The Unconventional CEO – Your Most Important Actions, in Order 74

The Unconventional CEO

Chapter 65

  1. To manifest, grow, adapt and preach the common vision.
  1. To develop, tool up and then motivate your teams to achieve the common goal. Our goal
  2. To solve the insoluble, often escalated, problems. Don’t just manage them. Get rid of them.
  3. To make rain when and where it’s needed.
  4. Simplicate everything. Don’t complicate things.

These may sound a little like pulpit vision from some get-rich-quick book. They are not. Without the unified us of an oiled, waxed and Teflon-covered horde of Vikings, how would you be able to storm and hold Ireland when you are only a small band?

Our goal, then, is easy. It derives from that of the Vikings: Rape. Pillage. Get Rich. Repeat.

The modern day version of this is: Sell. Deliver. Collect. Repeat.

All too often, people in the organisation are busy. They work, often staring at a screen for hours while they try hard to look as if they are typing or thinking. This is the Viking equivalent of daydreaming. What they need to do is business, not work. Business is what the common goal is about: to sell, deliver, and so on. Their jobs are to make this a reality, to manifest your goal from a common idea. Or else you will have dissent and a crew bent on doing the wrong things while the coast is clear for plunder. It is counterproductive and an evil thing to let their ideas, attention and efforts wander across vistas of their own making. Get them to concentrate.

It still boils down to the Head Viking needing to lead the charge. Nowadays #1 is all too often ensconced and entrapped in the C-Suite, the one part of the office with the extra-plush carpets. As if a raid could be successful by remote control! The troops need to see you in front from time to time, especially during the tricky times. When the clouds need to be seeded and the ranks need to be united.

At the most critical times you will have to step up to the plate and swing for the rafters. You had better not miss. You are not the best-paid player because of your reputation alone. You need to be able to whip up the home-run when all seems lost. That is how you earn your keep.

In order for others to follow your magnificent example of walking on hallowed water, simplicate everything so that it can be ingested, understood and repeated. Grip the Bat. Take the Right Stance. Eyes on the Ball. The whole sequence. This flows all the way down to how the laundry is done. To get that crisp, professional crease in that awesome uniform.

Your most appreciated asset is considerate, productive, supportive, inter-personal time. It’s the lubricant between people and people, and people and tasks.

Get to grips with ruthlessness. Trade where necessary. Plunder where possible. These are the rules your opposition plays by. So if you can’t be reckless, make good defences to keep them at bay.

We went through an ISO 9001 exercise and found we had more than 800 processes. This was after 15 years of simplicating everything. We’re now down to 200, across all disciplines and there’s a pruning and rethink challenge that permeates our business. Not ‘being busy’, not wasting effort, but helping towards the instilled goal. Swords sharpened? Check. Bear shirts on? Check. OK, let’s then roll with minimum effort, berserkers.

The Unconventional CEO offers succinct, compelling advice from one successful CEO Mario Pretorius, to you The Cape Messenger reader.

The book is also available to purchase in full from the Amazon store.

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