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CEO Tools is a complete business system designed to assist mid-market CEOs achieve world-class profitability and growth by focusing on three key areas: clear communication, consistent execution and performance optimization.


In 2002, successful CEO and executive coach, Kraig Kramers published CEO Tools: The Nuts-n-Bolts of business for every manager’s success. The book soon became the go-to-manual for CEO’s around the world who wanted to build strong, profitable companies that would last into the future.

When Kraig passed away in 2014, Richard Kopelman, CEO of Aprio, LLP in Atlanta Georgia, purchased the CEO Tools assets to preserve and advance Kraig’s CEO Tools legacy. CEO Tools 2.0 is now powered by Aprio, LLP and Jim Canfield is proud to have been selected to pick up where Kraig left off by authoring this new version of Kraig’s book. 

As managing director of CEO Tools, Jim has years of academic and practical executive management experience. Throughout his career, Jim has focused on empowering CEOs and senior leaders to improve their businesses and their leadership skills through leadership development, executive coaching, business mentoring and peer-to-peer sharing.

Prior to joining Aprio and CEO Tools, Jim served as CEO of Renaissance Executive Forums, a leading membership organization for CEOs. He also worked with Vistage, the world’s largest CEO organization, as chief learning officer and VP of West Coast operations. He facilitated CEO groups in Memphis, for which he won a “Chair Excellence” award. Jim has over 20 years of experience as an executive coach, and has facilitated strategic planning initiatives for CEOs and executives globally.

Jim is a graduate of the Fogleman School of Business at the University of Memphis and the Rhodes College Institute for Executive Leadership. After graduating from the Institute for Executive Leadership, he was the leader of the Institute at Rhodes for almost a decade.

Under Jim’s leadership, CEO Tools will continue to evolve its offerings to include new books in the CEO Tools series, expanded online tools, executive leadership coaching, and speeches and presentations on critical topics for growing businesses.

Our System

Imagine having time to fully develop your personal and professional interests, confident in your team’s ability to provide high-quality service, products, and results. This is what Canfield offers through a series of seven simple but profound steps:

Step 1: Set the Direction

Clarify your overall goals, vision, and action plans using a One-Page Business Plan and setting big, audacious goals (BAGs) with your employees.  Big results happen by reaching higher than expected.

Step 2: Communicate to Build Trust

Start by listening to every employee at every level of your business.  The best tool here is Walk the Four Corners (W4C) of your business. Ask how to improve the company, how to fix problems and seize opportunities.

Step 3: Track Metrics and Give Feedback

Break your long-term goals into workable chunks with the Quarterly Priorities Manager (QPM) and the Trailing 12-Month Chart (T12M).

Step 4: Anticipate The Future and Create It

Using What's Next? to anticipate changes in your business or industry can allow you to capitalize when others falter.

Step 5: Attract, Hire, and Coach Winners

Look inside your company to determine the three to five key customer impacting jobs. Put winners in these jobs and be sure they agree on what constitutes excellent performance.


Step 6: Build An Autonomous Company

Build a business that can run without your day-to-day involvement.  Create a company where senior leaders focus on long term strategic issues.

Step 7: Celebrate Successes

Recognition and appreciation are the secret engine that drives ongoing success and accomplishment.

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We bring CEO Tools to your group or company meeting.

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We work with companies to implement CEO Tools into their culture.

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We provide training and resources to become a CEO Tools Coach.

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