From Rand’s advice to CEO’s:
I’ve also found that personally, it’s easy to spot someone who’s just in the business for the money vs. those who really care and want something great for the industry. It might be the optimism speaking, but I feel that the latter group usually produces the brightest innovations (and eventually, profit, too).
The urge to make a snarky reply is unbearable… Tropical… must… resist… impulse to… scratch itch… hippy jokes… overloading…
Not every CEO needs this, but I’ve found that in a web-based market, having watched dozens of people navigate (or try to navigate) websites has given me an extra edge in empathizing with the user and trying to understand what they need.
No disagreement here. Increasing usability is often the easiest/fastest/bestest way to quickly juice a site’s revenue.
I’m great at telling people when they’ve done a good job, but awful at criticizing any effort. In order to overcome, I’ve started hiring only those folks who have a deep, internal need for perfectionism. If you are your own harshest critic, it helps me to work around this pervasive flaw.
My nickname around the office is “H8er”. I call it “my critical eye”. Rand, where do you find these people with a deep need for perfectionism? I, ahem, haven’t found this trait much in our generation.
It’s a dictatorship. When tough decisions come up, they’re my responsibility. I’ve noticed that even with little things, when we take a company vote, dissent and discomfort abound. If you want to run a company with a pseudo-democracy, take everyone’s opinion and input, then make the decision. You need to be able to take the blame when something goes awry, and bowing to internal pressure is no excuse.
I’m impressed. Is the “team building” and “consensus” fad over yet? Good. You’re CEO for a reason: you have a higher batting average at decision-making.
I can remember dozens of times when I felt like the world was crashing down around me - that I could barely hold up another day. I think all CEOs probably need to have those experiences a few times before they start to recognize that nothing is as bad as it seems, the sun’s coming up tomorrow and time heals more than you think it could. That employee who’s struggled the last few months may indeed turn things around. The client who hasn’t paid might just need a little extra contact. The product that’s not taking off yet could, with a few tiny fixes, soar.
If you’re living in a dumpster, working on a stolen laptop online with stolen wireless, you’ve been indicted for embezzlement, and you’re trying to get a new social networking site off the ground, then, I’m sorry to tell you, things are indeed as bad as they seem. Also: employees don’t generally “turn around”. Underperformers have no place in a company that’s not publically traded, so ditch them as soon as you know.
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