In my limited experience of being a CEO of my company for almost three years, and having worked very closely with the CEO of a television network where I was GM Public Relations and Publications for 11 years, I have realized that there are certain qualities that are a must for a CEO to succeed, no matter what line of profession they are in. To begin with, I feel that it is very important to regularly interact with your colleagues as it instills confidence in them and the interaction invariably yields valuable results. If the organization is big, then weekly meetings with heads is imperative, while in smaller organizations like mine, with around twelve employees, I find daily meetings with the entire team is a healthy exercise. An open-door policy, where you are willing to hear suggestions, complaints and updates without any red-tapism, and with an open mind, also serves well.
I also find that a CEO, who is hands-on, and not afraid to get their feet wet, inspires confidence in not just the team, but in the clients and other stakeholders as well. I make it a point to be physically present at every event no matter how big or small, and am there to plug in wherever required, or do fire-fighting and take instant decisions when needed. Another very important aspect in order to run a company successfully is being organized, prepared and meticulous, and demanding the same from your colleagues. If your home-work is done thoroughly and you have every little nitty-gritty worked out in detail on paper, half you battle is won. There may of course, still be the odd, unexpected situation arising that will require you to trouble-shoot but if you can adapt well to any situation without panicking, you will emerge victorious.
The way you conduct yourself at work from the start of your career and the reputation you acquire because of your working ethics and style will remain with you throughout your career. Often, it is your reputation that precedes you and if you are heading a service sector, clients will flock to you on the basis of your earlier reputation even if you are just starting up and have nothing to show in your portfolio as a CEO. When I launched STARLINKS, a PR and event management company in November of 2015, I had two retainer clients by the 5th of that month, who had heard from the grapevine that I had resigned from my job and was now launching my own company.
I hadn’t even officially announced my company till then! And I have to say that it has only been through word of mouth that we have had clients to date, for they have all sought our services themselves and we have not had the need so far, to actively pursue any client. This was the singular reason that a client as huge as LuckyOne mall, believed to be the largest mall in South Asia, approached us for a pitch for their launch event, even though we were hardly a few months into the business at that point, and there were far more established and senior companies in the running.
I think LuckyOne Mall is a great example to illustrate the importance of my second and third points as well for in spite of formidable competition we finally nailed the project, because of these two aspects. I know for a fact that my personal interest and presence throughout the project made a lot of difference to the management of the mall and instilled confidence in them. What’s more, our presentation was so detailed and meticulously prepared that we had thought of everything under the sun and beyond and included it in it. I am sure that gave us the edge we were looking for.
And finally, I feel a successful CEO must be as quick to offer praise and appreciate their team as they are to criticize them. A demotivated team that feels no matter what they do, their work will never translate into appreciation, either verbal or through increments/bonuses, will never be loyal to the company or work happily.
STARLINKS was started with a vision to redefine the role of PR in Pakistan. It proudly claims to be pioneers in bridging the gap between PR & corporate social responsibility. It constantly endeavors to assist their clients in engaging and strengthening their relationships with their stakeholders and society as a whole.
In the less than three years of its existence, the company has fast risen to become not only one of Pakistan’s leading event management and PR companies, but one of the top PR companies in the world. In the first year it bagged the most coveted and prestigious project of launching the biggest mall of South Asia, LuckyOne mall, and a year later had won the bronze Stevie award for Best Start-up of the Year in the business service industries. In its third year it has won two awards – Gold SVUS for Best Female CEO of the World and Silver SVUS for Best PR Agency Achievement of the year.
STARLINKS’ prides itself in managing any and all kinds of events with expertise, be they corporate, private, conferences and seminars, opening ceremonies, product launches, cultural festivals, award ceremonies, fashion shows, lifestyle exhibitions or film premieres. The events PR has not just been confined to programmes held in Pakistan but have been successfully carried out so far in Ontario and England as well. With numerous events under their belt, the team comprises young, enthusiastic individuals. In spite of their diverse backgrounds, all envisage one goal: to strive for excellence.
When STARLINKS was launched, its management was in no doubt that it would one day become the leading PR company of Pakistan, but no one thought the success would be so meteoric. The five-year plan was already achieved in the first year, and that achievement has been exhilarating as well as humbling and challenging. For with such unprecedented success come a lot of expectations and responsibilities. In order to expand the business the team now plans to widen its portfolio, and has already started offering digital services, while celebrity client management is also on the cards.
About the Author
Shanaz Ramzi is the CEO and Founder of Starlinks. Before starting Starlinks, she has worked as the Editor of various publications for HUM Network. She also holds brief experience as the Editor in platforms including G.L.A.M., Masala TV Food Mag, and HUMSAY, a bimonthly magazine on media. Shanaz is also an Author of the book, Food Prints, a reference book on the cuisine of the country. Shanaz graduated from the University of Karachi as Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
Source: The League of Extraordinary CEOs
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