Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Followed My Board's Advice -- And Focused on My Strengths

I heard from a Chief Executive Boards International member that he had taken his Board's advice about an issue facing his company, and that the results far exceeded his expectations. I asked the member, David Dorn, founder of Red Oak Medical, a provider of specialty medical equipment, to write a guest article for Chief Executive Blog, which turned out to be half experience and half testimonial. Here's what David had to say:

"I was reminded at a recent CEBI board meeting of the singular importance of profitability to the survival of my business. It may seem obvious, but with the various challenges facing my company simultaneously, I see in retrospect that I lost focus. Our company had been through a difficult time of declining revenues, and in order to maintain profitability, expenses had to be cut. At previous Board meetings I heard members report on the benefits they experienced in their companies after confronting the difficult issue of letting employees go and taking action in this regard when necessary.

"This has always been a challenge for me. I made the decision to let our Director of Operations go, who was the highest paid employee on payroll and had at one time been a key employee in our organization. The reality in the moment was, however, that we could no longer afford her as a manager. I expected to save money, but what I was surprised to find was that our company actually became more efficient operationally without her in that role. Payroll expenses came more in line, and our internal operations became smoother.

"Another key piece of advice I got from my CEBI Board members was to focus on my strengths, or what I do best – and delegate all other tasks. I brought in a financial controller so I could focus on sales. This resulted in increased revenues in Chicago, our main market area. In addition, we have been able to move forward with our initiative to cultivate new satellite markets. I hired new sales reps to open our first two new territories: Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Both have gotten off to a strong start.

"The guidance and business intelligence I have gotten through my participation in CEBI have been instrumental in helping me to develop professionally and keep my company healthy and growing."

David is not alone. While his own experience may seem obvious to you as a reader, it's likely that something similarly obvious is getting in the way of your company's growth. If you're a CEBI member, bring that continuing obstacle up at your next Board meeting.

If you're not a CEBI member, Click here for information on how to become one.

About our guest author: David Dorn is founder & owner of Red Oak Medical, a provider of CPAP equipment, supplies and services to patients in Chicago, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.
Red Oak's dedicated team of professionals are committed to helping patients derive the maximum possible therapeutic benefit from their CPAP treatment.
Learn more about Red Oak Medical at"

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

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