CEO Advisor Newsletter May 2023
Even the Most Experienced Leaders Need Advisors
A review of 25 years' worth of research on mentoring, published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, found advisors improve outcomes. The type of relationship or counsel you are looking for also evolves over time. Ironically, some people abandon their trusted advisor over time. They feel they can go it alone, but many are firm believers in leadership under advisement for the long-term.
As a CEO, the stakes become higher and a trusted business advisor (fractional, experienced, management team member) who sits outside of the company can enable you to quickly and confidentially gain the needed expertise and advice on a whole range of issues on-going. A strong business advisor rounds out your thinking and helps you navigate through challenging situations, prioritize opportunities, and improve performance.
What is especially valuable is a business advisor that not only advises, but is proactive, rolls up their sleeve and is active in producing work that drives the business forward and accelerates growth. A strong business advisor will ensure that a Management Dashboard of consolidated metrics and KPIs is kept up to date and at the CEOs fingertips to make better management decisions.
Be honest about your gaps of knowledge and areas of expertise you need help and advice on. A business advisor that will mentor you, while helping your business grow is priceless. One of the first things to look for in a business advisor is a strategy guy with strong business acumen and a hard driver for accountability and results. As President of CEO Advisor, Inc. my value is three-fold - I advise on 1) All aspects of growth, 2) Raising growth capital, and 3) Merger and Acquisition advisory services (both buy-side and sell-side).
Someone with thought-provoking questions, always pushing for more, challenging the status quo and is all about partnering to achieve the best outcomes for the company. As a CEO or business owner, there is nothing more valuable as a hands-on resource to help think through complex issues and grow your business to the next level.
While nothing fully prepares you for the challenges of being a CEO, having a business advisor when the going gets tough or to just to be a thought partner is an enormous plus. The goal is to build a growing, more profitable, and more valuable company and a business advisor as an added seasoned (outside) management team member is critical.
Very few companies consistently outperform over a long period of time, so setting out to do so means you have to strategically beat the odds. It's a fluid and complex process - you have to get the right team in place, implement a clear strategy that the team can execute against, establish goals with measurable outcomes, and learn how to navigate and best serve a diverse group of stakeholders with different agendas.
It's important to have someone who is not ingrained in the day-to-day issues, that you trust, to help you think through your issues, challenge you, and provide critical insight.
CEOs that have a trusted business advisor tend to be enormously grateful for the impact that business advisors make. Whatever age or stage you're at in your career, make the time to cultivate and engage with a trusted business advisor.
Since 2004, CEO Advisor, Inc. has provided the experience and expertise of advising some of the most successful CEOs and business owners of companies in Southern California and across the U.S. With over 160+ years of combined experience, CEO Advisor, Inc. is the catalyst to propel our clients’ success. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by mobile phone at (714) 697-3370 by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
5 Ways CEOs Can Continuously Improve Their Performance
- Continuous improvement is vital to performing optimally as a CEO. The best ones make time for it, because they see it as an investment in themselves and their company that will pay off in real dollars now and down the line. So what specifically can you do as a CEO to improve your skills and performance? Here are 5 ways.
- 1) Attend a Training Program To Fill Your Gap in Expertise: I have given many seminars on excelling at the CEO position. The biggest excuse I hear from CEOs for not attending is that they don't have time. From my experience the CEOs who do attend are typically the ones who are already better than most. Because of this, they know how to make time to improve their skills that ultimately improve your company. If you think you don't have time to get better at your job, then you are not doing your job properly. Choose the one area where you need the most help, and enroll in an online training program.
- 2) Meet with Wise People: As a CEO it is part of your job to find people from outside your company who can bring knowledge and experience to bear on your problems. Make an effort to get to know people in your community who have relevant experience. Seek out the other leaders in your industry to establish relationships. Many times the relationships I formed within my industry provided tremendous value to the company.
- 3) Study Yourself: Learning about yourself, how you think and react, is critical to developing as a CEO and overcoming your internal biases. Bullet point what you are an expert in, what you have satisfactory knowledge in, and what are not your areas of expertise. Be honest about your gaps of knowledge, and the areas of expertise you need help. A business advisor that will mentor you, while helping your business grow, is priceless.
- 4) Gather Feedback: If you are not getting feedback about your performance, then you have a problem. It is not enough to just ask for feedback and hope it comes to you. You should actively solicit feedback both from your employees as well as your board or outside advisors. Getting feedback from employees will often require an anonymous feedback mechanism or third-party gatherer. Feedback from your advisors should be both informal and formal, as well as, on a regular schedule.
- 5) Seek out Advisors: Reach out to those who have gone before you to gain from their expertise and experience. I was the founder and CEO of a software company that I funded, grew and sold to a NASDAQ company in 2003. The CEO job is unique, so make sure you have someone in your circle that has been in the chair and knows the challenges of the job. Avoiding lost time and missteps converts to big dollars in your pocket and propels your company forward.
- If you are not improving your knowledge and experience, you are letting the company down. Don't be the CEO who keeps doing the same things over and over and wonders why he/she doesn't achieve different results.
- To learn how to achieve better results, accelerate sales, increase profits and increase shareholder value contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.