The CEO is the face of an organization. They receive the lion’s share of praise (and criticism!) for the organization’s performance under their leadership. A new study by researchers at Penn State University and the University of Georgia suggests that corporate-world CEOs have a larger impact on their organizations’ bottom lines than ever before.
This makes personally knowing the executives of companies you work with, or are considering working with, more important than ever. Who are they? What’s their background? And, perhaps most importantly, what drives them to where they want to go?
IntelliCentrics, Inc.’s CEO Mike Sheehan is a great example of someone who went full force after what he wanted. Having a more personal understanding of this executive, his background and his motivations helps employees, corporate partners and customers understand what to further expect from his direction of this multinational security corporation.
In a recent interview with D Magazine, Mike Sheehan explained that by the age of 12 he knew three very certain things about his future: (1) he wanted a career in sales, (2) he wanted to become a CEO and (3) he wanted to have a foreign assignment. He achieved all three of these career goals by the age of 35. Part of his driving force, and what he claims as his biggest strength, is “the ability to go from visual to tactical at a moment’s notice.”
The CEO not only needs to see where the future possibilities lie, but to also have a strategic outline for how they and the company will make such future possibilities into realities. Understanding a CEO’s past goals, such as with Sheehan, and seeing how they were able to turn such visions into concrete reality highlights their ability to do the same over and over again as head of a massive organization.
Company Culture at IntelliCentrics Besides implementing important strategic decisions for the organization, CEOs are the ones who establish a corporate culture and implement team building strategies. Companies can be run in a variety of different ways. The culture of any company can have a massive impact on how it succeeds, or how it flounders and fails. Gaining insight into a particular CEO can help you understand how they might drive the culture of a certain company.
In the same article with D Magazine, Sheehan gave the following account of his most pivotal business moment: “Three years into my employment here at IntelliCentrics, I was standing at a whiteboard telling our chairman how something was going to work, and my egocentric approach hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that I’d stopped learning. I had become that guy who says it’s going to work this way because that’s the way it has always been done. I paused in mid-presentation, turned to the chairman and said, ‘I owe you an apology. For three years I have been pushing my agenda and not learning’.”
Sheehan’s biggest moment came in learning that he continually has something to learn from others, from his managers to his chairman. Implementing a company and team building culture from the top-down that reflects this idea can have significant impacts on how the company is run and where it is going to go. Building a cohesive team that can learn from each other and work together effectively leads directly to business success. And, as leader of the company, it is the CEO’s job to get the best out of his or her employees.
Knowing your CEO, the CEO of a partnering company or the CEO of a company you would like to work with is integral to knowing how the business is being, and will continue to be, run. Finding the right CEO is critical, but it also can be a challenge. But once found, the right CEO will lead his or her employees and partners to a more significant bottom line.

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