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.



The Top Five Mistakes of Unsuccessful Leaders (as found @

It sure was great being with the CEO Forum I members this morning and with Sarah Fennel and Steve McBee this afternoon.  There were insights shared and peer relationships advanced meaningful to all!

As you have heard it emphasized, from the wise counsel of Jim Myers, founder of the CEO Forum, “as leaders we must work to be more positive.”  It is a categorical statement applicable, in our view, to almost every one of us.

We will strive, as a portfolio of work, to do so yet in this post, we share a topic that seems against this grain.  The list just seemed to be a list whose review by our members and those striving to lead better might benefit. So let’s spend just a little time some time over the weekend reflecting on The Top Five Mistakes of Unsuccessful Leaders found at and written by  The Leadership Freak.

Helpful Resources for Leaders

FYI, we continue to find great value in &, two of the thirty three links found at under the category of “Helpful Resources for Leaders.”  If you are desiring to “elevate” your pace of learning and improve upon how you lead your enterprise or your team, other than embarking upon a 360 degree assessment or working genuinely hard to break down barriers for genuine feedback, these two resources would be great “foundational resources” from which to begin.

Giving Meaning to What We Do

One last comment, in our one-on-one session today with Founder and CEO of Restore Humanity, Sarah Fennel, we received a wonderful gift.  It was her demand that we stop and listen to her “giving thanks” to our work together and the contributions she felt we had made to her leadership effectiveness.  And I only share this to say, she found a way to do this in a genuine and special and loving way and it gave great meaning to the work we do.  It is exactly what we would like to be able to do with every person with whom we work & especially those whose responsibility to lead is ours.  If we can give more meaning to what they do, they will perform even better!  Now, let’s see if we can absorb this gift of Sarah’s and be able to perform better in the coming weeks and months.  Thank you Sarah, for your restorative gift and for restoring the humanity of the less fortunate in Kenya.  We love ya!

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.

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

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!

Northwest Arkansas – Great for Business.Great for Life.

It’s how we start every Elevate Speaker Series, watching this two minute video, reminding each of us how fortunate we are to be in Northwest Arkansas.  Great for business.  Great for Life.

Thank you Northwest Arkansas Council for all you do to help Northwest Arkansas be a better place to work, live, raise family and play.  Thank you Sam Walton, Don Tyson, JB Hunt, John Lewis for starting the Northwest Arkansas Council.   Thank you Alice Walton, Uvalde Lindsey and John Paul Hammerschmidt for your awesome leadership in the first 15 years of the council’s great work, helping bring XNA and I540 to fruition.

Thank you Mark Simmons, Archie Shaffer and Scott Van Laningham for your ongoing and consistent leadership for the council.

Thank you Mike Malone and the rolling chairpersons of the council that include David Gearhart, Mike Duke, Jim Walton, John Roberts and John Tyson.  Thank you Buddy Philpot for your past and ongoing steady leadership always being there for the council.  Thank you past and current members of the Northwest Arkansas Council.  Thank you current and highly talented staff serving Mike Malone’s and the membership’s administration!  And thank you Walton Family Foundation….where would we be without this wonderful institution?!!!

Thank you for this inspiring video:

Northwest Arkansas – Great for Business. Great for Life.




On Becoming a High Performing CEO

“Understanding ourselves is such an important part of being a good leader; having self awareness.”

“Leadership is meeting the needs of our people; ask them what they think.”

Jim Myers, Founder of the CEO Forum

“We have to make a decision to be more positive!”

“You can’t get angry; when you do, you give your power away.”

“When we believe we have arrived, we begin to fall back.”

Marsha Petrie Sue. Author of Toxic People and the reactor factor

“Humility is not low self esteem; it is lack of self preoccupation,” David Brooks, columnist at the New York Times

“Emotional intelligence is catalytic for whatever other abilities we might have,”  Daniel Goleman speaking atGoogleTalks

“How can you tell which ones have enough fire in their belly?” Sheridan Garrison, founder of American Freightways (now FedEx Freight)

“Stay in the game, it will all come to you,”  Jim Myers, Founder of the CEO Forum

As taken from Page Four of the best of what we have learned while leading CEO Forums, Elevate 2012 piece.

We hope you might find some of this information helpful.

What are your thoughts on how to become a high performing CEO?

CEO Forums are a place for competitive leaders who want continuous learning to come and process issues, opportunities and topics important to your success.  Please contact Tim at to learn more and see if a CEO Forum is suitable for your growth development.


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  .  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 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, which does seem crisp, not too long & on target for leaders. is obviously worthy of your consideration.   Dan Sanker, CEO of CaseStack (, 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 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:

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

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.