Thought for the Week: A Focus on the Future

Change behavior, not people. Change processes, not standards. Change results, not goals. Mike Ferretti, CEO, Great Harvest Bread

CEO Report CoverThe year 2011 is rapidly coming to a close and, while it’s somewhat artificial to consider January 1st, 2012 as a special day where we are allowed to change, it is still a milestone that causes us to reflect on the past and plan for the future.  New Year’s resolutions are a tradition where we reveal our intent. By itself, a resolution doesn’t change things, but it sets us up to go on record with our priorities for the coming months.

Northwood University has just published my newest “CEO New Year’s Resolutions:  A Focus on the Future” for 2012.  It’s a free report that you can read or download by clicking on the link above or by visiting and choosing the button at the top left corner on their homepage.

For this report, I contacted 50 CEOs of a diverse collection of organizations. These include franchise organizations like Great Harvest Bread listed above, large company CEOs like Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Jere Brown of Dimension Data Americas, non-profit CEOs like William Jones of Focus Hope and Viveka Rydell of PDI Surgery and leaders of tech companies like Andrew Schrage of and Sam Shank of HotelTonight. There are manufacturers represented like Ron Beebe from Euclid Industries and community organization leaders like Mike Woody from the Midland Tennis Center as well.

While this is not a statistically significant sample of all CEOs nationwide, it is still interesting and informative to see the consistency of the message in this report. As you read it, you get the impression that the leaders of many of our organizations are not cowed by current economic and political conditions but are instead focused on bringing growth and stability to their business in order to benefit their shareholders, their employees and their communities.  As I say in the introduction to the report, these business leaders also don’t represent the “1%” nor do they represent the “99%.” Instead, they represent the heart of American free enterprise.

I hope you find the time to check out the report. I would love to hear your feedback and comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply