The Central Texas Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth consistently has the best presentations of any business and networking group in Austin. This was certainly true at the July luncheon at the Shoreline Grill when Gabe Krajicek, CEO of BancVue, spoke to the crowd.
As a professional speaker I always pay close attention to all who speak. I watch not only for message, but for style. Often CEO's, who are great at leading their companies, stink when it comes to delivering interesting, informative and inspirational talks. Gabe Krajicek, however, was great! It was not that he was perfectly polished in presentations skills, but his passion for his company (and for being an entrepreneur) was front and center. It was reminiscent of watching an 11-year-old kid tell you all about his new bicycle.... with the excitement being contagious. WOW.
His talk centered around lessons he has learned as CEO of two companies, including the successful and fast growing BancVue.
He spoke on seven mistakes that he and other entrepreneurs often make:
Mistake #1 - Values are just a speech.
He strongly believes in the values at his company are more than just words. BancVue has gone so far as to make their value statement into a visual "patch". It creates a physical manifestation of the four core values of: Interdependence, 5-Star Leadership, Love, and "Badassitude".
Mistake #2 - You can't live without brilliant jerks.
Yes you can. No employee, no matter how well they do their job, should be allowed to be a jerk. Too many companies put up with bad behavior when they should fire those who are toxic.
Mistake #3 - You don't need to hire the "A-Team".
You must hire experts to fill the roles of CFO, marketing, etc.... You cannot do it all as CEO, and you are not the best at all the other roles in the company. Get top people into the key positions and do not wait too long to do it.
Mistake #4 - Sitting on the fence.
The CEO needs to be a leader and make the necessary decisions in regards to the company's strategy. Everyone on your team needs to know what are the priorities, and what is the #1 priority.
Mistake #5 - You don't need a "Plan B".
Too many entrepreneurs like the adrenaline of flying by the seat of their pants while building their company, but if you do not have a "Plan B" you can get derailed very fast. Invest the time to create the back up plan for when something out of your control changes within your company, the economy, or your industry.
Mistake #6 - Thinking bigger is better.
"1000 mediocre musicians cannot out compose Mozart". Having more people is not always the answer to solving problems. Sometimes a small number of people owning a project will get it done cheaper and faster than a giant team.
Mistake #7 - Renaming your weaknesses.
Do not pretend that your weakness is a strength. Often entrepreneurs give a different name to the area they are not strong and try to disguise it as a positive attribute. Do not hide behind your faults by calling failures something else.
Without leadership there is chaos. When you are a good leader who lives by the mission and the values you profess your employees will give you the "benefit of the doubt" when you need it most. We are all human and mistakes will happen. Leaders will stumble. When you have built good relationships with your people, they will show up and follow you the next day. Without that relationship they will lose faith in your leadership.
If you are not attending the Association for Corporate Growth you are missing insightful presentations like this one.
Have A Great Day.