Trends at full speed: Rudy Miick FCSI on the four jobs of the CEO

Inspired by an industry conference, our MAS consultant columnist reflects on the realities of the life of a leader

Recently I attended the annual Entrepreneur’s Start-up Conference here in Boulder, Colorado, my home base.  

AI and Tech led the dialogue all week, no surprise. However, the second lead stood out as age old: What’s the role of a CEO?  Not easy or simple. Both themes caused me to pause.       

The message was this:

A CEO has “only” four jobs; forget the 180 other issues that CEO is carrying. The four jobs offered were simple, not easy:

  1. Embody the vision at all times   
  2. Culture drives brand™. Culture is the only thing controllable in real time. How we talk, how we treat each other.  
  3. Hire and retain staff to build an engaged workforce – inspired by the two first points.
  4. Never ever run out of money

These four roles were offered consistently, albeit with nuances, from each speaker. I recognized this list of four. Our world in foodservice is no different. Frankly, growing our consulting companies is no different.     

Point 1

As FCSI consultants, it’s common to have a solution almost immediately after encountering the problem. Themes are so consistent, more often than not, we find ourselves smiling. We respond with, “This can be solved”. 

Here’s an opportunity, remember the CEO challenge. Whatever craziness we’re in these days, do not lose a project because we define something as simple and not much is really seen as simple. We are trained to see solutions where others see problems. It will serve us well to remember this difference in framing the issue.   How do we move with the CEO or the project lead at the speed they’re able to move? I’m betting this skill is going to be ever more important no matter how we move forward. 

I’m reminded of the age-old wisdom, “Meet the client where they are.”   

This brings me to

Point 2

In FCSI we bring best practice, the best product, the best solution to our clients. We do so within the ethics of our Society. We certainly deal with consistent issues, themes and challenges, yet, each solution is uniquecustom built for our clients. I love this about our work, regardless of our focus, whether it is design or MAS. 

Point 3

Back to the start-up; everything around us is changing in real time, right now.

At the same time the themes, the issues, drama, budgets, timeline, continue as always. The only difference is in the presentation.      

What’s consistent?   

  1. We need to provide great solutions on time, on budget, as an effective part of a team.   
  2. We need to do what we say we’ll do.  
  3. We need to ask as many or more questions as we do statements.
  4. We need to continue to be the solid base, able to be trusted always.   

What’s different, or perceived as different?

  • While we provide the most effective answers, post pandemic we also need to mold ourselves to show up:
  • As a coach, not an answer person
  • As an interim officer or team member
  • As a fractional officer, director or manager

Marketing ourselves as consultant is something to pay attention to. If the CEO has four jobs, how we position ourselves is worth exploring. Ask yourselves: what are the four or five key “must” outcomes we have?  How is each different than we’ve defined in the past? I look forward to what’s next.   

Rudy Miick FCSI is the founder and president of The Miick Companies, LLC.