The Savvy CEO™, a newsletter published by The Nielsen Group, provides provides the free exchange of ideas and reflection on the art of exceptional management.

Winter, 2003

CEO Peter Flood has led The Flood Company since 1982. Founded in 1847 in Cleveland as a paint-contracting firm, The Flood Company is a family-owned corporation that has been serving the painting industry for over 150 years. Development of a penetrating technology, Penetrol, is responsible for most of Flood’s top-selling products today, like CWF-UV Clear Wood Finish and the longest-lasting stain on the market, Flood’s Solid Color Deck & Siding Stain...   (click here to read the full issue).

Fall, 2002

Carol Latham, President and CEO of Thermagon Inc., founded the company in 1992. Since then, Thermagon has become a global solution provider of thermally conductive materials for cooling computer systems, power conversion equipment, telecommunications hardware, entertainment products and automotive electronics. Her company has placed among the top ten 100 fastest-growing, privately held inner-city companies for three years...   (click here to read the full issue).

Summer, 2002

Michael Salkind, President, Ohio Areospace Institute (OAI). OAI's mission is to enable and create areospace-related learning, knowledge, and solutions to enhance the competitiveness of thier participants...   (click here to read the full issue).

Spring, 2002

Gil Van Bokkelen, President and CEO, Athersys, Inc.founded in 1995, Athersys' mission is to lead the biopharmaccutical industry in the identification, development and comercialization of therapeutics that extend and enhance human life...
(click here to read the full issue).

Tips and Advice

The most common reasons to hire independent contractors are for work overflow and specialized skills. If you're not confident that the increased workload is long-term, it might make sense to ramp up with the people you won't have to lay off. When you need a very specialized skill for a short and defined time period, it can be far less expensive to hire an independent contractor.

Cleveland Plain Dealer
August, 2004


After years of employees being passed along and given insignificant raises, which caused anger and stress, we used a ranking system with great success. The success was based on managers having frank discussions with employees about needed changes -- especially with the bottom 20%. We found that after two or three conversations, which took place once a quarter, these employees either left on their own, improved their performance, were reassigned to a role they could perform, or were terminated. But we had a much higher percentage of employees voluntarily leaving than being terminated.

Evergreen Financial Quarterly
November, 2005