A LEVERAGEDWISDOM Member, founder and managing partner of a prominent accounting firm, once described his workforce as divided among Finders, Minders and Grinders. In the context of a professional services firm one can quickly imagine what these roles entail: Read more →
We all know the rule of holes…if you’re in one, stop digging!
A hole in business is an unpleasant place where:
1) There is no return on the investment of time or money.
2) A business relationship continues to be disappointing.
3) The potential for an idea continues to be unrealized.
4) A non-performing business silo lives on.
Most entrepreneurs are smart and if nothing else, resilient. Their tolerance for pain and risk would impress a US Navy Seal. They work hard, duck, bob and weave, believe when others don’t, pull wins out of thin air and sometimes get lucky. And when the “wins” do come that is what they focus on. That’s where they get their psychological strength and what sustains their resiliency.
Twelve CEOs were staring at six bottles of nail polish I had placed on the conference room table. (Two women and ten men were participating in their monthly LEVERAGEDWISDOM peer learning meeting. I asked the women to hold their answers.)
Raising one small clear glass bottle filled with nail polish, I asked, “What color is this”? Purple? No! Plum? No! Blue-violet? No!
Holding up another bottle, I asked, “and this one?” Deep pink? No! Rose? No!
One more. “How about this one”? Red? No. Maroon? No! Read more →
As an entrepreneurial CEO, owner, how do you benchmark your performance and that of your company as you go through the stages of growth and meet your “lifestyle” aspirations?
If you’re like some CEOs I know, you may find yourself in an “entrepreneurial comfort zone,” where you lead and manage the business to the point where it has become your own personal ATM. The enterprise throws off enough income to satisfy your aspirations and standard of living. It can be difficult to escape this comfort zone or for you as an owner to acknowledge your responsibility to maximize the equity value of the enterprise beyond a “lifestyle” business. Read more →
A CEO’s perspective and vision are often defined by their routines. So, it is useful for them to break their routines in order to gain new perspectives.
Example: Stand on your desk!!!
Read more →
Being CEO/Owner means you have to make decisions in a timely and effective manner.
Yes or No…Heads or Tails…Left or Right.
At LEVERAGEDWISDOM, we’re all for a well-researched thoughtful measured decision making process that’s inclusive of others. After all we are a CEO/Owner peer learning organization; but, at the end of the day…somebody has to pull the trigger. However, too often, leaders insist on more information and more time…more meetings and more opinions, more of this and more of that. Bottom-line, if the decision process takes too long it becomes a Choke Point. Read more →
At LEVERAGEDWISDOM we work on our Member CEO’s choke points often leading to unusual action steps.
In military strategy, choke points are geographical features; such as bridge, valley, or strait which an army or navy is forced to pass through. The choke point increases vulnerability, decreases combat power and compromises the ability of a unit to reach their objective.
In business a choke point is a person, position or process that decreases the company’s operational excellence when delivering products or services to customers; thereby, compromising growth and/or profitability.
Process Choke Point: Case Study Read more →
“We tackle the tough questions that keep owners of privately held businesses up at night.”
The stark reality is that there is life cycle to everything. At some point even the greatest waterway has to be widened (the Panama Canal). A company built on rock-solid chemistry is blindsided by digital process (Kodak). A disease defeats its medicine (TB).
The Discipline of Market Leaders became a much revered business book in the mid-90s. At LEVERAGEDWISDOM the book generated vigorous discussion and ultimately disagreement with the authors.
Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema claimed that market leadership derived from choosing one of three disciplines; operational excellence, product leadership or customer intimacy. To attempt to master all three would lead to weakness and mediocre standing in the market place. They offered extensive research and specific examples of companies who chose one discipline among the three and noted their prosperity. Read more →
Among the members of LEVERAGEDWISDOM is a new generation of entrepreneurs, including the sons and daughters of former members. I call them “Educated – Inventive – Driven.”
This new generation “gets” what LEVERAGEDWISDOM is all about and is predisposed to collaborative thinking and peer process. What took their parents years to acknowledge, “That no one of us is as smart as all of us,” these new leaders have already embraced as part of their educational process. Read more →
I had built five women’s boutiques, struggling to manage my success and fearful of growing further beyond my skills. Eager to learn and curious as to how he had accomplished his success, I asked a lot of questions. Where do you get your ideas? How did you get started? How did you finance your growth? What made you…? Read more →
“No one of us is as smart as all of us” or The Wisdom of Crowds.
A LEVERAGEDWISDOM Member recently summed up his meeting day experience by declaring, that it seemed “No one of us is as smart as all of us.” He had presented to the assembled CEOs a troubling issue about a long time key employee. He had come to believe his CFO’s level of competency no longer matched the demands of the organization. Read more →
If you survived the economic tsunami of the last 36 months, you know that not everyone lost their house, but everyone got wet, and some came out soaked to the bone. John Keynes, the influential British economist, once said “the market can stayirrational longer than you can stay solvent.” Read more →
In “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” author Nassim Nicholas Taleb contends that our belief in the predictability of events, based on what’s happened in the past, is so ingrained that we either overlook or can’t conceive of the fact that genuinely important events can’t always be predicted.
If, for example, as a life experience, you encounter one white swan, 10 white swans or 1,000 white swans, this does not in and of itself prove that all swans are white. But if in the course of encountering all these white swans, you come across one black swan, this definitely proves that not all swans are white. Read more →