Elite CEOs understand that their most valuable resource is their own time. And they focus that time on five top-level responsibilities: Vision, Cash, People, Key Relationships, and Learning.
One of our goals for the content that we share is to create a one-stop shop for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to learn from the best. In 2022, our lineup of guests on The CEO Coaching International Podcast included successful executives reflecting on their inspiring journeys to BIG, as well as our own world-class team of CEO coaches explaining the proven best practices we use every single day to Make BIG Happen for our clients.
Here are 10 especially important insights from another great year of The CEO Coaching International Podcast. Thanks to all of our regular listeners, and if you’ve just found us please consider clicking on the links below to subscribe.
1. If you can’t delegate effectively, you don’t have the right people working for you.
3 Keys To Improve Work-life Balance for CEOs & Executives with Bill Brady, a seasoned entrepreneur, lawyer, and coach at CEO Coaching International
“In the beginning, I had to do everything,” Bill says, remembering the early days of the orthodontic payment startup that he founded. “But as the company grew, I realized I couldn’t do that. It was important for me to be home for dinner and be with my kids. So out of necessity, I forced myself to learn how to delegate. And it was hard at first. But then it became the norm.”
2. Your equity is golden, don’t just give it away.
Growth Financing Options for CEOs That Don’t Sacrifice Equity with Chris Hurn, the founder and CEO of Fountainhead Commercial Capital and a client of CEO Coaching International
“There’s a lot of business owners that watch too much ‘Shark Tank’ and feel like the best way to grow is to give away a piece of ownership,” Chris says. “And while that can make sense, in some cases, there’s a lot of debt capital options out there that I wish more business owners would consider before they jump in and only fuel their growth from their profits. Self-funding is okay, but it’s probably not going to give you the kind of growth you want long term. Or, alternatively, they bring on private equity capital, and you don’t have to give away a part of the business. There’s an old saying that ‘Debt is cheaper than equity.’ And that usually turns out to be true if you’re very successful.
3. Listen to Mom and Dad.
4 Keys to Kelly Wade’s Rise From Stacking Levi’s To Trailblazing CEO with Kelly Wade, a coach at CEO Coaching International
Among the lessons that Kelly learned from working after school at her family’s clothing business and hotels were:
- Right or wrong, the customer is always right.
- If we’re at the store, then we’re open. “Even after hours, people would knock on the door and we opened the door. Or we would be home, my dad would get a call, and he would go to the store to make sales.”
- Get to know everyone. “There wasn’t a person that came into our store that my dad didn’t get to know personally.”
- Don’t nickel and dime. “In our clothing business, that meant free alterations and holiday gift wrapping. Those little things add up to a lot and really create a unique differentiation.”
- Just one more thing … “There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of upselling. All they can do is say no.”
4. Be your company’s cultural ambassador.
5 Keys To Inspiring a BIG Culture Change with Andres Molano, a coach at CEO Coaching International
Andres believes that the CEO should be “the first ambassador” for the company’s values and purpose, including four key responsibilities:
- Be the storyteller. “Everywhere you go, in every communication, you need to tell the whole company about your values and your purpose by actually living them.”
- Achieve company-wide buy-in. “Invite your employees to show their personal purpose.”
- Activate yourself. “How does my company’s purpose play into my own life purpose? How do I use purpose and values when I’m building my quarterly and annual plans for the organization? Am I thinking about how my decisions will impact purpose and how values will play out?”
- Align purpose and metrics. “Measure it. Conduct surveys. Get a clear picture of the cultural dynamics of your organization. This will provide a baseline to measure future improvements.”
5. Disrupt your company before the competition does.
5 Ways To Compete and Win Against Larger Competitors with Juergen Rochert, a coach at CEO Coaching International
“At my previous company, we put a team together and said, You are the disruptors,” Juergen says. “Your job is to put us out of business. And they did. They came up with a very solid business plan and model. It was a fantastic exercise and I can recommend it to any company, regardless of whether you then go and become a disruptor or you learn something to protect yourself from one of the possible disruptions.”
6. Show your sales team that you care.
6 Ways the CEO Can Generate BIG Sales with Ken Eissing, a coach at CEO Coaching International
“If you want to build a true high-performance sales culture, the frontline salespeople have to know that the person in the CEO seat gets it,” Ken says. “It’s not enough that the head of sales gets it. There has to be a belief that the very top of the organization is focused on having salespeople win and be successful. Go spend time out in the field with them. Ride along and knock on doors. I’m not saying do it every day, just do it a handful of times, and the message spreads that the CEO spent a day doing that. Or if you’ve got a call center, spend time doing side-by-sides with the agents who are taking calls and really understand what their issues are and how well the system works.”
7. See your goal and determine the steps towards it.
One Woman’s Purpose-led Journey To Becoming a CEO with Jennifer Gressman, the CEO of Site Impact
“I had my first performance review and I actually took that as an opportunity to be really methodical about what I wanted,” Jennifer says. “I was really tenacious in my plan, what I wanted, and the goals that I was setting forth for myself. And more importantly, what I was asking for when I hit those goals and what success looked like for me. I spoke with the CEO and president of the company, and I said, ’18 months from now. I want my seat.’ I gave myself some really, really lofty goals. I absolutely was accountable to ownership of the organization. I had the ownership coming to me and saying, ‘This is what you said you were going to do. We didn’t tell you that you had to do this. This is what you said you were going to do. Where are you in relation to that?’ It very much kept me on course. I was not going to waste this opportunity. I was not going to squander it by any stretch. It was being accountable. Being accountable to myself, and being accountable to the organization.”
8. Systemize accountability.
How to Scale at Speed with Meghan Watkins, a coach at CEO Coaching International
“The metrics and the data that we have access to today are so helpful for us to be able to run well-oiled machines,” says Meghan. “I think the monitoring of the sales and monitoring of the business overall in the form of a score can be an afterthought because there’s so much chaos going on just running the business. Taking the time to put the metrics in one concise format, to be able to share that with the leaders of the organization, can seem a bit tedious, but it’s really, really vital so we know how we’re doing.”
9. Build your future org chart.
5 Keys To Leading Your Business to 10X Growth with Angela Korompilas, a coach at CEO Coaching International
“At CEO Coaching International, we help our clients build their org charts of the future,” Angela says. “I did this in my own business every year. I would think about what do we need to do next year? Who do we want to be? Who do we need to be? We generally looked out the next year and up to three years forward, sometimes five. It really helps us think about what skills we’ll potentially be needing, what experiences we want. Do we want someone who’s been there, done that to bring that expertise into the business? Or is it something that we want to cultivate and grow from within?”
10. Win the sport of business with coaching.
How Coaching Leads To Making BIG Happen with Mark Moses, CEO and Founder of CEO Coaching International
“Setting goals and determining how it is that we’re going to achieve those goals is pretty consistent in sport and in business,” Mark says. “12 hours for an Ironman is a pretty solid time. I broke 12 hours a few times, and then I wondered if I could do sub-11 hours if I used the same methodology that I use in coaching businesses: what are the specific and measurable activities we can keep score on that will drive the outcome that we want? So if we do X, we will get Y. The next Ironman I did, I went 10 hours and 56 minutes. So that methodology applies from one to the other.”