The Interim Executive: CEO’s Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
CEO’s in small and mid-size companies can grow market share and profitable revenue if someone helps them see that "they don’t know what they don’t know.” It’s not because they are dumb, and it sure isn't because they don’t work hard enough! In fact, most CEO’s I know work their butts off.
Helping to bring what CEO’s don’t know “into the light” is one of the great assets of a proven Interim Executive.
I have this terrific job that is referred to as Interim Executive. I spend a couple of days a week, usually from three to nine months, working as a peer to one CEO at a time, helping him grow profitable revenue quickly. I have heard comments like, “I should have hired you years ago!”, or “How do you do it?”. Ha, ha! I’ve spent thirty years learning, developing, and accomplishing things that many CEO’s simply don’t know. If it was easy enough to explain it in one sitting, I would. Of course, then I wouldn’t have this cool job.
Here’s a common scenario: the CEO decides he needs a new growth strategy, so he hires new sales people. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to find A-players. He posts on monster.com and begins the interview process; then he hires a few that seem good. After hiring, the approach is often, “OK, guys: go sell and make lots of money!” Three months later, the new hires are fired because they didn’t turn out to be so hot after all. Sometimes the cycle is repeated, just to make sure the first time wasn’t a fluke. The problem is that the CEO doesn’t know how to identify and select top talent; and when he does hire someone, he often does not know how to bring out the best in them to become peak performers.
It will change your world to have strong A players instead of B or C players. That’s the all-important first step. Second is putting the right processes and behaviors in place to give managers the tools they need to grow revenue fast.
Look for my next blog in the series where I’ll share a true story about a CEO who learned that he was the main problem that kept his company from growing.
What are your thoughts?