Dear CEO – A Call to Action For Today’s Business Leaders

dear ceo

“Dear CEO,

I hope you are well and had a successful 2010. I know how tough it can be – you have shareholders questioning your decisions; employees questioning your leadership; and customers questioning your product.

In fact, you’ve probably had to deal with so many questions in the past 12 months that the last thing you want to see is another question, especially from someone that may or may not be a fan of your product.

So I’ll try and keep this brief and limit the questions.

As you move your company forward into 2011 and beyond, there are a lot of challenges that are going to come your way. There’s this new fad called “social media”, for example, that everyone and their dog is telling you is the next big thing, and you need to be in it or be out the game.

Thankfully, social media is anything but new – it’s simply a different riff to a very familiar theme that companies have used since time began. You know – great customer service, easy access to solutions for problems, no confusing sales pitches, and allowing everyone attached to your company a say in its success.

I know your company has used this established routine, because your company is one of the better ones that knows how to do business right. Right?

So, instead of telling you how to approach this “new world” in 2011, or ask you what your approach is going to be, I simply have one question (see, I told you I’d keep it short).

When will you deliver?

  • When will you deliver the innovative approaches you used to be known for, as opposed to just copying your competitors because it’s working for them?
  • When will you deliver the business environment that encourages greatness over generic?
  • When will you ignore spin doctors and advice on what you should say, and just come out and say what you need to say?
  • When will you take a stand with your company and say, “Enough’s enough – we will treat our employees as family. We will treat our customers as family. We will treat our business as the family heirloom, as opposed to the distant relative cash cow.”
  • When will you realize that real success is measured across the board and not what the sales team brought in? Who cares that you sold a million dollars worth of product, when you pissed off half of them with crappy after-service?

Simply put, when will you be the company we know you can (and want to) be?

Okay, I cheated – it was one question and a set of sub-questions. But I only cheated because I care. If your company wins, it means we’re winning – consumers, employees, stakeholders and clients.

And we can’t really ask for much more than that, can we?

Yours sincerely,

Danny Brown.”

This post is my letter to today’s CEO, and my contribution to the new ebook from Gini Dietrich, CEO of leading Chicago communications agency Arment Dietrich.

Entitled “Dear CEO – Letters to the C-Suite from Experts on Vision, Culture, Community and Integration”, the ebook is a collection of one-page letters from some of the brightest minds in the industry. People like Gini Dietrich, Jon Buscall, Martin Waxman and many more offer their views on how today’s CEO can move their business forward. It’s a great read with some thought-generating stuff from a wide collection of expertise.

The book normally costs $40, but Gini has very kindly offered me ten to give away. So… how shall we do this?

I thought it’d be fun for you to let me know what you’d write back to anyone that suggested how you run your company. Even if you don’t run your own business, think of how passionate and protective you’d be, if someone you don’t know from Adam suddenly tells you how to improve it. And leave your reply in the comments.

It could be a response to my post, asking where I get off trying to tell you how to do your job, or it can be to a more general approach if someone came in and pointed out your “failings”. It can be humorous, indignant, stuffy, fun, angry – anything you like (just make sure you use a smiley face if it’s really angry, just to let me know we’re still friends, hehe!).

The ten responses that make me chuckle (or wince!) the most will have the ebook emailed to them. And if you’re not one of the ten winners, you can always buy the ebook directly from Gini over at her Spin Sucks blog.

So – let’s be hearing you!

image: Alessio Bau

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