ceo-level skills

Rules vs. Rules of Thumb

You can be one of two kinds of employees: 1) A person who can follow rules; 2) A person who can follow rules of thumb. The second type of employee is infinitely more valuable. A rule is a specific set of actions to be taken in a specific set of situations. “If this dial exceeds [...]

T-Shaped Skills

In industry, a person’s skill set can be described using one of two metaphors: the letter “I” and the letter “T.” A person with “I-shaped” skills has very deep skills in a single domain. This vertical line in the letter “I” represents this depth in a single area. In contrast, the person with “T-shaped” skills [...]

How to Lie with Averages

I hate averages. I just hate them. There… I said it. Here’s why. Averages often lie. Let me illustrate my point with an example. Ten people live on the street. One person on the street earns $10 million a year. The other nine people on the street earn $0. On average (did I mention I [...]

Culture Crisis at Uber - Gender Bias

I woke up to today’s news of Uber releasing a report on its diversity, inclusion, and bias practices. The report was written by former U.S. Attorney General (the lead lawyer for the US Government), Eric Holder. The report concludes an investigation conducted by Holder, following allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation from Susan Fowler, a [...]

The Objective of Your Objective

The foundation of strategic planning involves developing the most effective and efficient way to achieve an objective. A clear objective forms the foundation of every strategy. However, most people and companies set objectives poorly. They define objectives in an overly narrow way. I’ve had many clients come to me with a strategic objective to grow [...]

What Exactly Does a CEO Do Anyway?

An engineer engineers. A marketer markets. A salesperson sells. A finance professional finances. A CEO… “CEOs”??? Unlike all other roles in a company, the word “CEO” is not a function. There is no CEO department. The engineer thinks about how to engineer a solution to a problem. A marketer thinks about how to market a [...]

How to Create Chaos

The last few days have been quite chaotic politically here in the United States. While chaos can come from many places, there’s one source in particular that I’d like to discuss today, as it applies to business. It’s chaos that comes from… Confusion Chaos from confusion is simple to prevent. The antidote involves two things: [...]

Decision Fatigue

The higher you move up in the organization, the more your job becomes about deciding than it does about doing. The CEO doesn’t design a product, manufacture, sell or market a new product. The CEO DECIDES what to build, where to manufacture it, to whom to sell it, and how to market a product. Junior [...]

If it Walks, Talks, and Acts like a CEO...

Being a CEO is not complicated. A good CEO decides what needs to be done and who needs to do it. Being a CEO is about deciding strategy and then leading people to execute the strategy. While being a CEO is simple (conceptually), it is not easy (to do). The easiest way to stand out [...]