Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

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July 11, 2013

When the CEO is a Control Freak, Here’s What Happens

I had coffee this morning with a friend who’s looking for something new. He’s working at a privately held company that’s run by a CEO who is compelled to control everything. It’s not a great work environment for someone who is smart, ambitious, and who wants to make a real contribution. Read More

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July 10, 2013

Poor Interviewing Skills Will Derail Your Career

Recently I met an impressive young entrepreneur. The company he founded just raised its first round of funding, and they are beginning to hire employees.

He asked, “I’ve never hired anyone, and I don’t have experience interviewing people. Can you offer any advice?” I was surprised, but not because he needs help — that’s common. Rather, I was surprised (and impressed) because most people who need to get better at interviewing don’t know it, and the rest are reluctant to ask for help. Read More

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July 1, 2013

Are You Nimble, or Just Indecisive?

bigstock-Portrait-of-a-beautiful-squirr-46461484One of the Commandments for startup companies and their executives is “Thou Shalt Be Nimble.” You must change course when facts demonstrate that things aren’t working. The business plan isn’t an immutable document; it’s something that must be adapted and tweaked as it’s tested in the real world.
But there’s a risk to worshiping flexibility. Nimble is a virtue, but it can also become an excuse for indecision and lack of focus. Read More

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June 7, 2013

Entrepreneurs, Do You Want Control or Success?

What makes a successful entrepreneur?

In my world of life sciences executive search, I’ve seen a very large sample of founding CEOs. Some made it and some didn’t. What separates them?

That’s a complex question that can’t be answered in a 300-word blog post. But one highly accurate predictor an entrepreneur will fail is an obsession with retaining control. These entrepreneurs—let’s use the hackneyed phrase and call them the control freaks—are deathly afraid of ceding control of any aspect of their businesses. Read More

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May 22, 2013

New Entrepreneur? Get a Mentor, Fast

Star WarsEntrepreneurs are endowed with a superhuman level of self-confidence. They need it, because the odds are stacked against them. It takes a strong belief in oneself to take the plunge and start a company.

Yet that self-confidence can be a liability. First-time entrepreneurs inevitably get deeply involved in tasks that are far outside their core strengths. However, most don’t have a good awareness of their weaknesses until they’ve made some expensive mistakes.

Take the example of Chris Seper, the founder and CEO of MedCity News, an online newspaper that covers the medical device industry (a great resource, by the way). Read More

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April 2, 2013

April 9 at WPI: Building the Startup Team

I’ll be moderating next week at The Venture Forum in Worcester, Massachusetts. We have fascinating program on building a great management team.
Learn more. Read More

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March 19, 2013

The Elusive “Perfect Team”

Over the years I’ve met many entrepreneurs who proudly proclaim that they are perfectionists. I have noticed that most of them don’t make it.

Why? Because perfectionists never get anything done. And people who don’t get stuff done tend to make lousy entrepreneurs. Read More

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December 7, 2012

The Startup Snow Globe

I had coffee last week with the CEO of a promising startup. Like all startup CEOs, he’s incredibly passionate about his business. I asked a lot of questions and enjoyed learning about what he’s doing.
He had a lot of questions for me, too. How’s the employment market? Are you busy? What do your clients think about the business environment in the coming year? How is that affecting their plans? Read More

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November 16, 2012

If You See Less Opportunity in Medical Devices, You Need an Attitude Adjustment

For the last five years I’ve heard a constant lament from veteran medical devices entrepreneurs. They say, “There’s just less opportunity than there used to be. It’s tougher to get a product approved, it’s harder to get physicians and hospitals to adopt new products, and it’s harder to raise money.” Read More

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November 12, 2012

Success Never Comes in a Straight Line

When I was much younger, I imagined that successful people got there through an unbroken streak of smart decisions and triumphs. I thought they had perfect records, like an unbeaten football team. Only after spending some time in the real world did I begin to understand that business success is much more complicated than that. Read More

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