The CEO That Knows It All

by Michiel Schuitemaker, Featured Contributor

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]H[/su_dropcap]OW THE CEO that knows it all claims to have all the answers and ignores all the reasons why his company is failing to begin with.

The CEO that knows it all by Michiel SchuitemakerLast year I worked with two different CEOs that both fit the description of the “CEO that knows it all” perfectly.  These two CEOs had a surprising amount of things in common. Both companies were failing and courting another round of investors, both had spectacularly missed the forecasts after the first round of investments as well as the second round and both still had the same Founder / CEO at the helm with an optimistic outlook. To pull off a second round of investors after blundering the forecasts is a feat but to do so a third time would be a miracle in my opinion. With such a track record, who will believe in yet another rosy forecast?!  Who would believe in this CEO that knows it all but keeps failing miserably?

Both companies contacted me for help in finding additional funds and discussing changes within the company that would position them better for another round of funding. What I found remarkable is that after several months of working with both CEOs, neither one implemented any of the real changes we had discussed as necessary. One particular bafflement was that both companies were still investing in research that would not bear fruits for years to come. We agreed that the company more than likely will no be around by then anyway at the rate of the losses being incurred so why invest in products for a future that will never see the light of day? Both CEOs agreed but ultimately didn’t take any action. Both CEOs were committed to developing new products and were already selling their customers on the future products to come. Could this be the very problem why they were close to bankruptcy to begin with?

How are you running your company? Do you have a proper balance between short term goals and long term ones? Are you keeping an eye on the bottom line to ensure profitability without sacrificing the future of your business? Any business only exists by the grace of it’s customers. Without customers, there is no business but without profit, there is no business to provide the goods and services to your customers with. So you have to be profitable otherwise a business is not sustainable. This is the balance to find.

If your business is failing, the CEO is clearly to blame, he is the captain of the ship.  If you have a CEO that knows it all that can’t manage to run the business properly, it’s time to look for a different CEO.  Your business might be perfectly fine with another person at the helm.  Try that first, you might be amazed at the results.


Michiel Schuitemaker
Michiel Schuitemaker
MICHIEL thrives on figuring out how to turn good companies into great ones. He focusses on building lasting organizations and consistently benchmarks his views against those of companies considered “best in class”. “It’s like a giant complex puzzle. Sometimes it’s frustrating but what reward when it all comes together!” His highest profile turnaround was machine tool builder Cincinnati Incorporated. Michiel started, partnered and managed companies from start-ups to a $110M+ manufacturing company. His passion is finding ways to optimize a business. The exercise always starts and ends with the customers. Ever since Michiel started working, he has worked with products that have a mechanical aspect to them. His strong mechanical background gives him the unique ability as a CEO to be involved from the design of a product all the way through the sale of it. He loves racing cars, flying airplanes / helicopters and lives in Miami Beach.

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