All posts by Todd Uterstaedt

The Founder’s Mentality: 10 Key Points To Keep Growth Rolling

Let’ face it, all of you have similar characteristics. There is a mentality that Founding CEOs have that is often a recipe for success.

Chris Zook and James Allen recognized this and wrote an insightful book about it. It’s called “The Founder’s Mentality.” I like the book for many reasons.

The following ten quotes from their book strike me as key to keep growth rolling.

1 – “…the returns to shareholders in public companies where the founder is still involved are three times higher than in other companies.” Page 4

2 – “…more than four in five problems on the outside of a business trace to problems on the inside.” Page 63

3 – “Leaders in rapidly growing companies need to set aside enough time to ensure that everyone understands and feels connected to the purpose of the company, including involving them directly in shaping it.” Page 85

4 – “Because the founding team is unsure how to professionalize, they are reluctant to give the experts direction.” Page 90

5 – “…employees who feel engaged and empowered – who possess an owner’s mindset, in other words – will volunteer solutions to problems and come up with innovative ideas 3.5 times as often as those who don’t.” Page 117

6 – “…the three elements of the owner’s mindset – a bias to speed of decision and risk taking, a deeper sense of accountability, and a focus on cash flow.” Page 151

7 – “Imagine the power of an organization in which leaders at every level embraced the founder’s mentality.” Page 153

8 – “Strategic change doesn’t just start at the top. It starts with your calendar.” Page 158

9 – “Great leaders leave no ambiguity about what is important.” Page 159

10 – “Take the time to codify your key principles and use them as a compass to help chart your course.” Page 163

Which quote speaks to you?

book-image

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177 — Ryan Berg

Podcast Summary:

This is a challenging episode to share with you. It’s difficult to listen to Ryan Berg’s description of the situation he once encountered for the first time. But, it’s really important to listen closely to his story and the story of the women he and his team strive to help.

Ryan teaches us so much in this interview.

  • How your organization’s “why” is vital to its success.
  • How you can do good and have a viable business model.
  • How being a strategic CEO and empowering others to tackle the issues they are most suited to take care of is important to growth.
  • Some important issues to consider when you lead a remote, international team.

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Want more productivity?

Try some of these 63 productivity hacks from 50 Top Founding CEOs.
Download the PDF today!

You’ll also receive our ezine full of podcast updates and tips and tricks from Todd.

176 — David Hassell

Podcast Summary:

David Hassell and his team have created a simple but elegant technology solution to ensure great communication amongst your team members.

And David is one of those Founding CEOs who practices what he preaches. He uses his own software and it works great for his team, too. David is fairly candid about his own transition from Founder to CEO.

I appreciated his story abut shifting his mindset from “I” to “we” and the profound impact it had on the success of his business and his personal fulfillment. Let me know what you think.

Continue reading

book-image

Want more productivity?

Try some of these 63 productivity hacks from 50 Top Founding CEOs.
Download the PDF today!

You’ll also receive our ezine full of podcast updates and tips and tricks from Todd.

The Simple, Big Shift From “I” to “We” – Language Matters

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to David Hassell’s interview with me, I highly encourage you to download it here.

David created a powerful company on one simple idea. He and his team at 15Five understand that traditional organizational feedback tools often fall short of their expectations. So, they created a fairly simply business journaling tech system that takes just 15 minutes of a team member’s time to write a quick update and a supervisor just 5 minutes to read.

During our interview, David shared that his simple software is having a big impact on helping teams better communicate. Since he and his team are experts on helping teams, we both found it a bit ironic that his biggest struggle from Founder to CEO was his mental and verbal focus on his team.

Allow me to summarize what David said.

David describes feeling the weight of responsibility for growing his company until he starting changing his language. He found himself wishing that his team took more ownership for the issues and opportunities that arose as 15Five began to scale.

Rather than using “I” frequently, David started using “we” when talking about his company.

David’s own mindset shift led to a language shift which then had the effect of encouraging his team members to take more ownership for the company mission. Things started taking off from there.

It’s funny how that works. As a Founder & CEO we cling tightly to the reigns of the company we started. It’s hard to move from “I” to “we” when we have poured so much of ourselves into the company. We want others to increase their ownership attitude to equal our own. But, sometimes we don’t want to give up some of that control so as to make space for others to develop an ownership attitude.

Maybe the real “equity” (“the quality of being fair,” according to the dictionary) in a startup or growth-focused company occurs when we reduce our ownership attitude and start sharing some of that with our team members so they have the space to increase their ownership attitude.

Do you use “I” in your mind and in your language more then “we”?

Listen to David’s interview and let me know what you think.

book-image

Want more productivity?

Try some of these 63 productivity hacks from 50 Top Founding CEOs.
Download the PDF today!

You’ll also receive our ezine full of podcast updates and tips and tricks from Todd.