Posts filed under ‘CEO coach’

Who is an entrepreneur?

Really? What do you say?

February 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Make your brand an internal unifying force.

From a recent Linkedin conversation on the “ownership” of brands…

I recently read a speech given by Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express, which he delivered to the Economic Club of Boston several years ago. The topic was the power of brands and in it I thought he made a very interesting point about the internal value of a brand driven culture.

“Because there is a strong understanding of our brand across our employee base, we’re able to have a principles-based management process rather than a rules-based process.” Mr. Chenault goes on to describe AE’s employee proactive response to the news about the Asian tsunami of 2004.

Customer service reps proactively reviewed card and travel related transactions and found 10,000 card members/clients likely still in the impacted area. Those reps placed calls to card members to see if they were all right or needed any kind of special assistance. If help was needed, the reps replaced cards, rebooked travel, and more to meet the needs of the cardmembers. All without management direction.


January 24, 2011 at 10:26 am 1 comment

Do you have an exit strategy?

90% of business owners and CEOs think it is important
to have an exit strategy for their businesses,
and 90% don’t have one.
Apparently, not having an exit strategy is the
massively dominant exit strategy!

I first heard the term when I was coaching the founders of high tech, high growth startups as a volunteer with the VenturePoint SBDC in Orange County, CA. Angel investors and VCs insisted that founders have a clear exit strategy before they would consider making an investment.  This often meant cashing out, stepping aside, and turning their company over to professional managers.


January 13, 2011 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

How you can help your sales people get better results.

Based on an article for the Harvard Business Review, 12/2010
by Lynette Ryals and Iain Davies, illustration by Open, NYC

“CEOs are investing more than ever in their sales forces, but results aren’t improving. To understand this disconnect, (the authors) observed 800 sales professionals in live sales meetings. (They) discovered eight sales types. The bad news is that only three of them—accounting for a mere 37% of sales people—were consistently effective. What’s more, some of the behaviors of the remaining 63% actually drive down performance. But there’s good news, too: The eight types represent behavioral tendencies, not set-in-stone personalities. Managers can effect changes in their current salespeople and recruit better team members in the future if they understand the eight types.”

See 9 slides that represent their findings then
come back and share your thoughts.

November 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

Are you an entrepreneur?

Some are. Some aren’t. Are you?

Ken Sethney [marketing coach]

November 14, 2010 at 7:40 am Leave a comment

Before you build the product, write the ad.

On Sept. 1, Inc. Magazine published a list of seventeen “words of wisdom” from serial entrepreneurs whose companies are on this year’s Inc. 500. The second item on the list caught my eye. It is the headline of this blog post and was attributed to David Friend, CEO of Carbonite.

The company earned it’s spot as America’s fastest-growing IT service company by selling unlimited online backup space for personal computers. Carbonite grew 11,208 percent in three years, earning $19.1 million in revenue.

What can we learn from David Friend’s admonition to write the ad before we build the product? It’s simple. Building a product is painstaking, detailed work. It takes a lot of time, energy and investment to get things right. Once it’s ready, the sales and marketing folks have to sell it. It is the product after all.

But writing the ad first makes us focus on the customer before we’re committed to a feature set. If we can communicate a real solution to our customers’ needs in just a few words, we’ll do a better job of designing the product. If we lose sight of the customer, we’ll have a much harder sell.

September 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

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