It’s an interesting phenomenon that every year the media tells us that American business is suffering.
They tell us that our leadership is lacking and that the coming year will be worse than the one before for our business leaders and managers. Yet my experience has been that most leaders see every year as simply a new challenge to be met that may shape their actions to some degree but will not throw them off course.
For the past five years I have validated this experience through conducting a series of interviews with CEOs from companies large and small, public and private, profit and non-profit. These interviews have created an annual CEO New Years Resolutions report that I publish along with Northwood University and the DeVos Graduate School of Management.
Every year I have found that CEOs are realistic but excited about the possibilities of the future.
In fact, most of them will say that they don’t actually construct “New Year’s Resolutions” per se because they are constantly looking at what’s coming and making commitments for the future. And these aren’t small commitments.
Patrick Doyle, CEO of Dominos told me he is devoted to maintaining momentum. “Most importantly, I will be vigilant that we don’t become complacent with our progress and continue to build a team that is excited to drive change.” This is no small task as Dominos now sits as the second largest U.S. pizza chain and the largest in the world with over 10,000 stores in over 70 countries. He not holding back in 2014…he’s going for it bigger and better than before.
Other interviewees in this year’s report include Melanie Bergeron, CEO of the largest independent moving company in the country, Two Men and a Truck. She wants to encourage other leaders to focus on job creation. Mike Ferretti, CEO of Great Harvest Bread Company wants to create clear communication within his organization by eliminating meaningless buzz words from communication with his leadership team and employees. Jerry Yeager of SYM Financial Advisors thinks it’s time to payback his employees for their hard work by providing for their retirement planning with the same services they provide for their high-level clients.
If you have a few minutes you should really read the report that you can find here:
Whenever you’re watching the commentators and pundits talk about how pathetic our corporate leaders are, ask yourself if you are hearing the truth or hearing a limited number of examples that create the tension that the news cycle needs. Great leaders focus not just on their personal success but also on the success of others. And there really are a lot of great leaders around us.