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The Lazy CEO Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

This is The Lazy CEO Podcast where Jim Schleckser, author of “Great CEOS are Lazy” and Founder of The CEO Project, features compelling experts and topics for CEOs of mid to large-size companies.


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This is The Lazy CEO Podcast where Jim Schleckser, author of “Great CEOS are Lazy” and Founder of The CEO Project, features compelling experts and topics for CEOs of mid to large-size companies.




Getting Ready to Sell Your Company?

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the considerations and preparations entrepreneurs should undertake before selling their businesses. Schleckser emphasizes the importance of viewing the process as a trade of asset classes rather than a simple sale. He highlights key factors to address well in advance, including the quality of the executive team, the protection of key team members through contracts, and the necessity of making oneself less critical to daily operations. Additionally, Schleckser delves into the significance of having reviewed or audited financials and the need to present potential upside and opportunities for the buyer to maximize the business's value. The podcast discusses earn-outs and the implications of hanging around after the sale. Overall, the episode provides valuable insights for entrepreneurs contemplating the sale of their companies.


Transform Your Organization into an Epic Workplace

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Cheryl Lynn Mobley, founder of reCalibrate. Cheryl shares her unique journey that led to the creation of her book, which blends her experiences on a safari with valuable leadership lessons. The conversation revolves around the challenges organizations face today. Cheryl highlights the issue of organizations heading in the wrong direction at a high velocity, often driven by the desire to please everyone. She observes that leaders can feel held hostage by various stakeholders, leading to exhaustion and a lack of clarity in organizational goals. To address this problem, Cheryl emphasizes the need for leaders to make a courageous decision to change the status quo. They should redefine their organization's purpose and be clear about what they exist to do. This clarity will help save time and energy by guiding decision-making. Cheryl also advises leaders to have frank conversations with their teams and commit to sticking with the chosen path, even in the face of resistance. Ultimately, the podcast discusses the importance of leaders being willing to make tough choices and stay focused on their organization's purpose, even if it means some individuals may opt-out. Cheryl's insights provide valuable guidance for leaders navigating the complexities of today's business landscape.


CEO Stories- Ryan Dahnert, Plymold

In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser welcomes Ryan Dahnert, the CEO of Plymold, a manufacturer of furniture and fixtures for commercial service. Ryan discusses the journey of his company and the challenges he faced as a first-time CEO. Here are the key points discussed in the podcast: 1. Plymold's Business: Plymold manufactures furniture and fixtures primarily for commercial service, focusing on fast-food restaurant chains, travel stops, and more. The company has been in business for 75 years and has been employee-owned since 1992. 2. Reorganization Process: Ryan describes the reorganization process he initiated after becoming CEO in 2019. At the time, the company had five different business divisions with varying customer bases and product offerings. They decided to focus on what they were truly great at, which was metal frame furniture fixtures combining steel, wood components, upholstery, and laminate materials. 3. Challenges During COVID-19: The podcast discusses how Plymold navigated the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, their primary clients in the quick-service restaurant industry were severely impacted. However, they adapted by focusing on remodeling and adapting to changing market conditions. 4. Lease Negotiations: Ryan shares a successful negotiation experience regarding a lease for a facility they no longer needed, highlighting the importance of assessing the unique situation and being assertive in negotiations. 5. CEO Project Support: Ryan credits his involvement in the CEO Project, a peer group for CEOs, as a valuable source of support and guidance during challenging times. The group provided insights and helped him make critical decisions for the company's future. 6. Dealing with Tragedy: The episode also touches on the personal tragedy of losing a key team member, which was a difficult experience for Ryan and the company. They discuss how Plymold worked through the grieving process and supported their team during this challenging time. The podcast highlights the importance of focus, adaptability, and seeking support from peers and mentors in navigating the complexities of running a business and facing unexpected challenges.


Executive Compensation and Contracts

In this episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast" hosted by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO Project, the focus is on the sensitive and vital topic of executive compensation and contracts. Jim discusses the intricacies of compensating CEOs and executive teams, touching on critical components such as base salary, bonuses, and long-term compensation. He emphasizes the importance of aligning compensation with market rates and strategic goals. The podcast also explores the concept of felt fair compensation and the need to ensure executives feel rewarded for their work. Additionally, Jim discusses the role of bonuses in aligning management and ownership interests, highlighting the significance of transparent and calculable bonus structures. He also touches on the use of discretionary bonuses for exceptional performance. Finally, Jim emphasizes the distinction between long-term compensation and equity, cautioning founder-owners about the complexities and considerations of equity distribution within a company. The episode provides valuable insights into executive compensation and contracts for CEOs and their teams.


What are the Implications of AI for your business

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO project, welcomes Richard Routh, an expert in the field of AI from Tri 7 Services. They discuss the impact of AI on business, regulations, technology, jobs, and more. Richard begins by explaining the concept of AI, dating back to the 1950s, where the goal was to make machines intelligent like humans artificially. He highlights early AI successes, such as chess-playing programs and the development of speech recognition like Siri and Alexa. Richard goes on to discuss how AI has become a part of our daily lives, from search engines like Google to self-driving cars. He also delves into the recent breakthrough in AI, which involves large language model solutions like GPT-3, where neural networks are trained on vast amounts of data to generate human-like text and responses. Richard emphasizes the enormous potential of generative AI, including advancements in healthcare, business analysis, political strategies, and military operations. Jim and Richard explore why generative AI gains a competitive advantage, thanks to its ability to access and integrate vast amounts of data at a scale beyond human capability. However, they also acknowledge the need for caution, as AI systems can produce hallucinations, requiring human oversight and careful deployment to avoid unintended consequences. They conclude by mentioning the concerns of experts like Elon Musk and the potential risks associated with advanced AI systems like Skynet, as portrayed in popular culture.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Raven Solomon, an expert in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Raven shares her journey into DEI, drawing from her experience managing diverse teams early in her career at PepsiCo. She highlights the importance of understanding generational differences and how leadership approaches can vary based on different age groups. Raven introduces the concept of "lead language," where each generation has a primary way they prefer to receive leadership. Raven discusses how Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, emphasizing their desire for transparency, authenticity, and accountability in organizations. She explains the significance of developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy that encompasses the workforce, workplace, marketplace, supplier base, and community engagement. Raven emphasizes that DEI should be seen as a business imperative, not just a moral obligation and that educating leaders about its benefits is crucial. The episode touches on the challenges of getting buy-in for DEI initiatives, with some leaders viewing them as threats. Raven suggests that education, awareness, and a shift in perspective can help leaders see DEI as an opportunity rather than a challenge. The conversation also explores whether DEI training should be mandatory in organizations. Overall, the episode provides insights into the importance of DEI in today's workplace, how it can benefit businesses, and the strategies that organizations can adopt to attract, retain, and engage diverse talent effectively.


Ultra-High Performance Mindset

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews JV Crum, the founder of Conscious Millionaire, who is known for bringing elements of Tony Robbins' mental state and mindset teachings into the business world. Crum discusses how he helps entrepreneurs and professionals elevate their performance and achieve a sense of abundance. He describes his own journey, including a phase of achieving financial success but feeling empty, which led him to seek a deeper purpose. Crum introduces a model with seven levels of mindset and performance, starting with "Infinite Abundance," where most people operate from a scarcity mentality. He explains that his approach goes beyond conventional high performance and aims to help individuals tap into a higher level of consciousness to unlock their potential. He discusses the importance of shifting one's identity and embracing possibilities to achieve desired outcomes. Crum also touches on the concept of "flow" and the three distinctions of flow, offering listeners an opportunity to explore these ideas further. Overall, the episode explores how individuals can transcend limiting beliefs and tap into their full potential to achieve success and make a positive impact on the world.


CEO Discussion with Mitch Joel

In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes guest Mitch Joel, a luminary in visionary thinking, digital marketing, and professional travel. They discuss Mitch's diverse portfolio of projects, including his startup, Thinkers One, which connects businesses with thought leaders for personalized thought leadership content. They explore the evolving landscape of remote work and its impact on company culture and productivity. Mitch emphasizes the importance of defining the context of work and suggests that certain tasks are better suited for in-person collaboration, while others can be done remotely. They also delve into the role of social media in corporate marketing, with Mitch highlighting the shift towards a balance between brand storytelling and direct response marketing. He points out that while direct response marketing can yield immediate results, building a strong brand story is crucial for long-term success and differentiation in the market.


Culture- Measurement and Management

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, hosted by Jim Schleckser, the discussion revolves around the crucial yet often overlooked topic of corporate culture. Jim emphasizes the significance of company culture and its impact on various aspects of business, including mergers and acquisitions. Jim begins by defining culture as "how we do what we do" and explains that it encompasses how organizations think about their work. He highlights that culture plays a vital role in attracting talent, making partnerships, and determining the success or failure of mergers. He identifies several measurable factors that define a company's culture: 1. Formality: The level of formality within the organization, encompassing dress code, hierarchy, vocabulary, and communication styles. 2. Analytics: The extent to which data is used for decision-making, ranging from intuitive decision-making to data-driven approaches. 3. Transparency: How open the organization is with sharing data, including financial information, with its employees. 4. Team vs. Individual: Whether the company emphasizes teamwork or individual performance in its culture. 5. Performance Tracking: The rigor with which the organization tracks and measures individual and team performance. 6. Innovation and Curiosity: The organization's attitude toward seeking new solutions and continuous improvement. 7. Frugality: The company's approach to spending and resource allocation, from being cost-conscious to more liberal in spending. 8. Humor: The role of humor in the workplace, ranging from serious and formal to lighthearted and fun. 9. Conformity: The degree to which employees are expected to conform to established norms and practices. Jim concludes by emphasizing the importance of cultural alignment in mergers and acquisitions and how mismatches in these cultural factors can lead to the failure of such endeavors. Understanding and measuring these cultural aspects is vital for business leaders to make informed decisions about partnerships, acquisitions, and organizational development.


Do You Want To Be King or Do You Want To Build Wealth

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the dynamics of running a business and the choice between being a "king" or being "rich" with his guest Julie. The central question is whether business owners prioritize holding onto control and maintaining their ego-driven leadership style (being a "king"), or if they focus on scaling the business and generating wealth (being "rich"). The conversation revolves around the challenges and decisions faced by founders as their businesses transition from lifestyle-oriented to growth-focused. Julie highlights that this dilemma is particularly relevant for founder-led businesses at the crossroads of scaling successfully or reverting to a lifestyle-oriented model. The tension between ego-driven leadership and the desire for financial success often influences decisions that can impact the business's direction. The "king" aspect involves maintaining a leadership persona, often tied to personal identity, recognition, and control. The "rich" aspect relates to building wealth and implementing systems for sustainable growth. The discussion also touches on the significance of a company's mission and values, and how these can reflect the owner's ego-driven tendencies or commitment to scaling for wealth. The podcast delves into the impact on hiring decisions, emphasizing how the types of salespeople and executives chosen can determine the success of the chosen path. The importance of hiring individuals who are motivated by scaling and wealth creation rather than personal recognition or hierarchy is highlighted. Julie provides examples of business owners who have successfully transformed their businesses by shifting their focus from ego-driven leadership to growth-oriented strategies. The conversation concludes with a discussion about the traits of individuals who are well-suited for a growth-focused environment, including their willingness to bet on themselves, their ability to lead by doing, and their desire to take on higher-stakes risks for the sake of business growth. The idea that building wealth benefits everyone involved in the business journey is also emphasized.


Leadership, Yourself, Your Team, and Your Company

In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Dave Mitchell, an expert in leadership and founder of Leadership Difference. The conversation revolves around leadership, understanding oneself, understanding others, and creating a positive organizational culture. Here's a summary of the key points discussed: 1. Defining Leadership and Self-awareness: Dave Mitchell emphasizes that leadership is contextual and situational. The ability to inspire diverse groups of people toward a shared goal is a defining characteristic of leadership. Self-awareness is crucial for leaders, but being aware of one's toxic behaviors without addressing them can still lead to ineffective leadership. 2. Adaptability and Flexibility: Leaders must be adaptable to different contexts and situations, as a leadership approach that works well in one scenario might not be effective in another. Effective leaders adjust their behaviors to meet the needs of their team and situation without sacrificing core integrity. 3. Understanding Others: Dave discusses the importance of understanding the attributes of different team members. He introduces his own assessment system that assigns individuals to different personality types inspired by iconic Hollywood movie characters. This system helps leaders better understand their team members and bridge differences. 4. Organizational Culture: Dave's recent book "CULTURE - Performance, Peak Performance, and Place" focuses on understanding and engaging with organizational culture. He discusses the five key metrics for evaluating and shaping organizational culture: Horizontal Alignment, Vertical Alignment, Employee Experience, Customer Experience, and Leadership Ideology. 5. Vertical Alignment: This involves ensuring that the organization's core ideology aligns with marketplace demands and success metrics. It ensures that the organization's values resonate with customers and employees. 6. Horizontal Alignment: This focuses on creating consistency between an organization's core ideology and its practices, policies, and processes. It's about embedding the organization's values in all aspects of its operations. 7. Employee Experience: A positive employee experience is crucial for delivering a great customer experience. Leaders need to create an environment where employees can thrive and contribute to the organization's success. 8. Customer Experience: A strong employee experience leads to a better customer experience. Organizations need to focus on aligning their culture with their customer's needs. 9. Leadership Ideology: Leaders need to bridge the gap between those at the top of the hierarchy and those on the front lines. Open channels of communication and feedback ensure that leadership decisions are grounded in real-world knowledge. Overall, the podcast discussion emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, adaptability, understanding others, and intentionally shaping organizational culture for successful leadership and organizational performance.


CEO Project Advisors Discuss Todays CEO Struggles

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses various topics related to leadership, growth, and challenges faced by CEOs. He is joined by his partners, Pam Singleton and Julie Walker, who are experts in advising CEOs and working with executive teams. They engage in a conversation about the obstacles CEOs commonly encounter and strategies to overcome them. The conversation touches on several key points: 1. CEO Succession Planning: Pam emphasizes the importance of CEO succession planning. Many CEOs fail to consider who would replace them in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The emotional attachment to the company and the fear of relinquishing power often hinder the planning process. However, grooming potential successors and having a strong bench strength is vital for long-term stability. 2. Middle Management Development: Julie discusses the significance of building strong middle management. This layer of leadership often gets overlooked, but it plays a crucial role in the organization. Investing in middle management development, coaching, and giving them opportunities to grow helps ensure a strong foundation for organizational success. 3. Navigating External Disruptors: The discussion also focuses on how CEOs need to adapt to external disruptions, especially those related to technology. Embracing technologies like AI can lead to enhanced productivity and efficiency. The conversation emphasizes the importance of CEOs leading this transition and fostering a culture of innovation. 4. Accountability and Hiring Decisions: The partners emphasize the challenges of holding executives accountable and making wise hiring decisions. They discuss how to identify individuals who are both skilled and culturally aligned with the company. They also highlight the pitfalls of hiring based solely on impressive resumes and titles, emphasizing the need to assess practical skills and alignment with the company's culture. 5. Hiring Process and Mistakes: The conversation delves into the hiring process and common mistakes made by CEOs. The partners suggest that CEOs need to understand the difference between skill and will—both technical competence and a genuine desire to perform the job effectively. The importance of an outcomes-based job description and the distinction between sales and marketing roles are also explored. 6. Handling Difficult Decisions: Addressing difficult decisions, such as terminating an underperforming executive, is another topic discussed. CEOs are encouraged to address these issues promptly rather than letting them fester. Learning from these experiences is crucial for growth and future decision-making. Throughout the podcast, the hosts provide insights and practical advice for CEOs seeking to overcome challenges, build strong leadership teams, and foster sustainable growth within their organizations.


Navigating Change and Uncertainty In the Workplace

On an episode of "The Lazy CEO Podcast," host Jim Schleckser welcomes April Rinne, author of the book "Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change." Rinne is introduced as a globalist and futurist with a diverse background. She discusses her book and its focus on embracing and thriving in a world of continuous and unpredictable change. Rinne explains that change has always been present, but in the modern era, technology has increased our awareness of change, leading to heightened anxiety. She emphasizes the importance of developing a "Fluxx mindset," which views all change, even challenging change, as an opportunity for growth. Rinne contrasts this with a fixed mindset that resists change. The discussion turns to the role of culture in shaping attitudes toward change. Rinne points out that cultures differ in their approaches to change, whether individualistic or collectivist. She also discusses how trust is crucial in dealing with change and cites examples from her research on different cultural perspectives on trust. The conversation shifts to how leaders can foster a culture that embraces change. Rinne stresses the need for leaders to start with themselves, being open to change, and modeling the desired behavior. She introduces the concept of "cognitive trust" (reliability) and "emotional trust" (caring for one another), highlighting the importance of building both types of trust within an organization. The podcast hosts explore the idea of vulnerability as a key element in building trust and creating a safe space for dealing with change. Rinne emphasizes that leaders must be willing to admit mistakes and vulnerabilities, which can increase trust and foster a culture of open communication. The episode concludes with a discussion of the leadership qualities needed in a rapidly changing world. Rinne highlights the importance of comfort with ambiguity and a tolerance for uncertainty, stressing that acknowledging one's limitations and not having all the answers is an essential aspect of effective leadership in a world of constant change.


Never Lose an Employee Again

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer of Design Symphony, as his guest. Joey is a renowned speaker and influencer in the areas of customer and employee experience. They discuss Joey's first book, "Never Lose a Customer Again," which emphasizes the importance of paying attention to customers after they become clients. He explains that 20 to 70% of new customers may leave before their 100-day anniversary, highlighting the need for a strong customer experience. Joey then introduces his latest book, focusing on employee experience. He believes that a great customer experience is only possible with a great employee experience, as employees are the ones delivering the service. The conversation delves into the challenges of employee disengagement, which Gallup's recent research reveals to be as high as 77%. The key focus of the discussion is on the first 100 days of an employee's journey in an organization. Joey emphasizes the importance of creating a positive and engaging experience during this period to improve retention rates. He outlines an eight-phase employee journey framework, starting with the "Assess" phase, where prospective employees decide whether to join an organization and the organization determines the fit. The subsequent "Accept" phase involves extending the job offer in a way that makes candidates feel excited about their future with the company. The conversation touches on the critical "Affirm" phase, addressing new hires' remorse and the doubts that can arise after accepting a job offer. Joey stresses the need for continuous communication and support during this stage to alleviate any uncertainty and make the employees feel valued. The remaining phases of the employee journey involve "Activate" (onboarding), "Adapt" (helping employees acclimate to the culture), "Accomplish" (setting employees up for success), "Advocate" (encouraging them to become advocates for the company), and finally, "Ambassador" (creating raving fan employees who spread positive word-of-mouth). Joey highlights that employee experience should be an ongoing focus, with leaders continuously striving to improve and engage their workforce. They discuss the importance of aligning employee and customer experiences and how embracing the true nature of the modern workforce, which is often temporary or short-term, can lead to better hiring decisions and stronger employee commitment. The episode concludes with insights into how emotions play a crucial role in interactions with customers, employees, and all relationships in general. They agree that prioritizing personal and emotional connection in all interactions is key to building successful and meaningful relationships.


5 Steps To Growing Your Leadership Empathy

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser welcomes Rob Volpe, author of the book "Tell Me More About That." The discussion centers around empathy, a crucial trait for great leaders. The podcast explores how empathy is often misunderstood and considered a soft skill that leaders might struggle with. However, Rob highlights that empathy is about connecting with another person's perspective or feelings as they experience them to foster better understanding and relationships. The conversation revolves around the five elements of empathy that can help leaders develop this essential skill. The first element is dismantling judgment, which involves recognizing and overcoming biases and preconceived notions. Rob encourages self-awareness and practicing curiosity to understand where judgments originate. He suggests keeping a judgment journal to become more aware of biases and stereotypes. The second element is asking good questions. Leaders should employ open-ended, exploratory questions to gain deeper insights into people's perspectives and feelings. Rob advises reframing questions using "who, what, where, when, and how" instead of "why," as "why" can put people on the defensive. Next, the podcast explores the importance of active listening. Active listening involves giving someone undivided attention, understanding both the spoken and unspoken aspects of communication. Leaders should pay attention to body language and context to comprehend the complete message being conveyed. The fourth element is integrating into understanding. Rob clarifies that empathy does not require sacrificing one's own perspective but rather making room for others' viewpoints. He shares an exercise called the ice cream exercise, where individuals find common ground by discussing their favorite ice cream flavors. Lastly, Rob emphasizes the significance of empathy in leadership, enhancing employee loyalty, a sense of belonging, and fostering innovation. Leaders can incorporate empathy into their decision-making process as a valuable data point that strengthens their leadership skills. Overall, the episode highlights the importance of empathy in leadership and provides practical steps for developing this essential skill. By dismantling judgment, asking good questions, engaging in active listening, integrating into understanding, and applying empathy effectively, leaders can create a more empathetic and effective work environment.


Peer Group Pros Discuss the Benefits of CEO Peer Groups

The Lazy CEO Podcast welcomes Jim Schleckser, the host and founder of the CEO Project, and his guest, John Wilson, who runs the CEO Global Network in Toronto. Both have been coaching CEOs for many years and decided to have a candid chat about their experiences. CEO Global Network, like the CEO Project, brings CEOs together in peer groups to learn from each other and help each other succeed. During the conversation, they discuss the top challenges CEOs face. John highlights that the most common issue is related to people and talent. CEOs often regret hiring or promoting the wrong person, and they struggle with decisions on investing in capital and technology like AI. The hosts also share the three questions they ask CEOs during the interview process to determine if they are a good fit for their respective networks. The questions revolve around identifying a past decision the CEO would change, the most critical upcoming decisions, and the number one thing the CEO needs to improve on as a leader. They stress the importance of transparency and vulnerability in establishing a high-trust environment within their peer groups. Both agree that as leaders, they need to be willing to show vulnerability and lead by example. They also use certain techniques, like playing games such as "two truths and a lie" during initial meetings, to create a genuine connection and build trust among the members of the peer group.


You Want To Write a Book - Heres How

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the process of publishing a book and its potential benefits. He shares his own experience as an author of two bestsellers on Amazon and provides insights into the various publishing models available. Jim emphasizes that publishing a book is a personal achievement and can serve as a calling card for businesses. It establishes credibility and can be used as a tool to attract clients or speaking engagements. While the financial gains from publishing a book are typically limited, the indirect benefits can be substantial. He explains three different publishing models: traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, and self-publishing. Traditional publishing involves selling intellectual property to a publisher, while hybrid publishing requires authors to pay for publishing services. Self-publishing gives authors full control over their work and allows them to retain intellectual property rights. Jim breaks down the steps involved in publishing a book, starting with writing the manuscript. He discusses the importance of finding a ghostwriter who can capture the author's voice and work closely with them. He advises hiring editors for bulk editing, fine editing, and proofreading to ensure the book's quality. Jim also highlights the significance of cover design and title selection, as they play a crucial role in attracting readers. Throughout the episode, Jim emphasizes the importance of investing time and effort into the publishing process and recommends seeking assistance from book wranglers or coaches who can help navigate the complexities of publishing. Overall, the episode provides valuable insights and guidance for individuals considering publishing a book, emphasizing the non-monetary benefits and the different publishing options available to them.


Top 10 Mistakes That Leaders Make

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser, founder of the CEO project, discusses common mistakes made by leaders and managers. With nearly 20 years of experience working with CEOs and running companies himself, Jim has encountered various patterns of errors throughout his career. He emphasizes that although individuals may believe they are making unique mistakes, there are often common pitfalls that many leaders fall into. Jim proceeds to share the top 10 mistakes, along with a bonus 11th mistake, that he has observed. While his focus is primarily on CEOs, he acknowledges that these mistakes can also apply to managers overseeing smaller groups or departments. He assures listeners that he will maintain confidentiality by anonymizing the stories he shares, as some may be embarrassing for those involved. However, he encourages listeners to reflect on their mistakes and see if any resonate with their own experiences. The first mistake Jim addresses is the failure to delegate. He acknowledges that delegation can be challenging and requires a high level of trust. Context is crucial in determining when and how to delegate tasks. High-risk situations or low-experienced teams may require caution, whereas low-risk and reversible tasks should be delegated whenever possible. Jim emphasizes the transformative effects of effective delegation on reducing stress, workload, and the ability to develop others. Overall, this podcast episode aims to shed light on common mistakes made by leaders and managers, providing valuable insights for improving decision-making and performance in the workplace.


Deal Terms You Need To Know Before Selling Your Company

In this episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser discusses the importance of deal terms in business transactions. He introduces the concept of "your price, my terms," emphasizing that the terms of a deal can outweigh the price in determining its quality. Jim compares two theoretical deals to illustrate this point: a $20 million deal paid over 10 years with potential deductions versus a $16 million cash deal with no backside risk. He highlights the significance of closure risk, timing, level of due diligence, time value of money, escrows, and representation and warranties in deal negotiations. Jim also discusses the impact of the buyer's fit and treatment of employees, as well as the distinction between asset sales and stock sales. He explains that the choice between the two can have significant tax implications and advises listeners to consult with their advisors to determine the most favorable option. Throughout the episode, Jim shares personal experiences and insights from his involvement in various deals. He concludes by emphasizing the importance of paying close attention to deal terms and seeking expert advice to ensure a successful transaction.


Transitioning a Family Business to the Next Generation

In this episode of the Lazy CEO Podcast, host Jim Schleckser interviews Trent Gardner, a member of the CEO Project and part of a family-owned business called GJ Gardner Homes. They discuss the dynamics of family-owned businesses, including succession and emotional issues that are unique to such enterprises. Trent provides insights into the evolution of GJ Gardner Homes, which started as a small operation in 1983 and grew into a franchise business with over 150 franchises operating internationally. Trent explains that the business was passed down from his grandfather, who also worked in the construction industry, to his father, who started GJ Gardner Homes with his mother. Trent and his younger brother are both involved in the business, with Trent primarily focusing on operations in the United States. He highlights the challenges and opportunities of running a family-owned business, emphasizing the importance of surrounding oneself with capable and smart individuals who complement one's own skills. They also discuss how GJ Gardner Homes differentiate itself in the market by making the homebuilding process fun and engaging for customers. Trent explains their customer-centric approach, which involves open communication, collaboration, and ensuring a positive experience throughout the entire construction process. They have implemented processes like pausing construction to get customer sign-off at key stages, providing transparency, and instilling confidence in the customers. The conversation touches on the topic of succession planning and future leadership in the company. Trent expresses his commitment to leading the business for the next 30 years but acknowledges that circumstances may change, and he remains open to adjustments in the future. He emphasizes the importance of attracting and retaining talent in a family-owned business, noting that growth and opportunity within the company are key incentives for employees, even if they may not have a direct path to the CEO position. Trent also mentions the family's commitment to maintaining the business as a family-owned entity, with no intention of selling to private equity or pursuing a liquidity event. He emphasizes the significance of the family legacy and the desire to continue building the brand's reputation and success. The interview concludes with a discussion about the challenges of family relationships in business and the need to make rational decisions while considering family dynamics. Trent mentions the importance of addressing nepotism and ensuring that family members earn their positions based on merit and competence. He highlights the need for professionalism and accountability within the family business. Overall, the podcast episode provides insights into the journey and dynamics of a successful family-owned business, offering lessons and perspectives on leadership, succession planning, and maintaining a positive customer experience.