Operations Leadership

What Do Operations People Do?

What Do Operations People Do?

Your operations people are the reason customers are happy, vendors continue providing you with services, and employees have enough resources. The operations team is the "A-team" of vision logistics, and their #1 mission is to take care of the organization (feed it,...

Being a CEO Is a Brutal and Lonely Job, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Being a CEO Is a Brutal and Lonely Job, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Who gets their head "chopped" if a company can't get traction, hit their sales numbers, find enough financing, or retain their high-performers? Who has to be the chief recruiter, fundraiser, strategist, and often makes the most expensive mistakes? Who has to listen to...

What To Look For In a Chief Right Hand Person (COO, VP of Operations)

What To Look For In a Chief Right Hand Person (COO, VP of Operations)

Last week a founder of a software development company asked what to look for in a COO on answers.onstartups.com. Since this is a fairly common question to me, I decided to expand upon the answer I posted and further describe what attributes a great business operations...

How a Foosball Table Is Killing Your Startup – part 2

How a Foosball Table Is Killing Your Startup – part 2

Since an article I wrote in June of 2009 called “How a foosball table can kill your startup” is still sparking attention and conversation, I think the time is ripe for me to expand on the topic. Yes, I still believe that tchotchke “benefits” do nothing but waste...

Customers, not shareholders, pay your bills

Customers, not shareholders, pay your bills

I had to get several insurance quotes last week, since my current agent was not living up to my customer service expectations (especially considering the amount of commission they receive).  Only one of the three companies I contacted impressed me, and this prompted...

How a Foosball Table Can Kill Your Startup

How a Foosball Table Can Kill Your Startup

Back when I was working in Chicago at a scale-up company, I used to have great conversations with the president of the company about our various approaches to managing businesses. We shared war stories, ramblings about taxation in the US and EU, and the software...

Disaster Recovery Planning and Business Continuity For Startups

Disaster Recovery Planning and Business Continuity For Startups

As we watch the news and pandemonium the media is creating about the swine flu today, it should remind entrepreneurs that disaster planning is no joke. Of all the entrepreneurs I have asked about disaster preparedness in the last couple of years, 9 out of 10 said they...

Keeping entrepreneurs and CEOs out of jail and an early grave

Keeping entrepreneurs and CEOs out of jail and an early grave

I am often asked what I do for a living and since I am not a PR or marketing professional, describing what I do to an "outsider" is challenging at times. I can hide all I want behind my resume and a great group of people I have worked with, but in order to further...

Coaching 1st-time founders and augmenting seasoned entrepreneurs