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Boris Manhart, Founder Growth Unltd, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #220 - Boris Manhart: The Challenges Of An External CEO

Boris Manhart

January 27, 2022

1:07 - Is university overrated?

8:55 - Why be an external CEO?

21:16 - Conflict with the founding team

23:10 - Co-CEOs and holacracy

45:41 - There is always a better you

About Boris Manhart:

Boris Manhart is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Growth Unltd, a company that helps scale your business. He was previously involved with CodeCheck and Numbrs, and studied for a couple of years at the Universität Zürich.

Boris is actually a university dropout: he quit after 2 years of studying to co-found the communication and promotion agency Compresso AG, which he ended up leading for 10 years. When looking back, he thinks a university education may give you a good background, but it's not all that's necessary to turn you into a successful entrepreneur.

Despite having co-founded Numbrs and Compresso AG, Boris has also been the external CEO at several companies, namely CodeCheck and TRIQ. This can sometimes be a challenge, because founders typically look at their startup as their baby and have a very hard time establishing emotional distance and creating space for someone else to come in and take things in a new direction.

Here are 5 things Boris wished he'd known before starting his first company:

- You shouldn't start without a solid foundation: what kind of values do you want to share with your team? What is the purpose of this company? What skills do you need to build a company that is successful?

- Choose your core team wisely: it is more important that people add strength to the company through their personality than through any specific skill.

- Leadership is not a competition: learn to delegate responsibility and to worry more about the team's collective talent than your own personal abilities.

- Stick to best practices: data based approaches always win. Find proof for your hypotheses!

- Listen to your gut feeling: though this contradicts the fourth point, there are certain situations in which you simple have no data. In those cases, trust your deepest instincts.

Memorable Quotes:

"If you do something out of passion, it usually turns out well."

"There is always a better you. Be willing to learn."

"As a founder, you should never pay too much attention to compliments."

If you would like to listen to more conversations with serial entrepreneurs, check out our episodes with Marc P. Bernegger.

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