(949) 629-2520

CEO Advisor® Newsletter
March 2011

Steps to Building a Bridge that Connect your Vision and Strategy

The most important step in executing well is to build a bridge that connects the vision and the strategy to the execution plan. The more bridges you have in place, the more likely you are to reach your goals. Similarly, the absence of any one bridge could derail your efforts.  But how do you go about building them? First, get comfortable with the fact that it's a never-ending process. Below are five tools and techniques that can help you execute your goals:

1. Plans for Success.  Effective execution starts with a plan. The ability to execute effectively is undermined early in the implementation process for several reasons. Few people use action plans to help manage the many initiatives required to achieve a vision; CEOs and small business owners fail to hold people accountable for developing and using action plans; and when an action plan is developed it is not always aligned with the projects that are critical for delivering results.

2. Achieve Top Performance.  In today's competitive business environment, every member of a team must work at their full potential. Incredible as it may seem, having high expectations and believing that people are capable of meeting your expectations actually result in improved performance. The evidence is overwhelming. When we believe people are capable we treat them like they are competent. In turn, they come to believe they are skilled. Unfortunately, the opposite is true, as well. This powerful dynamic starts when your expectations (high or low) are manifested in your behavior.

3. Hold People Accountable. At work, people who have a high level of accountability will take initiative to ensure the success of a project, provide early warning of potential problems, and try to resolve a problem even if it is not their fault. One reason we hesitate to tackle the accountability problem in a timely way is a lack of clarity on what the person is accountable for in the first place. Discussions about accountability can be straightforward with less conflicts when everyone knows ahead of time what is expected and how success will be measured. Set measurable goals, assign people, set start and completion dates and follow-up to ensure success.

4. Enhance Decision Quality and Acceptance.  There are three things you can do to improve the quality of the decisions:

a) Make sure that people closest to the action are making the decisions. Empower people and hold them accountable for taking the initiative and addressing issues when they arise.

b) Involve the right people in decisions. This helps ensure that you include perspectives and experiences other than your own and also helps fill in relevant information that you might not possess.

c) Use an objective, systematic process so that you won't let emotion or bias cloud the issues or simply default to the kinds of decisions you've made in the past.   

5. Facilitate Change. Effective execution frequently requires a change in behavior on the part of those who you depend on to deliver the expected results. This demonstrates 3 things: that leader behavior has a direct impact on the level of resistance demonstrated by other personnel; that people are much less likely to make a behavior change successfully if they are forced to move to action, and that there are specific strategies to help move people through the levels of change.

6. The Bottom Line. Today, most CEOs and small business owners understand that an energizing, well-conceived vision and a realistic, well planned strategy are critical to success. They appreciate the need for highly engaged employees with the skills required to do the job, for superior products and services and for listening to the customer.  Yet, even when these core factors are in place, many small companies are still not able to deliver consistent results. Execution is challenging. Yet, if other companies can build and maintain the bridges that close the execution gap, so can yours. CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to help you bridge the gap between vision, strategy and execution.


Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 759-8676 in So. California, or (301) 580-8071 in the DC Metro area, by email at or visit us at

for more information. 

CEO Advisor, Inc. Advises Citent, Inc. on Strategy, Growth, Sales and Marketing

CEO Advisor, Inc., ( a leading business advisory firm serving the needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners of small and mid-size companies, is providing strategy, growth, sales and marketing advisory services to Citent, Inc. (, a leading solutions provider, trainer and reseller of IBM® products and services. 

CEO Advisor, Inc. provides hands-on advice on strategy, goals, funding, sales strategy, sales team building, marketing, finance, accounting, turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions to grow the business to the next level.  As a trusted CEO Advisor® to business owners since 2004, the firm specializes in driving growth and profits exclusively for business owners in a one-to-one advisory role on a weekly basis.

Citent, based in Costa Mesa, CA, is a leader in technology solutions and training of IBM Lotus® branded products specializing in Lotus Notes, Websphere Portal and IBM Social software.  Henry Khalife, President of Citent states, "CEO Advisor is refining and accelerating our business strategy in order to drive sales.  The direction and hands-on work is extremely valuable in defining, implementing and achieving our growth plans for 2011."

Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. states, "Citent has an incredible team with unsurpassed expertise in training and providing solutions to optimize the use of Lotus branded products from IBM.  We are an instrumental part of growing their business to the next level, and we are working closely with Henry Khalife to optimize sales of their gold standard services." 

About CEO Advisor, Inc.

CEO Advisor, Inc. provides business advisory services affordably and effectively to meet the specific needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners of small to mid-size companies in a wide range of industries, including technology, services and light manufacturing.  CEO Advisor, Inc.'s mission is to advise business owners with the needed expertise and focus, coupled with hands-on advice and work performed to grow your business to the next level.  By specializing in the needs of CEOs, presidents and business owners, we focus on growth, opportunities and challenges that you and your business encounter every day.

Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 759-8676 in So. California, or (301) 580-8071 in the Washington, DC Metro area, by email at or visit us at for more information.

Contact Citent, Inc. at (714) 436-6100, by email at or visit them at for more information.


"Over a one year period, my CEO Advisor® helped me to understand what my role entailed as a CEO of a small company. Together, we segmented my numerous headaches into achievable goals. I learned to focus on specific issues and predict obstacles by looking at my business in monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks by priority.


My CEO Advisor prepared our Business Plan and Financial Forecast as the road map for the growth of our business, and taught me how to understand financial reports, as well as, the implication of budgets and spending. I now understand how to measure the performance of my company and profitably grow my business."


CEO, Web Services Company

"As a President of a mid-size technology company, I have been very pleased with the services provided by CEO Advisor®. He contributed in many areas, but identified marketing and sales as our primary need. His guidance and contributions have been invaluable in establishing and maintaining a meaningful marketing and sales program for the company. He is a knowledgeable business advisor and a pleasure to work with."
CEO/President, Engineering Services/Manufacturing Company

Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."



Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

Wayne Gretzky

Prime Minister of the U.K.