Top CEOs focus on five things: Vision, Cash, People, Key Business Relationships, and Learning. In this five-part series, I’m going to explore why these five focal points are the best uses of your valuable time, and how each can help Make BIG Happen for your business.
As business author Jim Collins writes, “People are not your most important asset. The RIGHT people are.”
So many of CEO Coaching’s biggest success stories bear out Jim’s words.
How did Rich Balot go from near-bankruptcy to chairman and co-CEO of a billion-dollar wireless sales firm? He replaced his underperforming head of sales – a close, personal friend – with one of the best in the business.
How did TaskUs make the jump from good to great? With our help, they methodically replaced weak C-suite talent with top performers.
The CEOs running these and many other successful firms we work with, all recognized that the people that got your business where it is today often aren’t capable of taking you where you want to go. Instead of settling, these CEOs followed a simple three-step process to get the right people in the right jobs, and get their companies on track for BIG growth.
1. Grade everyone on your management team.
Grab a pen and do it, right now: write down the names of every single person in your C-suite, and all your top-level managers, like your head of sales. Grade every one of them: A, B, C.
That’s your company’s management report card. So, how are you doing? Are you excelling? Good, but not quite great? Mired in mediocrity?
When top companies look at their own report cards, do you know what they see? Straight A’s, across the board. That’s the number one lesson I’ve learned in all my years of coaching, and the biggest thing that separates world-class companies from the rest. Top companies hire top talent, period. They prize A-performers, hoard them, fight over them, and leave their competition picking over the B’s and C’s.
If your company is struggling, then you’re probably light on A’s, especially in the C-Suite. How can you, as CEO, coach your B’s up to another level of performance? Or shift them to a new role where they will be an A?
The C’s? Replace them–now. I’ve never met a CEO who regretted firing an underperformer too soon; I’ve talked to plenty who regret waiting too long to make a necessary change because of the usual bad, sentimental reasons.
2. Identify and hire the best person for the job, no excuses.
“Mark, you don’t understand. I know who the best sales manager in my state is, but there’s no way I could ever afford to hire him.”
That’s one broken record I wish I could snap in half.
Believe me, I do understand. If you company’s struggling, you’re probably glued to your bank balances, trying to weather a cash crunch. Adding to your payroll might sound like an expense you can’t afford.
But you’re thinking about this problem all backwards. Instead, ask yourself what a top sales manager or CFO would ADD to your bottom line, and how quickly. Weigh that growth potential against the cost of that talent, and in almost all cases, the talent is worth it.
And if you absolutely, positively can’t figure out how to squeeze in a new salary, get creative. Sell the talent on your BIG vision. Spin your business plan and brand into a story so compelling that he or she would be crazy not to want to be a part of it. Find ways to compensate talent beyond straight salary, like pay-for-performance packages, or even phantom stock. You might worry that you’re straining your finances, but really, you’re making the best possible investment in your company’s future.
3. Get out of the way.
Some CEOs – weak CEOs – get intimidated when they feel like they’re not the smartest guy or gal in the room. So they overcompensate, by micromanaging minor issues, or throwing their weight around like the proverbial bull in a china shop, just to make sure everyone in the office knows who’s ultimately in charge, who’s ultimately “right.”
Top CEOs know that this kind of insecurity, and behavior, is beneath them. They appreciate having the brightest of the bright around, not only because it frees the CEO to focus on executive-level activities, but because it helps the CEO learn and grow as a business leader. You think Richard Branson is worried about his C-suite looking smarter than he is? Of course not! He gets so far out of the way that he stays on an island, leaving his employees to do their work, and freeing him to refine and expand Virgin’s vision.
The results are unmistakable. When you have the right people in the right jobs, your revenue will explode. When you bring in top talent, your company will thrive. And suddenly, you’re that much closer to achieving the BIG goals that mark your vision of success.
To be continued in Part IV – These Are the Relationships Every CEO Needs to Cultivate
About Mark Moses
Mark Moses is the Founding Partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon Bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 150 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, becoming better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance. Mark has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise award for overcoming adversity. His last company ranked #1 Fastest-Growing Company in Los Angeles as well as #10 on the Inc. 500 of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. He has completed 12 full distance Ironman Triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 5 times.