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Governor shares lessons from office

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  • | 6:28 a.m. October 22, 2012
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At a recent event held by the CEO Council of Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast CEO Forum, Gov. Rick Scott continued to tout that running a state really is not that different from running a business — that is, aside from the ruthless media scrutiny.

Following this theme, as Scott talked about his priorities for the state (education, jobs, etc.,) he also threw out tips that have translated from his previous life as an executive to his life in public office. The following are some takeaways he gave to the 200 or so CEOs in attendance:

Meet someone's needs. Whether it's students in the classroom or customers for your business, the singular goal behind every action should be providing something your customers need, Scott says.
Use metrics. In his tenure leading Columbia Hospital Corp., Scott was infamous for his diligence to metrics. He says this approach is one he's also trying to bring to government, particularly in education. “Set a goal, and measure the living daylight out of it,” he says.
Get good advice. The key to implementing something new successfully, Scott says, is talking to anyone who has done what you're trying to do. “Talk to as many people as you can,” Scott says.
Be specific. During his time as governor, Scott has asked several groups to put in writing specific things he can do to help them. “I told them, I can't fix anything if you don't give me lists.” The same can help business owners identify problems and prioritize solutions.
Manage the message. Scott says during his campaign, he didn't read anything with his name on it and stuck to the sports channels to avoid distracting political noise. “It's important to stay on your message,” he says. “What has made it easier for me is I actually believe what I'm saying.”


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