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4 Ways CEOs Can Stay Focused on Growth in a World of Constant Change

Warren Zinn, CEO of Warren Henry Auto Group and a seasoned veteran of the auto industry, had a passion for cars since childhood, but realized early on that passion is only a small part of the success formula. Zinn worked tirelessly to develop business sense and leadership competency in his favorite field.

The new normal, which consists of uncertainty, volatility and the pace of change, dictates the need for adaptability, open-mindedness and quick and nimble responsiveness. Recently, he has responded to tectonic shifts in the business landscape by becoming more agile and adaptive.

Zinn now believes that strategy is not a puzzle you solve once and put on a shelf. Rather, it is an evolving, adaptive and responsive process that is shaped each day.

“Strategy is an evolving, adaptive and responsive process that is shaped each day.”

This approach is what empowered the 300-employee Warren Henry Auto Group to come through the 2007-2009 economic recession as one of the top privately held companies in Florida. Their 14% revenue growth in 2014 only makes Zinn fanatically disciplined to continuously adapt efforts to the new, uncertain and fluid business landscape.

Zinn focused his resolve in 4 areas.

1. Leadership. Most CEOs know that culture and strategy must work together. Zinn integrates a homegrown culture with a leadership strategy through:
Discipline: Quietly initiating action and driving momentum each day
Credibility: He is the first to do what he says he will do
Accountability: He holds himself and everyone else accountable

2. People. Astute CEOs recognize that people are their most valuable asset and critical to the overriding success of the organization. Zinn applies Packard’s Law—no company can grow revenues faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth.

Zinn invests in people with an emphasis on learning agility—learning from experience and applying that learning to current and future challenges. Ensuring deeper and broader skills through varied experience means people advance within and across departments. Ultimately, team members improve in critical thinking, they develop enterprise thinking and a holistic perspective. They understand where the organization is going and they know how to use their strengths to contribute where it is needed most.

3. Growth. Zinn grasps that his biggest nemesis is the pace of change. It requires a relentless effort. Grow or fall behind. There are no plateaus, no resting on one’s laurels in today’s business climate. “I use the efforts of each day to lead continuous improvement and build a better future while managing our core functions,” he says.

4. Execution. All efforts are empty without proper execution. There can be no gap in execution. That’s why tactical implementation is delegated to the best and brightest senior leadership team, assembled specifically for their keen decision-making and decisive action.

The 2007-2009 economic recession was pivotal for Warren Zinn. He realized that things were different, the climate had changed and along with advances in technology, customer demand had shifted. Change has only increased in pace, but now Zinn squeezes as much certainty as possible into an uncertain business climate.



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