Experienced CEO Jay Holstine has led several international software companies and currently chairs a Vistage CEO peer group in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. As a growth-oriented CEO, Holstine has formed a CEO peer group of motivated professionals who want to learn from experts and each other as they strengthen their leadership skills. As they gather regularly to learn from experts in each targeted business goal, the CEO peer group, from non-competing industries, also confer with each other and enjoy learning from each other.
As a Vistage chair, Jay Holstine brings expert speakers, professional development, and specific opportunities for growth to his CEO peer groups. He enables them to share and solve their problems with pragmatic methods and incisive analysis from each other, from experts, and from his own industry experience.
“One of the areas our CEO group identified for focus was more efficient decision-making,” Holstine said.
Skillful decision-making is a key to excellent leadership.
“Leaders don’t always have all the information they feel they might need for the kind of decisions they want to make, but high-performing CEOs still make decisions earlier, quicker, and with conviction,” said Holstine. “One of our members said that the pursuit of perfection often gets in the way of important action,” he added.
“We all know that not making a decision is actually a decision by default. The question to ask is if waiting for additional information outweighs the potential damage of delay. The key is in developing a plan, ahead of time, to structure and streamline the business decision process. Most leaders have a collection of experiences that are useful in fleshing out an initial structure of decision-making. Expediting the information-gathering and involving key departments are also critical to the best decisions,” Holstine said. “Interestingly, among leaders who were let go, the reason most commonly given was for indecisiveness, rather than for making a bad call,” Holstine added.
Organizations often miss crucial business opportunities when decisions are over-wrought, over-researched, and delayed. And also when leaders are so afraid of making the wrong decision that they basically abdicate their duty to lead. Part of the decision-making process is an efficient process of gathering and funneling the factors to the appropriate areas of expertise. Each specialty group has experienced insights on key questions and opportunities.
Building a plan of efficient decision-making
Effective leaders delegate portions of the decision-making process to the right subsets of the team. This makes establishing support more natural. It also educates the entire team on the needs of the stakeholders in a major decision. Good leaders have informed and connected managers in place who can efficiently provide rationale for suggested directions toward the decision. The managers and the leader are ideally connected to experts who add to the basis of a decision. With experience, these professionals develop the insight to make more informed and more efficient decisions.
Successful Implementation of decisions
Once the decision is made, gathering support from key stakeholders requires good avenues and methods of communication. It is vital to have thriving channels of sharing the next steps in company-wide decisions. Great leaders know the value of grass-root support and manager buy-in. The role of key influencers is critical at every juncture.
Presenting the case persuasively.
“Ultimately, the personal presentation is an opportunity to win over the people in your organization who determine the decision’s result. The best leaders monitor and finetune their demeanor and body language. They are aware of the unintended communication of expressions, postures, or gestures that might contradict their intentions. They understand that calm composure is essential in good leadership,” Holstine said.
“The best leaders know that the right attitude creates a chain reaction of positive outlooks, dedication and better results. Effective leaders inspire confidence in the workforce by bolstering the mood, emphasizing the benefits of the work to be down, and clarifying the rewards. They also are quick to give credit to their team and their workforce,” Holstine added.
An excellent team and effective delegation enables a company’s best work
“The most effective leaders motivate, encourage, and inspire their workforce by understanding that partnerships and relationships are the building blocks to energizing teams to succeed..
Executive leadership is always working toward hiring the right people who map well to the company’s core values and culture,” Jay Holstine said.
Vistage is helping its members identify the attributes needed, and potential sources, and ultimately the confidence to put the right people in the specific roles, and let them exercise their skills and unique abilities to enable a leader to navigate the current economic landscape of challenges and opportunities,” Jay Holstine said.
Keep the team motivated
A successful team is focused on a sense of shared purpose, with an organized timeline and set of responsibilities, deliverables, and rewards. This emphasizes the value of the team’s success and its importance to the company. It is critical to keep the team members motivated and feeling part of the project team, as well as an important part of the company’s overall mission .
“Strong leaders know that their workforce stays dedicated to the mission by a combination of being a valued part of an important team, having clear goals, timelines, and incentives,” Jay Holstine said. ”Behavior is most likely to adapt when changes are a matter of survival. Necessity of project success is one of the most effective ways to build trust and involvement. It is critical to keep all the parts of their team on the same page and working smart,” he added.
Be the change that you want others to emulate
The Vistage Chair encourages leaders to train for change and support the workforce. Needed change often involves new skills. Many may not feel confident, despite being motivated. Leaders should enable success through opportunities to learn and practice new behavior.
The Vistage CEO peer group enables shared wisdom based on experience so that trusted leaders from non-competing industries can continue to grow their teams’ skills and capabilities.
Jay Holstine is dedicating his time and energy to working with like-minded individuals on a mission to create and build the best company and environment they can, positively impact their communities, and create a product that resonates with the people.
Effective leadership begins with a great partnership.
“Our CEO group encourages each of its members in these types of goals, and helps them trouble-shoot specific business issues. The shared wisdom of combined experience is often the best advice and inspiration needed,” Jay Holstine shared.
“These members are actively committed to improving their companies and their capabilities to lead. The field expert speakers, sage advice from experienced members, and group exercises are showing a variety of successful results in our group,” Holstine said.
“This environment and camaraderie can make all the difference,” Jay Holstine said. Many CEO leaders are making decisions in a vacuum of advice. Although a CEO is surrounded by numerous employees, they have different interests and often competing agendas. As a company founder and CEO at my small software company, I did not have the benefit of a CEO peer group, but it would have been amazingly helpful in my most important decisions,” Holstine said.
“If I could have met with a group of trusted leaders from non-competing industries, and seen some of their similar challenges, and perhaps their experiences in the same ownership issues I was working on, I would have been a better leader,” Holstine shared.
“Along with targeted expert speakers, and proven leadership development work, our Vistage group provides its members decades of shared experience in organizational leadership. We tackle a lot of compelling challenges, and members are using our workshops to incorporate incisive new strategies and tactics, and help each other grow,” Holstine added.