DiscoverFrom Founder To CEO
From Founder To CEO

From Founder To CEO

Author: Todd Uterstaedt

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If you are a Founder who loves the company you started, and you want to be the CEO that pilots it to sustained success, you’re in the right place! Hear from dynamic, inspiring, and successful Founders as they share their insightful stories and practical tips that make becoming the CEO more fun, stress free, and easier to build and scale the company and life of your dreams. Your guide, Todd Uterstaedt, is super passionate about Startup CEO success and wants to help boost your leadership capabilities, confidence, and mindset so that you can: 1) Build, scale, and lead your company commensurate with your dreams and aspirations 2) Maintain control of your company 3) Enhance your company’s valuation for possible succession or a profitable exit. It’s leadership development for the busy Founder and CEO.
169 Episodes
SPONSORED BY: Maria is a proud New Yorker and a skillful Founder. She has successfully navigated and pivoted her business through the dot-com bust, 9-11, the 2008 recession and now the COVID-19 crisis. She shares the 4 actions you can take to successfully lead through crisis and come out winning.
Charlynda's grandfather, Charlie "Mutt" Ferrell, Jr. created an all-purpose specialty sauce in 1956. In 2013, she learned that she inherited the coveted recipe. He didn't leave her any instructions, but she used her Air Force leadership experience and business background to create Mutt's Sauce, LLC, and they now distribute four flavors of Mutt's Sauce across the U.S. What you'll hear from Charlynda is this interview is the wisdom of many years. Her mentor, Daymond John (yes, that Daymond John), shares some key advice that helped her get through some difficult times. Hear what he told her and how you can apply the same knowledge.
Sponsor: I enjoyed speaking with Jake. He is an impressive Founder. And, I appreciate his candor about "ego." We can all learn from this conversation.
Sponsored by: Tobias is a Founder originally from Vienna. In this really interesting interview, he shares why introducing a Silicon Valley culture in the African country he started his business in, did not really work and what you can learn about creating a culture, too.
SPONSRED BY: Jason and his team have created a learning platform that is truly incredible. He started this in his early 20s with lots of learnings along the way. It was his thoughts on "letting go" that I think you will all want to listen to.
Gut health is important to all of us. We need good "gut buddies" to stay healthy. And, we need good "team buddies" for our startups to thrive. Tina shares the one interview question that tells her a lot about whether or not she should hire a new team member.
You probably have seen Dr. Gundry. His book "The Plant Paradox" is a best seller. His supplements are widely popular and celebrities like Kelly Clarkson, Usher, and Tony Robbins all credit him with their good health. It seems Dr. Gundry is on top of the health world. But, it wasn't always like that. He struggled like any entrepreneur. And, it was an early book launch failure that helped him develop the character and stamina to become a very successful Doctor/Founder and CEO.
Alex led his team through a huge nightmare. COVID-19 prompted him to quickly change his entire in-person SaaS conference business model. And, wow, he and his team quickly turned their business into virtual conferences. In fact, up until June 9, you can still get tickets to his big conference: SaaStock Remote. Buy tickets here:
Sponsored by: Marc's new (relatively) book, "It Will Never Work" is really wonderful book. I like it because Marc seems to be very honest about him Reed Hastings and the birth and growth of Netflix. I'm not surprised since "radical honesty" is a hallmark of the culture at Netflix. Marc was very revealing in this interview. He answers these questions: Why did he write and published his book so many years after he left Netflix? Why was his family such a big part of his startup success? Where did the title of his book come from? What happened when Marc shared his book with Reed Hastings (Co-Founder and Current CEO) before it was published? What does he mean by "radical honesty?" What were Marc's strengths and weaknesses as a Co-Founder and leader and what were and are Reed Hastings strengths and weaknesses as a Co-Founder and leader? What REALLY happened when Reed Hastings told Marc that he does not think Marc can lead the company by himself any more? What is his advice to Founders who are told they are not a good fit leading the company they started? How can fast-growth Founders stay close to the customer when they are so busy? What does Marc think about the recent emergence of HBOMax as a competitor to Netflix?
Pat and his team are having an enormous impact. Pat is the CEO of GAN, THE organization supporting the success of over 100 independent over 120 cities. He is also the CEO of GAN Ventures. In this interview, Pat walks us through what he believes are the new Coronavirus job description components for him and Founders around the world. He also reveals the launch of the NEW Founder Support Fund...which you will hear, he gets very emotional about. GAN: GAN Ventures: The Founder Support Fund:
Gunner and his team are on the front lines of battling COVID-19 and other pathogens in hospitals. Their amazing "tower" helps to lyze the "bugs" that linger in hospital rooms after a patient leaves. It's not something that they just came up with. It's a technology that they have been perfecting over the years. And, it's even more important now. Gunner talks about how his earlier mistake led to the further development of this much needed and timely product.
Anand really believes in his mission. With over 20 years of experience in his industry, Anand has created something whose time has for financial of the last areas of business life to still be operating somewhere back in the 1980s era. It's a tough area to break into because of a fair amount of regulation. Anand's attention to detail...a strength of his...became somewhat of a liability as he endeavored to launch into the market. He talks about overcoming perfectionism and what you can do to overcome it too. And, oh yes. Since we recorded this interview, Anand has launched BIG with new customers coming at him fast and furious. Anand is a great example of what "being all in" is all about. Listen and see what I mean.
I asked Craig to come on the show because he is a wealth of knowledge and experience. Not only did his team just finish moving a considerable number of clients to home-based work in response to COVID-19, he also successfully navigated the 2008 recession after going through a "divorce" with his co-founder. Listen as he shares some sage steps and advice about working through this challenging time period. Well worth your time.
Now, more than ever, we need to know what is happening in the hearts and minds of our team members. Santiago and his team have married up software and coaching that does just that. Santiago is well versed in the research about engagement and productivity. He is also very candid about how his leadership, at one point, was not very engaging to his team. He speaks in great detail about the time he was struggling and what you can do to overcome a similar circumstance.
These are stressful times for many Founders. What usually is a challenging role to be in, has been turned into a crazy race to stay alive. That's why I have been striving to bring you insights from Founders who have launched and exited multiple startups. Brendan is one of those guys. You may recall "Bear Naked" Granola...well, Brendan, Kelly Flatley, and team created that amazing company and sold it to Kellogg's. It was an incredible exit. In this interview, Brendan takes you inside that experience, what he learned about himself, and how he has taken these experiences as he builds he latest company, PACT Apparel. Oh, and Brendan knows a little bit more about surviving, you may have caught him on the CBS TV show Survivor in 2008.
As we battle Covid-19, I was grateful that Johannes joined me on the podcast. His views on "collective intelligence" are quite inspiring. And, it's his own understanding of himself as a leader that was quite ironic. Let me know what you think.
Bobby Herrera is the successful Founder & CEO of The Populus Group, THE company that help you manage your non-permanent workforce. Bobby is also a U.S. Army veteran and author of one of my favorite books, "The Gift of Struggle: Life-Changing Lessons About Leading" which you can buy on Bobby's personal site here: Bobby and I have become friends and I am grateful to him for coming on the podcast for a second time to detail how he uses *V-U-C-A* to lead his team during the COVID-19 crisis. This is not fluff. He details specific example and exactly what you can do to slow down the speed of this crisis and come out winning on the other side. You can read more about it here: Check out Bobby on LinkedIn ( and also his company here:
Todd O'Brien has a popular podcast you'll want to check out: He and I talk about what we have learned interviewing entrepreneurs over the years.
Andrew was guest #2, 5 years ago. It was truly an honor to have him back on the show where he discusses two key issues: 1) how he is navigating a pilot shortage 2) a specific experience about remote leadership that taught him a valuable lesson we all can learn from as the globe embraces remote work.
She grew SolidCore to over 70 locations and thousands of members including big fans like Michelle Obama. But, nothing has compared to the heart-wrenching decisions Anne has had to make in response to the global pandemic. Anne reveals the steps she has taken to take care of her team members, as best she can, and save her company amidst great uncertainty. I think the thing that makes me stop and really appreciate Anne is this...she cares deeply for her team and she is a fighter...she is committed to overcoming this temporary challenge.
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