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Are you a growth or value CEO?


If you are familiar with stock-picking, you know there are two predominant theories of investing—growth and value.

Growth is about taking a company’s revenues to the moon. Start-ups fall into this category. Value investing, on the other hand, is about finding businesses that are good financial performers, with strong balance sheets. Sort of the rabbit vs. the turtle approach. Both will get you to the finish line.

The same question can be asked of a CEO. Is he/she growth or value oriented?

To be sure, to put a value-centered CEO in a growth-oriented company may be like putting a square peg in a round hole; personality plays an important role.

CEOs, who are hired to grow businesses, must be adept at leading the business in the best way possible. For some, it may mean putting the pedal to the metal and going as fast as possible. Time is of the essence.

For example, the race to build a driverless car will require more attention of getting to the finish line first, as opposed to a slower, more methodical profit-first approach.

Some business leaders thrive on being the first. They crave winning the race as fast as possible. Growth defines them.

On the other hand, there are those who like to take something that is proven and make it better. The pace is slower and financial fundamentals are more important. Profit is expected vs. market share arguments that may better apply to growth companies.

Regardless of your company and personality, the produce industry has room for growth AND value. At some point, growth companies will become value companies. Walmart vs. Amazon.

Consider your business: are financial fundamentals, such as turning a profit and maintaining a strong balance sheet, more important than market share and getting to the finish line first?

If so, then a value type of approach and CEO might be more appropriate.

Regardless, have fun with what you do and live to fight another day.


Jim Carr is president and CEO of Blue Book Services Inc.