John James Part 2: The Real and Raw Truth about Success, Growth, Failure and Leaving a Legacy
We continue our conversation with John James, the CEO of Engine. John dives into many of the how-to’s and “wish I would have knowns” from his deep experience.He candidly shares about the health scare that led to his resignation at Country Outfitter, how he thinks about his legacy and the principles he’s taken with him to his newest venture, Engine. He also provides the powerful and simple advice Alex Dillard, the President of Dillard’s Department Stores, gave him that totally changed the way he viewed being a leader - both at home and the office. Don’t miss this episode.
17 Oct 2019
Everything breaks at scale: How RevZilla navigated explosive growth - Anthony Bucci - Part 1
There’s a reason why nothing kills faster than success: everything breaks at scale.Today’s guest is Anthony Bucci, the co-founder and former CEO of the incredibly successful company, RevZilla. As CEO, Anthony navigated RevZilla doubling in revenue almost every year – without raising any outside money.Anthony provides a unique retrospective on today’s podcast. He’s had a chance to reflect on his experiences inside the rocketship company. He now wants to help normalize the journey for anyone listening to this podcast.We spent over 2 hours with Anthony covering a wide variety of topics. To break down the episodes into digestible bites, we’ve broken up our interview in three parts:Episode 1 (Today’s Episode): You’ll hear the process Anthony and his co-founders used to start and generate the idea for the company that became RevZilla. Anthony also goes into great detail about how they differentiated themselves and quickly scaled from $0 to over $140 million in annual revenues. Anthony shares why and how they achieved hyper-growth without raising money.Episode 2: Anthony’s provides specific details of how they approached promoting and hiring, ahead of scale. He offers insights and lessons learned about how to scale people, processes and product – before everything breaks. He also shares what how he utilizes executive coaches, mentors and advisors.Episode 3: Anthony brings it all home by sharing his perspectives, experiences and journey of merging with another company, stepping down as the CEO and what it is like moving from the fast lane to the family lane.Be sure to subscribe on iTunes (or Spotify or Overcast) to make sure you don’t miss one of these compelling episodes.Other topics from today’s episode include:The process Anthony and his co-founders used to generate the idea for RevZillaWhy RevZilla didn’t raise any money and how it helped (and hurt) themIf you have raised growth capital, the lessons you can learn from a company that never raised moneyHow everything breaks at scale and what Anthony and the Revzilla team did to predict and prepare (as opposed to seeing and solving) for explosive growthHow to evolve from Founder to Maker to Manager to Executive to Servant LeaderThe advice he gives to other entrepreneurs about raising moneyHow to get smart money’s advice without raising any moneyThe obstacles RevZilla faced scaling the businessThe concept of Strategic Pillars and the specific pillars RevZilla used to get and keep people focusedHow RevZilla differentiated between other online stores, like Amazon
26 Apr 2018
John James Part 1: Scaling to failing: Why nothing kills faster than success
As a serial entrepreneur, John created several online companies that ultimately led to the creation of Country Outfitter, a giant in western wear eCommerce. Today, John shares the lessons he’s learned from being a medical doctor to scaling an eCommerce company. He candidly shares the story of how Country Outfitter ultimately failed and how he had to step down as CEO. However, that is not the end of the story, John is wildly successful again, both in business and life.
1 Oct 2019
Dug Song Part 3: How to operationalize your values, manage the board and build an enduring company
This is the final episode in our series of interviews with Duo Security co-founder, Dug Song. In this episode, we cover a variety of topics from managing the board to work-life balance. We also dive into how Duo Security actively operationalizes their values to ensure they come to life within the business. There are no cheesy inspirational posters in this episode, just real and raw tactics and advice you can start implementing today. Listen now:
24 Sep 2019
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Building a culture of performance: hiring hacks from RevZilla - Anthony Bucci Part 2
If you missed the first episode with Anthony Bucci, co-founder and former CEO of RevZilla, be sure to listen now. He explains how he and his co-founders scaled RevZilla from an idea to over $140 million in revenue without raising any outside money.Anthony is a self-proclaimed nerd when it comes to people issues. In this episode, he will challenge your thinking on hiring, leading and managing. He’ll give you a powerful concept we recommend our portfolio companies: the 5-15. Anthony mastered keeping signal strength throughout the business, and he explains in great detail how and why you should use a 5-15 with every direct report.Anthony also shares about how he debugs his own psychology by utilizing mentors, board members, and outside executive coaches. We spent over 2 hours with Anthony covering a wide variety of topics. To break down the episodes into digestible bites, we’ve broken up our interview into three parts:Episode 1: You’ll hear the process Anthony and his co-founders used to start and generate the idea for the company that became RevZilla. Anthony also goes into great detail about how they differentiated themselves and quickly scaled from $0 to over $140 million in annual revenues. Anthony shares why and how they achieved hyper-growth without raising money.Episode 2 (Today’s Episode): Anthony’s provides specific details of how they approached promoting and hiring, ahead of scale. He offers insights and lessons learned about how to scale people, processes and product - before everything breaks. He also shares what how he utilizes executive coaches, mentors and advisors. Episode 3: Anthony brings it all home by sharing his perspectives, experiences and journey of merging with another company, stepping down as the CEO and what it is like moving from the fast lane to the family lane.
10 May 2018
Culture, Leverage and Getting Stuff Done
Culture, Leverage and Getting Stuff Done: these might be the three most important topics for anyone starting a business. In today’s episode, Blake Garrett, CEO and Founder of Aceable and AceableAgent, tackles all three hot topics – challenging your perception with his unique views.
7 Aug 2018
How to manufacture your own luck: Aligning Priorities and Actions
“Action expresses priorities." - Mahatma GandhiIf you are trying to manufacture your own luck, it might be time for you to start reflecting on a quote that greatly influenced today’s guest, Blake Garrett. Blake is the CEO and Founder of Aceable and AceableAgent, a hyper-growth startup based in Austin, TX. As you’ll hear today, the Aceable that exists now was not Blake’s original idea. In this episode, Blake tells the story of how he left Ernst and Young to follow his dreams of creating a company, the important reason why he wanted to start a company, and the major roadblocks along the way.You’ll learn the two-step process he used to hold himself accountable and get around roadblocks. You’ll also learn how you, too, can manufacture your own luck.Don’t miss the next episode with Blake we’ll dive into Culture, Leverage and Getting $#IT Done. Blake provides even more great advice and tactics on how to build the right culture and get the right stuff done.
23 Jul 2018
WHAT the heck does a product person do? (Part 1)
What the Heck Does A Product Person Do? Christopher O’Donnell, Chief Product Officer at Hubspot and Ash Devata, Head of Product at Duo Security share their incredible insights as product leaders. Before you brush off this podcast as something only for high-tech startups or product-centric companies, think again. This episode is full of important perspectives and tips for ANY company, even if you don’t have a "product person" in your business.
27 Feb 2020
The 3 types of leaders: Which one are you?
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19 Sep 2018
Dug Song Part 2: Make Complexity The Enemy: The Simple but Proven Methods Behind Duo’s Growth
As you scale a business, there’s no shortage of tactics and advice. But how do you decide what to do, when to do it and in what order? Today’s guest, Dug Song, will tell you: “Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. The list of all the things you could be doing are probably the right things to do….at some point in the company.” He warns that doing things “too early will literally kill you...you just can’t afford it when you’re small.”
10 Sep 2019
Dug Song Part 1: A different way to scale to $2.35b: How Duo Security did it
You often hear the headlines like Cisco to Aquire Duo Security for $2.35b, and wonder - what’s the story behind the story? Today you’re going to hear part one of our interview with Dug Song, co-founder and General Manager of Duo Security at Cisco. Dug is a self-proclaimed hacker who humbly describes himself as a one-trick security pony. As you’ll learn today, Dug is an incredible leader that knew, in order to put a unique company together, like Duo, he needed to build it differently.Dug shares, candidly, the thought processes that drove him to build a business that was ultimately sold to Cisco for $2.35b. However, as Dug highlights, he can’t call the acquisition “an exit” - he’s still in the business. Listen now to learn from Dug’s humble beginnings at his father’s liquor store to how he built “the most loved company in security,” Duo Security.
5 Aug 2019
You have a strategic plan, now what? How to improve communication, alignment and results.
“Many organizations draw the bullseye after they fired. They claimed success when they didn’t intend it.” - Tim Hawks Almost every organization has a strategic plan of some sorts. That’s the first, and easiest, step. The missing piece in the planning process is typically around communication and alignment. It’s the leaders’ role to communicate the plan in a way that creates alignment. Employees need to be able to connect their every day role back to the goals. Communication of a plan is not a one-time occurrence. There needs to be a process to state and restate the goals. You need to measure the progress continuously. The real work of strategic planning comes after the plan. That’s exactly what we are unpacking with today’s guest, Tim Hawks. He describes how they operationalize their strategic planning process. Tim dives into their meeting cadence, their communication process and a lot more. Listen in to hear how you can operationalize your strategic planning process to reach your goals. Today’s Topics Include: How Tim and his organization approach their strategic plan How they communicate the plan so everyone understands their role Using the strategic plan as a tool to get and keep everyone aligned The importance of getting many involved in the process The number of goals you need to be successful in strategic planning Using clear goals to make sure you reach them 1 Year from Now, if we are wildly successful, what is different? In 90 days, what do we need to accomplish to meet the goal in 1 year? 30 Days from now, what needs to happen? The mantra of “every team advances every goal every month” How to check on progress against the goals Does Tim think the strategic planning process is worth it? How Tim prepares every week to speak in front of thousands of people How you can prepare for your next talk by starting with Know, Feel, Do. What does that mean and how can you use it? More great Leadership Podcasts
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HOW the heck the best product people lead (Part 2 of 2)
Today, we continue the conversation around product development with Christopher O’Donnell, Chief Product Officer at Hubspot and Ash Devata, Head of Product at Duo Security. We cover a wide range of topics from how to creatively interview to ensure you get the right person in your next product management hire, including ways to pressure test for EQ and IQ to specific ways Hubspot and Duo Security develop and execute their product roadmap. We even dive into how CEOs should think about and influence product to deliver the best customer experience.
11 Mar 2020
Interviewing: Rackspace co-founder shares lessons learned and best practices
Dirk Elmendorf, a co-founder of Rackspace, learned the hard way: interviewing is hard. It’s even more difficult when hiring for highly technical positions like engineers, that may not excel in a traditional interview. In this episode, Dirk explains his unique approach to hiring and provides tips you can use in your next interview. He discusses gut instinct vs. raw data, how to ask great questions and what you should be listening for in your next interview. Dirk also tells the deeply personal life event that changed the way he views work-life balance. Listen now!
3 May 2019
Rackspace Co-Founder: How to build a “fanatical,” customer-obsessed culture
Today we are talking to Dirk Elmendorf, Co-Founder of Rackspace. You’re going to hear the exceptional story behind how he started Rackspace in 1998 with two co-founders and how Rackspace got to be known for its fanatical customer support. Dirk provides simple solutions to make sure customers remain (or become) the center of your business. If you have a business that provides support for your product or service, you do not want to miss this episode.
12 Apr 2019
The Top 3 Fears of CEOs
For this special Halloween-themed episode of the For You Leaders Podcast, we’ll explore three huge fears of, even the best, CEOs. Obviously, most CEOs are concerned that their businesses will succeed, but today’s episode goes deeper to uncover why CEOs share these three very common, fears. You will also learn how to overcome these fears in your own life.
30 Oct 2018
Creating something from nothing: Lessons from the audacious vision of Zero Mass Water
Today’s guest is Cody Friesen, CEO of Zero Mass Water. Their mission is lofty by any standard: Perfecting water for every person, every place.Today’s podcast is about a lot more than the incredible product Cody and Zero Mass Water are building. You will learn Cody’s innovative ideas bleed into Zero Mass Water’s culture and hiring.
19 Oct 2018
Work-Life Balance: Is it even possible? How to win the struggle between work and life.
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From Zero to $2B: Lessons from Redbox Founder Gregg Kaplan
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14 Jan 2019
How to set goals that motivate, acquire companies to grow and worry less - how one award-winning CEO does it
Today, we are continuing our conversation with the award-winning CEO of Four Hands, Matt Briggs. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics from goal-setting to acquisitions to reducing stress. If you missed the previous episode, don’t miss the chance to hear the way Four Hands operationalizes their core values. One topic to pay extra close attention to in this episode is how Matt and Four Hands set their company goals. In working with businesses around the world, it’s incredible how many companies struggle with goal setting that get (and keep) people focused. Do they set them so they are achievable or so they are more aspirational and very difficult to achieve? Matt does a great job sharing the unique perspective Four Hands has used to set goals to scale. Tune your ear to their approach and how it will help you and your business set goals and grow.
17 Jan 2020