Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
To say every corporation needs people is an obvious statement. Yet, every balance sheet shows people as an expense. On the other hand, buildings, land and equipment are considered assets. In an era of knowledge workers, has this mindset become obsolete? Why aren’t people considered assets as well? You can’t have a company without people.
When the US was an
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Whether it’s learning to walk for the first time or solving complex quantum physics’ equations, it’s difficult. Yet, most people can be considered experts at walking and there are people throughout the world who are great at solving fascinating mysteries through quantum physics.
If you and I go down the list of difficult tasks like tying shoes, riding a bicycle or learning a new language, it will become apparent that
Monday, November 25, 2013
While temporary failure has its benefits, permanent failure can be devastating. Therefore, it is imperative to be able to learn lessons from temporary set backs and avoid permanent failure. To do that, you have to be clear about what you want to accomplish in your life, have a strategy/plan to achieve it, train and prepare yourself for success, and take effective action. Without those 4 steps, you are
Thursday, November 14, 2013
“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you.” ― Don Marquis
For those of you who are surrounded by people who are determined to make you really think, it is easy to blame them for the aftermath of thinking. When you really think, it can be a problem. Why? Authentic thinking is often followed by
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Some 15 years ago I became CEO and 5% owner of a start-up Company with the purpose to develop a major Resort. It was a development which I had pursued previously -- in fact, 2 different times. I believed passionately in the concept, market, and specific location.
We raised over $850 million - $630 million debt, $250 million of equity with location/ land at over $100 million -- give or take, a $1 billion dollar development. While it was a lot of money, several participants believed
Saturday, October 26, 2013
After leaving the CEO Position at Restaurant Associates, Pine founded Aries Associates, a consulting firm that provides strategic advice to CEO’s and private equity investors on restaurant chain investments. In addition to numerous domestic assignments, Pine has consulted on restaurant businesses in England,
Thursday, October 24, 2013
As a CEO…
1. Decide whether you want to be a creative leader who takes some calculated risks or a manager who maintains the status quo. Once you decide that, don’t allow your organization to be diverted by any undertaking that is foreign to their expertise or that will not further the mission of the business. Stay focused!
2. Make short notes on the
2. Make short notes on the
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Board of Veteran CEOs
A Conversation with Henry Kravis
The Board of Veteran CEOs will host an intimate Breakfast Forum featuring private equity pioneer Henry Kravis, co- founder and co-CEO of the leading global investment firm Kolhberg Kravis Roberts. Richard Goeglein, the current chairman of Pinnacle Entertainment and a titan of the gaming industry, will moderate a candid discussion at this exclusive gathering of CEOs. Mr. Goeglein and Mr. Kravis will engage the audience in a lively conversation about opportunities and challenges currently facing CEOs. The discussion will include:
␣␣ Global economic issues, with views on Europe, Asia, emerging markets, and the importance of geopolitical analysis and trends
␣␣ U.S. economic issues, including views on remaining competitive, the role of credit and M&A markets, and dealing with government uncertainty
␣␣ Challenges facing CEOs today, with perspectives from KKR portfolio companies, the importance of innovation, culture, and communication, and views on public versus private company structures
␣␣ Keys to success for current business leaders, including building a strong team, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, doing business with those you like and trust, and being a leader both in and out of the office
Yale Club of New York City
50 Vanderbilt Avenue New York, NY
Date and Time
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
8:00 am to 10:00 am
8:00 – 8:30 am Registration
8:30 – 8:45 am Welcome & Introductory Remarks
8:45 – 9:30 am Breakfast and Program
9:30 – 10:00 am Q&A
Registration Welcome & Introductory Remarks Breakfast and Program Q&A
To RSVP, please contact Ted Santos at 888.471.3660 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Board of Veteran CEOs
The Board of Veteran CEOs was created to serve as a confidant to CEOs of midsize to large companies. The resource we provide is exclusive access to retired CEOs who have walked in your shoes and grown their enterprise to Fortune 1,000 status and beyond. Some of the retired CEOs who serve as Advisory Members have led companies like Dun & Bradstreet, Ben & Jerry’s, Max Factor, and Harrah’s Hotel & Casinos. In addition, some of our Advisory Members are current CEOs of Fortune 500s, including companies such as NCR and AC Nielsen. Access to the Advisory Members takes the form of roundtable discussions, one-on-one telephone conversations, and private face-to-face meetings. The roundtable discussions occur every other month. They are held over a two- hour breakfast between an intimate group of 6-8 sitting CEOs and 1-2 Advisory Members. Participation in these meetings requires a personal invitation - no exceptions.
Akerman is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 550 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 19 offices, we are ranked among the top 100 law firms in the U.S. by The National Law Journal NLJ 350 (2013). We are intensely focused on innovating pragmatic, customized solutions to our clients’ most complex legal challenges.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Henry Kravis of KKR to Keynote The Board of Veteran CEOs Breakfast Forum
Moderated by Chairman of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. Richard Goeglein
Exclusive Gathering for Veteran and Sitting CEOs Hosted by Law Firm Akerman Senterfitt
NEW YORK – October 7, 2013 —The Board of Veteran CEOs, a leading organization for information exchanges, partnerships and networking among CEOs of midsize to large companies, today announced a Breakfast Forum featuring private equity pioneer Henry Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a leading global investment firm. Former CEOs of Fortune 1000s and
Friday, October 4, 2013
Chairman of Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. &
Former CEO of Harrah's Hotels & Casinos
The rapid advancement of technology coupled with the major shift in demographics of the general work force will test business as never before. As Boomers retire and the Gen X, Y (20’ thru 40’s) becomes the dominant employee base, the skills to lead will require a leader who is able to adopt new ways of thinking and transform the way he or she sees the world.
There is already a significant change in the way in which major segments of the population relate and communicate.
This is also the case within most organizations – the way individuals
Mr. Richard Goeglein is a seasoned business executive who has led high-growth billion-dollar companies through mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Along with his extensive experience in the US casino and hospitality industries, he has also worked internationally in consumer services and products sectors.
He is currently Chairman of the Board,
He is currently Chairman of the Board,
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Over more than 35 years, Microsoft has had 2 CEOs – Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. With Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement, Microsoft is preparing for CEO number 3. The whole world is watching to see who that will be. As it stands, it appears it will be someone from the outside.
Tony Bates, CEO of Skype was a contender, especially since Microsoft bought Skype. Bates now has a sense of the company culture and vision. However, he has been removed from the list. There is concern that he has not run a large public company. And he was CEO of Skype for one year.
Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia is another top contender, especially since Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business. At the same time, there is concern about his unimpressive performance while running Nokia.
At the top of the list is
Thursday, September 26, 2013
The overriding mandate for every Board of Directors is simply this: Act so as to ensure the continuing success of the institution. And, as we consider the components of a Board’s responsibility for achieving this end, the job of building a robust management succession process is perhaps the most important.
In a well-managed company there will be many competent executives who ought to be in the pool of potential successors to the CEO.
But we also know that we live in an
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
There are many people with successful track records when it comes to playing the game of politics in the office. They manipulate people as though moving pieces on a chessboard. They are masterminds when it’s time to take credit for work others have done. They know exactly what to say to make others look bad. If something goes wrong, they know whom to throw under the bus. It works and it looks glamorous.
However, advancing your career is analogous to building a
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Whether you try to fix a person, family, corporation or country, your attempts will most likely be in vain. The approach to fix something is fundamentally flawed. That approach operates on the premise that something is wrong. And once it’s fixed, everything will be better. One of the biggest challenges to fixing a person or situation that is considered broken is that they may defend their position as right, even if they know it is ineffective.
In the case of a company, there may be merit in wanting to extinguish a culture of silos and increase collaboration. While many enterprises are successful, they are
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Back in the dark ages of my business school education, most of the time in class was spent on learning the theories and practices of business; marketing, financial analysis, logistics, etc. Very little was offered in the way of providing insight into the mysteries of managing people. Oh, there were case studies that asked for a perceptive situational analysis and a description of the remedial action to be taken, but it was implicitly assumed that if you could articulate an effective course of action, all parties involved would automatically step up and execute perfectly.
Of course, when I got out into “the real world”, I found that real life was
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
When we entered the 21st century, few expected so much change after a decade. We are beleaguered with technology advances that take us to new heights each day, erratic economic cycles and global competition. In addition, companies have grown to enormous mega corporations, larger than ever in history. And in the times of knowledge workers, covert information, once privy to only the C-suite, is readily available given globalization and widespread social media. Overlooking it all are CEOs who have become the latest
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Few people will recognize the name Laurence J. Peter, but almost everyone has heard of his now famous Peter Principle.
He became widely famous in 1968, on the publication of The Peter Principle, in which he states: “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of
Every day you can find a new article or interview questioning whether a man or a woman makes a better leader. At the end of the article, all that is left is one more dagger for a person to throw at the opposite sex.
The discussion of who is better is a definite way to waste a person’s brain cells. The truth is that not all
Thursday, August 22, 2013
I was only out of business school for a few months when I learned a fundamental lesson: How to think about the value of a customer.
I had joined a consumer products company that sold liquid household cleaner, and they had just come up with a terrific promotional idea – offering the cleaner in a glass, early American flask with images of Washington, the colonial flag, etc., pressed in the sides. The flasks came in several colors, and there were color striations and bubbles just like in real antique glass.
It was a great idea, that is – until it was discovered that the amber flasks were
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
On the surface, there seems to be many reasons people fail. In fact, several books can be written on the subject. However, when you distill those reasons, you are, in reality, left with two. I say with confidence that most people innately know this. Yet, they spend many hours figuring out ways to disguise this intuition with excuses.
From experts in psychology to the bus boy in a restaurant, you hear intellectual explanations about fear of failure. While this assessment is interestingly close, it
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Re: A Conversation with Henry Kravis
On November 5, 2013, the Board of Veteran CEOs will host a Breakfast Forum featuring private equity pioneer and legendary CEO, Henry Kravis, of KKR. Mr. Kravis will be the featured speaker for this exclusive CEO breakfast. This invitation-only event is limited to former CEOs of Fortune 1000 corporations and sitting CEOs of mid-cap companies. In an interview format, Mr. Kravis will discuss
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
In a previous article, I discussed a new economic reality and what companies can do to preserve jobs in a down economy. As I continue addressing this issue with former CEOs, I find myself peeling the subject in layers as though peeling an onion.
As I have stated in the past, it is easy to layoff people or close manufacturing plants when the economy slows. It seems our business schools have not considered another possibility and we are perpetually stuck with laying people off to preserve profits.
At the same time, when you examine closely, you see this method is extremely
Friday, August 9, 2013
“There isn’t a person anywhere who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can.” ~ Henry Ford
If you lived for 1000 years, you still would not know your limits. Each day and year you live, you learn more about yourself and what’s possible. Yet, somehow the word “can’t” seems to work its way into your vocabulary.
What’s the cure for the pontificators of “I can’t”? If you
Thursday, August 1, 2013
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. ~ Anais Nin
In general, who we are reflects the environment in which we were raised. Who we become is a matter of choice.
Most of us believe we are who we are by choice. However, our environment has
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Hackers have figured out how to break into your car’s computer. After several months of research and testing, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will publish detailed blueprints of the techniques to attack critical systems in the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape. They will make this knowledge known through a 100-page white paper.
According to their report, a hacker can control your
Thursday, July 25, 2013
by Bob Weissman
Former Chairman & CEO of Dun & Bradstreet
Former Chairman & CEO of Dun & Bradstreet
Over the past forty-three years, I have had the privilege of sitting on the boards of eleven public companies, and I can report that the changes in the ways that boards have operated over that time have been stunning.
I have witnessed the rise and decline of the era of the imperial CEO; the transformation of public equity markets from investing markets to trading markets and from individual investing to institutional investing. These changes have created pressure both for management and the boards of public companies to meet the short-term value maximization goals of institutional holders and, at the same time, to respond to
My name is Bob Weissman. Over the past fifty years, I have had the good fortune to successfully lead companies with sales ranging from two million to six billion, in industries as diverse as gun parts manufacturing and Yellow Pages publishing.
Along with some successes, I made at least my share of mistakes. But win or lose, I consistently tried to understand any underlying principle or insight that might help prepare me for the next ‘adventure’.
Most important, I made a note of what I had learned; and over the years I have kept those notes.
Ted Santos has suggested that I share those insights with you through occasional commentary on his blog, and I jumped at the chance.
I’m looking forward to joining your blog community.
Biography – Robert E. Weissman
Robert E. Weissman retired in January 2001 after nearly thirty years working as CEO for several public corporations. Over the course of his career, Mr. Weissman has started a business that grew from 42 employees to 64,000 in 15 years, done over 200 acquisitions, and has been a Director of 11 public companies. When he retired, Mr. Weissman was Chairman of IMS Health, the world’s largest provider of information to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. IMS Health is listed on the NYSE and is an S&P 500 company.
IMS Health was a spin-off from The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation in 1996. Mr. Weissman was with D&B for seventeen years, becoming Chairman and CEO in 1993.
Prior to his election to the top post, he was President and COO of that company since 1985. In the period that Mr. Weissman was with Dun & Bradstreet, it grew to become the largest information and market research company in the world, with 72,000 employees in 114 countries.
Mr. Weissman joined Dun & Bradstreet in May 1979, when D&B acquired National CSS, a computer time-sharing company, where he was President and CEO.
Prior to joining National CSS, Mr. Weissman was Executive Vice President of Rediffusion, Inc., a manufacturer of communications equipment and computers. Previously, he was President and CEO of Spencer-Kennedy Laboratories.
Since his retirement, Mr. Weissman has been active as Chairman of Shelburne Investments, a private investment company that works with emerging companies in the United States and Europe.
Mr. Weissman has been a member of several professional and business organizations, including the Business Roundtable, the Institute of Management Accountants, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the Committee for Economic Development. He has also been Chairman of the Information Technology Association of America. In 1980, he served as Chairman of the World Computer Services Congress.
Mr. Weissman is a director of State Street Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Inc., Information Services Group and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation.
Born in New Haven, CT, on May 22, 1940, Mr. Weissman graduated from Babson College in 1964. He is Vice Chairman of Babson’s Board of Trustees, where he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1995.
He and his wife Janet have three grown children and make their home in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Friday, July 19, 2013
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. — Aristotle
Can you entertain or tolerate a discussion with someone even if you don’t see the logic in his or her viewpoint? In our culture, the objective of a conversation is to find agreement or disagreement. In most cases, the individuals in the discussion are not fully listening to one another. They are only listening for what they agree or disagree with and their counter debate.
This includes the philosophy of agreeing to disagree. That mindset does not
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
In an increasingly complex world, the requirements of leadership will change. For decades, many CEOs rose from sales and marketing. They were great at knowing the product, customers, driving innovation and selling the organization on a vision. In the recent past, they rose from finance and law. They bought back their own shares, orchestrated financial reengineering, changed accounting practices and down sized the company. They have been the masters at making the organization profitable. While many of these talents will be relevant in the future, the most important will be
Thursday, July 11, 2013
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” – Thomas Edison
There’s a difference between wanting something and being committed to something. Whether it’s an intimate relationship, project or a career path, the testament to your commitment arises when things are not going the way you hoped. At that point, you have a choice: 1. You commit to
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The complexity of the global marketplace and technology forces everyone to change practices or behaviors every few months. At the same time, we are indirectly trained to resist. Throughout our lives, we have been told how difficult it is for people to change. If you tell someone something enough times, even if it is a lie, they begin to believe it.
However, if you look at our lives from another perspective, you will see that we are designed to constantly change. Change is built into our lifestyles. In the simplest form, we change our
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
When driving breakthrough initiatives in an organization, culture change has to be built into the strategy. While culture is considered a soft skill, it is one to the most difficult initiatives to orchestrate. As a rule, people tend to hold on to old ways. To gain deeper insight into this issue, I used international travel to simulate culture change.
From 1996-1999, I lived in 8 Latin American countries – Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. During my travels, I experienced change in every sense. My stay in each country ranged 2 days to 20 months. I lived in the jungle and the city. And I encountered
Friday, June 28, 2013
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.” — Alan A. Milne
In a world of political correctness, we dare not say anything that the majority will not say. From birth, we are taught to keep the peace and fit in or otherwise face our greatest
Friday, June 21, 2013
What I Learned from Lao Tze about Destiny
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” ~ Lao-Tze
For more than 2,000 years, the wisest people have taught us that our thoughts create things. Those things become our reality. Our reality becomes our everyday destiny. On one hand, it is true we are taught to believe in
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
While there are many ways to master your craft, there are three methods that are common to all successful people.
They Take Risks – Those who master anything understand that life is like riding a bicycle. Most people can get on a bike and ride. However, the stunts you have to perform to compete in the X Games would be too risky for the majority of people. Every stunt has the possibility of injury. Yet, the competitors in the X Games make it look simple and elegant. The winner is usually the person who successfully completes the most difficult moves.
In life, if you stay on the
Friday, June 14, 2013
Most people need proof before they can make bold declarations like Muhammad Ali did. He had no proof he was the greatest. Yet, he stood for it as a possibility. That declaration shaped the way he
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
"I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done." Henry Ford
At the age of 15, Henry Ford dropped out of school to help on his father’s farm. While he had very little education, he was curious and he educated himself on the functions of machines. Eventually his tinkering with watches and other machines earned him
Friday, June 7, 2013
In the US, from childhood, we are rewarded for giving the right answer. Giving the right answer has become synonymous with high intelligence. Those who prefer to ask questions may be seen as
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
If you were the boss in a perfect world, everything you want done would be completed on time. In an imperfect world with only 24 hours and never-ending demands of clients, employees, legislators, bosses, etc., something will slip through the crack or be delayed. While it seems clear communication should fix it, it doesn’t. It’s straight communication without consequences that creates order out of chaos.
In many organizations, unexpected delays come as no surprise. The culture of communication between the boss and subordinates is set up to
Friday, May 31, 2013
"Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers." — Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa
If you have ever read Dee Hock’s book One From Many, you would know that he was an amazing leader. His suggestion to spend 50% of your time leading yourself is valid. Why? At some point, most of us say and do things that are inimical to our success. Many poor decisions are derived from the inability to lead ones self and the desire to control others.
Managing yourself is not just making sure you align your thoughts and actions with your desires. You also have to constantly
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Every manager’s dream is to lead people who will walk through fire for him or her. However, for many managers, this is not the case. Paradoxically, it is the manager who creates the dynamics of the relationship. Your people will follow your lead if you fight for them first.
As a manager gets to know his employees, he should first understand what they
Friday, May 24, 2013
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti
According to Andretti, the thing many people crave impedes progress. In a world where we are obsessed with making everything predictable and controllable, we miss the possibility of
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
We have all seen very successful people who didn’t appear to be very bright. Yet, when the window of opportunity opened up, they knew what to do. What do these people have that extremely intelligent people lack?
I know a number of people who have very high IQs. In fact, I know a gentleman who was classified as a genius at the age of four. When you speak to him, you know in less than five minutes that he is super smart. However, he appears to lack
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
In the US, organizations have 2 gears for running a business. During good times, hire people. When the economy slows, fire people. In almost every case, this strategy results in a downward spiral for the economy. While there are infinite alternatives to this tactic, no one has taken sufficient time to explore and develop it. At the same time, in the 21st Century, change happens faster than ever. As a result, many of the existing economic structures have become obsolete. Therefore, the time is now to explore new possibilities.
If you think about it, there has to be a
Friday, May 10, 2013
"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there." — John Buchan
One of the biggest problems leaders or managers have is their impression of what kind of person you have to be as a leader. Too often, people have the false impression that leaders have to be
Friday, May 3, 2013
"Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." — Peter F. Drucker
More and more research shows that charismatic leaders do not run the most successful organizations. In Jim Collins’ book, Good To Great, he spent years following companies that consistently outperformed the S&P and their industry over the course of 15+ years. Of the very few that met the criteria,
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The title may seem like a silly question. Most people will say they own their brain. However, before you respond, I ask you to consider something. This question is analogous to food companies. Coca Cola, for example, says they want to own 20% of your stomach. To do that, they produce soft drinks, snacks and other foods for you to consume. Their goal is to entice you to fill 20% of your stomach with their products. The remaining 80% is filled with Pillsbury, Kellogg, McDonalds, Perdue, etc.
While you may not like this idea, when you think about it, consumers are loyal to certain foods and a percentage of their stomach is committed to a specific brand. In some cases, people are enticed by too many brands and they fill their bellies to 200%. That is considered over eating.
So what has that to do with your brain? There are many