CEO Lessons from Reality Television

Business is booming, and reality television is buying big into shows that feature business men and women from corporate CEOs to hiring managers to entrepreneurs hoping to land investments. Viewers watch as companies big and small grow their leadership and their businesses all in the public eye. Companies as big as DirecTV and Hooters and as small as mom and pop ice cream and cake makers are capitalizing on big marketing opportunities in reality television.

For all CEOs and entrepreneurs, though, you don’t need to be on a reality television show to get its effect in your company. Use these tips to get greater insights into your work, without the theatrics of reality television:

• Secret shop your own company. Especially if you work in a retail or service oriented business, it’s easy to be your own “secret shopper” or enlist your friends and family in the same. Ask friends to visit your store, complete a request with your company, or go through your website checkout process. The feedback you’ll get from secret shopper experiences will help you make changes and suggest additional productivity measures.

• Talk to everyone you see. Business oriented reality television often features the stories of staff members executives rarely see – everyone from line cooks to fashion assistants. In your business, get to know the people who clean your office and make copies. You can learn a great deal about your company through the experiences of every level of your staff.

• Say thank you. Any reality television show featuring a company or project team ends with a humbling experience for those involved. The theme across the board is executives saying “Thank You” profusely to the staff that support their company and make it successful. Take that sentiment with you and say “Thank You” every day to your staff.

Your work may not be televised, but it will be noticed and recognized over time. Take the time to move your company ahead by harnessing your own marketing opportunities, even without the commercial payoff.