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Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Business Executives Do

In this year's highly charged political atmosphere corporations and especially the executives of those corporations are being made out to be villains. As people who don't work hard. Many in our society think that all business executives do, is play golf, take vacations, and make exorbitant salaries at the expense of the public.

In reality nothing could be farther from the truth.

What does the average business executive do? They read. They read reports and articles about their business, and very often they write an article or report. Good business executives read a lot more and have a library of books and other materials pertaining to their business and industry, to their specialty, whether it's sales, engineering, finance, or whatever.

They subscribe to various trade journals and read the financial and businesses sections of various newspapers every day. Business executives produce nothing of value themselves, except by indirection. What they do is manage the efforts of others.

Sometimes they watch others as they manage themselves and hope for the best, but their function is leadership, meetings, visits with suppliers, with dealers and distributors, with members of the financial community.

Talking is the chief job of a business executive. Talking is an exercise of the mouth and tongue and certain parts of the brain, depending on the executive you're thinking about.

Good business executives listen more than they talk because they know they can't learn anything when they're talking. In fact, you can judge the real effectiveness of executives by the ratio of their listening to talking. They listen, asking penetrating questions, and then listen some more. Usually what they are listening to is a proposal that must get their Ok before it can put into operation.

Every sort of productive activity that takes the form of numbers of people working toward a common goal demands a business executive, a director. They are as necessary to humanity as is the importance of the function they direct. Their efforts are directed toward the accomplishment of important goals, and toward those ends, they direct the work of others.

That's what good business executives do!

The tools of business executives are their brains and their words. To the extent that they work to develop both will they know success and the many perquisites of a business executive's job.