have done to take this important part of our economy to a whole new level.  CEO Forum II is proud to have you as a valued member!

To get a taste of what Jeff is doing and how he thinks, please go to this video link and listen to this brilliant tech savvy leader!

Keep up your great work, Jeff!  Stay productive; that is you!  Adjust for balance from time-to-time.  Stay positive! Remain humble yet confident.  People are following and will continue to follow you!   We are all grateful!


12 Key Steps To Improve Your Sales Team (from Vistage)

As we look to the new year of 2013 & work to complete our 2013 strategic plan & financial plan, a leader might benefit by reviewing the “12 Key Steps to Improve Your Sales Team.”  Would any of these steps give your team the best opportunity to “elevate” their performance and therefore deserve implementation inside of your 2013 strategic plan?

The information comes from Vistage, an organization for whom we have tremendous respect. Vistage is the world’s leading chief executive organization.  Here is the link:

If you have input or recommendations on how best to improve a sales team, we welcome your comments below.

About the CEO Forums and Elevate

For insights and peer relationships executives rely on, please consider whether you or someone you may know might benefit from joining a CEO Forum, a Key Forum or one-on-one coaching.  We also offer tailored advisory services.  Please e-mail us at should you have an interest in learning more.



Leadership – The Area With Which Humans Struggle the Most

Leadership is the area with which humans struggle the most.

Much has been written about it, yet it remains hard to execute for most of us.  It is a lifelong journey that is never finished.

Please c0nsider the following framework.

This framework & these perspectives were developed over many years by Jim Myers.   Founder of the CEO Forum, Jim is the former CEO of two publicly traded companies and since starting the CEO Forum in 1989 has mentored, coached, counseled and helped hundreds of CEO’s in and around the Phoenix marketplace.


 Leadership is the ability to bring the best out in others.

Leadership’s practice is applicable to anyone who has responsibility for impacting other people.

As we rise in organizations, the most universal struggle  people face is around Leadership.

The Challenge

As individuals perform well, we are rewarded with greater and greater responsibility. Yet….

  • The habits that get us to leadership roles may have nothing to do with the role of a CEO or a leader of any expanded responsibility.
  • We get rewarded because we performed so well ourselves.  Endless hours knock over any obstacle to get the results.  If someone isn’t getting it done, we will do it ourselves.
  • Where impatience may have gotten us here, patience may now be the virtue required as we rely and depend on others to meet increased responsibility
  • Leadership isn’t about how good we can do, we have already demonstrated this.  It is about how good we can help others be better than they have ever been.

The Opportunity

  • Leadership is about creating an environment for others that will allow them to be their best; environments that are as open, trusting, and as non-political and non-defensive as possible.
  • True leadership is about serving those being led – not about being served.
  • The most enduring attributes of a leader are positive attitude; humility and genuine delight in seeing others succeed.

Six questions that most of us have about our organization whose answers require leadership:

-        What is going on?

-        Where are we going?

-        How are we going to get there?

-        What do you want me to do?

-        Am I important here?

-        Does anyone care about me?

Leadership must provide:

-        Communication

-        Vision

-        Values

-        Clarity of people’s roles and responsibilities

-        A sense of feeling important in the process and being appreciated for what we do

Communication / Relationship

  • If leaders fail to communicate what is going on, it is subject to   gossip and rumors.
  • If I know something you don’t know I have an edge.  We want no edges.  We want our people to know the most possible information
  • Meetings for communication about what is going on do not waste time, rather they save time eliminate hesitancy, confusion and allow everyone to be on the same page for the same purpose.
  • Leadership is a responsibility, but more than that it is a privilege.
  • Leadership is a relationship between people not necessarily the property of any individual.

Thank you Jim Myers for all that you have done as you strive to bring the best out of each one of us.

We hope you find this information helpful.  Please feel free to offer your comments or input that might increase the value to the original post.

Learning from Tommy Van Zandt

Tommy Van Zandt is becoming a hero to many of us.

Please take a minute to watch this video clip of Tommy & a recent benefit to help Tommy & his family with medical expenses & so that he can live the best life possible.

Here is the 2 minute video clip that gives you an inside look at this cool dude.

While we thought we were all helping Tommy, & we are, it is Tommy that is also helping us – teaching us!  Through his courage, his kindness, his ability to deal with tremendous adversity, his grace & with his tremendously handicapped situation, his ability to show his love for all of us, he is teaching us.

He has inspired so many to show how big there hearts are when inspired by a great cause.

So we all rally around the fact that for his health & safety, his dignity & respect, & as we continue to increasingly learn, his ability to teach us, we all want Tommy to have the best living conditions & life possible.

As CEO’s or leaders of organizations, there is likely no amount of adversity with which we will be dealing in our own business / enterprise to compare when we consider with what Tommy has dealt.  May Tommy be an inspiration to each of us as we all deal with the adversity that will come our way.

Thank you Tommy for your example.  We hope to continue to learn from you.

While the fundraiser has passed, the expenses will not pass.  Please consider going to the below website & make your investment in Tommy & all that he represents.

Donate here:

Tommy V, you are an inspiration to us all!

Porterfield Article – How Technology Is Changing the Accounting Profession

The speed in which technology is changing the way we do business today never ceases to amaze us.  Marsha Petrie Sue, author and valued speaker at the CEO Forums in Phoenix, offers this perspective, “The way we do business will change more in the next five years than any other time!”

The more we consider this, the more we believe her wise perspective is right on.  And how important it is for every CEO and every Organizational Leader to recognize and embrace this major factor!

It is critical that we and our business models remain current, up to date and competitive.  Or better yet that we create a business model that becomes a market disruptor!  Old business models are becoming obsolete and great new ones are being created.  All worthy factors deserving of your consideration.

Recently, Tom Porterfield, CPA and partner, Porterfield, Killingsworth CPA, PLLC  (, wrote an article published in the Arkansas Business Journal relating to How Technology Is Changing the Accounting Profession.  The article is well written and in our view, valuable to all and worthy of your time.

Here is the link.

Tom Porterfield is a valued member of CEO Forum I.

We hope you find this information of value.


Jeannette Balleza’s Rockstar Apps

At this month’s CEO Forums, we had the good fortune to hear Jeannette Balleza’s presentation Using Technology to Support Free Style Productivity.  Jeannette is the owner and Creative in Chief of Scribe Marketing.  She is a brilliant lady that anyone would want on their team.  She is as knowledgeable on technology, website development and social media as anyone to whom our CEO Forum members have been introduced.   She is a member of CEO Forum II.

Jeannette’s presentation received excellent reviews.  She is working on a presentation that we will soon be able to post on the CEO Forums website for all of you to review.

And while it is best to hear Jeannette’s presentation and her views of how each App is utilized for increased productivity and business oriented purposes, several have asked for a list of Jeannette’s Rockstar Apps.

Look for more updates soon on Jeannette’s presentation.  Until then, here is a list of Jeannette’s Rockstar Apps.

FTP on the Go
LogMeIn Ignition
G-Whizz! Free
Docs to Go
Kindle Reader
Remember the Milk
Bamboo Paper

Since the presentation, we have adopted two more of these apps, JotNot and Card Munch.  This App world is pretty amazing!

Jeff Amerine, Innovate Arkansas, member of CEO Forum II, reminds us that Staying Current is a competitive imperative!  So here is a presentation that will help each of us Stay Current.  Staying Current, a Competitive Imperative, is now a new category for our CEO Forums website.

Thank you Jeannette Balleza!   And thank you Jeff Amerine!

We welcome your comments on Apps that you value and utilize to help you be more productive.

Keeper from Ted Belden

At a CEO Forum, a statement was made that our members felt was a "Keeper."  

This is what Ted had to say:       

"People don't care what you know until they know that you care!"    

This keeper is sourced back to Theodore Roosevelt.  Thank you, Ted, for bringing it forward.

Keeper – Jim Walcott – Sponsored by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal

In the first year of CEO Forum I, Jim Walcott offered this guideline when discussing an optimal role of a board of director, “Head in, fingers out.”

While from time to time, the board of directors may direct other parties to get there fingers into a specific area and report back to the board of directors, categorically, the members of the CEO Forum felt Jim’s guideline was quite valuable.  Accordingly, we are including it here as a Keeper for others to find and consider.

Thanks Jim Walcott!

Jim is CEO of Weldon, Williams & Lick, Fort Smith, AR.

Introduction to “Keepers” Sponsored by Northwest Arkansas Business Journal

A valued member of our CEO Forum I, Darin Gray, came up with the idea that at almost every CEO Forum, one of the members makes a statement that has great wisdom or makes a statement that is worthy of “capturing” and holding so that others can be exposed to it, learn it or apply it. We have accepted his wise counsel and have begun a program we refer to as the “Keepers.” Keepers are posted to our website under the tab Keepers.

Thank you, Darin Gray!