Company Leadership Requires At Least Three Abilities

Posted: Updated:
Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor. Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

A young owner of a thriving business asked an older and wiser business owner one day what it took to be a successful CEO. The seasoned businessman did not hesitate before saying there are at least three things they must do and do well: 1. Establish the vision, 2. Recruit, hire and retain the best staff, and 3. Be certain there is always enough cash in the bank.

With all the books and articles that have been written on leadership in business, the concept of only three abilities that a CEO must do to be successful, seems not only a bit simplistic, it borders on being utterly ridiculous. But, when you get a little more granular by looking at those abilities, there is some legitimacy and logic to the comment. Furthermore, the wiser man indicated, depending on the size of the company, many tasks should be delegated. As is most often the case, the larger the company, the more that can be delegated to others. The smaller the company, the more the CEO must do to achieve success. To add credibility to his comments, the older CEO and his venture capital firm were some of the earlier investors in companies like Twitter, Zynga, Foursquare and Kickstarter, just to name a few.

The vision of your company is usually derived from the mission statement. The vision should define what the business will look like in the future. The vision statement is intended to help provide a specific direction that should allow everyone in the company to get clarity and further hone their individual duties and responsibilities. Your role as a leader should be to encourage everyone in your organization to stay on task and stress the importance of everyone on the team to work together in order to maximize the customer experience. As a leader, your primary objective after sharing the vision is to be certain the employees 'buy-in' to the vision. Seek their input and ideas before you ask for their support. All these ingredients will be critical for the on-going success of your firm.

Recruit, hire and retain the best staff possible. The CEO is the primary representative of the business. They are the ‘front person’. If they are part of the hiring process (typically by participating in the final interview) it speaks well of the company and is usually a very strong indicator for the recruit. The CEO should also be involved in the hiring process, being certain that a fair and equitable package is being offered to the right individual at the proper level. In other words, keep the playing field level with regard to benefits and salaries.

Much has been said about employee retention. As businesses have morphed into an information based economy, people have become the receptacles of knowledge and experience. If they leave, that knowledge goes with them. With a caring and considerate CEO as a coach and mentor to the staff, employee retention is maintained and more, better, faster company growth can result. The sensitive CEO will know how far to push his staff and when not to push them. They should also be cognizant of when employees need encouragement and when they deserve correction.

Cash in the bank. This is a topic many CEOs don't bring up, but you can be certain they know how important it is for their company. First of all, the CEO must know whether they are in an excess cash position or a deficit cash position. For most companies, a typical objective is to have anywhere from three to six months worth of your operating expenses on hand (i.e. Cash in the bank). If you are in the enviable position of having enough cash that represents six months or more of expenses, then you can look to invest in ways of growing your business. If you have less than that, you might want to concentrate on this objective more closely, until you have a good and firm grip on how cash flows into the business and how it leaves the business. If you are not comfortable in how to do these exercises, get help. The challenge of managing your cash is one of, if not THE most important tasks you will have in successfully running your company.  

Of course, in any position of leadership, there are many qualities a leader should possess, but for your business to grow, it certainly will not hurt to focus on these three first.

Dan Arens is an Indiana-based business growth advisor.

  • Perspectives

    • Expand Your Workforce to Include The Deaf Community

      While there are arguably many minority groups that are grossly underutilized in the workforce, I’d wager that most people do not consider the Deaf community when thinking about diversity and inclusion strategies. The Deaf community shares a unique culture that is closely networked, but few employers know how to tap into this community, which comprises 10 percent of the population. In fact, many people probably see barriers for the Deaf community when it comes to employment...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Union Club Hotel was built in 1929. (photo courtesy of Purdue University)

      $30M Gift to Fund Purdue Hotel Renovation

      Purdue University says it plans to use a $30 million gift to transform an existing building into a world-class hotel. The gift from Bruce White, a Purdue alumnus and former trustee, his wife Beth, and the Dean and Barbara White Foundation, will fund the renovation of the Union Club Hotel, which will also serve as a laboratory learning environment for students. The university says the renovations will feature upgrades in furnishings, fixtures, and amenities for the hotel, as well as a...
    • (Image of downtown Shelbyville courtesy of Mainstreet Shelbyville Inc.)

      'Backyard Shelby' Involves, Seeks Young Talent

      The city of Shelbyville is looking to make itself more attractive to young and diverse professionals by going straight to the source and asking what they want. The city has launched Backyard Shelby, a group of young professionals helping to develop and implement a talent attraction and retention strategy. Mayor Tom DeBaun says the group will focus promoting the city's livability, amenities and "sense of authentic community" to new talent. DeBaun says Shelby County's...

    • PGA TOUR Superstore to Open in Indy

      A popular golf retailer will Saturday open its first location in Indiana. The PGA TOUR Superstore location in Indianapolis replaces the recently-closed Babies"R"Us location at the Clearwater Crossing Shopping Center.

    • (Image courtesy of Harrison College.)

      Milhaus Details Purchase of Harrison College Indy Campus

      Indianapolis-based Milhaus says it plans to build a 183-unit apartment complex on the same lot as the Indianapolis campus of recently-closed Harrison College. The development, construction and management company purchased the property last month for $6.3 million and Marketing Director Raven Reckley says the college's decision to close was "news to us." She adds Milhaus is "disappointed for the students and staff who are affected most" and will be evaluating...

    • Ribbon Cut on Downtown Fishers Housing

      The city of Fishers and Indianapolis-based Gradison Design-build have cut the ribbon on the first homes of a $30 million downtown residential development. The developers say the first section will have 20 homes, with a total of 50 coming over the next five years. Partner Joe Gradison says South Village of Nickel Plate gives residents high-demand housing options in a walkable, urban environment. In interviews with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Gradison and...