Cash Flow: Not Just For the CEO

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Often considered to be the domain of the CFO, cash flow can be impacted by more than just finance and accounting. Sales, operations, supply chain and others can dramatically impact the speed with which cash flows into and through the organization.

Being able to look at your entire business model and see ideas to improve the cash-to-cash cycle requires outside the box thinking. Challenging what is possible and making no excuses can free up potentially millions of dollars in cash flow. How would you spend an extra couple million dollars?

To read more, visit this edition of Growth Accelerator.

© 2019 Rick Pay – All rights reserved.

It Takes a Strong Leader

Many organizations are mired in flat revenues, low or no profitability, or weak morale. There are many differences between them and other, more prosperous organizations, but the most vital component is leadership. What are the hallmarks of a strong leader?

  1. Strong leaders drive dramatic change. Think Steve Jobs. In reading the many articles about him recently, one common thread was his vision and demand for innovation and excellence in both products and services. He didn’t want to be better, he wanted to be the best. When he returned to Apple, he drove the company to a new level of excellence.
  2. Strong leaders are willing to take prudent risks. They’re willing to stretch their organizations and do things that others are afraid to try. Strong leaders weight the risks and don’t take foolhardy steps, but they reach out past where others are willing to go.
  3. Strong leaders focus on getting the right people into the organization. Jack Welch once said that a CEO has two roles: a) Set the vision, and b) find the people to implement it. Strong leaders are continuously finding and building their organization’s strength. They surround themselves with great people, point them in the right direction, and then get out of the way.

Are you a strong leader?

© 2011 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved

Micromanaging Your Way to Oblivion

A friend of mine, a manager at a mid-size manufacturing company, is about ready to give notice. She loves her job (and she excels at it, too), but she feels her hands are tied by a micromanaging CEO who gets involved in everything from negotiating rebates from suppliers to choosing conference room furniture. He is a helicopter CEO, always hovering nearby.

That Was Then, This Is Now

This is a common situation, unfortunately: the CEO started the company and at one time probably did everything from repairing equipment to customer service to negotiating with bankers, but times have changed. Now that the company has matured into, in this case, a $75 million business, the CEO’s role should be one of leadership: creating and communicating the corporate vision, putting the right people in the right places, empowering them, and encouraging them to take risks and be innovative in their work.

Another reason for micromanaging is the general belt-tightening prompted by the recession. With less wiggle-room, CEOs want to get involved in cost-cutting efforts, even at the risk of motivation and morale.

The Non-Verbal Messages

If the CEO won’t take the risk of delegating projects and then backing off, how can managers get the space they need to work creatively and take some risks of their own? Simply put, they can’t. When CEOs hover over managers and control their every move, they are sending these messages:

  • I don’t trust you
  • I could do this better myself
  • You should always check with me before making a decision

Holding On Too Tightly

The paradox is that by controlling managers in order to prevent failure, the helicopter CEO is squandering countless opportunities for success by limiting and devaluing his or her employees. To keep people engaged and motivated, they need the chance to try things out, possibly fail, learn from their mistakes and move on.

In my next post I’ll share an example of how we did this at my former company.

© 2011 – Rick Pay – All Rights Reserved

Authors: Rick Pay, Paige McKinney