To Err is Human — to Really Muck Things Up Takes a CEO, Part Two
11. Listen to your employees. While you’re sitting in your office all day sweating the big, top-line corporate stuff, your employees are on the front lines. See below…
12. Don’t think it’s your company. Yes, you may have started it, but now your employees run it. If you walk out of your big corner office right now and start using the old Tom Peters principle of “management by wandering around,” you’ll gain more perspective on what your business is about, where it’s been and, more importantly, where it’s going. We all know that anyone can be replaced except you. But once you see how little you actually run your company these days, you may be humbled by the perspective that maybe you could take another extended trip to Tibet and the company would actually continue, even flourish.
13. Think you’re in business to … People want to be the boss not to make lots of money (but if done right, you certainly will), not to be respected, not to feel important or even be feared. There are only two real reasons to be in business: to make and sell good products that are useful to your customers and, more importantly, to employ others and contribute a positive working experience. Focus your energies on those two areas and watch your employees be happy, your customers be satisfied and your company grow.
Authors note: If you find yourself angry or upset by my column today, that’s OK. I may have hit a nerve. Feel free to dispute anything I said by commenting below. Oh, and if I know you and have worked for you in some capacity over the years, please know that I am NOT talking about you. Most of what I wrote about happened on multiple occasions in some very diverse companies.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.