Leadership and Management

What’s The Right Way To Take Money Out Of Your Company?

“I’ve been at this now for seven years,” “Rob” said to me. “I just want to take some money off the table, so my family can have financial security. “Is that too much to ask?” Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. “How much money are you thinking of,”…

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When Do You Really Need A Board Of Directors?

“I want to establish my board of directors,” “Allen” said to me. “What? Why would you want to do that?” I asked. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] “I just think I need a board of directors. After all, we’re doing over $1M per year in revenue,” Allen…

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Why You Shouldn’t Fear Having A Strong Competitor

One of the most brilliant technologists, if not the most brilliant technologist, ever in the analog semiconductor industry is Bob Dobkin. Dobkin, known as “Dobby,” was the co-founder of Linear Technology, one of the most successful startups ever in the analog semiconductor business. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click…

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How Should You Decide Who You Should Lay Off?

“That is sacrosanct,” one of our investors, “Raul”, said to me. I had just told Raul that we were going to perform a layoff as part of our next funding round. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] Raul was pleased to hear me state the obvious. We needed…

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How Do You Determine Your Salary As A Startup CEO?

“Here’s what we can afford to pay you,” I said to Greg, one of the best Analog IC design engineers in our industry. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] Greg was making $400K/year working part time at Maxim. I had known and worked with Greg, so I knew…

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Why You Should Give Your Team Lots Of Equity

“Would you mind telling me your stock option plan at Maxim?” Carlos, the VP HR at Micrel asked me. “I want to do some benchmarking.” I had just joined the company as General Manager of one of three divisions the company had, so I was glad to help. [Do you want to grow your business?…

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The Most Important You Need To Manage Any Crisis

There’s nothing that challenges a leader like a crisis. Like it or not, your team is looking at you for answers and leadership through the COVID-19 crisis. There’s one skill you need to master that is likely the difference between you and your team successfully navigating any crisis. I’ll explain what this skill is and…

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Why Cutting The Bottom 10% Of Your Team Is A Bad Idea

“Brett, I know you love Netflix’s culture document,” Jeroen, my cofounder and VP Engineering, said to me. “But I’m not sure I like the idea of firing our worst team members.” “I’m not sure I’m on board with that either,” I responded. “There must be a better way to do that (manage the quality of…

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Why Is The Stockdale Paradox So Important For You?

Do you want to die of a broken heart? Good, I didn’t think so. Then you want to learn about the power of what Admiral James Stockdale learned as a prisoner during the Vietnam War. It’s called the Stockdale Paradox, and it might be the most important thing you’ll need to get through the tough…

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How Do You Manage A Board Of Directors Meeting?

“This looks pretty startup friendly,” Marsha, our attorney, said to me when I sent her our term sheet. “There are no crazy terms, and the board composition looks reasonable. [Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here.] “I think this is pretty clean,” Marsha concluded. “What about the board composition?”…

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