Cerius Experts: CEO Tips and Advice (Part 2)

Cerius executive experts weigh in on tips and advice they are giving CEOs right now. 


Kristen McAlister: 

And now my favorite part. We have six incredible experts here. I always like to ask, if you were to sit down with a CEO and give them one piece of advice focusing on the next 30 days, what would that advice be? It’s interesting, because we started asking this question six weeks ago, and it’s changed. I can’t even say over the next six months anymore, so focusing on the next 30 days, what’s that one piece of advice you would give CEOs?

Let’s start with Annie.

Annie O’Grady:  I was thinking about Pete’s and Seth’s comments. I think really looking at the sales and marketing sales funnel that convert from marketing all the way to the conversion and the operations. Have a look at that. Make sure it is running as optimal as possible, because I think getting the most value out of that right now and getting it out in a very efficient way is going to be really important. 

Kristen McAlister: Thanks.


Gus Ordonez: I would look near term. I would look at the financials and be transparent with my employees and customers. Just do what I promise and what I tell them I can do near term. Be mindful and sense the culture as well as the morale of the employees so that they understand your actions in a clear way.

Kristen McAlister: Thank you. 

Kevin, one thing. We’re talking laser focus here. 

Kevin Ewaynk: I think it’s important for CEOs to keep their eye on the ball and maybe want to pivot their business, but also keep in mind that we over perform and keep money in the bank and not try to hit the fence every single time on the home run. Let’s make sure we’re getting some base hits in there and maybe be a little conservative on the finance side. 

Kristen McAlister: Thank you. 


Sheryl Moore: I would say that they should be more open to new strategies for their workforce. Consider remote considerations and things like that, that were not typical in their workforce before. So just think outside the box. Because it’s like when you think you have all the answers, then someone goes and changes the question. 

Kristen McAlister: Perfect. That’s a great one. 


Pete Todd: How come I have to go near the end after all these great ideas are out there? I would say the one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is, I don’t know what business they’re in (Mr. CEO or Ms. CEO) but they’re really in a people business. The success of you as a leader is really based on your people. So I would focus very, very closely on your team. A number of great ideas have been suggested. And also as you’re considering pivoting, consider your team’s capabilities as you look toward the future, consider your team’s capabilities and really focus on the team.

I think that this crisis will not last forever. I think it’s as important as a leader to lead by example and to convey [48:40] to the team that confidence that you’re going to do your best to get through it. I love the comment that Seth made about being vulnerable, because everyone’s a little nervous right now. I mean, if you’re not, you’re not human. I would really focus on the interaction with the people and with the team, and I think that people will remember that. And you’ll get the very best out of the organization by showing that view  

Kristen McAlister: Now you thought you had it tough, Pete. We’ve left Seth for the last one here to finish up. 

Seth Avergon: So it’s been brought up in other virtual meetups, but I think it’s worth mentioning again, which is the Stockdale Paradox, named after Admiral Stockdale. So from a leadership standpoint, you need to be brutally honest with your people and give them a reason for hope. Those two things will help get your people through.

Kristen McAlister: Fantastic. 

Thank you everyone for joining us today. I think that in these unprecedented times we get to do something unprecedented also, which is to get incredible experts like yourselves together and go through some of those burning questions that CEOs have, and they don’t have the opportunity to sit down with six incredible experts like yourselves. So I appreciate your time and we’ll leave it at that. 

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