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5 Mantras Every CEO Should Live By


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by Kevin Faber, founder of Silver Summit Capital

True success is based on far more than just growth or the bottom line. Many companies soar for a season only to go down in flames, and many a successful, wealthy executive has ended their lives broke and alone. Business success is only one part of life success.

To experience true 360 degree life success, here are 5 mantras every CEO should live by.

1. Time is more valuable than money.

We’ve all heard the old saying “time is money” but in reality, time is infinitely more valuable than money. You can make far more money in an hour than someone else, but no one, from the President of the United States to the Pope gets more than 24 hours in a day. This is a particularly important concept to understand when it comes to your personal relationships.

Do not fool yourself into believing you can buy your children’s affections or satisfy your spouse with luxury items. They know you are giving them something of little value in comparison with your time. There is a reason the highest echelons of leaders often struggle the most in their personal lives. Don’t be a statistic – carve out a portion of your most precious resource to give to those that genuinely love you. They are a treasure worth protecting.

2. Praise in public, critique in private.

A critical mistake that many CEO’s make is treating their subordinates poorly just because they can. This critical mistake often becomes glaringly obvious the second a crisis hits and you need all hands on deck. Crises present golden opportunities for employees who have been abused to extract a hefty price for the abuse. You don’t have to treat your employees like dainty, delicate little flowers, but you can treat them like human beings and celebrate their accomplishments and achievements. There are a wide variety of employee recognition ideas that help show your employees how valuable they are to the company.

3. Lead from the front.

Too many executives have an image of leadership that involves sitting behind a desk barking out orders. A person that “leads” by giving commands is literally a dictator. Leadership simply means “you go first.” If you want your employees to show up early and work hard, you have to show up earlier and work harder. If you want your employees to treat your customers with dignity, you have to treat your employees with dignity.

4. Only use it if it works.

The business world is full of tips, advice, apps, models and formulas all “guaranteed” to boost performance, revenue or bottom line in some way. Some of those will work for you, some won’t. Don’t be swayed by the latest leadership guru or hottest business book on the market. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but if they aren’t working for you or your business, know when to pull the plug and go back to the old way. Remember “new Coke”?

5. Sharpening your saw is a lifelong process.

Most people understand the concept of sharpening your saw, but for some reason, we seem to be enamored of the idea that one day we will sharpen it to the point that we no longer need to keep doing it. At that point, we will no longer need to learn, innovate, hustle, work hard or struggle – we will have arrived.

There is another name for “arrival” – it’s called death. Until then, the world around us is moving, growing, innovating and we have to do the same. This doesn’t mean we can’t rest until we’re dead, it just means there never comes a time when we can just sit back on our butts and do nothing because we’ve already done, achieved, accomplished and learned everything there is is to.



Kevin Faber has been in the commercial finance and banking industry for most of his professional life. He graduated at UC Davis with a B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics. His experience in credit analysis, finance, and management led him to be the founder of Silver Summit Capital. He enjoys working in the financing industry and building connections with industry leaders.