New Employee Checklist

The primary purpose of this blog since Nov 2003 has been to discuss topics related to being an internet entrepreneur. But my own personal role has changed several times during these past 6 years, as I’ve been CEO of an internet marketing company (which was sold in June 05), head of an internet incubator (Provo Labs), and then since January 2007, I’ve been 100% focused on running (including its genealogy properties, WorldVitalRecords, GenealogyWise, and soon GenSeek.)

During that time I taught business formation classes at (what is now) UVU, and internet marketing for 2 years at BYU. I’ve live-blogged a few conferences, and covered some political and investor topics as well. So I apologize to some of my readers who have noted my lack of consistency in blogging (I used to blog several times a week–now I’m lucky to blog once or twice a month) and the fact that I cover too many disparate topics in one blog. Ideally, I’d have 3-4 blogs dedicated to different topics, but then I’d probably not update any of them often enough. But, things are often not ideal, so I’ll just continue to blog when I can and on what topics I feel are worth covering.

One thing that has been far from ideal is the hiring practices of We don’t yet have a real HR department, though we do have a benefits group that administers our health plan, etc. Growing from less than 20 to more than 60 people in six months poses a lot of challenges, especially when so many of our employees are remote (Seattle, Boulder, So. California, Salt Lake, etc). In the last couple of months we have really improved our recruiting process, our interviewing process, and we have the offer letter step down pat. Our stock options spreadsheet is updated every time we issue an offer letter that is accepted. So things are improving.

But one thing that still needs to be improved is the integration of new employees into the company culture and information flow. I have met with or talked with new employees after say 2-3 weeks on the job, and I’m always surprised to know that they don’t know really critical things, like who some of our other employees are, and what their responsibilities and skills are. When things are moving so fast for our company, it’s hard for the hiring manager to take a full day or two to orient the new employee to the org chart, who does what, what all our plans include. It is easy to make sure the person knows what their immediate tasks are supposed to be, but not necessarily how it fits into the big picture.

I decided a few weeks ago that FamilyLink needed a checklist for the hiring manager to use each time a new employee joins the company, so we don’t overlook any step–particularly with regards to making sure each new employee gets plugged in to who is doing what, and who they should be sharing ideas and knowledge with, or coordinating projects with. (Again, this is especially important because we have so many remote workers.)

Because Yammer is such a powerful tool for internal company communications, the first thing on my checklist would be to invite the new employee to Yammer, ask them to update their profile with all their contact information, and to browse the org chart to see who reports to whom. I wish the org chart could link directly to every employees LinkedIn profile–because I would require all the new employees to review the LinkedIn profile of all current employees. I’d also like them to spend a few hours browsing through various Yammer posts, doing searches, and seeing who has been involved in past discussions on topics that are relevant to them. All this would really give them a feel for who is on our team.

But in order to join our company Yammer account, the new employee has to first have an company email address, so that is actually the first thing on my checklist.

So here is my (slightly modified for public consumption) checklist of what I want to make sure that our hiring managers use whenever a new employee joins

Offer letter
Sign Employee Agreement (confidentiality, assignment of invention)
Get email account on from Michael Jensen
Join Yammer: add personal contact info, including cell phone
Connect with all colleagues on Google Talk
Define key metric, goal, and reporting tool
Hardware needs (Chad Wright)
Review mobile phone policy and our expectations
Orientation about company-wide stats emails and confidentiality
Access to survey results — training on why it is important
Access to Uservoice
Set up LinkedIn account–connect with Paul and other employees
Connect on Facebook with colleagues
Sign up for — become an active user of the FamilyStream
Access to Dashboard
Lunch meeting with CEO
Discuss which blogs they will read on Google Reader — share with other employees
Conference Plan — list 1-5 conferences they want to attend this year
Twitter / blogging policies
Discuss key metric, goal and reporting tool
Discuss list of books to read
  1. Offer letter
  2. Sign Employee Agreement (confidentiality, assignment of invention)
  3. Get email account on
  4. Join Yammer: add personal contact info, including cell phone. Review all employee profiles on Yammer.
  5. Connect with all colleagues on Google Talk
  6. Define key metric, goal, and reporting tool
  7. Identify hardware and software and equipment needs with our purchasing manager
  8. Review mobile phone policy (who needs iPhone, blackberry, etc.?) and our expectations (increased productivity and use of our company applications)
  9. Complete paperwork to enroll in benefits
  10. Orientation about company-wide stats emails and confidentiality
  11. Provide access to customer surveys — training on why it is important (hint: we listen to our customers)
  12. Uservoice orientation (we use this for each of our sites/apps so customers can vote on what we should do next)
  13. Set up LinkedIn account–connect with other employees
  14. Connect on Facebook with colleagues
  15. Sign up for — become an active user of the FamilyStream
  16. Sign up for Google Reader, and follow other employee bloggers, as well as top industry blogs
  17. Lunch meeting with CEO
  • Discuss which blogs they will read on Google Reader — enabling sharing with other employees
  • Conference Plan — list 1-5 conferences they want to attend this year
  • What LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups or real world networking groups they plan to actively participate in
  • Discuss how to find smart people to follow on Twitter
  • Company Twitter / blogging policies
  • Discuss key metric, goal and reporting tool
  • Discuss list of books to read

New employees in our engineering or web design/development team will have several more items on the checklist, like getting access to our development environment, our SVN source code check-in system, product roadmap, and bug tracking system. New marketing employees will get access to all our analytics and reporting tools for their particular area of specialty. And our ad sales and product sales teams obviously get a lot of training on particular systems, software, and selling approaches and collateral material. But the overall checklist is designed to make sure all employees get connected internally to the people and systems they need to be productive right away.

I remember reading that Google used to publish its daily sales figures internally to all employees until it started down the IPO path. Their philosophy seems to be hire smart people who gets things done and empower them with data. We really try to do the same thing. Our daily company-wide emails provide insight into all our company’s key metrics and our financial position. (Thus the need for a reminder about confidentiality.)

I emailed this checklist to some hiring managers last week and it was well received. But most of our employees haven’t seen this list yet, until today. I’m eager to get this implemented and tested in real life, and to get feedback on it. Some items are more important than others, and some can probably be done over time, instead of immediately upon being hired. I’m sure we’re missing some key items that haven’t surfaced yet.

I hope the checklist reflects some of my personal interest in helping each employee invest in developing their minds and expanding and enhancing their personal social networks. In February 2005 I published an article called “Investing in Employees: Designing a Curriculum for Key Executives.” Our new checklist doesn’t go as far as that article did in making sure employees have all the encouragement and opportunity they might need to become life-long learners, but I think it’s a decent start.

What do you think is missing from this checklist? Have you worked for a company that does a great job at incorporating new employees? What are the worst things you’ve seen companies do when new employees join up?

Please share your thoughts.

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A few years back, inspired by the book “Angel Investing,” we founded and started holding SpeedPitching events–two hour events where about ten entrepreneurs could have a few minutes at small tables with 2-3 investors.

FundingUniverse SpeedPitching events have been successfully held in six states, and are held bi-monthly in Utah. They are very affordable for entrepreneurs and they are popular with angels and VCs because they get a little exposure to a lot of deals very quickly–and save them a lot of time.

Most investors will tell you that they know within a minute or two if they are interested in a deal. But most introductory meetings between entrepreneurs (who think everyone should love their idea and can talk about it passionately for a long time) and angels/VCs are half an hour at least. Often, they go a lot longer than that, because it’s hard to cut a meeting short without appearing to be rude.

Many investors have told me they love this approach to deal flow because it saves them time.

As an entrepreneur, given the stage that is at, raising capital is not taking up much time these days. What is taking up as much time as I can possibly give it is recruiting–finding candidates on LinkedIn, responding to candidates who find us, identifying needs for positions we need to create and fill, and then doing lots of phone and in person interviews.

I blogged early today about our plan to use  a Billboard on I-15 to attract potential candidates here in Utah. But the more candidates that we get, the more time it takes to screen them, hold preliminary interviews, and then finally, get the top 3 or so candidates in face to face interviews with at least 5-6 hiring managers.

To streamline this process, what we really need to do is set up some kind of SpeedRecruiting event, where we can schedule 2 hours for all our top managers to meet with maybe two dozen or more potential recruits in a rapid-fire format. Each manager can have a prepared list of questions they want to ask each prospective employee. (It’s probably a good idea to ask the same questions each time to fairly assess the candidates for any given position.)

The goal of SpeedRecruiting would be to filter out candidates who aren’t nearly as impressive in person as their resumes suggest, and to identify top prospects for in-depth interviews with key hiring managers.

I can already see several potential flaws in this approach, but I’d like to know what other fast growing companies have done to speed up the recruiting process without ending up hiring employees that don’t end up as valuable contributors. Hiring too fast almost always ends in regret.

Have you seen any best-practices in this regard?

Help, we need suggestions here!

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Recruiting with Billboards

Several of the best Utah high-tech companies have billboards along the I-15 corridor from Provo to Salt Lake City that are focused on recruiting. I recall billboards from Omniture, Mozy, Property Solutions, The Generations Network, Orange Soda, and Doba. I’m sure there are others as well that I just don’t recall. I’m wondering if Move Networks has used billboards–but I can’t recall.

Omniture can afford to creating an ongoing serious of recruiting billboards–most of them with messages that only hard-core developers would get. But more recently they’ve mainstreamed their recruiting message with interesting billboards like “We need more Dougs” or “We need more Kates.” They followed that up with a “We have too many Mikes” billboard and then more recently, a “just kidding Mike” message, though I can’t recall the actual wording. They are definitely the 800 lb gorilla in Utah recruiting and billboards seem to play a big part of that.

Mozy’s billboard talks about afternoon meetings (probably for the developers who like to work late and sleep late) and announces they have a Ninja-friendly workplace.

Property Solutions is always looking for top PHP programmers, but their latest billboard announces a run for the cure for Rabies. When you go to the Rabies web site, you do see a “We’re Hiring” link and they do have several open positions. I really like the design of their recruiting pages.

The Generations Network has billboards that focus on it’s “one million subscribers and counting” message, but I can’t recall if it is explicity a recruiting billboard or not.

There is an excellent billboard from APX, I believe, that says “Change your Facebook Status to EMPLOYED” and says they are hiring 85 internal sales people. Very eye-grabbing. Great message.

Does anyone at any of these companies know how important the billboards are in actually filling jobs? I would love to have reader comments about the use of billboards for recruiting. I assume these companies find the billboards a good investment, because they continue them month after month and year after year.

I decided yesterday that it is time for to try a recruiting billboard on I-15. I’ve asked our marketing department to put together some ideas for this.

It might be nice to combine a key message about our growth, with an explicit recruitment message. For example, we have more than 40MM users of our Facebook application, and we are nearing the top 100 of all US web properties based on unique monthly visitors. More importantly, we are profitable and will be filling at least 20 positions in the next several months, although only about 10 of the job openings are currently listed on our corporate web site.

What are your favorite recruiting billboards?

What suggestions would you have for Most people have never heard of us, though about 1 of every 6 Facebook users uses our application. The app itself is called “We’re Related,” so most people haven’t heard of

What is the best recruiting call to action you have seen to attract interest in a company?

I’d love to hear your ideas.

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We have several open positions at, and I’ve decided to blog about them in hopes that it will increase our pool of potential candidates and educate potential candidates on our hiring process–particularly our use of trust networks to vet candidates.  If you are interested, or know someone who is, please refer them to our job listings at our corporate web site, or email paul AT

As background, is the developer of We’re Related, a top 5 Facebook application, with 37 million users. We also run web sites including,, and will be launching and in the coming weeks. We also run, a niche advertising network with a family history focus. And our first iPhone applications will soon be approved for the App Store. We rank in the top 150 of all web properties  in overall traffic according to Quantcast, are venture and angel-backed and cash-flow positive. We have nearly 50 employees and full-time contractors, including many that work in our Provo, Utah headquarters, and many that work remotely (California, Colorado, Seattle, overseas.)

For all key positions we try to use our LinkedIn networks. We reach out to 50-200 colleagues we trust and ask, “who do you know that is the best [job title here] you have ever worked with?” Then we actively try to recruit the top candidates that are referred to by our trusted sources. Internally, we like to ask, “Would Google hire this person?” (I mean, if the economy was good) because we are really looking for world-class talent. Like Google, we want to find smart people who get things done.

If we don’t get the right referral for a position by pro-actively querying our trust network, then we do accept applications via our corporate site, or through email. But in this case, our policy is to take a “try before you buy” approach — meaning, we will hire the top candidate as a contractor for a short-term project, to see how well they perform and how well they work with our existing team. We think this helps both parties determine if the fit is a good one.

We have a number of key positions that we are trying to fill right now, including an HR manager / recruiter, that will increase our ability to hire the rest of the positions more quickly. We already have some good candidates for some of these positions, and are working through the interviewing process, but none of these spots have been filled yet (and some haven’t even been posted to our web site.)

  1. HR Manager / Recruiter
  2. Usability Manager
  3. QA Manager (listed as Software Test Manager on corporate web site)
  4. Front end / HTML developers
  5. Product Manager for genealogy properties
  6. Controller
  7. Chief Genealogy Officer
  8. Content Licensing Managers (4-5 open positions)
  9. Project Manager / assistant to Chief Social Officer
  10. Twitter Interns (4-5 full time or part time summer openings)
  11. Outbound sales consultants
  12. Business Development / Marketing manager

In the coming weeks, we may be adding these positions to our corporate site, but if the right candidate emerges sooner rather than later, we will definitely jump:

  1. VP of Online Advertising Sales (should probably be located in NYC or west coast)
  2. Product managers for social applications/features
  3. Localization manager (for apps and web sites)
  4. Online Advertising Sales Managers
  5. Mobile developers (iPhone, Google Android, other platforms)
  6. Mobile product manager
  7. Product manager,
  8. Lead developer for genealogy properties
  9. Market research / internal survey manager
  10. User Interface Designer (reporting to current lead designer)
  11. Affiliate marketing manager (for WorldVitalRecords)
  12. Content Digitization Manager

If you want to apply for any of these positions, please make sure you have enough endorsements in LinkedIn that we know you are qualified and experienced in the position you are applying for.

Treat applying to work at the way entrepreneurs are told to treat approaching a venture capitalist. Almost all VCs exclusively look at deals that are recommended to them by people they already trust, including existing portfolio companies. VCs don’t have time to look at thousands of business plans that might be submitted “over the transom.” 

Likewise, it is so important for us to build a world class team, that we often don’t have time to look at the dozens or hundreds of applicants that we might be able to find from posting job advertisements everywhere or scouring resume databases. What we need is for our trust network to tell us that you are a top candidate for a particular position. If someone we trust vouches for you, then we will put you through a series of interviews, where usually 5 or more of our existing employees meet with you to determine the fit. 

We have an energetic, fast-paced, innovative culture, and we are on the cutting edge of application development on social networks and mobile platforms. We believe in investing in our people, including providing them with great equipment and sending them to many conferences and industry events for ongoing training and networking.

We hope to build a company that becomes one of the great places to work in Utah, with offices and remote employees in other locations as needed. For example, I’m trying to convince one or more of our developers to move to Silicon Valley so we can be closer to our friends at Facebook. I’d like to hire a VP of Ad Sales in New York City or possible San Francisco. We would consider hiring some of our genealogy team members to work in Washington, DC, and possible in 1-2 international locations — yet to be determined.

If you are interested in joining our fast-growing company, please help us find you by tapping into our trust networks and giving us sufficient social proof that you are right for us, that it makes the hiring decision easy. Or if you are an independent contractor or work for a company that could provide some of the services we need through outsourcing rather than hiring, please give us similar social proof from people we trust that we ought to hire your firm rather than fill some of these employee spots. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Recruiting 2.0

Some people say that the most important role of a CEO is “resource allocation”–deciding how to spend company resources. But I remember as Amazon grew and brought in a seasoned COO, Jeff Bezos said he was grateful to be freed up from operations so that he could spend more time recruiting. Perhaps the most important role of a CEO is to bring the right people together to accomplish the company’s mission.

World Vital Records was formed last year with the goal of becoming the #2 company in the genealogy industry. We are making progress towards that goal, as you can see by looking at our World Vital Records Quantcast chart. Our site had record visitors and page views the last few days. And there is no end in site. As we add thousands of new databases to our web site, and as our online marketing programs mature, we believe that in the coming years we will attract millions of users to our web sites.

With a small core team (8 full time and 4 part time and some contractors), we’ve been able to accomplish a lot in the past few months. Not as much as Wikipedia, with their 5 full time employees, mind you. But still very promising results.

And now we are growing.

So how do we go about looking for top talent these days? What methods are useful today in attracting potential employees?

Google has been in the news recently with their non-traditional methods of recruiting, such as holding Google Games at various universities, puzzle hunts, and Campus pizzas, social events that also test the intelligence and creativity of potential employees. They are recruiting at nearly 200 universities. Yahoo holds hack days. There are cool ways for these top internet companies who are hiring so many new employees (Google is hiring 500 per month) to attract a lot of interest.

Maturing local companies like Omniture, Doba, and Logoworks with many jobs to fill have successfully used billboards on I-15 to attract resumes.

But what does a small startup do to attract interest from talented people who could thrive in a startup environment, without spending thousands on a billboard or a recruiter?

One of my friends suggested a SpeedHiring Event, patterned after FundingUniverse’s SpeedPitching Events, where you could have an initial interview with maybe 10 people in one hour–where they would be prepped to sell themselves and their skills in a pitch format, and then you would follow up with the ones that were most impressive. I always find myself avoiding interviews, because I don’t have enough for them. But if they were short, and in rapid succession, I think I would do these all the time. I would even pay to have someone set all this up and run it for me.

World Vital Records is looking to hire two outstanding developers. We need a top PHP coder and a top Adobe Flex coder. Genealogy interest/experience is a plus. We are also hiring a sales manager to set up and manage our call center. We currently have 2 people doing telephone support, but we have no consistent inbound/outbound sales effort going on. We think this is one of the keys to our future growth and profitability.

One easy and low-cost way to get the word out about our hiring is through my blog, our company blog, and our employee blogs. We are also using Craigslist.

And, for the first time, we are using Facebook and LinkedIn to contact dozens of people in Utah County, who are currently employed as developers, and ask them to refer us to the best coder they know in exchange for a $500 referral fee, if their applicant is hired.

We’re doing the same thing for our sales manager. We found nearly 200 Facebook users currently employed in sales, just in Provo, and we are hoping to find, through referrals, a top sales manager that wants a ground floor opportunity at a fast-growing internet company.

I know I came across a web site a year or two ago that offered referral fees for employee referrals and managed the whole process of tracking the applicants, who got hired, and actually paid the commissions. I can’t find that site right now. If you know what I’m talking about, please let me know.

What is the most successful recruiting practice you have ever tried? I’d love to hear from you.

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Team Formation Summit for

Last year I wrote in Connect magazine that I would be trying a grand experiment in team building. I would be trying an idea I got from The Entrepreneur’s Manual, a very popular book for entrepreneurs published in 1997. I would hold a 2-day retreat with a couple dozen executives to brainstorm, network, plan, and then vote on the Founders Team for

Sometimes I have too many ideas, so I can’t get around to all of them. Sometimes ideas just go away. They stop bothering me. I almost always write every idea down, so that I won’t forget them forever, but they stop getting current brainshare.

But this team formation idea has been popping up its head every month or so. So I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Instead of a 2-day summit, we’re going to try a 1-day retreat to a local cabin. The date will be Friday, October 20th. I’m going to invite 15-20 friends developers, marketers, consultants, strategists, and entrepreneurs to meet for a day (probably from 9 am to 4 pm) to determine the future of

So far, I have invited several individuals who know about the mobile subscription business model and love it. 100% of the people invited so far have said they will come.

But since I don’t know everyone (yet), I thought I should also blog about this Summit and invite others to apply to attend it. Even if you aren’t looking for a new job, consider coming. We need advisory board members as well as a group of founders who can make this company happen.

If you are interested in being invited, please contact Pat Sheranian at 373-6565, our Provo Labs office manager, talk with her about your background and interest, and email her your resume. Or, email me your resume if you want. (paul “AT”

This will be a great networking event, and you’ll meet some fantastic people and hear some very interesting discussions about the future of mobile location-based services, the delivery of text, audio and video content to cell phones and other mobile devices, and see the very beginning of what I hope turns into another Utah business success story.

The first half of the day will be devoted to Corporate Alliance type networking, where you will have a chance to meet every other attendee and connect with them on a personal level. After lunch, which will be provided, we’ll break into teams and do some planning and brainstorming.

Finally, there will be some sharing of the best ideas and plans of the day, and we’ll have a discussion about how to form and fund a new corporation with all the assets that Provo Labs currently owns in the history space (including data, web sites, and software code).

I don’t know if we’ll actually hold a vote on who the Founding Team should be; but if the attendees want to this, we will.

I’m excited about this summit. Read the Connect article about team formation, and get your hands on a copy of the original team formation ideas in The Entrepreneur Manual. You can buy it used on Amazon for as little as $5.74.

I really believe this idea is a big one. I believe that millions of people worldwide will one day subscribe to a mobile history content subscription service, so that whereever they travel in the world they will be able to pull up text, audio, and video clips that describe or explain the history of that location. If we get the right team in place, and can get the right content and design the right interface and market this service through the right carriers (or “off portal” if necessary) I think we can pull this off right here in Utah.

I guess that makes us a Four Domino business model, right Josh?

But if we get the right team together, then we’ll be down to Three.

I also think that “history” is way down the list of the content types that all the biggest players have on their radar, and so it won’t be immediately launched by the larger players. History is kind of like genealogy–it’s not a multi-billion dollar category like travel or finance or real estate–so it’s not at the top of the list for the carriers or internet media companies.

Like I said in Connect, I promise to write an article about this experiment and what we learn from it.

Let me know if you want to come. We can only take a few more people, but if you think you are qualified and have a lot to offer here, please apply, and we’ll let you know.

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Lingotek Needs Online Marketing/Sales Manager

My friend Tim Hunt, a venture-backed entrepreneur whose company Lingotek is located at the Novell Open Source Incubator in Provo, called me the other day and said they have a new job opening for someone in internet marketing and sales.

I told him I would blog about the new position. His company has funding, a lot of momentum, and they are generating lots of buzz in the translation industry. Many leads are coming in every day. They have a powerful business model that takes advantage of the network effect. The last time I saw an exciting and innovative business model in Utah was Logoworks. I think Lingotek has a bright future.

Here is the job posting he sent me:

As I mentioned on the phone we are looking to hire a Director of Online Sales and Marketing. Here are some background points on the company and a description of the position.

About Lingotek

Lingotek has created a new kind of translation technology called a Language Search Engine. It is basically a Google-like tool that runs in a web browser searching multilingual content. It differs from an internet search engine in two ways. First. it does meaning based searches instead of concordant searches like Google. If finds the same words with the same meaning in the same context in any language in the world. Second. it searches and indexes multilingual content stored on Lingotek servers from the community of translators around the world. It doesn

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$1500 referral reward for Utah software engineering job

Robert Merrill, a Utah technical recruiter, is offering a $1500 reward
for the person who helps one of his clients hire the right SQL
engineer. He is using, a site that is getting a ton of press
lately, to manage the referrals and referral fee payments.

When I signed up at the following message was generated which I
am supposed to email to friends who qualify for the SQL engineer

Hi –

I recently heard from a friend who asked me to help them fill a job
vacancy, SOS Technical is looking for A Senior SQL Server
Engineer/Architect to be based in Orem, Utah County, Utah.

As part of this search, they are working with a new Internet company, Through a $1,500 reward is being offered which will be
shared equally among the people who help locate a successfully hired

Can you please take a moment to think about the following questions?

1) Do you know a good candidate for this position?

2) Do you know anybody who might know of a good candidate for this
position? (This way you can still earn a share of the reward!)

3) Would you be interested in this position?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, click on the link
below to view the job description and to register with (link from Paul Allen)

Thanks for your help! Wouldn’t it be great if someone we know got their dream job and we got to share the reward money!

Paul Allen

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Will Your Management Team Succeed?

I am totally disappointed today. I just learned that the UITA-sponsored Will West/Amy Lewis discussion
today about management teams was a breakfast meeting. I marked
September 1 on my calendar, but I thought it was a lunch meeting.

Please, please, please, if anyone attended, can you send me your notes/impressions or blog about what they said?

Will is the #1 fund-raising entrepreneur in the history of Utah. Amy is
one of the most energizing speakers I have ever heard. I can’t believe
I missed this event.

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Will West and Amy Lewis on Management Teams

Thanks to Ryan Money (Junto 2005), I got a copy of the handouts Will and Amy used in today’s UITA breakfast.

Keys to Management Success – Will West, Control4

Hire right.
In fact, hire people that are better than you are. If you don’t you
can’t grow an exceptional organization. Do this right, and 80% of your
job is done. Do this wrong, and you’ll sink.

Be yourself. Don’t try to be the manager you read in a
book. Use those learningÂ?s to mold your approach, but don’t try to
become someone else. You aren’t, and you probably won’t do it well.

Create passion. Retention, extra hours, loyalty to the
business, etc. are all easier when your management team believes in a
vision. Help your team understand why you are going to change your
little comer of the world.

Measure. No matter how good your people are, you can’t
be successful without finding the critical drivers for your business
and measuring them. Find data that shows you the heart of your
business, and make sure each department is watching those vital signs
on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

The Executive Team is
the single greatest factor that determines Success or Failure for any Company – Amy Rees Lewis,

Hire the Right People for the Management Team:

. Different Skill Sets (area of expertise)

. Same Core Values

Examples of Core Values:



Willing to say what they think (w/out fear of being wrong)

Willing to admit when someone else has a better way or idea

Genuinely Humble yet Confident


Optimistic about the future and the people they lead

Respectful of all others

Willingness to make decisions (even if they’re wrong) – has guts!

Exec Team operates with Total Trust in One Another

  • Absolute and total Honesty and Open Communication (no back channel conversations or clandestine meetings about one another)
  • Willing to confront one another w/ disagreements
  • Always resolve an issue (no unspoken resentments)
  • Complete commitment to the Team

Exec Team Meetings

  • Passionate, intense, exhausting, and never boring
  • Keep meetings efficient (only discuss critical issues)
  • Openly hold each other accountable for individual performance
  • Fight about issues, not personalities
  • Challenge each others ideas
  • Ultimately
    arrive at decisions that everyone agrees to support (total buy in) . No
    one walks out of the meeting with bad feelings or resentment

Responsibility of CEO to Exec Team:

  • Embody the values you look for in hiring the exec team
  • Do what you say you will and Live _what you believe
  • Create the atmosphere that allows honesty wlout punishment or backlash
  • Make sure every exec understands exactly where the company is headed
  • Clearly define both your expectations and your success measurements for each exec on an individual basis
  • Make sure every exec knows the boundaries they can operate within (what they can do on their own with and w/out CEO approval)
  • Get out of their way and let them do the job you hired them to do
  • Always give credit to your exec team for every success
  • Commit to allow and encourage a balanced lifestyle for your execs
  • Remember that leadership isn’t about you; it’s about the people you serve.

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