A CEO NEWSLETTER - January 2016
In this Issue


I've had the opportunity to write for the Harvard Business Review through the years. In this month's CEO newsletter, I've selected a few articles from my HBR archive that I believe will be helpful as you enter 2016.

These articles will give you timeless truths in the areas of employee satisfaction, paths to revenue and what makes for a great sales team. While some of this information is from several years back, there's still a lot of good meat here. Just pick out the most applicable points for today and leave anything that doesn't fit. 

And as a bonus, check out the additional article under the Strategic Leaders section with 10 tips on how to lead better meetings.

Here's to a prosperous year!


P.S. Interested in learning more about how the CEO Collective can connect you with your CEO peers? Let's talk!

By Melissa Raffoni

I often have to remind the dedicated, smart CEOs I work with that leading takes time and energy. Directing the feelings, attitudes, actions, and behaviors of a team is a big task. Often, I also hear the secrets of these CEOs' employees, about what truly aggravates them and what they love about their bosses. To keep top executives on track, I've created this list of what employees want their leaders to do. 

By Melissa Raffoni

In my last post, I mentioned that a recent survey of approximately 50 mid-market CEOs revealed that what was keeping them up at night was figuring out how to optimize the sales channel. Basically, "Is there a better path to revenue and profit?"

As a follow up, I brought most of these CEOs together in a room and asked them to share their best practices with respect to the topic. I'm hoping this list triggers some ideas and results for those companies bold and nimble enough to test something new! Below are a few of the ideas that emerged from that session.

By Melissa Raffoni

My colleagues and I are in the process of surveying about 50 CEOs of companies ranging from 10-1000 employees. About half the results are in. When the report is finalized, I'll blog more formally about the results, but here's a peek at the halfway mark.

At the moment, can you guess the #1 thing keeping CEOs up at night?
So far, it's how to optimize the sales channel.  We're also asking CEOs to choose the three biggest opportunities for their companies.  So far, the one making the top three most often is "developing new partner sales channels."

If you and your team are assessing your organization's sales effectiveness, here are eight common questions that I hear CEOs ask each other in peer groups:

Congrats to Gordie Spater, CEO, and his staff at Kurgo for the recent write up and photo spread in Inc. Check out the workspace Inc. calls the most doggie-friendly office around.

Kudos to CEO  Steve Scott and his team at Retirement Solution Group for receiving the 2015 Top Producer Award from  Ausdal  Financial Partners.

Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Murphy, CEO of Chi Solutions, on her appointment to the Salem State University Board of Trustees.

Kudos to CEO Peter Bransfield and his team at Rypos for volunteering together at the  Greater Boston Food Bank. Way to give back to the community!

As a facilitator, I'm usually in control of meetings and rarely walk away feeling as if a meeting was a waste of time. Of course, I'm paid to make sure that's the case. I have the luxury of lots of prep to ensure success. Most meeting facilitators are paid to do other things-like, run a business-and end up frustrated that at least some of their meetings are inefficient for the company and considered a waste of time by the participants.

So here comes the 10 tips for being a great meeting facilitator, right? No. This one is for the rest of you, the non-facilitators. Don't wait for the facilitator to learn how to run a meeting. You can fix bad meetings in spite of them, and in the process demonstrate your leadership and management skill. If you're stuck in a meeting from hell, here's what to do.