Lessons on Life and Business

Interview with Ivan Misner, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer BNI

Q1 What is the most valuable career advice you can give to people just starting out?

Follow their passion. Do what you love and you’ll love what you do. Here are two blogs I’ve done on the topic:

Q2 What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

The easy answer is the use of technology but the truth is the answer varies depending on the situation. One thing that remains constant is that businesses constantly chase bright shiny objects. I believe success comes from doing six things a thousand times, not a thousand things six times.

More at this blog:

Q3 How do you ensure your organization and its activities are aligned with your “core values”?

Be a culture champion. Write down your core values and repeat them over and over to your team. Train on the core values. Have staff talk about the core values and how they resonate with them. Write about them, and live them.

More here:

Q4 Where do the great ideas come from in your organization? Do you encourage junior members to be creative and share business ideas with senior management?

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. I’m working on book related to this called The Third Paradigm.

Q5 Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe some one who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

Michael Gerber. His book, The E-Myth taught me to work “on” my business, not “in” my business.

Q6 Tell me about a time you struggled with work-life balance. How did you solve the problem?

I have a lot on this here:

Q7 Have you made unpopular decisions like firing employees and reducing compensation levels? What do you do to keep employee motivation enact after such actions?

I’ve lost more sleep over people I’ve kept than people I’ve let go. Don’t reduce compensation – it never works.

Q8 As leaders do you create work environments that are more competitive or collaborative in nature?

Absolutely, collaborative. Fascism, is not a good work environment.

Q9 How do you get buy in from senior management and board on your business ideas?

Engagement and collaboration.

Q10 How to increase employee productivity? Do you invest in their wellbeing?

I have plenty here:

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