Sample Program Copy
You are the CEO of You Inc.
In this era of mergers, re-engineering,
and constant change, you can no longer rely on your current employer
to guarantee your success and security. You must take new responsibilities
for managing your own career. In this session you will create
the first draft of your Business Plan for YOU, INC. -- a fresh
framework for achieving your goals of fulfillment, service, and
Scenario and Client Responses
This scenario of Ron Gross' presentation
"You Are the CEO of YOU, INC." appeared the February
1999 issue of CONVENE, the journal of the Professional Conventional
I start many of my presentations these
days by showing the audience an old-fashioned gold pocket watch
on a chain. It's a cheap replica of the one my father received
when he retired from his company after 27 years of "faithful,
loyal, and exemplary service." I have the original on my
desk at home -- a reminder of an earlier era in American business.
I lay the replica down on top of the podium,
and smash it to bits with a hammer. "Those days are over,"
I point out.
Then I cite the data for their industry
or profession, about the kind of volatility they must anticipate
for the rest of their careers. Whatever field you are in, one
thing is clear: waiting for your gold watch is no longer a viable
If your work-life follows the norm, you're
going to be in for a bumpy ride. In the course of your career,
you will have at least eight different positions in five or more
organizations, and one or two complete changes of field.
The only choice we have is how we handle
that prospect. You can (1) figure you'll just endure, adjust,
wriggle, cope, and hope to survive, or (2) capitalize on this
new environment to find opportunities for new kinds of success.
If the second option appeals to you, then
I suggest that you begin to think of yourself as the CEO of YOU,
INC. This "paradigm shift" will enable you to see your
strengths, your opportunities, and your potential in a whole
"Every institution is merely the lengthened
shadow of an individual," said Ralph Waldo Emerson. YOU,
Inc. enables individuals to take advantage of the strategies
which characterize one of the most successful enterprises of
our time: the professional services organizations like Arthur
Andersen and McKinsey.
These companies don't produce cars or buildings
or food -- in fact, they don't even own many "hard assets."
Rather, they rely on people -- their talents, drive, and integrity
-- to produce their tremendous revenues. YOU, Inc. is a one-person
professional services firm.
As CEO of YOU, INC., you command six major
divisions of your company:
1. Vision and Mission
2. Marketing and Sales
3. Intellectual Capital (Knowledge and Skills)
4. Customer Service
5. Public Relations
6. Research and Development (Innovation and
YOU, INC. need not imply self-employment
. Almost all of the audiences to whom I present this strategy,
are employed in large organizations ranging from HMOs and law
firms, to major corporations and entrepreneurial enterprises.
Thinking of themselves as CEO of YOU, INC.
empowers them to see opportunities both within and outside of
their present organizations. "Becoming the CEO of YOU, INC.
can be an important step in becoming CEO of your company,"
says Rucker McCarty of Heidrick & Struggles, one of the nation's
foremost executive search firms.
This way of thinking helps them answer
questions like: "Should I grab this assignment -- or duck
it?" "Which three aspects of my job should I focus
on with 80% of my energy and time?" "What really gets
rewarded around here?" "Could my skills and strengths
command greater compensation and recognition in another company...role...industry...geographical
area...type of organization?"
And if you do find yourself capsized in
your present employment, this approach positions you perfectly
to find another and even better situation.
For example, John Fiorelli, a senior financial
officer displaced by a merger ("we only need one CFO..."),
was in the audience when I presented this approach to his professional
association in October, l997. At first he didn't find it congenial
to begin thinking of himself as "CEO of John Fiorelli, Inc."
"We accountants aren't accustomed to putting ourselves forward
that way," he explained.
My presentation for your group would feature a comparable case-study
from YOUR field, industry or professsion.
But over several months he realized that
he was the only qualified candidate. "When I began to look
at my personal assets using this framework, I found it tremendously
energizing. I could see where my strengths were, and how I could
market myself, develop myself, and use other people in more productive
John designed a career development plan
using the six strategies listed above. It went far beyond a "job
search." He began by clarifying his vision of where he wanted
to go next in his career.
Then, he identified the new knowledge and
skills he needed -- and how he could get them without leaving
the work-force to go back to school (he's got two kids entering
Using his leadership skills, he activated
others to work with him on achieving shared goals. He has found
assistance and inspiration everywhere -- his teen-age son, for
example, helped him harness unexpected creativity and marketing
skills to create a web-site for John Fiorelli, Inc.!
Within eleven months (one month short of
the average for his field and salary bracket), he had landed
another CFO position -- one in which he is gaining exactly the
experience he needs to move, in two or three years, to his ideal
Now, John mentors others in this
approach. He has become known in his field as "CEO of John
Copyright © 1999, Ronald Gross
& Speaker Video