Steven Odzer, the esteemed CEO of YBT Industries in Cedarhurst, New York, possesses a wealth of experience spanning over three decades in distribution and shipping. Renowned for his expertise, he is a strategic leader who spearheads his company with unwavering focus, active mentorship, a commitment to fostering a strong company culture, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge for optimal performance and profitability.
As a father of seven children and a doting grandfather to nine grandchildren, Steven comprehends the virtues of patience and compassion. He brings this familial perspective to the corporate realm, emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community. Notably, he firmly believes in providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities, empowering them to achieve independence and confidence.
Recognizing that a robust strategy is fundamental to a company's longevity, Odzer acknowledges the challenges first-time CEOs face as they navigate their responsibilities and develop their leadership within their teams. Instead of diving headfirst into the intricacies, he advocates for a measured approach.
When asked about the key considerations for developing a business strategy, Steven Odzer explains, "First and foremost, clarify your core values. Then, assess your available resources to ensure their alignment with your goals. Embrace an incremental strategy that propels your company forward."
Odzer imparts six invaluable tips for aspiring CEOs:
Articulate your vision clearly.
Cultivate a profound understanding of your competitive advantage.
Set production targets and identify key milestones.
Focus on systematic growth through streamlined operations.
Maintain a holistic perspective to navigate challenges effectively.
Keep your team engaged and content for sustained success.
He advises newly-appointed CEOs to resist the urge to micromanage production directly. Instead, he likens the CEO's role to a conductor leading an intricate symphony, allowing team members to master their respective instruments while directing operations.
Recognizing the significance of coaching and mentoring, Steven underscores their pivotal role in an effective CEOship. He advises new CEOs to allocate ample time for mentoring their teams, asserting that they assume the mantle of chief mentors for their company.
He recommends regular mentoring sessions to foster meaningful relationships with their executive teams. By sharing goals, providing transparency, and offering necessary resources, CEOs empower their teams to perform optimally. Two-way communication ensures team members understand how their contributions align with the company's objectives.
Recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance and fostering an environment conducive to idea generation and open communication further enhance team dynamics. Meetings, exemplifying desired behaviors, should be well-structured and respect participants' time, culminating in detailed action plans.
Developing Company Culture
Acknowledging that new CEOs often overlook the development of company culture amidst their mounting responsibilities, Steven Odzer emphasizes its criticality. Irrespective of the existing cultural landscape, nurturing and shaping it bestows numerous benefits.
Odzer asserts, "Neglecting the development of company culture deprives new CEOs of remarkable opportunities to exert leadership and inspire their teams. Cultivating and nurturing company culture is every CEO's privilege and primary responsibility."
To enhance company culture and foster cohesive, productive teams, he suggests the following tactics:
Celebrate every small victory as a collective success.
Foster accessibility to sales goals and data for all team members.
Encourage innovation by acknowledging and rewarding valuable ideas and actions.
Uphold inclusivity and diversity as integral aspects of company culture.
Foster open, honest, and regular two-way communication with the team.
As the CEO, it lies within your purview to influence the individuals your company attracts. By actively engaging in culture-building, you lay the foundation for the company you envision.
Encouraging Continuous Learning
Odzer believes that effective leadership transcends omniscience. The best leaders are unafraid to say, "I don't know," and are open to the perspectives of others. He advocates for ceaseless learning for new CEOs, encompassing industry knowledge, competitor analysis, and self-awareness.
"The importance of maintaining a perpetual learning mindset cannot be overstated for CEOs and any individual striving for success in their respective industry," emphasizes Odzer. He likens knowledge to a precious plant, urging CEOs to nurture it daily with fresh information, data, and diverse perspectives. Encouraging a similar attitude within the team fosters collective growth and mutual support.
For those eager to delve deeper into Odzer's expert advice for new CEOs, his website offers valuable insights. Aspiring leaders should remember to embrace their teams and maintain open lines of communication, unburdened by the expectation of knowing everything. After all, it is within the collective efforts of a team that true success is achieved.