How does someone get asked to be CEO of so many iconic brands in a wide range of industries? What was he able to do successfully to run all these companies?
On The Small Business Radio Show this week, Frank O’Connell, served as president of Reebok Brands, president of HBO Video, and CEO of Indian Motorcycle. He is the author of “Jump First, Think Fast: An Unconventional Approach to High Performance”. Frank is known for his unconventional approach for high performance through his strategic thinking, brand building, breakthrough marketing, and new product ideas
First, I talked with Frank about how he got asked to be the president of all these diverse brands and why he agreed. He explains how he stepped in at the top of each of these companies and what it takes to lead a new team. One of the first things Frank does is let go immediately the people that don’t get on board with the new strategic plan. He mentions how he was able to adapt his skill set from industry to industry and how these experiences helped him innovate in each company he worked with.
We then discussed his new book, “Jump First, Think Fast” and the significance of the title. Frank is a firm believer in the need to take risks to build careers and businesses. He discusses why risk-taking so essential and how to determine which risks to take when.
A theme that runs through Frank’s career involves the lasting relationships you have built. He gives advice about building long term relationships even when they don’t start off well.
Frank discusses the importance of leadership communication in the workplace. He notes that sometimes formal communication essential and when more informal, “around-the-water-cooler style” of communication is appropriate.
Franks says that leaders and organizations need a strategic plan that everyone in the organization understands and works toward fulfilling. He shows the best way to develop a strategic plan and what happens when there is no plan to most companies.
Listen to my interview with Frank on The Small Business Radio Show.
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That is an eclectic mix of companies, but if you’ve got the right skills it can work in any industry.