CEO Best Practices #10- Market and Customer Knowledge
What does a successful CEO look like?
I am constantly surprised by how many CEOs don’t understand what the job of the CEO is. It isn’t until they are in the role for a while that they begin to understand just how unique the job is and what it entails. Which brings me to the next skill set of CEO Best Practices: Market and Customer Knowledge. Understanding the market doesn’t mean you have to also be the CMO, but as a CEO putting in the effort to educate yourself about the market and customers helps make better decisions and ultimately drive the company in the right direct.
A CEO can learn and educate themselves about the market in three ways:
1- Knowledge About the Product- How do you do what you do in the business?
2- Learn About the Customers- It is always great if employees have experience in the customer seat, which helps them when dealing directly with clients.
3- Understanding the Competitors- Always try to reach out to competitors and collaborate to make the pie bigger. Especially when you are trying to bring awareness to your market.
Master these areas, stay active out in the market, and be visible.
The power of understanding the customer goes a long way. For example, I took a job at AMD to manage the relationship with IT vendors. After I left AMD, I started another business that revolved around dealing with IT vendors. It is because of the experience gained that I was able to have a better understanding of the buying process and the complexity of it.
Many CEOs often don’t understand the complexities of how their customers buy. You can make a lot of assumptions in that area, but they’re usually incorrect.
A CEO’s best practice of Market and Customer Knowledge makes my list of top CEO skill sets. I constantly talk about why a CEO should learn how to predict where their company is going and the awareness of what lies ahead. Being able to make correct assumptions in your market helps a CEO drive the direction of the company in the right direction.
“A leadership culture is one where everyone thinks like an owner, a CEO or a managing director. It's one where everyone is entrepreneurial and proactive.”- Robin S. Sharma