Secrets of the CEO’s Ingenuity

Secrets of the CEO’s Ingenuity


By Travis Jones – CEO of Career Development Partners

As a follow-up to recent blogs on taking the journey up the “C-Suite Ladder” we will focus on two in this posting.  In a recent study of CEO’s, the number one skill which would bring the most value to an organization was “Business Acumen”.  Buckle up it is going to be a fast ride up the next steps.

Rung ThreeLearn to crunch the numbers.  Do you know what makes your organization profitable?  How profitable does it need to be to sustain its existence?  What are the factors over which you have control, and how can you influence those factors?  Do you know the difference between EBITDA and EBSA and ERISA?

Understanding the business is critical in today’s corporate environment.  In most companies HR controls the largest segment of the budget, the Human Capital Investment.  Learn to quantify the value of the metrics your C-Suite is interested in, in terms of time saved, problems eliminated, risk reduced, revenue increased or costs removed.  Ask your company’s financial staff to help you prepare and present complex financial information. Collaboration with those that know will build your credibility within your organization. As an HR professional you are helping others within the corporation to think profitability.

Without a clear understanding of how to positively impact those investments to influence the financial health of the organization, you are simply sitting on the sidelines letting others make the critical decisions.  To gain a seat at the table you have to be able to think, act and make decisions like the inner circle.  Don’t think of yourself as a Human Resources Executive that works for a company, think of yourself as a Corporate Executive who happens to work in HR.   Take ownership of organizational results and know what you are talking about.

book-minRung FourInvest in your skills.  If you don’t understand the financial side of the business, take the steps to learn.  What are the skills that will make you more successful?  Financial acumen?  Project management?  Leadership – creating a vision, motivating others to that vision and building teams to accomplish the vision?  There are numerous opportunities to gain this knowledge. Invest in yourself as you invest in others.

Every employee in the organization is expected to be on the cutting edge of his/her profession.  The financial staff is expected to understand finance in today’s terms, not what was current in 1995.  The sales staff needs to understand the market today, not 2002.  Everyone has to be current in the latest technology, systems and thoughts for your organization to remain competitive, this includes HR.

Become a life-long learner.  Read at least one current book each week, read two professional journals a month; attend at least one professional meeting each month.  But, don’t limit yourself to just HR related titles; you have to understand the workings of business, your industry, and your competitors.  We will discuss more of this as we continue our Steps up the Ladder.

Bruce Riggs, the President of Perform One Training, says that everyone is in sales.  Just think about that statement. Invest in some sales coaching.  Bruce shared with me that if you are meeting with someone and they would be willing to pay you for your time because of the knowledge and insight you have just given to them, then you understand the nobility of what you are doing.

Find a coach, if your company won’t invest in your career by providing a coach invest in yourself. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, will tell you that every successful person in the world needs to have a coach. Good advice from one of the richest men in the world.  You are worth the investment.

Coaching today gives employees a level of competence that sets them apart from the average.  Most companies today are willing to invest in employees when they know they want to learn and contribute.  Our company, along with many others in our market, has a stable of coaches and the prices vary depending on the level of the need.  Consider investing in yourself.  Give me a call if you have questions and let us help you grow in your value to your company.

Talk to me about other resources for keeping up with the C-Suite

Please call my office for a free one hour consultation. 

Travis Jones

Travis Jones


Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter.Travis is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI. He serves on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 220 offices.

Prior to Career Development Partners, Travis served as President of Personnel Consultants, a professional staffing and placement company which consisted of 6 offices located in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Under his leadership, Personnel Consultants was the recipient of Inc. Magazine’s Award for the 135th fastest growing privately held business in America in addition to being named by Oklahoma Business Monthly as one of the best companies to work for in Oklahoma. He sold the company in October 2005 to PeopleLink Staffing and purchased Career Development Partners in November 2005.

Travis serves on the Elder Board at Tulsa Bible Church, on the board of New Life Ranch and is a proud member of Tulsa Executives Association (TEA) and is active with several other organizations serving the community and beyond.


Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Travis Jones

Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter at Career Development Partners.

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