When you should stop improving

So, Stan Sigman, the CEO and President of Cingular, is at the top of his game. He makes millions of dollars a year (not counting bonuses), he runs the biggest wireless company in the country and he’s the boss.

If you watch the Apple keynote speech, though, Stan sure could use some help. He appears at about 1:34 into the presentation. He’s dressed all wrong. Not buttoned down enough to be a CEO, not casual enough for the Valley. And his jacket fits funny. Sort of like he’s at his son-in-law’s second wedding.

Stan gives his talk from 3 x5 index cards, which he holds awkwardly on stage. And he doesn’t really say anything.

One could argue that you can be a great CEO without having a clue how to speak in public. But why not either get better at it or send someone else in your place? If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and I think the standards for a multimillionaire CEO announcing a major new venture ought to be pretty high.