• Jonathan Bullock

This word separates good CEOs from great ones



Some CEOs stand out head and shoulders above the rest. They approach their businesses differently and generally have a certain presence around them. The rest should aspire to join this league of individuals and themselves become great CEOs. What is it though that sets these people apart?


Well in my experience great CEOs tend to have something in common. That is that they almost always avoid using this one word. The word itself is not that significant but the absence of it suggests a lot about the CEO’s focus and thought processes.


The word is Revenue.


A ridiculously common performance metric in the world of business that should be unavoidable for a CEO to use. So how do they do it?


For a great CEO discussing revenue is almost too specific or too vanilla. They are more interested in storytelling and in embracing a mantra of if you build it the revenue will follow. They focus on the customers and on their solution and how well that solution is being received by the market. This is how they inspire, connect, and engage with stakeholders.


Now, of course from time-to-time people will want something more real from the CEO, some numbers to get into and in this situation, there are plenty of numbers other than the revenue that they can be provided. Metrics like market share, new customer counts and customer retention are far better metrics for telling a story about the company and its products.


TAKEAWAY: As a CEO or executive leader try removing the word revenue from your day-to-day speak. It will be hard. But it will allow you to speak instead about metrics that are more meaningful at defining and determining success. This will motivate and inspire more people, and you may just earn a place as a great CEO.




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