An executive delivers advice for CEOs and small-to mid-tier business owners who want to build well-run, valuable companies.
Success doesn’t happen by accident, notes veteran CEO, business owner, and coach Harshberger (Bottom Line Focus, 2010) in this to-the-point guidebook. Instead, “you must consciously think and take decisive action necessary to achieve whatever your definition of success is.” Unfortunately, most business owners “lack a clear vision” and have trouble evolving beyond the practices that initially made their companies thrive but which may not be effective for growth. Accordingly, he aims to push readers to develop a clear understanding of what they must do to optimize their businesses’ operations and increase their value. He begins with a discussion of the importance of leadership and then moves through sections on strategy; tactical review and plans; and execution and accountability. Brief chapters cover topics like how to complete a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis; barriers to business development; the importance of effective marketing; and organizational culture. (A free supplemental workbook featuring exercises associated with each chapter is also available for download.) The author regularly refers to outside experts and sources to support his points, but most worthwhile are the real-life examples drawn from his personal experience as a business owner and coach. More of these stories would be welcome in a book that is sometimes heavy on generalities. Overall, the advice offered is sound, but there’s little here to distinguish the title from others in the crowded business genre. Though Harshberger promises that his manual will “help you change the way you think about your business and your life,” he does a far better job of the former than the latter. Nonetheless, time-starved CEOs on the hunt for clear, actionable tips on how to improve their companies should find value in this deliberately brief volume, which is particularly useful for those who are beginning to think about transitioning out of their businesses and are seeking ways to maximize their companies’ worth.
A practical resource for business leaders looking for strategies to take their companies to the next level of success.