The chief exec sets style for performance, behavior, company culture, and just about everything else.
I like to keep this quote in mind, for it reminds me that I can't keep my edge if I'm working with a dull (ahem) blade!
The company president, more than anyone else, is responsible for seeing that the organization continuously strives for improvement.
Improvement begins at the top, with the ceo having to commit to personal growth before committing the organization to improvement. He or she must earn the right to ask others to improve.
So here are some suggested courses of action for el presidente:
- Culture: The choice is simple. Either proceed with a culture of greatness in everything the organization does, or let it be known that being just okay is okay.
- Fun: The goal here should be that yours is the best place in town to work. Productivity goes up when people love what they do. Teamwork improves. Recruiting better people becomes easier. There's no downside to having fun.
- Sales: Dedicate yourself to being your sales veep's best partner. Support him or her and make sure everyone else does. Ask him how many days you ought to spend in the field with the troops and customers. Whatever the answer is, boost it by 10%.
- Creativity: Ask every department head to submit a list of 10 things to improve upon this quarter. Then 10 things the next quarter.and so on. Also ask for one crazy idea, even a far-out dream, that will add value to your services. It'll keep everyone thinking and not just doing. Don't pooh-pooh crazy ideas; it'll stifle the process of personal and organizational improvement.
- Servant: Ask every department head two questions: (1) How can I do better to serve you? and (2) Is there an area where I need to get out of your way? Get your department heads to ask the same questions with their people.
- Hard/Soft: Managing is usually either a hard or a soft style. Leadership is both - hard when you should be and soft when appropriate. Hard means "I'm not going to let you behave in a way that may hurt you down the road." Soft is "I care about you and I want to help you."
- The Plan: Apply deadline dates to almost everything in each departmental plan. Monitor monthly and make sure everyone beats deadlines. This is a culture in itself.
- Human resources: Each department needs to turn in a plan for training and education. You recommend the training and education that the department head personally needs. So goes the department head, so goes the department.