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Networlding Presents: Chuck Smead

Melissa: Chuck, great to have you sharing your insights today. I have found you to be a true leader and very unique in what you bring to the world of work today. Can you share with our readers an overview of your unique combination of skills?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with great companies, GE, Heller Financial, Transamerica, and Administaff. My background is in corporate finance, strategy, marketing and business development. I have opened new markets, repositioned products, and structured transactions for both large and small companies. My business development has meant building relationships within the Board room, various levels of businesses and spheres of influence. This experience has been primarily in business to business. I have also been a believer in giving back to the community and have built relationships in a variety of not for profit organizations. I have also had the good fortune of advising entrepreneurs in start up situations. All of these experience help bring a perspective that can be helpful to a variety of situations.

Melissa: If you had to prioritize what you think is most important for companies to focus on today, what would that list of priorities look like?

Companies should develop and follow a strong mission statement and realize that their people are their most important asset. They need create a culture of integrity, honesty, and collaboration and one that keeps an eye on their customers. An eye on the customer is accomplished by monitoring performance and giving and getting honest feed back. Sometimes companies and their leadership put their head in the sand; always know if you are winning, loosing or just marking time. Knowing where you stand helps get you where you need to go.

Melissa: Where do values fit into the work you do?

You start with honesty and integrity and add being respectful of people and their ideas. You create a collaborate culture, by being a team player, and when you win the team wins. Also, you temper all of this with being a realist: seeing reality as it is, not as we wish it was.

Melissa: How does what’s happening online effect how businesses do business today and how they should be using technology—or not, to succeed?

Your product, service, or value proposition need to be available on the Internet; whether to sell, explain, describe, deliver and or service. E commerce is required to compete effectively. You need to assess emerging trends or changes in the marketplace; you must consistently monitor with vigilance your competitors, suppliers and your customers. You need to know what they are saying and what they are thinking; all of this is possible through the Internet and the blog community. With information, you can tweak, improve and drive revenues.

Melissa: If you could have the "perfect job", Chuck, what would that look like today?

Ideally, a great fit for me would be to join a creative corporate environment that wishes to expand its products or services into new markets or wants to take their large enterprise solutions into the small and mid size market which is the third most robust economy in the world. Also important to me, would be a company where my skills and experiences are valued and where I can help build, expand or improve its services or products. It would also be important that I have the opportunity to grow and learn through my endeavors.

Melissa: Chuck, what other things do you think companies should be doing today that they are not doing?

Companies should be developing, challenging, and encouraging their employees. They need to know if they are succeeding with their people development and building talent for the future. Companies should get feedback on a regular basis. This will hopefully create an environment where employees have personal ownership in making the business more successful or better at improvements as they grow and develop.

Melissa: Where do you think the really best business opportunities reside in today’s world of business?

I believe the best opportunities exist in the small and midsized business, SMB space. Many owners and founders have found success through niches and have found success by being solutions driven. The SMB space has become global in nature. Opportunities lie in finding improvements in markets or products no matter how mature if they bring value that is efficient. As I said before there is constant change, and insatiable appetite for new products and ideas. (add any questions you think would be good) Business and the economy are not a straight line. How do you help in a downturn or a period of change? I create a realistic assessment of strengths and weakness and the relevance of the business proposition to a changing marketplace. Then I plan for what is critical to serve the customer. Through my market access, I can get a realistic view of changing dynamics in the market. I communicate with the management team what the challenges are and make recommendations of what is needed. I believe this helps manage expectations of what we can deliver to our stakeholders, customers and employees. Managing expectations brings a practical understanding of what can be delivered to all parties. This typically results in working together toward a common goal.  To contact Chuck directly, email him at [email protected]

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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