Joel Trammell

Joel Trammell

Recent Posts

These 5 Goal-Setting Mistakes Could Be Harming Your Business

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
October 13, 2017

Whether Fortune 500 CEO or founder of a tiny startup, capable leaders use goal setting to focus their teams on the outcomes that are most important.

But goal setting is a complex responsibility, with a host of neurological effects that must be taken into consideration. Here are five very common goal-setting mistakes that I've seen leaders encounter as they create and pursue objectives with their teams.

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Listen to "The CEO Tightrope"—Free

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
October 6, 2017

I wrote The CEO Tightrope because I couldn't find a book on the market that served as a definitive guide to the chief-executive role.

I'm happy to say that you can now listen to all twelve chapters of the audiobook version of The CEO Tightrope on iTunes. Our mission at Khorus is to make our customers the best-run organizations on earth, and I believe that a big part of that equation is an effective CEO.

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Don't Confine Strategic Planning to the C-Suite

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
September 29, 2017

This post originally appeared as a Quora answer.


The CEO will always retain final responsibility for leading the strategic planning process. But increasingly, knowledge workers throughout the organization must be aware of their company’s strategic plan if you expect them to make good decisions.

That includes everyone, including the frontline.

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How the Best CEOs Are Like Great Head Coaches

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
September 15, 2017

I'm always excited by the start of football season. Every coach starts the season believing, or at least hoping, that this is their year.

That is one similarity among many between the role of head coach of a football team and the role of CEO. Both are totally responsible for the performance of the group. When you study the most successful football coaches, you consistently notice their incredible work ethic and attention to detail. They spend hours studying the competition and devising plays to give their players the advantage—the same things effective CEOs do.

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In Praise of Paranoid Optimism

Joel Trammell

Posted by Joel Trammell
September 8, 2017

Every CEO has to find a balance between cockeyed optimism and rank pessimism. For many, the former is the easier trap to fall in.

In 2012, researchers at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business announced the results of personality tests administered to 3,000 CEOs and CFOs, and the results confirmed what I’ve seen over my career: CEOs “have a more optimistic outlook on their businesses and, more broadly, on life than the general population.” The CFOs in the survey agreed, saying that “their CEOs are more optimistic about almost everything in life.”

Most would consider this instinctively bullish take on the world an asset to any CEO. After all, would anyone want to be led by a chief executive who wasn’t an optimist? CEOs are called to envision a bright future and make it reality—and plow through countless roadblocks in the process. It’s a job that requires a consistent orientation toward the positive.

However, too much positivity can inhibit the performance of CEOs and their companies, and every leader must strike a balance between looking on the bright side and focusing on hard truths. Read on to see which approach you lean toward, and to discover the hybrid mindset that suits the CEO role best.

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