Show cover of The Lazy CEO Podcast

The Lazy CEO Podcast

This is The Lazy CEO Podcast where Jim Schleckser, author of “Great CEOS are Lazy” and Founder of The CEO Project, features compelling experts and topics for CEOs of mid to large-size companies.

Tracks

The Power of Recurring Revenue and How to Grow Yours
Welcome to another episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, hosted by Jim Schleckser, founder of the CEO Project. In this episode, Jim delves into one of his favorite topics: recurring revenue. He emphasizes that a high degree of recurring revenue is a hallmark of a great business, allowing for better sleep, planning, and overall business stability. Jim defines recurring revenue as contractually obliged revenue over time, distinguishing it from repeat revenue, which lacks contractual commitment. Examples of recurring revenue include cable bills, phone bills, utility bills, and software subscriptions like Salesforce and HubSpot. These services often involve contracts that are hard to exit, ensuring continuous revenue. Recurring revenue provides predictable income, making budgeting and planning easier. Businesses with recurring revenue find it easier to grow as they can rely on a steady income stream and need less aggressive sales and marketing efforts compared to project-based businesses. The concept of Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is crucial here; companies are willing to invest significantly in acquiring customers, knowing they will generate long-term revenue. Recurring revenue models attract investors due to their stability and predictability, unlike project-based models which require constant new sales. Businesses with high recurring revenue often achieve higher valuations, sometimes trading at multiples of revenue rather than profit.
34:32 5/25/24
Building Charity into Your Business
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser discusses the integration of purpose into businesses. Jim shares his perspective that businesses shouldn't abandon their platforms once they've established success but should instead use them to make positive contributions. He references his midlife insights from the book "Halftime," which suggests a shift from success to significance in life's second half, a concept Jim feels could be initiated much earlier in a business lifecycle. Jim introduces Jeff Maine – CEO of Pay Proudly, a payment processing company that not only focuses on providing clarity in transactions but also embeds charitable giving into its business model. Jeff shares his journey of integrating purpose into his business from the onset, influenced by personal experiences and a desire to give back to the community. He explains how his company asks clients about causes important to them and aligns their charitable efforts accordingly, which has become a significant aspect of their business identity.
29:20 5/18/24
The Lazy CEO Podcast - Discover the Power of Delegation
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser delves into the critical topic of delegation within the context of executive leadership. He emphasizes the importance of mastering the basics to excel in any field, comparing it to essential skills in sports like soccer. Jim’s main focus is on how CEOs can effectively delegate tasks to manage their time efficiently and avoid overworking, aligning with the podcast's theme of promoting a 'lazy,' yet highly effective CEO lifestyle. Jim introduces the concept of the "not do list," a strategic tool that helps prioritize tasks based on their economic impact on the business. He explains how this list is used to identify tasks that should not consume a CEO's time, advocating for the delegation of these lower-priority items. He outlines a method to handle such tasks by deferring them, deleting them from the list, or delegating them to others. This approach not only frees up the CEO's time but also empowers other team members. He further discusses the "70% rule" for delegation, suggesting that if someone can do a task at least 70% as well as the CEO, it should be delegated. This rule aims to overcome the common hesitation among leaders to delegate due to high personal standards and self-reliance. By setting this threshold, CEOs can feel more comfortable passing responsibilities to others without feeling the need for tasks to be performed perfectly.
28:01 5/11/24
Take Your Brand to New Heights with Strategic Marketing
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser interviews Nancie Ruder, an accomplished marketing strategist with over 25 years of experience working with major brands like Georgetown University, Nike, and Samsung. Nancie shares insights on the complexities of marketing, explaining it as both an art and a science that requires deep understanding and strategic implementation. Nancie discusses her background, including starting her career in a large ad agency, and her move to establish her own consultancy focused on internal brand development rather than external communications. She emphasizes the importance of internal clarity and authenticity in branding, highlighting that a brand must deliver on its promises and maintain logical consistency with its strategic vision.
32:29 5/4/24
Strategic Planning and Execution
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser explores the complex and often misunderstood world of strategic thinking and execution. He begins by highlighting the sobering statistic that over 50% of strategies fail due to poor execution or deployment. Schleckser emphasizes that strategic planning and execution should not be viewed as separate processes but as a unified one, drawing on insights from thinker Henry Mintzberg. Schleckser argues for the effectiveness of small, strategic teams in organizational planning, suggesting that the ideal group size is around 5 to 9 people. He stresses the importance of including team members who are deeply connected to market conditions and internal capabilities rather than just those with high-ranking titles. He advocates for system thinkers who can understand complex interdependencies within the organization and the broader market.
32:36 4/28/24
Communication Styles and Overcoming the Fear of Speaking Up
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser speaks with Allison Shapira, a former opera singer who now specializes in improving communication styles, particularly public speaking. Though not the founder, she has been involved with the nonprofit Vital Voices Global Partnership. The podcast delves into the universal fear of public speaking, its evolutionary roots, and how public speaking is an opportunity for collaborative leadership. Shapira emphasizes the importance of identifying one's purpose before speaking, whether it's in a meeting, a pitch, or a presentation. This sense of purpose will inform how leaders communicate with their team and other stakeholders. She advocates for consistent messaging that is authentic and inclusive, focusing on the outcome desired from the communication.
34:45 4/21/24
Expert Crisis Leadership Strategies
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser introduces Eric McNulty, an expert on leadership in crisis situations. McNulty, who is the Associate Director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, discusses the importance of understanding energy systems in the workplace and how decisions impact both employees and the broader environment. He emphasizes the power of empowering every level of an organization to create meaningful work experiences. McNulty shares his personal connection to crisis leadership, which began unexpectedly due to a near-miss experience during the 9/11 attacks and continued with a career shift during the economic downturn of 2008. His work focuses on preparing leaders for high-stakes environments where quick, effective decision-making is crucial. He contrasts average operational leadership with crisis leadership, describing the latter as requiring a higher level of performance, akin to competing in the Olympics. According to McNulty, successful crisis leaders maintain calm, gain perspective quickly, and guide their teams effectively through emergencies.
37:55 4/14/24
How to Hire and Work with a Fractional CXO
The podcast episode features an interview with Bill Simmons, the founder of Thrive Business Operations, discussing fractional CXO roles. The host introduces the concept of fractional CXOs, such as CFOs, CMOs, and Chief Revenue Officers, which are hired for specific needs or to fill critical positions temporarily. Bill Simmons explains how his company provides operational support for businesses through fractional CXOs, helping them navigate challenges and improve operational excellence. They discuss scenarios where businesses might consider hiring fractional executives, such as when a company's growth outpaces its operational capacity or when there's a need for strategic guidance and execution. Simmons emphasizes the value of fractional executives in bridging the gap between vision and execution and highlights the cost-effectiveness and expertise they bring compared to full-time hires. The interview explores the role of fractional executives in driving strategic outcomes and the importance of clear deliverables and accountability in their engagements. Overall, the conversation offers insights into the benefits and considerations of leveraging fractional CXOs for business growth and operational efficiency.
32:51 4/6/24
Maximizing Leadership By Understanding The Power of the Organization
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Doug Conant, a seasoned leader with over 40 years of experience, including roles such as Former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, on the Power of People in Achieving Results. Conant shares insights on leadership and teamwork in large organizations. He emphasizes the importance of recognizing the power of the organization over individual contributions and discusses the pivotal role of community and engagement in achieving productivity and fulfillment. Conant reflects on being fired from a job, highlighting the transformative experience it was for him and the realization of the significance of working with others. He discusses the challenge of leaders who struggle to accept help from their teams due to a belief in their own talent, stressing the importance of cultivating a team-centric mindset.
35:57 3/30/24
Tips To Help You Master Difficult Conversations
In this podcast episode, host Jim Schleckser speaks with guest, Sheila Heen, who is an expert in difficult conversations and feedback. Heen co-founded the Triad Consulting Group and has extensive experience in negotiation, including at Harvard Law School. She discusses her journey into this field and the importance of understanding emotions in communication. Heen emphasizes the need to go beyond surface conversations and delve into the underlying thoughts and feelings in difficult interactions. She introduces three internal conversations: the "what happened" conversation, focused on narratives about past, present, and future events; the emotional conversation, addressing how individuals deal with their feelings; and the identity conversation, concerning what the situation reflects about one's self-image. The discussion highlights the importance of shifting from blaming individuals to understanding contributions to problems within a system. Heen suggests focusing on learning from mistakes rather than assigning blame, fostering a culture where feedback is seen as an opportunity for growth. The episode underscores the significance of systems thinking in addressing organizational issues and promoting effective communication and accountability among team members.
41:37 3/23/24
Connecting With Your Audience Through Podcasting
This podcast features Jim Schleckser, host of The Lazy CEO Podcast, introducing Nicole Grinnel, founder of Mic'd Up Booking and Boseman Solutions, as a guest. Nicole shares her journey into podcasting, starting eight years ago, and discusses how podcasting can benefit various types of businesses. She explains Mic'd Up Booking's services, including assisting with hosting and guest appearances on podcasts, and highlights the importance of targeting the right audience for maximum impact. Nicole provides advice for podcast guests, emphasizing the importance of storytelling, authenticity, and preparation. She also discusses leveraging podcast appearances for networking, online presence, and content repurposing, making it a valuable tool for business owners. Finally, Nicole and Jim discuss the potential of podcasting as a marketing tool and the importance of promoting podcast appearances effectively.
32:53 3/8/24
Recruiting, Attracting Talent, and Leadership Development
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Julian, an expert in recruiting and leadership development, to discuss the challenges and strategies for attracting top talent to organizations. Julian, a former head of recruiting at Bottle Rocket and a key leader at Reach Global, shares his insights based on over 15 years of experience in the field. The conversation begins with discussing the ongoing "war for talent" and the evolving recruiting landscape in today's market. Julian emphasizes the importance of understanding and embracing an organization's Employment Value Proposition (EVP) as a key element in attracting top talent. He provides examples of successful EVPs, such as a private ride-hailing service that emphasizes immediate impact for software engineers.
33:59 3/3/24
Happiness in the Workplace
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser introduces Valerie Alexander, an expert on happiness and inclusion in the workplace. Valerie is known for her TED Talk on unconscious bias and her work as a screenwriter for Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. The conversation focuses on happiness in the workplace, with Valerie highlighting the importance of employee satisfaction for retention and recruitment. She emphasizes the need for employees to feel a sense of accomplishment, autonomy, and acknowledgment in their roles. The discussion also touches on the role of managers in creating positive work environments and the impact of happiness on turnover rates. Valerie shares anecdotes and insights to illustrate these points, emphasizing the significance of fostering a positive workplace culture.
38:14 2/23/24
The Inside Out Mental Game of the CEO
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Julian Harris, founder of Julian Harris Services and a former commercial lawyer. Julian shares insights from his experience working with various brands, including Manchester United and Twinings. While their initial plan was to discuss soccer, they delve into the Inside Out conceptual model, focusing on the importance of internal awareness in shaping external reality. Julian emphasizes the role of constant mental chatter in distorting perceptions and suggests cultivating awareness to discern truth from judgments. They explore philosophical perspectives on reality and discuss methods for quieting the mind to access inner wisdom and creativity, including showers as a tool for idea generation. They conclude by highlighting the importance of practice in developing self-awareness to navigate daily challenges effectively.
34:40 2/11/24
Entrepreneurship is an Endurance Sport
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Steven Pivnik, former member of The CEO Project and founder of Binary Tree, a successful company he built over 26 years. Steven, also an elite endurance athlete, draws parallels between entrepreneurship and endurance sports, particularly Ironman competitions. He shares how he transitioned from consulting to developing migration products for email systems, which became a multimillion-dollar line of business. Steven emphasizes the importance of setting big goals and perseverance. Despite challenges, he achieved his goal of competing in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Finally, Steven discusses the process of selling his company and highlights the years of hard work behind the scenes that led to its success.
33:43 1/29/24
Business Transitions and Liquidity Events
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the topic of liquidity events and business transitions with expert Laurie Barkman from the Business Transition Sherpa. Laurie shares her personal experience going through an M&A process as a CEO and highlights the challenges, emotions, and decision-making involved in such transitions. Laurie emphasizes the importance of getting good advice during a business transition, considering it as potentially the largest financial transaction of one's life. She mentions her own involvement in numerous transactions and encourages entrepreneurs to seek guidance to navigate the complexities successfully. The conversation delves into when entrepreneurs should start thinking about a transition. Laurie distinguishes between age and life stage, pointing out that age alone is not the sole factor. She stresses the need to consider external factors like health, family status, and partner issues, which can impact the value of the business and the transition process.
36:00 1/21/24
Preparing For An IPO As An Exit Strategy
The Lazy CEO Podcast featured Jim Schleckser, the host and founder of the CEO Project, in a conversation with Peter Goldstein from Exchange Listing. They discussed the process of going public, specifically focusing on Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Peter, with 35 years of entrepreneurial experience, highlighted the accessibility of IPOs for small and medium-sized companies, dispelling the myth that only unicorns can list on major exchanges. They delved into the advantages of going public, such as increased access to venture capital, liquidity, and a broader investor base. Peter emphasized that IPOs are not exclusive to high-profile companies and provided insights into the changing dynamics of the investment community, with retail investors playing a significant role in public offerings. Discussing the timeline for going public, Peter suggested a preparation period of 12 to 18 months, starting with a financial audit and the establishment of a well-regulated financial system. He emphasized the importance of having a strategic roadmap in place before embarking on the IPO journey.  
35:39 1/14/24
The 4 Ps of Sales Performance
In this episode of the Lazy CEO podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Bill Bell, a partner at the CEO Project and an expert in sales, sales processes, and measurement. They discuss the challenges CEOs face in generating enough sales and the complexities of solving this problem. Bill shares his background, highlighting his experience as a vice president of sales for 15-20 years before moving into the CEO position. He emphasizes the importance of not giving up responsibility for sales, as growing the top line is crucial for overall business growth. Bill started his own consulting practice in 2019, focusing on business development and strategic growth. The conversation delves into the changes in how companies approach sales. Bill notes a shift from making top sales performers into sales managers to recognizing sales as a scientific process, akin to engineering. He discusses the challenges of balancing the roles of individual contributors and sales managers, acknowledging that the skillsets required for each differ. Bill outlines a four-step approach to sales: market positioning, sales process, sales personnel, and performance metrics. He emphasizes the need for a consistent sales process, including lead management, technical sales support, go-to-market strategy, and standardized tools. The discussion touches on the importance of hiring the right sales personnel, understanding their qualifications, partnerships, motivations, and cultural fit. Performance metrics are highlighted as a crucial aspect, ensuring measurement and clarity on expectations. They explore the concept of the ideal customer profile, cautioning against the tendency to see everyone as a potential client. Bill advises narrowing down the ideal client profile, developing a compelling value proposition, analyzing competitors, and establishing a pricing strategy. The conversation also touches on the importance of dominating a market segment before expanding into adjacent markets. Jim raises the question of applying the sales process to different types of sales, such as short-cycle transactions versus lengthy projects. Bill affirms that a process can be applied to both but may involve varying process steps. He shares insights into his experience in an industry with an 18-24 month sales cycle, emphasizing the importance of pipeline management and forecasting. The conversation concludes with discussions on early decision-making in pursuing opportunities, avoiding "chasing rabbits," and the significance of assessing whether a pursuit aligns with the ideal client profile early in the process.
37:58 1/6/24
The Power of Being an Influencer
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser interviews a special guest, the CEO of Glow Tanning Center, who is known for his success in the tanning industry and his viral video that mentioned Schleckser. The CEO shares insights into his business philosophy and the influence he has built. Here's a summary of the key points discussed: 1.     Introduction to Glow Tanning Center: Glow Tanning Center is a National Sun Spa franchise with over 75 locations in 13 states. The CEO, who started as a bodybuilder, originally owned a supplement store before entering the tanning business. 2.     Origin of the Tanning Business: The decision to enter the tanning business came impulsively when the CEO recognized a market gap in Northwest Arkansas. The lack of competition and the high entry cost for new businesses made the tanning industry an attractive opportunity. 3.     Tanning Industry Dynamics: The tanning market has not decreased but has consolidated over the years. The CEO mentions that their strategy involves both building and acquiring locations, making them a major player in the industry. 4.     Competition and Market Consolidation: The CEO emphasizes the difficulty for new entrants due to the high upfront costs, leading to limited competition. Mention of major fitness franchises like Planet Fitness and Crunch Fitness entering the tanning space. 5.     Managing Complexity and Leadership: The CEO discusses his approach to managing a large number of locations, emphasizing the importance of delegation. He believes in creating layers of leadership and making every position replaceable, promoting a culture of continuous improvement. 6.     Social Media Presence: The CEO talks about his social media presence, acknowledging the power of social media for both positive and negative influences. He mentions not paying much attention to others' social media to avoid comparison and emphasizes the need to use social media strategically. 7.     Harnessing Social Media for Business: The CEO shares how his social media presence has positively impacted his business. Viral videos, including an interview that went viral, contributed to brand awareness and business success. 8.     Building Leadership Through Ownership: The CEO discusses his approach to building leadership within the company and mentions an ownership program for employees who prove themselves. The program allows successful employees to become store owners with shared profits. 9.     Final Thoughts on Social Media: The CEO reiterates the potential negativity of social media but emphasizes the need to harness it for positive purposes and to stay focused on personal goals. Overall, the conversation touches on the CEO's journey in the tanning industry, his leadership philosophy, and the strategic use of social media for business success.  
28:37 12/17/23
Building Your Brand Around Talent
The Lazy CEO Podcast features host Jim Schleckser, founder of the CEO Project, discussing crucial topics for leaders, especially CEOs, in a challenging employment market. The focus is on attracting and retaining top talent, often referred to as A players, who can contribute significantly to a company's success. In this episode, Jim interviews Matt Walsh, the CEO and founder of Blue Signal Search, a recruiting firm in Phoenix, Arizona. They delve into the current state of the employment market, addressing the misalignment of expectations among leaders and the challenges in finding skilled talent. Matt emphasizes the importance of understanding the labor market dynamics, such as the lower birth rate, decreased immigration, and the impending retirement of baby boomers, leading to a shortage of qualified workers. The conversation explores strategies for attracting top talent, with an emphasis on showcasing a company's purpose and mission. Matt suggests that educating the workforce about the impact of their roles and emphasizing career growth can be key factors in attracting talent, especially in fields like skilled labor. Purposeful work, according to Matt, is a significant motivator for millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z. Jim and Matt discuss the issue of retention and the changing dynamics of employee loyalty. Matt shares his perspective on non-compete agreements, advocating for a focus on building a strong company culture and providing an environment where employees feel valued. The conversation also touches on the trend of shorter job tenures and the importance of ongoing communication, feedback, and exit interviews to understand and address employee concerns. Finally, they explore the role of employment contracts, especially at the executive level. Matt notes the variety in contract structures, ranging from flexible arrangements to international considerations. He highlights the importance of understanding what top talent truly wants and being prepared for counteroffers when dealing with A players. Overall, the podcast provides insights into the complexities of talent acquisition and retention in a competitive job market, with a particular emphasis on aligning organizational goals with employee expectations.
37:04 12/10/23
Harnessing The Benefits of Travel for CEOs and Founders
In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes a guest from Freedom Travel Systems to discuss strategies for gaining access to lounges, first-class treatment, and VIP travel experiences without breaking the bank. The conversation kicks off with a discussion on the challenges of modern travel, citing changes in airline cost structures, loyalty programs, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eli emphasizes the need for travelers to adapt and find effective ways to enhance their travel experiences. The discussion then shifts to airline loyalty programs and the considerations for pursuing status. Eli suggests that not everyone may benefit from loyalty status and highlights the importance of evaluating one's travel habits and preferences. He advises listeners to assess the specific benefits offered by different airlines and choose loyalty programs accordingly. When it comes to achieving airline status, Eli recommends focusing on one airline if you meet certain criteria, such as flying 30 to 40 times a year with that specific carrier. He also emphasizes the significance of credit card spending in earning points and status. The conversation further delves into the top-tier status levels of airlines, such as Global Services with United and Concierge Key with American. Eli explains the exclusive benefits and experiences that come with these elite statuses, including priority boarding, first-class upgrades, and personalized services. Shifting to hotel status, Eli discusses the major hotel chains—Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG. He suggests that Hyatt offers the best value for points, while Marriott has the largest global footprint. For quick and easy top-tier status, Eli recommends the Hilton Aspire card, which grants Diamond status with Hilton. The episode concludes with a discussion of the benefits of hotel status, such as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and accelerated points accumulation. Eli shares personal experiences of receiving significant room upgrades, including a stay in a $30,000-per-night presidential suite.
33:28 12/3/23
Getting Ready to Sell Your Company?
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the considerations and preparations entrepreneurs should undertake before selling their businesses. Schleckser emphasizes the importance of viewing the process as a trade of asset classes rather than a simple sale. He highlights key factors to address well in advance, including the quality of the executive team, the protection of key team members through contracts, and the necessity of making oneself less critical to daily operations. Additionally, Schleckser delves into the significance of having reviewed or audited financials and the need to present potential upside and opportunities for the buyer to maximize the business's value. The podcast discusses earn-outs and the implications of hanging around after the sale. Overall, the episode provides valuable insights for entrepreneurs contemplating the sale of their companies.
34:16 11/12/23
Transform Your Organization into an Epic Workplace
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Cheryl Lynn Mobley, founder of reCalibrate. Cheryl shares her unique journey that led to the creation of her book, which blends her experiences on a safari with valuable leadership lessons. The conversation revolves around the challenges organizations face today. Cheryl highlights the issue of organizations heading in the wrong direction at a high velocity, often driven by the desire to please everyone. She observes that leaders can feel held hostage by various stakeholders, leading to exhaustion and a lack of clarity in organizational goals. To address this problem, Cheryl emphasizes the need for leaders to make a courageous decision to change the status quo. They should redefine their organization's purpose and be clear about what they exist to do. This clarity will help save time and energy by guiding decision-making. Cheryl also advises leaders to have frank conversations with their teams and commit to sticking with the chosen path, even in the face of resistance. Ultimately, the podcast discusses the importance of leaders being willing to make tough choices and stay focused on their organization's purpose, even if it means some individuals may opt-out. Cheryl's insights provide valuable guidance for leaders navigating the complexities of today's business landscape.
36:57 11/5/23
CEO Stories- Ryan Dahnert, Plymold
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser welcomes Ryan Dahnert, the CEO of Plymold, a manufacturer of furniture and fixtures for commercial service. Ryan discusses the journey of his company and the challenges he faced as a first-time CEO. Here are the key points discussed in the podcast: 1.     Plymold's Business: Plymold manufactures furniture and fixtures primarily for commercial service, focusing on fast-food restaurant chains, travel stops, and more. The company has been in business for 75 years and has been employee-owned since 1992. 2.     Reorganization Process: Ryan describes the reorganization process he initiated after becoming CEO in 2019. At the time, the company had five different business divisions with varying customer bases and product offerings. They decided to focus on what they were truly great at, which was metal frame furniture fixtures combining steel, wood components, upholstery, and laminate materials. 3.     Challenges During COVID-19: The podcast discusses how Plymold navigated the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, their primary clients in the quick-service restaurant industry were severely impacted. However, they adapted by focusing on remodeling and adapting to changing market conditions. 4.     Lease Negotiations: Ryan shares a successful negotiation experience regarding a lease for a facility they no longer needed, highlighting the importance of assessing the unique situation and being assertive in negotiations. 5.     CEO Project Support: Ryan credits his involvement in the CEO Project, a peer group for CEOs, as a valuable source of support and guidance during challenging times. The group provided insights and helped him make critical decisions for the company's future. 6.     Dealing with Tragedy: The episode also touches on the personal tragedy of losing a key team member, which was a difficult experience for Ryan and the company. They discuss how Plymold worked through the grieving process and supported their team during this challenging time. The podcast highlights the importance of focus, adaptability, and seeking support from peers and mentors in navigating the complexities of running a business and facing unexpected challenges.
33:00 10/29/23
Executive Compensation and Contracts
In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast" hosted by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO Project, the focus is on the sensitive and vital topic of executive compensation and contracts. Jim discusses the intricacies of compensating CEOs and executive teams, touching on critical components such as base salary, bonuses, and long-term compensation. He emphasizes the importance of aligning compensation with market rates and strategic goals. The podcast also explores the concept of felt fair compensation and the need to ensure executives feel rewarded for their work. Additionally, Jim discusses the role of bonuses in aligning management and ownership interests, highlighting the significance of transparent and calculable bonus structures. He also touches on the use of discretionary bonuses for exceptional performance. Finally, Jim emphasizes the distinction between long-term compensation and equity, cautioning founder-owners about the complexities and considerations of equity distribution within a company. The episode provides valuable insights into executive compensation and contracts for CEOs and their teams.
36:44 10/22/23
What are the Implications of AI for your business
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO project, welcomes Richard Routh, an expert in the field of AI from Tri 7 Services. They discuss the impact of AI on business, regulations, technology, jobs, and more. Richard begins by explaining the concept of AI, dating back to the 1950s, where the goal was to make machines intelligent like humans artificially. He highlights early AI successes, such as chess-playing programs and the development of speech recognition like Siri and Alexa. Richard goes on to discuss how AI has become a part of our daily lives, from search engines like Google to self-driving cars. He also delves into the recent breakthrough in AI, which involves large language model solutions like GPT-3, where neural networks are trained on vast amounts of data to generate human-like text and responses. Richard emphasizes the enormous potential of generative AI, including advancements in healthcare, business analysis, political strategies, and military operations. Jim and Richard explore why generative AI gains a competitive advantage, thanks to its ability to access and integrate vast amounts of data at a scale beyond human capability. However, they also acknowledge the need for caution, as AI systems can produce hallucinations, requiring human oversight and careful deployment to avoid unintended consequences. They conclude by mentioning the concerns of experts like Elon Musk and the potential risks associated with advanced AI systems like Skynet, as portrayed in popular culture.
37:35 10/15/23
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Raven Solomon, an expert in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Raven shares her journey into DEI, drawing from her experience managing diverse teams early in her career at PepsiCo. She highlights the importance of understanding generational differences and how leadership approaches can vary based on different age groups. Raven introduces the concept of "lead language," where each generation has a primary way they prefer to receive leadership. Raven discusses how Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, emphasizing their desire for transparency, authenticity, and accountability in organizations. She explains the significance of developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy that encompasses the workforce, workplace, marketplace, supplier base, and community engagement. Raven emphasizes that DEI should be seen as a business imperative, not just a moral obligation and that educating leaders about its benefits is crucial. The episode touches on the challenges of getting buy-in for DEI initiatives, with some leaders viewing them as threats. Raven suggests that education, awareness, and a shift in perspective can help leaders see DEI as an opportunity rather than a challenge. The conversation also explores whether DEI training should be mandatory in organizations. Overall, the episode provides insights into the importance of DEI in today's workplace, how it can benefit businesses, and the strategies that organizations can adopt to attract, retain, and engage diverse talent effectively.
38:29 10/8/23
Ultra-High Performance Mindset
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews JV Crum, the founder of Conscious Millionaire, who is known for bringing elements of Tony Robbins' mental state and mindset teachings into the business world. Crum discusses how he helps entrepreneurs and professionals elevate their performance and achieve a sense of abundance. He describes his own journey, including a phase of achieving financial success but feeling empty, which led him to seek a deeper purpose. Crum introduces a model with seven levels of mindset and performance, starting with "Infinite Abundance," where most people operate from a scarcity mentality. He explains that his approach goes beyond conventional high performance and aims to help individuals tap into a higher level of consciousness to unlock their potential. He discusses the importance of shifting one's identity and embracing possibilities to achieve desired outcomes. Crum also touches on the concept of "flow" and the three distinctions of flow, offering listeners an opportunity to explore these ideas further. Overall, the episode explores how individuals can transcend limiting beliefs and tap into their full potential to achieve success and make a positive impact on the world.
37:49 10/1/23
CEO Discussion with Mitch Joel
In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes guest Mitch Joel, a luminary in visionary thinking, digital marketing, and professional travel. They discuss Mitch's diverse portfolio of projects, including his startup, Thinkers One, which connects businesses with thought leaders for personalized thought leadership content. They explore the evolving landscape of remote work and its impact on company culture and productivity. Mitch emphasizes the importance of defining the context of work and suggests that certain tasks are better suited for in-person collaboration, while others can be done remotely. They also delve into the role of social media in corporate marketing, with Mitch highlighting the shift towards a balance between brand storytelling and direct response marketing. He points out that while direct response marketing can yield immediate results, building a strong brand story is crucial for long-term success and differentiation in the market.
39:06 9/24/23
Culture- Measurement and Management
In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, hosted by Jim Schleckser, the discussion revolves around the crucial yet often overlooked topic of corporate culture. Jim emphasizes the significance of company culture and its impact on various aspects of business, including mergers and acquisitions. Jim begins by defining culture as "how we do what we do" and explains that it encompasses how organizations think about their work. He highlights that culture plays a vital role in attracting talent, making partnerships, and determining the success or failure of mergers. He identifies several measurable factors that define a company's culture: 1.     Formality: The level of formality within the organization, encompassing dress code, hierarchy, vocabulary, and communication styles. 2.     Analytics: The extent to which data is used for decision-making, ranging from intuitive decision-making to data-driven approaches. 3.     Transparency: How open the organization is with sharing data, including financial information, with its employees. 4.     Team vs. Individual: Whether the company emphasizes teamwork or individual performance in its culture. 5.     Performance Tracking: The rigor with which the organization tracks and measures individual and team performance. 6.     Innovation and Curiosity: The organization's attitude toward seeking new solutions and continuous improvement. 7.     Frugality: The company's approach to spending and resource allocation, from being cost-conscious to more liberal in spending. 8.     Humor: The role of humor in the workplace, ranging from serious and formal to lighthearted and fun. 9.     Conformity: The degree to which employees are expected to conform to established norms and practices. Jim concludes by emphasizing the importance of cultural alignment in mergers and acquisitions and how mismatches in these cultural factors can lead to the failure of such endeavors. Understanding and measuring these cultural aspects is vital for business leaders to make informed decisions about partnerships, acquisitions, and organizational development.
34:26 9/10/23

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