Yorkton Chamber of Commerce Blog Items

7 Steps: How to Think like a CEO

7 Steps: How to Think like a CEO

-          Author Unknown

 Since the beginning of the pandemic crisis, much in our lives, both personal and business or professional, has changed.  While cleaning some files, I found this article, author unknown, that I had taken from the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce website a few years ago.  As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!”  Now seems to be the right time to begin taking those steps to think as a CEO.

As a business owner, you should be working “on” the business, not so much “in” the business.  You should be focusing on your company’s purpose, directions, strategy, structure, systems, people, goals and accountability processes.

Your goal as owner is to design and shape a business that serves you and works independently from you – a business that is systems-dependent and not owner-dependent.  You want a business that runs nearly on autopilot and spits out cash.  Instead of shuffling papers or doing the bookkeeping, spend time trying to make your company different, better, more profitable and more systems-oriented.  Like a business architect, try to shape your business to satisfy your vision, dreams and needs. 

To gain greater freedom, fulfillment and financial success, you must function as a leader instead of as a doer.  As a leader, you need to be more strategic, long-term focused and less tactical/technical, day-to-day fixated.  If you don’t focus on the entire business, no one else will.  It will just drift or run aground.  So how you stop thinking and acting like and employee or technician?  Here are seven steps to consider seriously.

  1. First, you should change the metaphor in your head for what it means to be an owner.  Regardless of your industry or size of your business, start viewing yourself as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), not an employee.  Instead of seeing yourself as a role player, see yourself as the head coach or the director, conductor, facilitator or captain.
  2. To help with this mindset transformation, start referring to yourself as CEO.  Print it on your business card, stationary, nameplate, etc.  Using the term CEO will force you to see your company as an entity above and beyond yourself, as a separate and valuable asset that needs to be professionally managed and optimized.  You are not the business and the business is not you.  Spend time and energy helping to build, improve and optimize this asset.  For example, focus on how to grow sales, expand your competitive advantage and increase your value to customers.
  3. Consider that as CEO, you get paid at least the equivalent of $200 an hour to professionally manage this separate entity and valuable asset – your business.  Ask yourself before you touch any task, “Would a CEO do this? Or ask, “Is this task worth me doing at a cost of $200 an hour?”  Don’t spend a dollar’s worth of time on a dime decision or task.  Elevate your vision, thinking and tasks.  Instead of asking, “How can I do a given task”, start asking yourself, “Who else can do this task?”  Learn to delegate often.
  4. If you truly buy into your role as a CEO, you should be willing to give up the urgent, less important, low-value tasks you routinely handle.  Realize that 80% of your results come from 20% of your talents and activities.  Delegate the 70% of your activities that only produce 20% of your results.  Stop doing the wrong kind of work.  CEOS should think, lead and delegate – not handle trivial matters.  Your job as CEO is to design/re-design and grow the business; your managers’ main job is to improve the business; and your employees’ various jobs are to operate the business.  Here are a few more suggestions:
    • No longer major in minor things! Don’t let yourself get distracted by irrelevant, insignificant “stuff”.
    • Don’t let the urgent control your life.  Put you cell phone away more often.  Don’t be a slave to email.  Check it once a day, not all day long.
    • Instead of creating to-do lists, start creating not-to-do lists for you and let go of small things.  Eliminate or delegate the 80% of your activities that produce so little impact for your business.  Share these not-to-do lists with your team.  Put them on notice that you are getting out of the daily detail (usually their areas of responsibility) and start to see and influence the big picture.
    • Quite trying to manage details and start managing your people. Guide their focus and priorities but let them do the work.
  5. Schedule time to think and plan.  You must think deeply about important, strategic matters.  Make time oi get away from the day-to-day distractions and focus on deep thinking, planning and decision making.  Isolate yourself to concentrate on big-picture issues.  Spend time alone digesting all the information you are bombarded with and develop the big ideas to take your business to the next level of performance.  Once a month, schedule a day away from the office to think and plan.  With no distractions whatsoever, put on your CEO hat and spend time reviewing and improving your chief asset – your business.
  6. On a daily basis, reserve the bast bulk of the day to tackle your top 3 priorities.  Selfishly guard your time and focus.  Don’t allow your employees to disrupt your CEO-oriented priorities and actions with countless got-a-minute interruptions.   Allowing such conduct creates an environment whereby your time is not valued and respected.  It also creates unproductive days, a reactive business mindset and employees that are overly dependent upon you for everything.  Stop these got-a-minute interruptions.
  7. Whatever your technical expertise, consider hiring someone else to handle such technical and tactical works so that you can escape the stranglehold.  For example, if your background is selling or accounting, hire a competent sales manager or accounting manager to manager such day-today details.  If you already have such employees on your payroll, then for goodness sakes let them do their jobs!  Get out of their zone of responsibility.



Yorkton – A Good Place for Business

At the Business Summit in March, key note speaker Ben Voss, CEO & President of Morris Industries, challenged the businesses of Yorkton to focus on what differentiates Yorkton from cities of similar size.

When we say Yorkton is the place where good things happen, it’s the truth. It’s the hub of east central Saskatchewan. Two railways run through it; four highways lead to it and it has a certified airport. Yorkton is home to the Regional Hospital and a host of medical specialists. Provincial and federal government offices are located here.

Yorkton is a hub for manufacturing and food processing. In recent years, both the Richardson and Louis Dreyfus canola crush plants have expanded their capacity since opening. Grain Millers began an expansion project that will see their capacity nearly double when it’s complete and will add 25 to 30 jobs. Harvest Meats is ramping up its production which will result in the addition of 10 - 12 full time positions over the next 6 months. In the past couple of years, TA Foods has doubled its work force and added the processing of camelina and hemp oil to its line of products. Over the course of the next four months, it will double its capacity in oil production. Leon’s Mfg Company and Ram Industries have been cornerstones of Yorkton’s manufacturing sector for decades.

In the agriculture sector, Parrish & Heimbecker recently built a new Crop Input Centre just north of the city. In the past few years, Morris Industries has invested over $30 million on improving its manufacturing process. It currently exports to 34 countries.

As for construction projects, a large commercial space is in the construction phase on the east side of the city and new restaurants are under construction on both the east and west side.

A number of small businesses have opened over the past couple of years offering a variety of retail and personal services.

Yorkton has 8 elementary schools and 2 high schools. The Parkland College Yorkton campus offers a variety of courses including some 4 year university degree programs and s the home to the Trades & Technology Centre.

In terms of tourism, the Western Development Museum, Godfrey Dean Cultural Centre and Painted Hand Casino are popular with residents and tourists alike. The Yorkton Arts Council’s Stars for Saskatchewan attracts people to Yorkton from all across the Region. The Yorkton Cardinals of the Western Canadian Baseball League, attracts players from all over Canada and the United States as they play summer collegiate baseball. And the Yorkton Terriers have attracted people to Yorkton for years. The Film Festival, Summer Fair and the upcoming PowWow are also large economic drivers in the city.

A safe community, Yorkton hosts a variety of sport, recreation and cultural activities. It’s a beautiful city with parks, hundreds of trees and in the summer, dozens of planters of flowers.

Investors like places where there is optimism and the appearance of prosperity. It’s time to talk about all the positives in Yorkton. Show your pride in Yorkton by sharing all that is good in the city. Yorkton – it’s a place where good things happen!



While You Worked in Your Business, the Chamber Worked for You

A membership in the Chamber of Commerce is an investment in your business. While you’re busy working to grow and expand your business, the Chamber is at work to make sure the business climate is the best it can be. As the “voice of business in Yorkton”, the Chamber has undertaken a number of advocacy efforts on behalf of the local business community and offered a number of educational and networking events. Below is a summary of 2019’s highlights:

Advocacy - Informing the various orders of government when policies or legislation are having an impact on the business community:

  • Met with City Council twice; Met with Cathay Wagantall, MP; Met twice with Hon. Greg Ottenbreit
  • Letter to MP and Senate re: the need for the construction of the oil pipeline
  • Letter to MP and Canadian Chamber of Commerce re: the need to resolve the trade disruption between Canada and China which is negatively impacting sales of canola and other agricultural products important to eastern Saskatchewan producers
  • Letter to MP and Federal Government and Senate re: carbon tax on energy to dry grain,
  • Letter to Mayor & Council re; supporting the need for a roundabout at Darlington and Mayhew
  • Letter to Hon. Lori Carr re: funding to the Yorkton Regional Airport through the Community Airport Program
  • Attended each City Council meeting to keep informed about the City
  • Advocated for local businesses on a variety of issues

Education & Networking Events for Members - A number of events were held to enable businesses to network and to learn:

  • Highly successful first ever Business Summit was held
  • 21st Annual Chamber Business Dinner with John Gormley also a big success
  • Two Chamber on Tap events with guest speakers Wayne Rusnak and Dave Nussbaumer
  • All Candidates’ Forum held for the Federal Election
  • Profiled the young entrepreneurs from the YRHS enrolled in Junior Achievement
  • Guest Speaker Roy Prevost shared ideas on creating customer service stars
  • The RCMP and Fire Protective Services talked about their initiatives in the City
  • Business Lunch Speakers included Hon. Donna Harpauer, Minister of Finance to speak about the Provincial Budget; The Mayor delivered his State of the City Address at the Chamber’s AGM; Ryan Meili, Leader of the Opposition and Trent Wotherspoon shared their visions for the province; Guest speakers from the Global Transportation Hub; Regina Airport Authority; Sask Health Authority; and SAMA
  • Presentation of 4 Honouray Life Memberships
  • Videos of members on YouTube and Facebook
  • Recognition of 20 – 25 year Chamber members
  • Met with Zagime First Nation; Visited Kahkewistahaw First Nation
  • Met with new Parkland College CEO Mark Hoddenbagh
  • Presented a Scholarship to a student enrolled in Business Admin at the College
  • Began the Chamber Book Club
  • Signed the Sask Health & Safety Leadership Charter



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