Jim McKelvey had trouble selling a $2,000 art piece from his glassblowing studio.
So, he co-founded the now-legendary payments firm Square with Jack Dorsey.
Jim remains on Square’s board and has started a new company, Invisibly, which powers micropayments for journalism & publishing.
He also sits on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (the only time he ever wears a tie) and started the nonprofit LaunchCode to teach people how to program.
This year, Jim published the terrific book “The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time” which details Square’s battle against Amazon to create a better payments system.
In this 20-minute conversation, Jim shares how he scaled the early team at the hypergrowth company Square and how you can do the same.
Sizing people up is hard.
It takes getting under their skin to see what makes them tick. And deciding whether they’d be a good match with your company’s unique culture.
In fact, getting it wrong with even just a few crucial hires can be a company killer.
So I tracked down an expert.
Robin Dreeke is a veteran FBI leader who just published “Sizing People Up” the outstanding box to help you predict behavior.
And when it comes to hiring, that’s what it’s all about.
The book starts with Robin nearly being obliterated by a falling tower on 9/11, and then step-by-step how to assess people’s true motivations & tendencies.
In this 20-minute conversation, Robin reveals how to cut thru the candidate’s BS when hiring.
When a leading Private Equity firm has 50 portfolio companies & 100 consolidating acquisitions, continuing to attract the best talent is crucial.
So, Boston-based Great Hill Partners added Heather Fox Ewing to the team. She’s Director of Talent & leads the firm’s executive talent network management.
Heather collaborates with the firm’s investment team to engage the next generation of CEO’s & leadership teams with whom the firm can partner.
Prior to joining Great Hill Partners, Heather was Senior Recruiter with the hypergrowth startup Drift, where she scaled the sales team by 80 people.
In this 20-minute conversation, Heather reveals how she finds, vets, and lands the best talent.
And how you can do the same.
Do you have a To-Do List a mile long of all the things you need to accomplish for your business?
Some days, I look at mine & feel stuck. (And hopeless.)
Because I have no idea how to prioritize it.
Can you imagine having a roadmap to help you prioritize your To-Do List and get rid of the junk that won’t add value?
I tracked down the guy that can show us how.
By his 35th birthday, Mike Michalowicz had founded & sold two multi-million dollar companies.
Confident that he had the formula to success, he became an angel investor… and proceeded to lose his entire fortune!
So he started all over again, driven to find better ways to grow healthy, strong companies.
Mike is the creator of Profit First, which is used by hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe to drive profit.
And his latest, arguably most impactful discovery, is his new book Fix This Next. In it, Mike details the strategy that you can use to determine what to do, in what order, to ensure healthy, fast, permanent growth (and avoid debilitating distractions).
Here’s my 20-minute conversation with Mike.
Long before he became legendary business speaker & bestselling author, Pat Lencioni was my executive coach.
It was late 90’s in Silicon Valley. I was building my first startup, leading people for the first time, and wrestling with my own demons.
He kicked my butt when I needed it most. Pat was brilliant.
(And he still is.)
As founder of The Table Group, he’s known as the pioneer of the organizational health movement. He is the author of 11 books, which have sold over 6 million copies in 30 languages.
They include The Five Dysfunctions of A Team, Death by Meeting, and my personal favorite The Five Temptations of a CEO (I re-read it every year.)
Pat’s passion is leadership, teamwork, organizational health and he advises the nation’s top CEO’s & leadership teams.
This week, Pat & his team launched a new tool to help you determine your specific type of Genius.
Everyone is a genius in their own way. Pat boiled it down to the 6 specific types.
In this 20-minute conversation, Pat reveals them & why it’s so vital to know yours and those on your team:
Here’s Pat & me.
And if you’d like to take the profile, here’s the link to www.WorkingGenius.com
Amongst other things, 2020 has been the year of Telemedicine.
And Heal.com is proof … With a twist.
The LA-based company provides house call doctors for grownups & kids. You can get an experienced physician to your door in under an hour for $99. (Or if you prefer, via your phone or computer.)
Founded by Nick Desai in 2015, Heal.com is now in network with Aetna, Anthem, Humana, and a host of others. So it’s covered.
Investors have noticed too. Nick has raised $200M from Humana, Fidelity, Bascom Ventures, Pritzker Group, Slow Ventures, March Capital Partners, and (my favorite) Lionel Richie.
In this 20-minute conversation, Nick shares how he’s built a team of 250 who bring healthcare to your front door.
Raw intelligence is one of the most highly-overrated qualities in hiring.
I’m not going to tell you that high IQ doesn’t help in business.
But without EQ, or Emotional Intelligence, to go with it - a leader is going nowhere fast.
Because EQ is how we understand ourselves and the people we work with. What’s important to them. How we motivate & inspire them. How we negotiate with them.
In short: EQ > IQ
To dig in, I sought out an expert on the topic.
Christopher Connors is a #1 bestselling author on the topic and a leadership consultant to countless CEO’s.
His new book “Emotional Intelligence For The Modern Leader” empowers leaders to use EQ to build thriving cultures & winning teams.
As a 25-year Headhunter, I prioritize EQ over IQ any day of the week. And twice on Sunday. Now more than ever, in these trying times, being a successful leader for your team demands Emotional Intelligence.
In this 20-minute conversation, Christopher reveals how to develop yours.
Want to empower your team to make better decisions & take greater ownership?
Tired of micromanaging & babysitting them?
Former US Navy Captain David Marquet is the author of 2 outstanding books: Leadership is Language and Turn The Ship Around!
A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, David served in the U.S. submarine force for 28 years.
After being assigned to command the nuclear-powered sub USS Santa Fe, (then ranked last in retention & operational standing) he realized the traditional leadership approach of “take control, give orders,” wouldn’t work.
So David “turned the ship around” by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control. This approach took the Santa Fe from “worst to first” achieving the highest retention & operational standing in the Navy.
In just months!
In this 20-minute conversation, David shares how he did it. And, even if your business is not a turnaround, how you can get the most out of your team.
Companies have more data than they know what to do with.
Kendall Clark, Founder & CEO of Stardog, helps them do something with it.
Based in DC, his 65-person company has created an Enterprise Knowledge Graph. This platform helps you understand & interpret your data. And make more data-driven decisions.
Customers include Morgan Stanley, Bosch, Ericsson, and NASA
Stardog’s investors include Presidio Ventures, Dcode, Contour Venture Partners, Grotech Ventures, Tenfore Holdings, Boulder Ventures, Core Capital.
In this 20-minute conversation, Kendall reveals how he’s scaled the team.
It took me a long time to finally book this guest. And it was worth the wait.
Dr Roy Schoenberg is Co-Founder and CEO of Amwell, the transformative telemedicine company that IPO’d last month.
After serving in the Israel Defense Forces & earning his MD, Roy co-founded the company (originally American Well) with his brother in 2006.
It’s become one of the largest most important telemedicine & telehealth companies in the world
Amwell connects on-demand telehealth visits between patients in need & available providers. Once just a scrappy startup, the Amwell ecosystem has attracted 200 of the nation’s largest payers, health systems, employers, retailers and reaches 80 million Americans as a covered benefit.
Prior to Amwell, Roy was Founder of CareKey & CISO of TriZetto, following its acquisition of CareKey. Roy is the recipient of the American Telemedicine Association Industry award for leadership in the field of telemedicine.
This year has been transformative for Amwell. Usage is up 3,000% since the pandemic began. It’s convenient, intimate, and avoids costly ER visits.
On its journey, Amwell raised $800M from Allianz X, Takeda, Inventure Partners, and Google Cloud.
Then, the Coronavirus set the business on fire.
And on Sep 17, 2020, the company went public.
In this 20-minute conversation, Roy reveals how he overcame the odds & skepticism. And how he’s scaled the team to 1,000 full-time employees + 10,000 clinicians.
In case you missed it, breakthrough discoveries about plant & environmental interactions have led to cutting-edge tools that tackle some of today’s biggest agriculture challenges.
Which means opportunity to scale a business.
Adam Litle is CEO of Sound Agriculture, the plant development company that helps producers grow more efficiently & enhance food taste, nutrition, and sustainability.
Prior, Adam was part of the founding management team at Granular, the leading farm management software platform startup that was acquired by Dupont for $300M.
Sound Agriculture uses the power of science to design reliable & effective tools that enable sustainability across the agriculture value chain.
Its first product Source helps plants access existing nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil to provide in-season nutrition. Source provides a more economical, sustainable and environmentally sound solution for crop productivity.
The company is backed by S2G Ventures, Cultivian Sandbox, Fall Line Capital, Cavallo Ventures, and Syngenta Ventures.
In this 20-minute conversation, Adam reveals how he’s growing the team that’s growing crops faster.
You may not know the name Russell Brunson.
But you know his brainchild, the company ClickFunnels.
Anyone who says you can’t build a $100M SaaS business in Boise Idaho - without funding from VC or PE firms - is wrong.
Now, don’t get me wrong. His phone rings daily from prospective investors. But Russell chose the bootstrap self-funding path.
He was right.
After graduating college as a wrestling champion, Russell invented a potato gun. But unable to sell it, he conceived an online sales funnel that would do the work for him.
ClickFunnels was born.
Now, it’s the leading way to build & run a sales funnel online. I’m a delighted customer.
I was even more delighted to finally have the chance to meet Russell. In this 20-minute conversation, he reveals how he’s scaled the team from 1 to 400 people.
And built one of the world’s fastest-growing SaaS companies.