Wishlist: 5 Mid-Market CEO Must-Haves This Holiday Season

I know what you’re thinking. Despite it all, you’ve had a decent year. You deserve a little something for all that hard work. That gorgeous Callaway FT-5-TH driver, for example, would be pretty sweet out on the links. Okay, Tiger, that’s fine… if you’re somehow connected to the PGA.

But how about if your business is something a little more challenging, and even more competitive, like manufacturing, IT, or telecom? What if you’re a growth or mid-market company and you don’t seem to be growing the way you’d like or you’re not sure what the next steps are to get to that next level?

Well, here’s what we think savvy, mid-market leaders should have on their holiday wish lists this holiday season:

1) Enterprise Contour Maps

No fancy electronics here but plenty of state-of-the-art cartography. Do you know what drives value in your company? Which areas of your business make your enterprise stronger, more resilient, more valuable?

There are 90 different dimensions of value. An enterprise contour map helps you find your highs, your lows, and how you and the rest of the team view the elements of your business that build value.

2) Motivation Positioning System (MPS)

You won’t find these on the shelf at Best Buy and Amazon.com doesn’t carry them.

One of the most important things you can do is rediscover your company again. What really motivates you about this business you bring yourself to five, six, and yes, sometimes, seven days a week?

If you and your team don’t know why you do what you do, you clearly don’t know what you’re doing.

Reconnect with your passion. It’s the fuel that drives your business and builds value like nothing else can.

3) Marketplace Assessment

This season get real about the marketplace you operate in every day. Assess where your threats coming from. Determine which threats you’ve overlooked. Find out what your strengths are and how you can leverage them to enter new markets or develop new products or services for your existing markets.

4) Value Builders

Don’t wait for Christmas morning to open this gift. Right now, start figuring out three ways your company can build value.

Take inventory of how well you and your organization pay attention to those three key drivers. Be honest in your assessment. Be transparent. Now, focus on execution.

5) Find Your iPod

Well, not your actual iPod. Not too long ago a company CEO whose products were expensive, stylish, and commanded top-dollar from their loyal following astonished the world by deciding to place a huge bet on a complete unknown, something out of their market altogether.

He faced the usual chorus of naysayers, doomsday predictors, and other more politely couched suggestions that it was time for him to go tinker in someone else’s garage on his own dime.

The CEO was Steve Jobs (recently named Fortune’s CEO of the decade) and the product was, you guessed it, the iPod.

What did Jobs know that no one else knew? He knew what drove the value in his business, then, he followed those drivers straight to the top of his game.

And, he did it without that Callaway driver. You, on the other hand, can indulge. Once you’ve taken care of this list first, that is.

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