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The Liberated CEO: The 9-Step Program to Running a Better Business so it Doesn't Run You

ISBN: 978-1-118-65366-1
208 pages
February 2014
The Liberated CEO: The 9-Step Program to Running a Better Business so it Doesn


Achieve a better work/life balance with the innovative approach outlined here

Author Scott Leonard is a successful business professional who adapted his business to allow him to achieve his goals and live his dreams now—while still working in the business he loves. His experience is an inspiring example of extreme work-life empowerment that can help you whether you're the owner of a business or just want more freedom and flexibility in your career. Now, in The Liberated CEO, Leonard shares his story and strategies with you.

In The Liberated CEO, he turns the conventional portrait of the 24/7 entrepreneur as multi-tasking control freak on its head by using strategies that unshackle individuals from the "daily grind," inspiring you to perform your responsibilities on your own terms and schedules. In addition to giving the individual more freedom, the benefits of The Liberated CEO principles will increase the success, profitability, operational efficiency, and, ultimately, the enterprise value of any business.

  • Contains advice, analysis, and personal stories that shows how to grow a healthier and more sustainable company that doesn’t demand your absolute attention
  • Explains how to implement an innovative business model that empowers business owners and key executives to perform at the highest level
  • The principles highlighted here are in sync with today's technology that allows people to have a better work-life balance

Engaging and accessible, The Liberated CEO is about developing a business model that empowers business owners and key executives to perform—and live—at the highest level.

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Table of Contents

Author’s Notes ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction Setting Free the CEO (Why a Business is Like a Bowline Knot) 1

Smashing the Service Ceiling 4

Living Proof 6

Chapter 1 Chart Your Rhumb Line (Plotting a Three-Dimensional Vision) 13

Plan in Three-D 15

Pretest Your Plan for Failure 17

Building Milestones 19

Notes 23

Chapter 2 Know Your Peak Zone 25

The Peak-Zone Manager 27

Finding Your Peak Zone 28

Hiring a Blended Team 30

Trusting the Ropes 34

Notes 38

Chapter 3 Smart Sourcing: Hire the Best—Outsource the Rest 39

The Hidden Costs of Full-Time Staff 41

Insource Customer Relationships 42

Competing on Knowledge 45

Managing the Experts for Accountable Results 46

Notes 50

Chapter 4 Give Your Crew Preflight Checklists 51

Automated Workflows 55

Set It and Forget It 59

Notes 62

Chapter 5 How to Build a Service Brand (It’s Not About You) 63

Hiring the Right People 70

Empowering People to Help 71

Embracing Disruption 73

Anticipating and Closing the Customer’s Loops 76

Sweating the Small Stuff 79

Notes 81

Chapter 6 Break the Service Ceiling with Systematic Customization 83

Applying the Vitals Worksheet to Your Business 84

Customization is Sweeping Key Industries 91

Note 96

Chapter 7 Keeping a Loyal Crew 97

The Virtues of the TLO Mindset 100

Viewing Employees as Assets Like Clients, Not Liabilities 101

Communicating the Big Picture 104

Fixing the Process Before You Blame the People 105

Linking Compensation to the Appropriate Performance 109

Participation, Training, and Transparency 114

Notes 117

Chapter 8 Made to Sell: Changing the Watch 119

If You Own It, You Don’t Break It 121

Profits and the 60-20-20 Formula 126

The Pillars of Valuation 128

Notes 132

Chapter 9 Become an Expert in Your Field 135

The Rewards of Thought Leadership 139

Notes 145

Chapter 10 Afterword: Ready for the Next Peak 147

RIA Firms in Major Growth Trend 148

Notes 151

APPENDIXES Liberated CEO Extras 153

Appendix A Notes and Observations from Our Three-Year Global Sailing Trip 155

An Ode to Telemedicine 155

Jetliner Travel Know-How 158

Papa Sherpa’s Five Golden Rules of Traveling Around the World with Kids 160

Wireless Communications at Sea 162

The Balancing Act 168

Appendix B Further Reading and Related Resources 171

About the Author 175

Index 177

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Author Information

SCOTT A. LEONARD, CFP, is the founding partner of Navigoe, LLC, a leading, full-service wealth management and investment advisory firm. He has a degree in Economics from UCLA. Mr. Leonard has been an instructor at UCLA Extension, teaching courses in the financial planning certificate program. He was the Dean of the School of Investments for NAPFA University, and is a national speaker on topics addressing investments, wealth management and business best practices.
Mr. Leonard is a frequently published author, specializing in advanced investment theory, and has been the featured financial planner for the Los Angeles Times weekly “Money Makeover” column. He is often looked to by the media as an expert in a breadth of financial, business and entrepreneurial topics.
Away from the business, Mr. Leonard is busy working with his wife helping to raise their three boys and acclimate to the U.S. after spending 2 ½ years sailing the world with his family.

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Press Release

February 25, 2014
Scott Leonard Explains How A Liberated CEO’s Corner Office Can, and Should, Be Anywhere in His New Book

Imagine being able to run a business from anywhere in the world, escaping the daily grind and creating a schedule that allows anyone to fulfill their lifelong dreams—today.

Someone could run a business from a sailboat in the Caribbean, a cabin in the mountains, or while on an extended trip to Italy. Or maybe someone just wants to work fewer hours, dialing into staff meetings from home while still achieving revenue that grows year after year. This is exactly what Scott Leonard does, and he describes his strategies for running a successful business on the go in his new book, The Liberated CEO: The 9-Step Program to Running a Better Business so it Doesn’t Run You (WILEY; February 2014; Hardcover & e-book; $27.95; ISBN: 978-1-118-65366-1).

Leonard is the owner of a successful professional services firm with revenues exceeding $3 million. Between 2011 and 2013, Scott and his family sailed around the world while he ran his business successfully from his boat. He believes businesses shouldn’t be a slave to inefficiencies that eat up time and prevent them from providing the highest possible levels of service to customers or clients.

“I’m a liberated CEO, I’m a father and husband, and I’m a lifelong entrepreneur. Five years before our trip started, I began to prepare for the life change, and along the way I also made myself a better manager and leader than I ever expected to be,” says Leonard.

Rather than focusing on working 24/7, this book provides a nine-step model of “systematic customization” to develop a healthier, more sustainable company that doesn’t require one’s constant attention. The Liberated CEO details strategies that remove the anxieties of over managing and enables CEOs to supervise their businesses from just about anywhere and for any length of time – but the payoff is bigger than that. These processes will increase the efficiency of any professional service and most small businesses so employees can work fewer hours, or earn more money than they may have thought possible.

Leonard shows business owners and executives how to free themselves from counterproductive distractions while still meeting the highest management standards for a company. He explores how to overcome fears that a business will fail without everyone’s continued involvement, and shows readers how to properly run their staff and operations in order to continue moving a company in the right direction.

“Most entrepreneurs believe rewards must be postponed until they’ve earned the right and the money to pay for them – after they’ve reached a particular financial target, sold the business or retired. They also fear that their business will fail without their continuous involvement. The Liberated CEO’s principles allowed me to free myself from counterproductive details and distractions, to fulfill a goal of importance to my family, while meeting the highest management standards of my firm,” Leonard adds. “By using these principles, you’ll transform how you manage and operate your professional services business so that you gain more control and freedom.”

Leonard can also discuss additional topics for entrepreneurs and business leaders such as:

  • What he’s learned and would do differently
  • Feed it fat or kill: Go and make your dream a reality, or go find another one 
  • The move to the cloud: Everyone and everything is connected, everywhere
  • Taking a business sabbatical: 3 steps to reboot and recharge entrepreneurial batteries
  • Evaluating a business from the outside-in
  • Hanging in the dead zone, on purpose
  • Exploring the customer experience by becoming a client
  • Why health insurance for small businesses under Obama Care is a great deal
  • Liberated CEO strategies for vacation pay, family time and sick days
  • Buy your office, rent your house

Engaging and accessible, The Liberated CEO’s principles are in sync with today's technology that allows people to have a better work-life balance and helps develop a business model that empowers entrepreneurs to perform—and live—at the highest level.

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