Are You A Business Chef Or Cook

In business, there are many buckets in which we can categorize people. One of my favorites is Chef or Cook. Chef (AKA Strategist) - A Chef is creative. They are motivated by intrinsic forces That is they are driven by satisfying the internal need to discover, to learn, to do that which has never been done, to create. They do what makes them happy. Great startup, entrepreneurial CEOs are usually Chefs, they have a unique vision, the need to do what hasn't been done. They don't follow the well-worn path, they blaze the new path. Cook (AKA Executioner) - A Cook is an operator. They are extrinsically motivated. They are motivated by external rewards or avoidance of punishment. A cook doesn't mind doing the same thing over and over again. If there is a pot of gold at the end of the task, they will do that task over and over again and do it well. Being A Chef is a good thing. Being a Cook is a good thing. One is not better than the other just like an Apple isn't better than an Orange or just like a 3rd baseperson (there goes Mr. PC Cranky) s not better than...

Hank O’Donnell on Hero Syndrome

Hank O'Donnell is a Philadelphia-based Business Coach. I met Hank O'Donnell several years ago when I attended a Vistage Coach Training Seminar in Leesburg Virginia and Hank led several of the sessions. I was a relatively new Vistage Coach at that time and O'Donnell as a veteran coach was working with a group of coaches to help us hone our craft. This was back when Vistage still invested heavily in Coach Training (see Why I Quit Vistage). Since then I've moved on as has Hank O'Donnell but I still learn from him via his emails and video blogs. Here's a great example of one of his videos. Watch and learn as Hank drops leadership knowledge. Quoting from Hank: I've discovered a major flaw in many leaders — myself included. I call it The Hero Complex, and it creates what Dr. Stephen Karpman calls The Drama Triangle. I love to rescue people! It made me feel good to solve my team’s problems, but after a while, it became exhausting. I’d become the “victim” myself, and they became the “persecutors.” I’d find myself saying, “Why don't they take responsibility and first try to tackle problems on their own? Why do they always come to me?” What I didn’t...

Executive Coaching Keeps Your Brain Honest ark

Executive Coaching Keeps Your Brain Honest

Executive Coaching Keeps Your Brain Honest Why do business leaders need an executive coach? Executive coaching keeps your brain honest. Got that? Your brain is constantly lying to you. Now I'm not just picking on you either because my brain lies to me too. Why just the other day it told me what a great looking guy I was, but that's another story. Modern neuroscience proves that we make decisions with a part of our brain we share with reptiles...

Business Focus on Bean Soup

Business Focus – The Soup Lady

Business Focus Introduction In business, especially in small business, the importance of business focus can't be overstated. In small business the rule should be first things first and second thing never. Enter Susan Trivers, the Soup Lady. Last week I met Susan at an event where we shared respective business stories. Susan's business, The Trivers Consulting Group, is revenue focused consulting practice. As I asked her how she got started, Susan related an interesting story. The Soup Lady Many years ago, sometime between when dinosaurs roamed the earth and prior to the explosion of the world wide web, Susan purchased a carryout restaurant. In those days most carryouts were sandwich shops. Serving quick, low quality food. Susan's business, located in Alexandria specialized in more substantial, high quality meals for the family. One of their specialties were soups and everyday they would serve a cream-based, a bean-based, and a broth based soup. Susan was concerned because at the end of the day she would often have to dump a large amount of unused soup. She decided to fix that problem. So she decided that she would track and gage soup consumption, statistically and scientifically instead of the gut-feeling methodology used by most businesses. So she bit the bullet and...

Warren Buffet Better CEO Great CEOs

The #1 Tip For Being a Better CEO

What's the #1 tip for being a better CEO? One sign you're able to become a better CEO is that you're reading articles like this because you're curious and dedicated to being better. If you believe you're the best CEO you could be you might consider my #2 tip for being what you can't be...

Fire Bad Customers

Fire Bad Customers

Fire Bad Customers? Are you crazy? It's hard enough to get customers, why the hell would you fire them? We all know this, not all customers are created equal so fire your bad ones. I recently worked with two CEO's who were complaining about their customers. In one instance the CEO was asked to submit a proposal to an existing customer and who was applying pricing pressure. When I asked him why this customer was so important to him, he said they represented about 40 percent of his company's gross revenue. Upon further digging, I found out that the 40% revenue customer only produced 2% of his profit. It became clear, that: 1) winning this barely profitable customer at a discount might be losing and, 2) that there needed to be a methodology to evaluate the value of a customer. I'm a student of the human mind and how we often we make bad decisions. I know that if we go with our gut, we are just as likely to be wrong as we are to be right.  Study's show that even the best statisticians make poor statistical judgments when they're pulling answers out of their butts. If CEOs formalize an evaluation process, if they're intentional about...