Self-Improvement is Your Duty as CEO

One of the best ways to develop business strategies as a CEO or move up the corporate ladder as an employee is self-improvement. Basically, taking the personal responsibility to improve yourself. From brushing up on industry insights to watching a webinar on cutting-edge social media tools to reading how other successful CEOs operate their organizations, putting in the time and effort will pay dividends. Check out these 5 methods to help you get started.

Read, read, read

One of the easier and cost efficient self-improvement methods is reading. In fact, you can find several statistics out there that indicate that the average CEO reads 4-5 books a month. That’s over 50-60 books a year and the most successful CEO’s read even more! A few books I highly recommend to my employees at PFSbrands and anyone are:

  • The Great Game of Business – Jack Stack
  • Think BIG, Act SMALL – Jason Jennings
  • Topgrading – Bradford D. Smart
  • Good To Great – Jim Collins
  • Ownership Thinking – Brad Hams
  • Hyper Sales Growth – Jack Daly
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People – Stephen R. Covey
  • The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone

Be Your Own Accountability

KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are a staple of any successful program and we use them extensively at PFSbrands. KPIs are measurable goals that we set daily, weekly, quarterly and annually to improve certain business practices. The great thing is that they are measureable, so each day an employee can see if they had an “effective” day or not. Or, put another way, did they WIN or LOSE.  You wouldn’t want to watch a football game without a scoreboard, right?

You can also make KPIs for self-improvement as well – you can hold yourself accountable to continually learn. Here are a few examples (pick one such example per quarter):

  • Read an educational book or self-improvement book at least 60 minutes a day
  • Spend an hour a day studying industry trends
  • Take an online course for an hour each day
  • Spend one hour per day prospecting for new business

Find a Mentor

Do you know those business people that are on top of their game moving in the right direction or have built a truly great business? They are one of your best resources! Look, experience is worth its weight in gold and experience from setbacks can be even more valuable. You can learn so much from individuals who have made the tough decisions and succeeded. Take it upon yourself to reach out to 2-3 successful people in your network and ask them to lunch and pick their brain – it could be the start of a very beneficial relationship!

Get Out of the Office

Yes, the emails never stop. Yes, there are a thousand things you can be doing in the office. Yes, you will learn a ridiculous amount about business by getting out of the office and learning first hand. For instance:

  • Ride along with field staff
  • Visit your customers
  • Conduct surveys
  • Attend conferences
  • Conduct employee interviews
  • Take courses
  • Network with others

Almost all of these involve you being out there and networking, meeting people, learning and acquiring new skills. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get out there in the field. Heck, Steve Jobs is renowned for spending years working with his products and the people that used them to get a better understanding of the market. You should too!  Too many CEOs and top level executives lose touch with reality.

Discovery Days

In keeping with our previous point, sometimes what you need is to fully immerse yourself in a winning culture to pick up on some effective strategies. One example is PFSbrands’ Discovery Days. Our Discovery Days are used to teach prospective foodservice retailers, wholesalers or any employer about building a winning culture, implementing and open-book management culture, creating scoreboards, teaching about the financials…etc. It really is the best way to get to know the secrets behind what makes PFSbrands such a great company. Honestly, there are no secrets, just sound practices that we can teach you.


It’s cliché but the time to start improving yourself is today. So grab a pen, write down a few KPIs that could help you improve your business. Then write down the plan on how you are going to achieve that.

When you take the time to improve yourself, it’s amazing how that spills over into your work. The biggest return on investment you can ever achieve is investing in yourself. It’s not just optional, it’s your responsibility as a CEO!

Want more information about PFSbrands’ Discovery Days? Drop us an email at