The CEO Checklist: 6 Questions to Set Your Priorities

As a CEO you’ve got more than a few things vying for your attention. What should you be focusing on to drive the biggest impact? Use this checklist to set your priorities and ensure your company is on the right path to extraordinary.

The CEO Checklist: 6 Questions to Set Your Priorities

On any given day, an expansion-stage CEO might have a dozen (or more) things on his or her plate. Analyzing critical metrics. Reviewing cash flow. Leading management team meetings. The list can go on and on.

And those are just the day-to-day, short-term activities — never mind all of the long-term planning and goal-setting that a CEO must always be thinking about.


photo by: Courtney Dirks

Attention CEOs: Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Startup founders and first-time bosses are typically very energetic, passionate, brave, and highly intelligent individuals. They tend to work well under pressure and possess an innate ability to think outside the box. But that doesn’t mean their exempt from making some pretty common mistakes. In this case, the mistakes aren’t related to their strategic aptitude or understanding of the business and its market. For some first-time CEOs and founders, the most common mistakes stem from managing people for the first time. The Wall Street Journal recently published an interesting article that spoke to those common missteps. The article highlighted the…

As a CEO, How You Do Anything Means Everything

During my 30 years in the software industry, I’ve been an operationally focused executive in major software companies like Oracle, an independent board member for expansion stage businesses, and a venture partner for a firm that invests in those kinds of companies. Over that span, I’ve worked with a lot of executives. Some have been good, others were bad, and a few were great. Looking back, I’ve recognized one trait of truly successful companies: they have executives and senior leaders that are at least very good and preferably great. Those businesses’ CEOs and executives understand that everything they do has…

Have You Looked at Your Board of Directors Composition?

Expansion stage CEOs and founders spend a lot of time analyzing the makeup of their management team and their own performance as the boss of the operation.

board of directors

And they should. Introspection and self-analysis is necessary to make sure the right people are in the right places doing the right things. But that goes for the construction and composition of a company’s Board of Directors, too.


It’s Time for Senior Managers to Look in the Mirror

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to set your New Year’s resolutions. And, no, I don’t mean setting goals to lose weight or save more money — although the latter may apply. When I was an operational software executive, the approach of a new year triggered a rigorous performance evaluation. I looked at how the company had done that year and I formulated goals and strategies for how to improve the way my team and company operated in the future. I focused quite a bit on management teams and the importance of the team building phase. Finding the…

What CEOs Should Be Doing to Plan for 2011

Hoping to have a successful 2011? If so, there are some things that CEOs and company founders should already be doing to make that happen. Regardless of whether you’ve bootstrapped the business through organic growth, raised an initial round of venture capital as an early stage company, or will eventually seek additional growth capital because you’ve hit the expansion stage, planning for the future means getting to work today on things that you expect to impact the business a year or two from now. If your fiscal year coincides with the calendar year, senior management teams should be buried in…