...Let's qualify the case of management and my racey referral to the company head as the jockey. After all the corporate entity's success relies directly upon the strength and sober focus from the beginning, through the middle and certainly into future of the CEO.
For most of my Wall Street career CEOs have pitched me every pitch in the pitch arsenal with every tool, prop, and artistic attribute. My opinion is most of this preparation is masquerading as promotion and maybe I should have simply told them before they began pitching exactly what I was looking for, but that would be giving away too much. Maybe the next cadre of pitchman will have read this before my interview so the secret is out.
It is rather basic, but I look for three attributes, not two out of three or one great one of the three. A leader must have PVC. By the way this isn't poly vinyl chloride either, but rather, my unmistakable qualifier:
P for Passion
V for Vision
C for Capability
Sizing up a CEO requires exceptional PVC for an A+ grade. How important is PVC and A+? I realized many years ago comparatively speaking the A+ Jockey can ride a nag like a B or C company to win the race, but more times than not you put a B jockey on a thoroughbred chances are that horse and jockey will never win the race and likely fail to finish. MicroCap companies require a special type of leader ready to carry the ball through enormous challenges, obstacles, pitfalls and roadblocks.
Passion embodies dedication, determination, excitement, conviction, delivery, communication, tireless work ethic, no acceptance of failure, sacrifice, believability, salesmanship, smarts, subtle defensiveness, selling skills, and a winning personality.
Vision includes insight, recognition of exceptionality, originality, inventiveness, view of the finish line, creativity, focus, 3D perception, leadership skills, ability to describe the vision and the future .
Capability embodies a management skill set of planning, execution, team player, constant follow up and follow thru, trainer, teacher, judge and jury of key employees, knowledge of finance, make correct decisions, individual selflessness and an attitude to compete like a quarterback on Sunday afternoon and play to have a team win, and ultimately promising and delivering on those promises. My pet criteria is never asking anyone to do anything you wouldn't do yourself.
Frankly, if PVC was turned into a job description determining an A+ CEO would have an undeniable criteria. When focusing on an investment idea focus on the CEO regardless of the business model, company perception or other deemed values. Ride the jockey is my advice. Ask yourself if the CEO has A+ PVC, he or she is the make or break for core criteria for my investment. Measure each CEO against other exceptional leaders and build your own checklist. Winners make money for the investors!
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