The CEO of Parlevel Systems, Luis Gonzalez, recently wrote a blog regarding his thoughts on what other experts in various industries say about being a CEO and a successful vending opeartor. In essence, in his opinion, there is no “one type fits all” kind of CEO. Any leader of a company has to be the leader the company needs. The same is true for a vending operator.
This is important because there are many leaders in the vending industry, and they receive all kinds of advice about how to better run their businesses and organizations. A vending operator attains success by knowing which advice to listen to. Gonzalez says that a lot of the advice is not worth listening to, but the people one works with are whom leaders should focus their attention:
Everyone has an opinion about what a CEO should be. There are hundreds of experienced VCs, CEOs, and self-proclaimed “executive gurus” writing about the most important skills a CEO should have or what a CEO should do to succeed. There are many articles that proclaim to know “the 7 things a great CEO must have” or authors writing that “if one does not have a specific trait, he or she is not going to be a great CEO.” I can’t tell you how much I dislike to hear statements like the last one – “If you don’t have this, you can’t be that”. They do nothing more than to diminish this position into a single close-minded way of thinking: “Follow this advice or fail.” It’s too black and white, not abstract enough to understand the complexities of the position and the problems CEOs face on a daily basis. This is why I would like to share a few practical options for real CEOs out there to consider:
Every company is different
When you hear or read about what you should do as a CEO of a company, understand that every company has different needs. People might say that a good CEO should always be the best at recruiting people, but perhaps your co-founder or your COO is pretty good at doing that. Should you give up or feel bad because you are not going to be a great recruiting CEO? Worse, should you take over that role knowing that someone else on your team is better at recruiting than you? Understand that your company needs the best of the best, but because an expert says one thing does not mean your company is doomed to failure. At the end of the day, the truly good CEOs are the ones who put selfishness aside and let their teams grow and do what they excel at doing.
Do what you company needs you to do
“A CEO is responsible for this, that, and more of this”…classic. There’s one thing I’ve seen good CEOs always do: they are responsible for everything that happens to their companies. Period. They have the sense to take responsibility and move on to fix the problem. When things go right, people will congratulate them, and the CEOs will clarify whom should they congratulate for the achievements. Understand that you can’t be good at everything; you need good talent and skilled people around you. You also have to identify what your company needs from you, not what your title says you should do. Your company needs funding? Go out and raise money. If your CFO is better at doing that, let him take the lead. Remember, it is what your company needs from you, not what you need from your title.
Your title is a set of responsibilities not status
Yes, I get it; management structures have to be in place. Regardless of the type of open-door policy you might have, knowing whom to talk to and whom to follow is always going to be healthy for your organization. But remember that your title can be as helpful as much as destructive. When you start seeing your title as a status rather than a set of responsibilities, people stop giving you constructive feedback. Your opinions become orders, and your team’s ideas start to disappear. It would not matter how much talent you bring to your company because at the end of the day, your status-blindness will kill it. You have a job with a fancy name, thats all. Get to work, and start collaborating with others; that’s what your company needs you to do.
I can go on and on, but I assume you are a busy CEO and needs to get back to work.
Even if you don’t necessarily see yourself as a CEO, it is easy to simply substitute “CEO” for “vending operator”. As you can see, many qualities are essential in becoming a successful vending operator. A vending operator must have leadership skills, a vending operator must be accountable and organized, and a vending operator should be committed.
What are your thoughts on the blog post? Is this useful advice for a vending operator? What are some challenges that CEOs or a vending operator must face in the vending industry?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. We add more to our vending resources regularly in an effort to provide you with the tools you need to succeed.