Entrepreneur & Midwest Angel Investor
JuntoMentor: Buildout (J6)
"Being paired with other mentors with different experiences made me realize that I have experienced so little and that I know so little."
What is your superpower?
I never give up. I will fight to the very end.
What is something that’s not on your LinkedIn profile that you wish was?
LinkedIn does a great job of talking about the jobs you’ve done, but not the mentors that you’ve had along the way. I’d want to add a section to give credit to the people that have helped me along the way and been influential in my career.
How would you describe your areas of expertise based on industry, market, and/or function?
I’m an early stage investor. Industry-wise, I mostly work in software as a service, social, mobile and manufacturing.
What are 1-2 leadership virtues you’ve observed or learned in your career?
1. Good news travels fast, bad news travels faster. No employee, investor or customer likes surprises.
2. Integrity - I started my career trading on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where the motto was "my word is my bond". I expect that to be the mantra of the CEO's I work with.
What is your strength when it comes to emotional intelligence?
Conflict management and self-control. I can be in stressful situations without losing my emotions.
What have you learned about yourself mentoring with Junto?
How little I actually know. Being paired with other mentors with different experiences made me realize that I have experienced so little and that I know so little. The interaction with other mentors is almost as interesting as with the mentees.
What is one book, blog, or podcast that you recommend widely?
I share one book with every CEO that I work with: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Every startup has difficult times at one point or another.
What is your most memorable Junto moment?
We had an off site visit with TopstepTrader, and the day really helped not only the mentors to better understand the business, but also for the leaders to better understand their own business. That day focused them on what’s important, and it fostered relationships among the team. The benefits have long continued past that off site.
Finish the following sentence: "In my experience, ______________."
Companies take a lot longer to grow and cost a lot more than CEOs think.
What are you working on right now?
I joined the board of the entrepreneurship center at IIT, and am going to help build it out with Howard Tullman who is running it.