Growth Think Tank

Every company that wants to scale fast juggles many projects so they can move forward with speed. It is prevalent to put many projects before culture. In this episode, we look at why culture starts early. Today’s guest is Marc Randolph, one of the co-founders of Netflix. He was the first CEO at Netflix too. Marc had many other successes besides Netflix too. He is an investor and mentor to many legendary companies. He is also the host of a new podcast called That Will Never Work. Marc and I talk about the importance of culture in the early stages of business growth. One fact is getting the culture right in the beginning is more straightforward than changing culture when you begin to scale. Join us for this conversation on why culture starts early.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

A seven-year journey to get here. We reached 700 episodes and this very special one is just me. You get a summary of the not-so-obvious lessons from the Inc 5000 founders and CEOs. These lessons will challenge you and what you think to be right. I’m fine with pushing you to see a new perspective. You will discover lessons from proven leaders that have been in the top 1 percent in terms of revenue growth. Some of these are behind-the-scenes issues that sabotage my clients. Some are directly from interviews on the show. The most important thing is understanding even just one of these seven lessons will give you more power and clarity to be a more confident leader. They will guide you to extraordinary results. The not-so-obvious lessons in leadership will allow you to think about how you are able to evolve in each of the seven areas. Join me today in this very special — number 700 — and lean in to see which message is the breakthrough you need. You don’t have to be one of the Inc 5000 founders to benefit from these lessons. We all need these seven insights.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Getting your message out into the world has been getting more difficult for years now. The amount of content is causing noise across all channels. Some people are slightly better at the hype of influence. There are some that so powerful in the hype strategies that they are hard to ignore. Our guest today is Michael Schein, author of The Hype Handbook. This book looks at the strategies that propagandists and cult leaders use to get people into action. Michael Schein and I discuss how you can learn from these mischief-makers to increase your influence. Micheal Schein has articles that have appeared in Fortune, Forbes, Inc, and Psychology Today. Learn from infamous Influencers that have always deployed the power of hype to get what they want.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Mastering the art of developing your executive leadership team requires many skills. The leaders that you hire to support you in the journey to growth are usually competent and full of experience. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage. Developing your executive leadership team the right way is essential if you want to reach the company’s potential. Today’s guest is Jeff Hilimire, CEO and co-founder of Dragon Army. Jeff is a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits. Jeff is also the author of The 5-Day Turnaround. Dragon Army is an Atlanta-based mobile and innovation company that helps clients navigate today’s connected landscape. We look at developing your executive leadership team in depth. Jeff shares how we have been able to create strong teams at the executive level. Jeff and I go way back, and it is an honor to have him back on the podcast.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Every great company has some employee training provided. There are many reasons for employee training, but one of the most essential is because employees want to work in a place where they are growing. Employee training is expensive, but it is often cited that not having employee training is more costly in the long run. Today’s guest is Nick Smarrelli, CEO at Gadelnet Consulting. Inc Magazine ranked Gadelnet #3330 on the 2020 Inc 5000 list. They have been recognized on the Inc list eight consecutive times. Nick shares that one of the company values is “grow or die.” We look at the mindset of leaders that invest in employee training.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Leaders often talk about why transparency is important. However, the absolute truth is that each leader has a “transparency line,” which is how much openness they are comfortable with. In my hundreds of interviews with fast-growth companies, you will see a typical pattern in companies that make transparency a central part of their culture. Our guest is Todd Ablowitz, Co-CEO, and Co-founder of Infinicept. His company was #95 on the 2020 Inc 500 list. Infinicept is recognized as the second fastest-growing software company on the list. Todd gives you many reasons why transparency is important. We discuss the power of vulnerability. Transparency is important for fast-growth and to provide a basis for trust across the organization.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

When starting a new enterprise, many decisions must be made. Some are urgent now, and others can be pushed off until the future. One big question is what kind of company do you want to be? This question is interpreted in many ways. But strong companies that know employees are essential to the organization's success know the importance of putting people first. My guest today is Brad Casper at Heart and Soul Marketing. Brad came from a previous Inc 5000 company and wanted to start Heart and Soul Marketing with a clear focus on the people. We look at the business case of putting people first. Brad shares the questions that he started within the very beginning. Join this interview to learn the art of putting people first.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Leadership is more than just getting the job done. We have to be Activator to lead our employees beyond what they believe is possible. Dr. Jason Jones is our special guest today. Dr. Jason Jones is the author of Activator, which is about understanding the brain science in unlocking high-performance leadership. We look at the core elements of activating others. Dr. Jason Jones shows us simple ways to connect, coach, and culture in the process of being an Activator. You will learn new elements of leadership through this interview with Dr. Jason Jones.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Every business has to balance the right perks and profitability. Today we look at the power of offering parental leave and the impact it has on company growth. Parental leave is more than just time off to adjust to having a new child joining a family. Our special guest is Debbie Millin, COO at Globalization Partners. This company was 6th in the 2016 Inc 5000 list. Globalization Partners helps companies scale and grow internationally through their systems. Debbe and I talk about parental leave in today's world. We look at the reasons why it is essential if you want to create a place that attracts top talent.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Leaders who can do most tasks in their company seem to struggle in one central area. It is learning to delegate the right way. The main reason is they know how to do the thing. They also know how they want it done. However, great leaders know how to delegate the right way. The art of delegation can help you be the best leader you can be. Our guest is Jordan Erksine, President of Dynamic Blending. Dynamic Blending was #17 on the 2020 Inc 500 list. Jordan begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is scheduling time. He also walks us through the end of the daily routine that has amplified his impact. In part two, Jordan is coached on the struggles of delegation the right way. He is transparent in our conversation, which makes for great learning. You will discover how to delegate the right way better inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm EST

Fast-growth companies are fast mainly because the CEO can remove themselves from being the bottleneck. My research into fast-growth companies revealed the importance of getting employees to take ownership. When they feel like owners, they can act like owners. My guest today is Pete Maldonado, Founder of Chomps. His company was ranked #22 in the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Chomps are located at major retailers where they sell Chomps meat sticks made with the best ingredients. Pete begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is improving collaboration in the organization. In part two, Pete is coached on getting employees to take ownership. We look beyond employees taking responsibility for their work. You will be a more effective leader when you apply the insights we discuss together. You will discover how to getting employees to take ownership inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Communication is a cornerstone in the skills of leadership. This does not mean you have to do all the talking. Actually, there is power in talking less and leading better. When you understand that listening is essential to leadership that aligns people. Our guest is Jory Schwach, CEO of Andium. His company was #200 on the 2020 Inc 500 list. Andium is an enterprise internet of things ecosystem that leverages its end-to-end software platform to bring intelligence and flexibility to hardware like never before. Jory begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is empowering others. He is very analytical and gives us a system to empowering others. In part two, he is coached on talking less and leading better. We look at what gets in the way when you talk too much. You will discover how to talk less and leading better inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

You have likely heard the phrase "Eat the frog." It comes from the iconic Brian Tracy. It means that you have to keep doing the hard stuff every day. This means can't procrastinate the problematic things. Leadership is a constant battle of being uncomfortable when you do the hard stuff. Today we talk about doing the hard stuff with Johnny Owens, founder of Owens Recovery Science. His company is #136 on the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Johnny begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is learning to delegate better. He shares insights on the delegation that has improved the company's efficiency. In part two, he is coached on doing the hard stuff. You will discover how to do the hard stuff first thing each day inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Growing fast requires you to have to be an intentional leader. Pushing yourself and challenging your team members is a regular part of any CEO’s work. One aspect of being very deliberate in how CEOs spend their time is knowing the most valuable projects. Today’s guest is Bill Kerr, CEO of Avalon Healthcare Solutions. His company was ranked #4 on the 2020 Inc 5000 list. Bill begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is the power of giving up making decisions. He shares how much impact his team is making because they are the ones that are making the decisions to drive the company forward. In part two, Bill is coached on how CEOs spend their time. Your time is precious, and you want to make the most of it as the CEO of a growing organization. You will discover how CEOs spend their time inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Everything evolves. Great leaders are intentional about it. Once your company stabilizes from a growth phase, you may be thinking about what is next. In other words, you have to identify your next role in leadership. When you intentionally focus on how you are evolving, you will be seen as a stronger leader. Today’s guest is Aaron Grossman, CEO of The Talent Launch Network. His company was ranked eight consecutive times on the Inc 5000 list. His company was ranked eight consecutive times on the Inc 5000 list. Aaron begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is planning everything. In part two, he is coached on his next role in leadership. We look deep into what is going on as the company enters a new phase. You will discover how to identify your next part in leadership inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Back-to-back meetings may sound optimal in how you approach your schedule. However, don’t overlook the power of making time to think. If you want to see around corners and create a new future, you have to give yourself space. It may be a walk outside or even scheduling a day away from the office. Find your best strategy of making time to think. Our guest is Bryan Jakovcic, President and Owner of Fusion Health. Fusion Health was #556 on the 2019 Inc 500 list. Bryan begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is conducting better 1-on-1 meetings. In part two, Bryan is coached on making time to think. Visionaries must be intentional about time to think. You will discover how to make time to think inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Improving leadership communication does not have the mindshare of many leaders like operational strategies. However, communication is an essential element that many employees often say needs improvement, even when the company is growing fast. In fact, improving leadership communication is critical in an agile work environment. Our guest is Mike Gentile, CEO of Cisoshare. Cisoshare was #88 on the 2019 Inc 500 list. Mike begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is being intentional about his family as much as the work. He shares why putting his family at the top of his to-do list has improved his leadership. In part two, Mike is coached on improving leadership communication. We look at the enemies of communication when you are leading a growing team. You will discover how to improving leadership communication inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Many leaders feel that they have to make the most of every minute of the day. They optimize their schedules to get the most out of their time. However, many times they are not creating time to think. I see this quite often in my work and eventually, it catches up with these leaders. Today, we see how creating time to think is more productive than a packed calendar. Our guest is Kurt Luidhardt, co-founder of Prosper Group. Prosper Group was #466 on the 2019 Inc 500 list. Kurt begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, hiring a sales manager even with him actively involved in business development. In part two, Kurt is coached on creating time to think. Back-to-back meetings and scheduling every minute of the day may seem productive, but CEOs need white space to think. You will discover how to create time to think better inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Don’t overlook the need to think about the future, innovation, and potential threats. Yet too many CEOs are overscheduled. I get asked all the time. “How to create more white space to think?” As leaders, we have to learn the balance of everyday work and thinking about the vision we are creating. Our guest is Matt Kueker, CEO of Kenway Consulting. Kenway Consulting was #4495 on the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Matt begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is the power to say NO. In part two, Gene coaches Matt on creating time to think. We remove many of his limiting beliefs. You will discover how to create more white space better inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm EST

Believing you need to improve accountability across your organization is a common thought. However, many times it is seen as hovering. The idea is to improve how you delegate without micro-managing. Our guest is Renzi Stone, CEO of Saxum. Saxum was #4246 on the 2019 Inc 500 list. Renzi begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, integrating personal and professional time. He even takes time in the middle of the day to squeeze in a workout to improve his focus at work. In part two, Renzi is coached on how to delegate without micro-managing. He wants to improve how he leads and lift overall trust with his employees. You will discover how to delegate without micro-managing better inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

For many, success has a price. CEOs that put all of their energy and time into the work will often wake up one day and wonder what happened to their personal lives. I was one of those people and didn’t realize it in my first startup. One thing that CEOs must keep in mind is the importance of planning family time. Today’s guest is Jeff Kupietzy, CEO of PowerInbox. PowerInbox ranked on the Inc 500 list at #30 in 2019. Jeff begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is utilizing peer groups. In part two, Jeff is coached on planning more family time. You will discover the importance of being intentional about family time inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Every CEO is faced with dozens if not more projects that must be completed. The challenge is choosing the right projects. Not all of them can be done immediately. It is usually a balance of short-term and long-term projects that need to be managed. One way to look at choosing the right projects is to have a standard selection process or a rubric. Our guest is Jeff, co-founder of Digital Have. Digital Hyve was #52 on the 2018 Inc 500 list. Jeff begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, focusing on both the urgent and important. In part two, Jeff is coached on choosing the right projects. You will discover how to choose the best projects that drive ROI for your company in this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm EST

Your calendar is likely the one tool that keeps you organized. If your calendar is not right, you are likely late to meetings and unaware of your commitments. When you manage your calendar better, you feel productive and efficient. This special series on optimizing your time is all about how you can manage your calendar better. Our guest is Erik Huberman, Founder, and CEO of Hawke Media. His company ranked #110 in 2017 and #1508 in 2020 on the Inc 5000 list. Eric begins by sharing his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is more effective delegation. In part two, Eric is coached on ensuring that the meetings on his calendar are the best use of his time. You will discover how to manage your calendar better inside this episode.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One of the biggest challenges that CEOs face when it comes to optimizing their time is creating white space in their calendar. It seems that no matter what they do, they have people that want to fill in any available time on their calendar with a meeting. Creating white space is really about making time to think. Scheduling back-to-back meeting may seem productive, but the CEO that lacks time to think is likely to miss opportunities. Today's interview is with Justin Bakes, co-founder of Forward Financing. This company was #404 out of 5000 in the 2018 Inc List. Justin shares his top strategy for optimizing his time, which is improving his team meetings' flow. We look at the updates he has made to his meeting framework that has expanded his leadership capabilities. Justin also agreed to share the coaching conversation we held that is all about creating white space. This is not in-depth coaching, but it will give you insight into the re-framing challenges of creating white space.

Get the show notes for The OYT Coaching Series -  Justin Bakes - CEOs Creating White Space

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

When you spend your time wisely, you are focused on the right things. You can remove distractions from your mind to do the most valuable things. It is a never-ending journey to optimize your time, especially when you are the CEO of a fast-growth company. This video kicks off a new series aimed to help you optimize your time. Gene gives you the context of this series in a way that allows you to optimize your time by learning from others. This series will last the entire month of January. Tune in to optimize your time.

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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