Top of Mind: 9 Leaders’ Business (and Life) Tips

There are several apps I have been using a lot recently. The first is Dots. I’m not normally a huge gamer, however it is highly addictive and I have garnered a score to be coveted. Something that I love, especially as an activity to do with my kids, is Geocaching. I recommend it to everyone. I have also been inspired by Day One (a journaling app for Apple devices). I like the idea of recording daily meaningful thoughts.

—Avner Ronen, co-founder and CEO, Boxee

I’m really enjoying going to the office every day. After four years of building DailyWorth, we have 10 A+ people on our team. It’s like a harmonious orchestra cranking out Beethoven’s 5th. We feel unstoppable and have the metrics to prove it. If your team is less than stellar, make changes even if it’s painful to do so. Your product can’t be anything less than amazing, so your team can’t be, either.

—Amanda Steinberg, founder, DailyWorth

The last few months for me have been about focus. Usually the right thing to do is not to try to do more of everything, but to pick the one or two things that you really want to do, that you think are the biggest opportunity, and then do those things really well. This applies to your product, your business operations, your team and even your personal life. After you choose where to focus, it’s about executing, but you are much more likely to execute successfully if you are focused on the right things in the first place.

—Trip Adler, CEO of Scribd

Every Sunday night we rotate with our in-laws, bringing the whole family together for a big Sunday night dinner. This is a weekly reminder of the importance of family, food and the creativity of my 10-year-old’s “Sunday Night Show.”

—Shawn Parr, CEO, Bulldog Drummond

We began implementing the Kaizen method (Kaizen is Japanese for “change for the better,” popularized by Toyota) several months ago, and it has dramatically improved every aspect of our business, from manufacturing our bags, to managing our supply chain, to developing sales collateral. It has also helped streamline our systems and processes, giving us a more predictable work flow and improved efficiency across the board. Implementing this method wasn’t easy. Change isn’t easy, but in this case, it was worth the effort.

—Cinda Boomershine, founder, cinda b

As my daughter graduates from college, I’m thinking about how incredibly fast time flies. I look at leading a company much in the same way I view parenting: Delivering success is equally about knowing when to guide and when to trust and let go. If children grow up fast, startups grow up even faster. Having joined Badgeville just a few months ago as CEO, I see this as the beginning of a new chapter, both for me and this company that is at the forefront of the explosive gamification industry.

—Ken Comée, CEO, Badgeville

Immerse yourself in a team that gets you fired up and work in an environment that keeps you fired up. While some things will always be beyond your control, creating a successful team is not one of them. Develop a team that is made up of world-class people who strongly believe in the company.

—Eric Vishria, co-founder and CEO, Rockmelt

I try to be balanced to ensure I keep multiple perspectives and stay open-minded to new ideas. We are a fast-growing public cloud-computing company, and change is constant. So I volunteer on the boards of several nonprofit organizations; stay involved in my kids’ activities, including coaching two soccer teams; read business magazines and books (The Innovator's Solution is my favorite); and travel often.

—Adam Miller, founder, president and CEO, Cornerstone OnDemand

In my field I have to stay on top of all the self-help books, and I have to admit I love them. I love stories of struggle to success. Right now I’m reading The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, since happiness and success starts in the brain. I also love The 5 Love Languages, and my boyfriend and I took the test in the book. It really makes you understand how we all need to be loved in order to make ourselves happy.

—Patti Stanger, star of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, entrepreneur


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