Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CEO Says It's Important to Be Paranoid

Ever heard of Kronites?
Your first guess might be that they’re part of the new Star Wars movie. But if you’re dealing with employee management on a regular basis, you might know the right answer: Kronites are the people who keep Kronos, a worldwide workforce management cloud solution company, running.
At the helm of Kronos is Aron Ain, the CEO of the $1 billion enterprise that has tripled its profitability since 2005 and has 20 million to 35 million users every day. It has moved from zero cloud customers in 2005 to some 16,000 customers in 2015.
While it certainly sounds impressive, Ain says he keeps it in perspective by reminding himself that “we’re not working in the ER (emergency room).”
That’s a lesson he says he learned in his early days as CEO.
“Since I’d always reported to someone else, early on I looked for permission too often before moving forward with a decision. The lightbulb went off when I understood that there was no one to ask and that the decision lies with me to act and move the company forward,” he says. “None of the decisions were life or death.”
That doesn’t mean that Ain and his Kronites aren’t pushing the envelope. With customers in more than 100 countries, the company knows the competition is growing and it can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
For Ain, who has worked in nearly every functional department since he started in 1979, the toughest challenge comes “when it’s clear that something isn’t working,” he says.
He says that he’s learned that as a leader he must identify issues or programs “falling off the track fast” and then quickly rectify the problem.” You have to lead and take action as most problems do not work themselves out. Not doing something puts the company, its customers, and employees at risk, so as a CEO you have to be action-oriented. There’s really no other way,” he says.
Another key part of his job is making sure he’s got the right people in place who believe in the company and its mission, especially when it comes to driving change.
“You have to communicate in an open, clear, and transparent manner. Team members can tell when you are being straight with them,” he says, while admitting that it isn’t always easy to get everyone to adopt such transparency.
“It takes lots of reinforcement, leading by example, and encouraging the behaviors that support this kind of environment. When you get this right, the outcomes are magical and almost any challenge can be solved,” he says. “I love it when I see a leader (read more here)

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