It’s well known that the pessimist says the glass is half empty – so his surprises are all positive ones. The optimist says the glass is half full and somehow keeps that attitude despite her negative surprises.
What does the CEO say?
The CEO says “Hey, don’t we have twice as much glass as we need around here?” And I phrased that as a question on purpose.
Maybe you need that extra glass. If your company is growing you have to have a bit more capacity to grow into, otherwise you hit a wall. But, if you have too much extra capacity, your costs get too high and your profit goes to hell.
The CEO’s job is to question the answers – not to answer the questions. Is it really half full – or is it more like a third and everyone just rounds up hopefully? Is there really twice as much extra capacity or are some vital activities getting put off or not measured? How much extra capacity is really needed? In what areas? What is your trend line in the recent past – and how accurate is it in predicting the future? Are there things about the past that won’t repeat?
The answers, off course come from the customers. But they don’t answer in words, they answer with their wallets. And you can’t wait till then to plan. So you’ve got to approximate your answers yet remain flexible. No wonder you get paid the big bucks.
Thanks to Jerry Guirlinger of Mobile Shop Company – talking to him today inspired this post.
[tags] small business, CEO skills, entrepreneur, ambiguity [/tags]