Tag Archives: employees

What is Your CEO Job Description?

On occasion, a business owner client will ask me if I have a CEO job description. I’m sure such exist in large corporations, but for an owner-managed company it’s a bit vague. The simple (and usual) answer is that the … Continue reading

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2 Responses to What is Your CEO Job Description?

  1. Bob Kroon says:

    Hi John,

    Good post. In practice, I see CEO’s concerns focused on these, in no particular order: 1) Something finance (cash flow, fund raising, collections, etc), 2) Watching the “secret sauce” (could be following the CTO, watching key activities in a service business, product development), 3) Building the team (hiring a key person, replacing people, adding to the team), 4) Reaching out to customers, 5) Some issue or event which is a drain on the business (legal matter, facilities, misbehaving employee), 6) An opportunity (acquiring a big new customer, a competitor, a technology).

    Small wonder VC investors value teams more than individual entrepreneurs. The mental bandwidth required to lead alone is tough.

  2. Joe Zente says:

    Great Article, John…

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The Immortal Business Goes on Forever

Do you run an immortal business? I hope so. If you answered “no,” or even hesitated to be sure of your response, then you don’t think of your business as immortal. So when do you plan to shut it down? Most … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Exit Planning, Managing Employees, Selling a business, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to The Immortal Business Goes on Forever

  1. David Basri says:

    In my head the answer to the question was an immediate “No”, because no business is immortal. That, however, is a completely separate question from, “Do you want your business to continue after you are gone or out of it”? Taking action to perpetuate a business may or may not succeed, but all entrepreneurs are used to that risk.

    There is no question that in most cases long term planning greatly increases the chance that a business will continue after the owner is gone. Then again, do not be afraid to jump if dump opportunistic luck comes along and someone offers a big chunk of money.

  2. Dane A. Shrallow says:

    I concur with your post. I’ve been involved in corporate practice, and the M&A field, for over 4 decades. One thing that is readily observable is that few businesses last forever. The vast majority have a finite life. Competition, evolving business models and disruptive technologies tend to take a toll. Want to own a retail store today? The primary focus of a business owner should be on how to preserve accumulated wealth for future generations. That could mean planning to keep the business in the family, at least for the next generation. But often the wiser choice is to realize your investment when the business’ future looks the brightest and capitalize on what you’ve built. In other words, sell when the business asset when its at its highest value, rather than at your scheduled retirement date. A lot can happen between now and then.

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Employee Peer Review: The Internal Market

There are various approaches to employee peer review. Comprehensive multi-level feedback, top-down and bottom-up comparisons, and even the lightening fast Stoplight 360 I wrote about here a few years ago. In many instances, however, the most powerful rating system is … Continue reading

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Employees Who Make Bad Choices

Employees who make bad choices in their personal lives usually create problems in the workplace. Should you take their issues outside of the business into consideration when hiring or assigning responsibility? The legal answer of course, is “no.”  Employers are … Continue reading

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2 Responses to Employees Who Make Bad Choices

  1. Tracey C says:

    I had a small family business with one employee. She was very loyal to us as a family and came to work nearly every day (which was an important part of the job because we were very small and very dependent on each other). She could manage herself and her work load very well. The customers loved her, she knew the business, understood the risks involved and – probably most importantly – knew when to ask for help and when not to. She always got the job done and did it well. She started on a part-time basis and then moved into full.

    After she became a full-time employee, I began to see the horrific choices she was making in her personal life (because she would come and talk to me about them – often for long periods of time). Her issues began to dominate the office started causing more and more problems for me. One day, our work was interrupted because someone showed up to repossess her car….but how do you fire someone for that? And through it all, she still came to work every day, got her work done and the clients still loved her.

    I tried to create boundaries to manage the drama, but probably didn’t do a great job of it, and it had a fairly negative effect on our relationship. I also had a hard time getting support from the other family members for terminating her because she did such a good job with her work and knew the business so well, and was so loyal to us and the company. In many ways, she would have been very difficult to replace.

    It was a difficult situation that really had no good answers or solutions. In the end, it was resolved because we had to close the business for reasons that were completely beyond our control (and had nothing to do with her).

    Closing the business actually solved a number of problems that had been brewing beneath the surface and threatened to make families dinners rather painful, but I can’t really recommend it as an effective or ongoing problem-solving tool.

    • John F. Dini says:

      Thanks for the story, Tracey. I wish I could say it was the first such I’ve heard. Closing the business is a more radical solution than I’d typically recommend, however! 😉

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Selling to Employees: Is Your Exit Strategy Right in Front of You?

When I interview a prospective client for exit planning assistance, we usually explore selling to employees. The first reaction is always “That won’t work. They don’t have any money.” If you have a company with reasonable cash flow, a talented … Continue reading

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