This industry has seen a volatile 2016 and you can clearly see why I invested in top shelf leadership back in 2012. Events like those many pawnbrokers have unfortunately gone through this year can be avoided by, not only having great products and services, but by having great leadership. As you have probably seen through the social media and social proofing from PawnMaster clients, our leadership is constantly being praised for being caring and assertive for the PawnMaster client and we do this for one reason… To put them in the best possible position for success.
Knowing when to take your company to the next level can be a very taxing decision, but if done correctly, it can prove to be fulfilling and profitable. You may ask yourself questions like, "When do I open up that next store?", "When do I bring in more experienced professionals?", and when you do this, "how will I transition?". Whether it is opening another storefront, taking on another line of business or bringing in experienced personnel, it all takes careful planning and is certainly not something that is done on a whim. You will want to evaluate your business and/or products, making sure they are mature. You'll need to appraise your processes and operations to make sure they are running smooth. The last thing you would want to do is to try to grow while your business is in a state of disarray or flux.
For me, taking my business to the next level meant cultivating a different culture. It meant bringing in professionals that had the experience and business acumen to get us there. Finally, it meant transitioning this talent into my chair. All of these are vital to the process of transitioning in a new CEO. As CEO you have the pulse of the company at your fingertips; you are present and accounted for 24/7 in every aspect of your business. Myself, living in the business for a quarter-century, I've come to find this second nature. Of course, many of your experiences are derived from real, lifetime business experiences. Counting on quality upper management throughout the company is the key to keeping you informed at all times. You will never want to skimp when it comes to the experience levels of your upper management group and most importantly the person moving into your chair. As a CEO, let’s face it, we all know candidates can tout education and degrees but what really matters is time behind the desk making decisions that count that give that person a plethora of the experience you desire.
So now you have found that individual, what you do next will make or break the transition. Years of knowledge now need to be transferred in a way that this person can take and make it their own. Integrity, business savvy and intellect must be paramount for the CEO stepping in. They will need to show this in their business dealings and decisions they make. They will also need to digest the transfer of knowledge and disseminate that through the ranks. This is not something that can be done overnight but when done correctly, it will allow them to take the reins and move the business forward. This, in concert with world-class customer service and a willingness to listen to our customers and our employees will keep us at the top for years to come.