The New Normal: CEO Tips You Don’t Often Hear

  1. For private companies contemplating an IPO, be certain you want to be public for a long time. Don’t look to the IPO as an “exit,” rather as a “partnership” with public investors.
  2. While it takes guts for CEOs to commit to long-term planning, it is crucial to do so, since public investors are more short-term oriented than ever. You have to give them reasons to stay.
  3. Shareholders are quite a diverse lot, although they often like to present themselves as uniform. In order to secure their confidence and their votes, you must know more about your investors than they know about you.
  4. Public company CEOs have gotten fat and lazy in terms of compensation, helped by so-called professional comp consultants. But compensation in the public company today, ever the topic of cocktail banter, is much more like the private equity approach with its specific metrics and goals—at least it should be.
  5. There are two kinds of board members, those who “get it” and do the work, and those who don’t, instead keeping their hands clean and hiding behind not wanting to “meddle” as an excuse to stick their nose into things. The time required to properly serve on a board today is at least five times what it used to be.  Meddling required.


Roger Pondel,

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