Hi all,

In last week's Rookie CEO story I shared a chronology of "a day in the life" during the first 18 months of running the business and how my activity set evolved over time from tactical to strategic (lazy) work. I found it really difficult to work on anything strategic after I had spent a full day making 5 or 6 customer visits and having 6 people waiting outside of my office door to discuss trivial to "house on fire" issues when I returned to the office late in the day. For me, there is a calm (someone on my team called it laziness) associated with the ability to flip into strategic thinking mode. There has been an immense correlation between time spent on strategy and the trajectory of our organization.

3 years in, here are a few things that are apparent to me about the push and pull between working on strategy (million dollar problems) and the tactical (fifty dollar problems).

1. You have to earn the right to work on the million dollar problems: Stabilize the organization through process improvement

2. Hire awesome people to work on the thousand dollar problems: Your spend on talent upgrade should know (almost) no limit. I had to flip my thinking from viewing talent upgrades as incremental costs, but instead as investments with a massive ROI attached.

3. Keep your million dollar problem solving time sacred - for me I reduce the number of operational meetings I am a part of during certain times of the year when business is seasonally slower (usually thanksgiving to new years)

For this week's story, we return to the "Strip club mavens" and how I thought about Rebranding the organization (or not).

Follow along at