- On June 23, 2014
CEOs drive their business. Along the way, they drive change, decisions, and strategies. If things go well, they drive results that drive shareholder value.
Drive has become an all-purpose word that seems to mean to have a good effect on.
But in using it to talk about our successes, we’re shortchanging ourselves because it’s so imprecise.
Consider these alternatives. I think you’ll agree they’d be much better than drive in the shareholder letter—and in just about anything else.
- She led a corporate turnaround that increased shareholder value in two quarters.
- He inspired his team to make decisions that improved sales by 25 percent.
- Management implemented a strategy that resulted in a million new contracts.
My favorite example of how wishy-washy drive can be came from a CEO who was trying to assure Wall Street—and Main Street—that his beleaguered company was on course to solve its problems: “We’re driving night and day to deliver improvements,” he said.
In a writing workshop, one participant interpreted this to mean his employees were driving trucks 24 hours a day across the country to physically fix the company’s problems.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s what he meant.
Don’t drive for a while. Lead, manage, inspire, plan, encourage, motivate, and create. You will achieve results.