Archive for March, 2014

Bang Your Gong

Posted: March 16, 2014 by Bob Gilbreath in Culture, Leadership, People, Startup

BobGilbreathAhaAnyone who works at a startup company quickly learns that culture is everything. Culture is the unspoken sync that keeps people rowing in the same direction. It is the glue that keeps people operating when it is way too early for job descriptions. Culture becomes the “smell of the place” when clients, partners and job prospects walk through the door. But you cannot have a real culture until you pick your way of celebrating the wins.

When you are working at an entrepreneurial company sometimes things move so fast that you forget to celebrate. That business prospect that says “yes” triggers a wave of new work assignments. The reporter who wants to cover your company forces you to nail down your talking points.


BrianrossA smart man once told me, “The education community has it backwards. Neither the student nor their parents are the customers. The customer is business. Students are the product.” Little Suzy or Johnny aren’t really widgets fresh off the assembly line. The real purpose of school is to prepare kids for career.

How are our schools doing? Although there are many excellent schools, the answer in general is not great. The Organization of Economic Development tests 15 year-olds across the globe. The U.S. results out of 65 countries are remarkably unimpressive: 24th Reading, 36th for both Mathematics and Science. OK. Maybe you don’t believe the validity of international tests. However, only 28% of employers in a 2009 Association of American Colleges and University survey said that 4-year colleges were doing a good job preparing students for the challenges in today’s global economy.


A Philosophical Foundation

Posted: March 1, 2014 by Chuck Matthews in Leadership, People, Startup

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Dr. Chuck MatthewsOne the great joys of being in an academic or teaching profession is seeing one’s former students succeed in life.  Such was the case this past December when a former student of mine from the 1990’s, Andy Kaiser, called and stopped by to see me.  Catching up is always exciting as he told me about the birth of his start-up idea in 2004, the subsequent birth of his now five children, starting with twins born 2005, and the re-birth of his business idea in 2011.  As he related his 10-year start-up run, I was struck by the underlying philosophy that drives and sustains him.  This past week, I invited him to speak to my class and there it was again, the unmistakable core philosophy.  In fact, on his company’s web site, he outlines not only his entrepreneurial journey and business, but his core philosophical foundation.