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
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.
"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."
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