Four actions every CEO could take today to improve their management skills and the corporation's health tomorrow.
1. Deliver difficult information personally. The CEO has a lot of people at his disposal to do many things that he may not want to do or have time to do. But he should be the one to deliver corporate bad news to every single client that is affected by anything negative in the organization. He should always be the mouthpiece of the company...not just to announce their latest advances or newest big client ... but also the person to pass on tough information to clients, departments, key employees, etc. Deliver it to them the way you'd want it delivered to you ... sort of a CEO golden rule, I guess.
2. Manage financials weekly or bi-weekly, not quarterly. I tell this to project managers and consultants all the time. I shout it from the rooftops. It's critical. Budgets watched weekly or bi-weekly will stay in check. And for the CEO to be personally involved only makes the corporation's financial health stronger. Especially if he is the type of CEO who is out in the field bringing in new business.
Sometimes that aggressive sales effort on behalf of the CEO ends with the corporation growing too fast and not paying attention to whether or not their accounting infrastructure and own resource pool (people and equipment) can actually keep up with the sales growth. I've been called in to help more than one organization get a better handle on their resource pool and usage due to a CEO who was aggressively bringing in clients faster than the corporation could keep up in terms of resources and financial management.
3. Promote from within. You can bring in great people from outside, but promote from within when possible. If you have good people, this strategy will allow you to keep good people and acquire more good people. It builds morale and in this day and age of questionable job security and short job tenure, you will find the growth of your organization to be more consistent and more sustained.
4. Give digital security more attention. Anything can be hacked. Repeat that five times and then five more times. Anything can be hacked.
Pay attention to digital security because it affects you, your cash flow, your customers and your customers' data. Sometime, somewhere, somehow – you will be hacked – at least once. Attend a Black Hat conference in Las Vegas or in the UK or in Asia – it will be eye opening and worth the $2,000 - $3,000 it costs you.