The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q. What is one quality of a great COO?

yec_Anthony Johnson1. OCD-level task management

The world is full of terrible task managers. Task management accountability comes from above. If an entry-level employee forgets a task, his manager catches it. If management forgets, the next person does and so on. But the COO is the last line of defense. Companies can crumble if one wrong task gets past the COO. Would you bet your company on your COO never forgetting a task? You just might be. — Anthony Johnson, American Injury Attorney Group

yec_Kelly azevedo 22. Obsessive organization

Tracking projects, tasks, team launches and so much more requires incredible organization skills. (read more…)

The continued struggles of the Secret Service are a series of failures and performance lapses that have gone on for several years. One person, however, was warning of the decline of the agency well before the Salahis crashed a state dinner in 2009; well before the 2012 prostitute scandal in Colombia; before a knife-wielding man gained entrance to the White House last year; and before the recent episode in which drunk agents drove their car up to the White House and interrupted an active bomb investigation.

Ronald Kessler, a New York Times best-selling author and journalist for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, has written two books and an op-ed piece that have spelled out dire consequences if the Secret Service doesn’t heed the warnings of their continued failures. In his book In The President’s Secret Service,” Kessler warned that without significant changes in the agency and its culture, “…an assassination of Barack Obama or a future president is likely.”

recite-1vk9zkcI talked with Kessler recently and discussed the lessons for business leaders that can be gleaned from the Secret Service’s continued lapses. (read more…)

Winning The Long GameThis article was adapted from “Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future” by Steven Krupp and Paul J.H. Schoemaker. Krupp is senior managing partner and Schoemaker is founder and executive chairman of Decision Strategies International, a consulting and training firm specializing in leadership development and strategy formulation. Schoemaker also serves as research director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In July 2013, 3 million devotees, mostly young, swarmed to Copacabana Beach to hear the newly elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church on his first official tour. The Catholic Church was at a pivotal moment in its history. Brazil has the largest number of Catholics in the world but between 2000 and 2010, the church’s share slipped from three-fourths of the nation’s population to about two-thirds. Pope Francis knew the challenges facing his organization, not only in Brazil but throughout the world. (read more…)

When we think about the makeup of a workplace, tangible aspects often come to mind: location, office space, number of employees, revenue. However, certain intangibles are just as much a part of a company’s identity. Workplace culture tops this list.

Attracting and retaining talent relies heavily on the cohesiveness of worker attitudes, as well as the example set by company leadership. Are employees on board with their management’s vision? Are they motivated to learn and improve their professional skills? Do they adhere to company policies? Although management is tasked with setting the right example for their employees, if they don’t get buy-in, it can be awfully challenging to grow and succeed.

All industries deal with on-the-job safety in some way, whether you’re a 9-5er staring into a computer screen, a crane operator on a construction site or a brewer at a craft brewery. MySafetySign surveyed nearly 500 occupational safety professionals to gain insight into the biggest challenges their companies face when implementing health and safety practices. (read more…)

There are many reasons why executives decide to pivot their companies, but the biggest one is by listening to customers and responding to their needs (faster than the competitor).

In 2007, our customers expressed the need to better govern information across controlled and uncontrolled environments. This wasn’t an area we had previously specialized in, so when we heard this recurring theme from multiple customers, we knew it was time for a change and focus on a new market with a new product. As a trusted partner of our customers, one of our top priorities is making sure we deliver value to them.

There are three main pillars to making a pivot work — Vision, Product, Commercial. Each must have a strong leader who knows how to transform an organization and balance customers, competitors and analysts.

  1. Vision: Someone needs to be tasked with owning the vision. Many times, this is the CTO or CSO.
  2. (read more…)