This is The Lazy CEO Podcast where Jim Schleckser, author of “Great CEOS are Lazy” and Founder of The CEO Project, features compelling experts and topics for CEOs of mid to large-size companies.
Getting Ready to Sell Your Company?
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the considerations and preparations entrepreneurs should undertake before selling their businesses. Schleckser emphasizes the importance of viewing the process as a trade of asset classes rather than a simple sale. He highlights key factors to address well in advance, including the quality of the executive team, the protection of key team members through contracts, and the necessity of making oneself less critical to daily operations. Additionally, Schleckser delves into the significance of having reviewed or audited financials and the need to present potential upside and opportunities for the buyer to maximize the business's value. The podcast discusses earn-outs and the implications of hanging around after the sale. Overall, the episode provides valuable insights for entrepreneurs contemplating the sale of their companies.
Transform Your Organization into an Epic Workplace
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Cheryl Lynn Mobley, founder of reCalibrate. Cheryl shares her unique journey that led to the creation of her book, which blends her experiences on a safari with valuable leadership lessons.
The conversation revolves around the challenges organizations face today. Cheryl highlights the issue of organizations heading in the wrong direction at a high velocity, often driven by the desire to please everyone. She observes that leaders can feel held hostage by various stakeholders, leading to exhaustion and a lack of clarity in organizational goals.
To address this problem, Cheryl emphasizes the need for leaders to make a courageous decision to change the status quo. They should redefine their organization's purpose and be clear about what they exist to do. This clarity will help save time and energy by guiding decision-making. Cheryl also advises leaders to have frank conversations with their teams and commit to sticking with the chosen path, even in the face of resistance.
Ultimately, the podcast discusses the importance of leaders being willing to make tough choices and stay focused on their organization's purpose, even if it means some individuals may opt-out. Cheryl's insights provide valuable guidance for leaders navigating the complexities of today's business landscape.
CEO Stories- Ryan Dahnert, Plymold
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser welcomes Ryan Dahnert, the CEO of Plymold, a manufacturer of furniture and fixtures for commercial service. Ryan discusses the journey of his company and the challenges he faced as a first-time CEO. Here are the key points discussed in the podcast:
1. Plymold's Business: Plymold manufactures furniture and fixtures primarily for commercial service, focusing on fast-food restaurant chains, travel stops, and more. The company has been in business for 75 years and has been employee-owned since 1992.
2. Reorganization Process: Ryan describes the reorganization process he initiated after becoming CEO in 2019. At the time, the company had five different business divisions with varying customer bases and product offerings. They decided to focus on what they were truly great at, which was metal frame furniture fixtures combining steel, wood components, upholstery, and laminate materials.
3. Challenges During COVID-19: The podcast discusses how Plymold navigated the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, their primary clients in the quick-service restaurant industry were severely impacted. However, they adapted by focusing on remodeling and adapting to changing market conditions.
4. Lease Negotiations: Ryan shares a successful negotiation experience regarding a lease for a facility they no longer needed, highlighting the importance of assessing the unique situation and being assertive in negotiations.
5. CEO Project Support: Ryan credits his involvement in the CEO Project, a peer group for CEOs, as a valuable source of support and guidance during challenging times. The group provided insights and helped him make critical decisions for the company's future.
6. Dealing with Tragedy: The episode also touches on the personal tragedy of losing a key team member, which was a difficult experience for Ryan and the company. They discuss how Plymold worked through the grieving process and supported their team during this challenging time.
The podcast highlights the importance of focus, adaptability, and seeking support from peers and mentors in navigating the complexities of running a business and facing unexpected challenges.
Executive Compensation and Contracts
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast" hosted by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO Project, the focus is on the sensitive and vital topic of executive compensation and contracts. Jim discusses the intricacies of compensating CEOs and executive teams, touching on critical components such as base salary, bonuses, and long-term compensation. He emphasizes the importance of aligning compensation with market rates and strategic goals. The podcast also explores the concept of felt fair compensation and the need to ensure executives feel rewarded for their work. Additionally, Jim discusses the role of bonuses in aligning management and ownership interests, highlighting the significance of transparent and calculable bonus structures. He also touches on the use of discretionary bonuses for exceptional performance. Finally, Jim emphasizes the distinction between long-term compensation and equity, cautioning founder-owners about the complexities and considerations of equity distribution within a company. The episode provides valuable insights into executive compensation and contracts for CEOs and their teams.
What are the Implications of AI for your business
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO project, welcomes Richard Routh, an expert in the field of AI from Tri 7 Services. They discuss the impact of AI on business, regulations, technology, jobs, and more. Richard begins by explaining the concept of AI, dating back to the 1950s, where the goal was to make machines intelligent like humans artificially. He highlights early AI successes, such as chess-playing programs and the development of speech recognition like Siri and Alexa.
Richard goes on to discuss how AI has become a part of our daily lives, from search engines like Google to self-driving cars. He also delves into the recent breakthrough in AI, which involves large language model solutions like GPT-3, where neural networks are trained on vast amounts of data to generate human-like text and responses. Richard emphasizes the enormous potential of generative AI, including advancements in healthcare, business analysis, political strategies, and military operations.
Jim and Richard explore why generative AI gains a competitive advantage, thanks to its ability to access and integrate vast amounts of data at a scale beyond human capability. However, they also acknowledge the need for caution, as AI systems can produce hallucinations, requiring human oversight and careful deployment to avoid unintended consequences. They conclude by mentioning the concerns of experts like Elon Musk and the potential risks associated with advanced AI systems like Skynet, as portrayed in popular culture.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Raven Solomon, an expert in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Raven shares her journey into DEI, drawing from her experience managing diverse teams early in her career at PepsiCo. She highlights the importance of understanding generational differences and how leadership approaches can vary based on different age groups. Raven introduces the concept of "lead language," where each generation has a primary way they prefer to receive leadership.
Raven discusses how Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, emphasizing their desire for transparency, authenticity, and accountability in organizations. She explains the significance of developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy that encompasses the workforce, workplace, marketplace, supplier base, and community engagement. Raven emphasizes that DEI should be seen as a business imperative, not just a moral obligation and that educating leaders about its benefits is crucial.
The episode touches on the challenges of getting buy-in for DEI initiatives, with some leaders viewing them as threats. Raven suggests that education, awareness, and a shift in perspective can help leaders see DEI as an opportunity rather than a challenge. The conversation also explores whether DEI training should be mandatory in organizations.
Overall, the episode provides insights into the importance of DEI in today's workplace, how it can benefit businesses, and the strategies that organizations can adopt to attract, retain, and engage diverse talent effectively.