Between hunting new clients, managing staff, and providing quality control, entrepreneurs often work more than 80 hours a week and are too busy to think about where their companies are going. It’s called working in the company, and no way to grow. To do better, the entrepreneur has to step off the treadmill and work on the company. Teaching entrepreneurs to do that is the motivation behind CEO Leadership Forums.
Started in Orlando two years ago by Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services, CEOLF is a free program that lets entrepreneurs learn best practices from experts, talk business nuts and bolts with non-competing peers, and benefit from trusted advisors in an academic setting.
South Florida’s first CEO Leadership Forum launched in mid-April at Miami Dade College’s Idea Center. Damian Thorman, MDC Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, welcomed the initial group of 12 CEOs, six sponsors, and five MDC students as well as business leaders and college faculty.
MDC will also host the next three quarterly CEOLF workshops while the participating students will each receive a $2,000 scholarship at the end of the year.
Miami-Dade Beacon Council is a founding sponsor of the CEOLF program. Sheri Colas-Gervais, Vice President, Urban Development and Economic Initiatives spoke about Beacon’s support of small business through its Small Business Committee – several of the attending CEOs are members.
The CEOLF launch was a showcase for Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services. South Florida CFOs Seth Asofsky, Joe Pivinski, and Angel Torres attended and were prominent in talking informally with CEOs and other guests.
In the first expert presentation, Russell Slappey, Nperspective’s founder and CEO, made the key point of the entire session. “You always have to be ready to sell your company,” he said. “If someone wants to buy, you need to know what your company is worth.” After his tips on valuation, an interactive exercise helped the CEOs understand it as buyers and sellers.
Maria Palomeque from staffing company AppleOne and also a founding sponsor of CEOLF discussed employee satisfaction and the price paid by the entrepreneur who has to replace a manager. The cost can reach $125,000, making a strong case for better training, not hasty firing.
CEOLF founding sponsor Jody Johnson of Action Coach focused on “the secret sauce of engagement” or the art of fascination. She emphasized that the entrepreneur should focus on his or her personality because “anyone can learn to be fascinating.” Like much else in business and life, fascination comes from training and practice.
The second CEOLF workshop will take place on September 19 at the Idea Center. Go to www.ceoleadershipforums.com to register.