Category Archives: Staying Current, a Competitive Imperative

Learning from Rockline Executive Nick Santoleri

Please enjoy learning from Nick Santoleri, executive of Rockline Industries.  Nick was a recent speaker at the Elevate Speaker Series by CEO Forums.  This post highlights the first three clips of Nick’s presentation via the “CEOForums” channel on YouTube.

Who is Rockline?

Rockline is a global, world class manufacturer of premium quality products for both branded and private label categories. From coffee filters to wet wipe products, Rockline offers a comprehensive line of products for your everyday lifestyle. Rockline is a recognized leader in innovation, product development, research, design, and manufacturing.  Learn more here:  www.rocklineind.com

What Can We Learn?

Nick’s topic is “Growing with Underdeveloped Resources.”  This is the challenge for all growth companies as at each stage the larger company needs new resources and desires to respect the talent and resources that got us to where we are today.

Part One, learn about:

  • How to think about Space
  • Growing with underdeveloped resources
  • Facilities around the globe
  • Unique Vision

Click here to watch:

http://scrbe.us/u2

Part Two, learn about:

  • Recruiting
  • Driving without a spare tire
  • Defining Stakeholders
  • How Can Companies Grow?

Click here to watch:

http://scrbe.us/u3

Part Three, learn about:

  • example comparing people and the train
  • clarity
  • how to work smarter – example starring Tom Porterfield
  • high performance organizational chart / high performance teams

Click here to watch:

http://scrbe.us/u4

We will highlight part’s four through six in a different post but they also are now available for your viewing and learning.  Thank you Nick for investing the time to prepare and present such valuable content for those leading organizations.   

Elevate strives to create the best learning environments for leaders through Peer Group Forums, the Elevate Speaker Series, Advisory Services & Toolboxes / Content important to your success.

12 Leaders | 1 Board Room | 6 Peer Group Forums

Elevate is expanding its Peer Group Forums.

Each member gets the opportunity to:

  • invest three hours a month of “theta” time in a trusting setting with peers to process issues and opportunities and learn new and better ways to execute.
  • benefit from the collective wisdom of the experienced leaders whose combined value is estimated to be over $2,000 per hour, your alternative board of directors

Let us know if you or someone you know might benefit from joining a Peer Group Forum. Membership is by invitation.

Ten Ways to Break Through & Develop a Sustainable Growth Strategy for 2013

Think New Thoughts

&

Elevate

Emily Knight “Elevating!” Full Handstand

So you are leading an organization with annual revenues between $1 and $40 million and you desire to break through to the next level.       

The below recommendations assume that leadership can see growth opportunities and understands how the organization can / will finance the new growth.  Growth isn’t for everyone and sometimes it is better to optimize our existing customer mix and not grow.  If you are not sure how to finance your growth but see growth opportunities, contact us and we can determine how appropriate growth is for you financially and how / if it can be financed.  Should you see growth opportunities and know how to finance such growth, yet the organization can’t quite seize these opportunities for one reason or another, some or all of the below recommendations will likely help either in execution or how you are viewing the future.  Even if we are optimizing our existing customer mix, you may find these recommendations helpful to how you improve the performance and value of your organization.

“Think New Thoughts” was one of several “lessons learned” nuggets of advice shared by John Lewis in April of 2007 when he was the speaker for CEO Forum I.   As 2013 begins, let’s consider what new thoughts will allow us and our organization to break through!

  • Steve Blank refers to a CEO as being a conductor of a symphony. 

Embrace this! How do we prepare each person to be the best they can be for the role they play in our organization?  How do we help others become better than they ever thought they could become? How do we come together and execute like a high performing orchestra?

  • First who, then what.[i]

Develop a group of A Players & B Players; move B Players to A Players and C Players to B Players.  Remember, a leader is not to be served but to serve others helping our team grow and have a meaningful career / life.

  •  In order to achieve smart & sustainable growth, we must look at our portfolio of talent differently.

If we are going to pursue growth, we all must delegate more and prepare others to take on more responsibilities.  We don’t want to overpromote yet we want to prepare as many people as possible to take on new responsibilities and receive promotions.  If some are unable to take on responsibilities needed to execute at the next level, we will need to add new people.  When adding new people, consider their talent based on their capacity to take on not one but two promotions over, say the next two or four years. If you don’t desire to grow or see growth opportunities, obviously, one can manage this  differently yet A players and B players want to grow in their own career, requiring a growth strategy by the leadership of their employer.

  • Develop clear organizational alignment both for today and for the future. 

Develop an organizational chart that not only speaks to today’s organization but how the organization will look next year and the next.  This means for future year planning, some boxes will be empty.  This also allows others to see where promotions are possible & how we can help them “career plan” so that they can be considered for new openings as that time comes.

  • After organizational alignment, assure that one person owns every detailed task that the organization can define. 

One person should own each and every task of the company.  Another person can be on their team or be there backup but one person needs to own the responsibility.  The ownership tasks and the backup tasks can be established by detailed job descriptions with each person having primary and secondary responsibilities.

  • While impatience got us to the top, patience is now essential.  Push the organization forward, then stop and iterate[ii].

 Determine how this new push is working and modify for improved performance.  In order to innovate, we are going to make mistakes.[iii]  In order to move at a more rapid pace, we are going to “break things.”[iv]  It is part of the necessary price of progress.  Have belief and a positive attitude and give your team confidence that after a series of iterations, we will move our organizations to a new level.

  •   Conduct autopsies without blame.[v]

This is a great way to assure we are staying patient.  And it helps us get to the issues sooner and better.  Conduct these autopsies without blame and if we find during our iterations that it is more of a person or an employee issue, begin to then focus on how to help that person.  Should under-performance continue, it is sometimes best for all to invite the person to their future elsewhere optimally with dignity, respect and compensation.[vi]

  •  Consider the speed of change, the fact that someone is working right now to disrupt your market.

Moving fast to advance innovation or ways to add more value to how you serve your market has a risk / reward payoff.  The faster you move to advance your value proposition, the less impact a new competitor can have if they in fact find a way to disrupt your market.  The market will be disrupted but the impact will be less on you and your organization.

  •  Every one of us, every leader must be more positive!  And remember that if we get angry, we give our power away. 

By focusing on how we lead, focusing on ourselves, we can likely make as much or more impact on how the organization performs as anything.  As we know we are doing our very best and doing all we can to help others be there very best, we will be more comfortable in our own skin and can lead people exponentially better.

  • Contact us and see if joining a CEO Forum might be right for you and you might be right for a CEO Forum.

info@ceoforums.us   or 479-310-5570



[i] Jim Collins, Good to Great

[ii] Iteration means the act of repeating a process with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration,” and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.

[iii] Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, Principles and Culture

[iv] John James, CEO of Acumen Brands, Speaker of the Elevate Speaker Series; “Move fast and break things!”

[v]Jim Collins, Good to Great

[vi] Jim Myers, Founder of the CEO Forum

7 New Resources Reach “Top 33″ Status – Helpful Links for CEO’s

To the right of each page of our website, one can find Helpful Links for Leaders, The Top 33!

You asked us to evaluate resources that are introduced to us or we have researched and discovered and bring you the very best.  Accordingly, we now rate our best known resources and allow new better ones to bump others to offer you a revolving “Top 33″ best resources for CEO’s.

Here are the new resources add to this list:

  • Deloitte Leadership Academy
  • Gap International, Partners in Exceptional Growth
  • Ken Blanchard Companies (in honor of Ken Blanchard Companies Board Member Tom Muccio and because it deserves a spot, in that order)
  • N2Growth, Serving World Class Leaders
  • Steve Blank, an Experienced Venture Teacher
  • This Week in Venture Capital, YouTube Channel
  • Thought Leadership for the CEO, from Vistage

So when you are ready to further invest in yourself, do some driving around and exploring at each of the links of these resources.  You can find the links on the right hand side of each page.

You may know of a helpful link that you believe belongs in the top 33.  We welcome your views and nominations.  Or your input as to the value of these links!

We are currently expanding our CEO Forums by five new members.  If you have an interest in joining one of our three CEO Forums, please contact us.  Membership will then be capped until we onboard our great new members.  Are you or someone you know one of those future great members? Our value proposition, engaged CEO Forum members can see around many more corners that were once somewhat blind and engaged members make better decisions.   We believe we deliver a 10X value proposition, a value equal to ten times the cost plus your time invested in member activities.

Too busy?  The busier you are, the more suitable the CEO Forum is for you.

Never stop growing; join a CEO Forum.

 

 

 

So Your a CEO or a Business Owner Looking for Answers – Consider These 33 Resources

So you are a CEO or a business owner looking for answers; consider the 33 resources that are listed on the right hand side of our website titled Helpful Resources for Leaders.  It has taken six years to accumulate them, each nominated by a wide range of CEO Forum members or taken from the wonderful list published by Mike Myatt, one of Amerca’s leading executive coaches.

And in the last two years, the speed at which rich content is going into many of these resources is nothing less than amazing.

Spend an hour and take a tour of some of these links and let us know if you don’t find three or four that will add meaningful value to your career growth pattern or a solution to a specific challenge you may have, because if you don’t find the answer by then, you may be a CEO Forum member candidate.

HBR Blogpost by a Gen Y’er – Solving Gen Y’s Passion Problem

We all know that our co-workers / our people are our most valuable asset.  So learning more about how we lead them helps us better lead all of our co-workers.  At the link provided below, you will find an HBR Blogpost by a Gen Y’er, Cal Newport, that will hopefully help us understand more about Gen Y and, over time, help us better know how to lead and motivate this generation along with all others.

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/09/solving_gen_ys_passion_problem.html

We would more than welcome your thoughts in comments as the collective wisdom of group input is almost always more valuable.

Top 25 Websites for CEO’s (Larger Companies)

As encouraged by our members and clients, we subscribe to a variety of resources considered experts around topics key to our success.  Our members encourage us to review these materials and bring forth information that we believe is the best and potentially most valuable.  One such resource is a newsletter prepared by CEO.com http://www.ceo.com/  .  This is where we found the below topic and article.  We recommend that competitive leaders desiring continuous growth subscribe to this newsletter.

Please find below a link to the article written by Mike Myatt.  Mike is thought to be one of the leading Executive Coaches in the U.S. with clients in the Fortune 100.  The topic of this article is what Mike believes should be on a CEO’s list for your Top 25 Websites.

While the article is written focused on CEO’s of larger companies, we think you will find value and some surprise as to what made Mike’s list.

I personally look forward to spending more time on http://mashable.com/ so that I can learn from and further understand the many bright and talented young people in our workforce today (Mike says it is where all of the cool kids hang out) and  on http://thebuildnetwork.com/, which does seem crisp, not too long & on target for leaders.  CEO.com  http://www.ceo.com/ is obviously worthy of your consideration.   Dan Sanker, CEO of CaseStack (http://ww2.casestack.com/), shared with Jeannette Balleza’s Ark Challenge Business Accelerator entrepreneur teams, while serving on a panel of CEO’s where we also participated, that he begins every morning at Linkedin.com http://www.linkedin.com/ to see what is trending.

After your review of the list , please offer feedback and let us know what website is not listed in Mike’s Top 25 that would be in your Top 10.  We look forward to your input.

Here is the link:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/08/02/top-25-websites-for-ceos/

About Elevate and the CEO Forums

Elevate creates learning environments and resources with a vision to become best-in-class for leaders of small to midsize organizations attractive to the competitive leader who desires continuous learning and improvements that will better prepare you to lead and contribute to your organization.  We do so through CEO Forums, Key Person Forums, one-on-one coaching, tailored advisory services focused around growth strategies, strategic thinking & planning and corporate finance, content, toolboxes and the Elevate Speaker Series which can be found on the CEO Forums channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/CEOForums.

We are a member-driven organization valuing the rich and diverse knowledge of all of our members and work diligently to harvest this exceptional resource informing us as to how we select topics, adopt best practices and work to optimize delivery mechanisms that are as efficient and impactful to our members as possible.   Obviously, we have much more development to do on the delivery mechanisms.

We value your input.  What are your thoughts and views on this post or on any matter relating to our areas of focus and the content of this website.

  

“Emotional Intelligence is Catalytic For What Ever Other Abilities We Have” – Daniel Goleman speaking at Google

In this presentation found at the AtGoogleTalks You Tube channel recorded at Google’s headquarters, Daniel Goleman, considered by most as the expert relating to EQ, emotional intelligence, makes the case that “emotional intelligence is catalytic for what ever other abilities we might have!”  A powerful statement and making it worthy of your consideration to invest in yourself and go to the below link and learn more about the value of emotional and social intelligence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hoo_dIOP8k

 

Going To School on the Winners – Culture at Bridgewater

We find these videos about Bridgewater Associates and how it has built it’s culture amazing!

Let’s explore how Bridgewater has developed it’s culture at the below link.  We would encourage you to listen to three or four of the videos found at this link.  Your investment into this subject will take less than 30 minutes.  Invest in yourself and the potential for you and your organization to become its very best.

http://www.bwater.com/home/culture–principles/culture-videos.aspx

What you will find:

“At Bridgewater, our overriding objective is excellence, or more precisely, constant improvement. We believe that producing excellence requires approaching both work and people in a principled way. Above all else, we want to find out what is true and figure out how best to deal with it. We value independent thinking and innovation, recognizing that independent thinking generates disagreement and innovation requires making mistakes.

To foster this thinking and innovation, we maintain an environment of radical openness, even though that honesty can be difficult and uncomfortable. At Bridgewater each individual has the right and the obligation to ensure that what they do and what we do collectively in pursuit of excellence makes sense to them. Everyone is encouraged to be both assertive and open-minded in order to build their understanding and discover their best path. The types of disagreements and mistakes that are typically discouraged elsewhere are expected at Bridgewater because they are the fuel for the learning that helps us maximize the utilization of our potential. It is through this unique culture that we have produced the meaningful work and meaningful relationships that those who work here and our clients have come to expect.

To help communicate what it’s like here, some of the people who work at Bridgewater describe it in the videos below. I am also posting my Principles, which we use, debate and change to agree on how we should be with each other in our pursuit of excellence.”

- Ray Dalio