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...

Earned vs. Need-Based Loyalty

Call me old-fashioned, but I cringe every time I hear another claim about how we are moving into the age of “careerism” and “just in time staffing”. Why? Because we always hear about this fad right at the tail end of every downturn.  It’s like herpes spread by some...

The Hardest Skill To Master – Empathy

Any growing venture is hard. It does not have to be a startup, it could be a lifestyle or a mid-size business. The faster the growth, the more extreme are the swings and tensions. It is way too easy to lose sight of what matters, end up with agenda, and kill your...

Business Lessons from Auto Racing?

Ever since childhood, I have been an avid "car guy.” Back in 2007, I started competing in autocross and did some track time too. I never thought I would be learning business and leadership lessons while burning some rubber. When I started in Chicago, I did very well...
Why I Value Experience in Service Industry More Than Education

Why I Value Experience in Service Industry More Than Education

Ever since I was a talent agent in the entertainment industry, I have continuously improved my patterns for detecting gifted people. After all of these years of observing what kind of people do well, I can bravely say that I got at least a couple of patterns down pat....

Myths Why Startups Don’t Need COOs and Operations Executives

Myths Why Startups Don’t Need COOs and Operations Executives

As my regular readers know, I am a startup operations veteran with "battle scars" from numerous startups. Today, I am going to address some common misconceptions about startup operations executives. Let’s get to it! First and foremost, let’s get the lingo and caveats...

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,...

Lessons Learned From My Mistakes Managing Employees

Lessons Learned From My Mistakes Managing Employees

The topic of talent management seems to be the dominant discussion I am having these days (sales operations and financial modeling/forecasting are a close second). There are some common themes in those conversations. So until artificial intelligence, machine learning,...

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...

Coaching 1st-time founders and augmenting seasoned entrepreneurs