Our CEO isn’t the typical CEO. Brenda Bishop doesn’t have a Masters in Business Administration. She didn’t come to us from a Fortune 100 company or Silicon Valley. In point of fact, her previous experience included only the administration of a small family business, yet her contributions tend to be telling.
The true value of a good CEO is how they come to inspire, motivate and develop talent in each operating facet of their business. All of us like to think of ourselves in terms of being the top dog and how we would change things but the reality is that few really could make a difference. In the case of Brenda Bishop, her latest stunt saved us man-months of program development time and costs by simply asking me why I was doing something the way I had been doing it and then suggesting that I take a dose of my own medicine and use a simpler approach to solving a seemingly complex problem that had been the subject of many sleepless nights for me over the past 15 months. I’m a big proponent of Occam’s Razor (i.e.: all things being equal, the simple solution is the best as it has the fewest assumptions that can come back to bite you). By reminding me of who I really am, Brenda created the solution that has the potential to change quite a few things in the continued roll-out of our technology platform. My off the cuff estimate is the reality this single idea probably saved our company more than a million dollars.
Good CEOs are like this. They inspire is good ways. They challenge our thinking. They motivate, they delegate and they understand the most important asset we have are people because they are our biggest investment, so we can’t afford the luxury of Sigma Six or any of these other ideas that end with eating your own body parts.
What’s your idea of a CEO?