Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Little gray CEO book

Could you distill all of your knowledge into a Powerpoint presentation that eventually turned into a book?  Even if you could, do you think Warren Buffett would read it and pass it along?

Incredible as it may seem, Bill Swanson, CEO of Raytheon has answered (albeit unintentionally) “yes” to both of the questions above.  This article in Business 2.0 extracts some of the important lessons from the little gray book that cannot be purchased anywhere:

  1. You can’t polish a sneaker
  2. Learn to say “I don’t know.”  If used when appropriate, it will be used often.
  3. You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100 percent of what you feel.
  4. Look for what is missing.  Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there.
  5. Never direct a complaint to the top; a serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss on a copy of a complaint before the person has a chance to respond.
  6. Treat the name of your company as if it were your own.
  7. Have fun at what you do.  It will be reflected in your work.  No one likes a grump except another grump.
  8. When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization.  Your perspective will change quickly.
  9. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
  10. When something appears on a slide presentation, assume that the world know about it and deal with it accordingly.
  11. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or others — is not a nice person.  (This rule never fails.)
  12. When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn out, “short them to ground.”

You will note that I have not included explanations or commentary for any of the points — go subscribe to Business 2.0 to get access to the full article; you can do an online only or print and online subscription, and I think it is a very worthwhile subscription.

I’ve done some looking trying to find the Powerpoint presentation that became the little gray book and have yet to have success; if anyone has it and wants to send it to me, I would sure appreciate it and I would be that the guys over at ChangeThis would love to host it.  If you happen to have a printed version that you are willing to part with or make me a copy of, please e-mail me and I will provide you with my mailing address.

Has anyone tried to use their LinkedIn network to get a copy of this?


clarke said...

Hi ya, if you manage to find the presentation then please, please, please, blog about it!

Phil Gerbyshak said...

Awesome stuff! Thank you so much for sharing. This is a great article on leadership that gives us all something to think about! Here's to sharing our knowledge and our network BEFORE we become CEOs!

Anonymous said...

The 25 Items are published here, but I have yet to find the whole book.