This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Patrick Colletti. Patrick is a serial entrepreneur, board director and advisor for angel, VC, and Private Equity backed organizations, He is a leadership and organizational culture expert and champion for what he calls “Re-Founders,” business leaders and entrepreneurs who revitalize the places where they live, work and play.
When he began his tenure as company president of Net Health in 2001, the company was experiencing significant financial turmoil resulting in laying off all but 2 employees. Collaborating with a growing team, he grew the company to where it now helps heal millions of people each year. In concert with a team which included 4 private equity partners, he completed a corporate turnaround —reinvigorating the already established organization in what essentially made NetHealth a re-startup. This is the essence of Patrick’s concept of Re-Founding and something I’m very excited to dig into with him in this episode.
Patrick started out as an entrepreneur as a kid with a paper route. Having to do all the facets of business, including collections as a kid. He then went into selling plants. He thought differently and would re-arrange the store to help things sell better to give better context.
He then went to school and studied philosophy and business. After school, he joined a private equity backed media company. They launched Law.com. He then joined another .Com and it failed. It came down to him and just one other and the board gave them 90 days to turn things around or shut it down. He and his partner did turn it around. They eliminated the debt and worked to get the shareholders whole. In a relatively short amount of time, they amassed 100 clients and go things in a good place. He then turned to really building the company to be able to scale and grow across the world. Today, they work with over a million caregivers across the world and have done 10 deals on the buy and sell side and have become a “a billion company with heart.”
What is Re-Founding and why do you think it is do important for entrepreneurs to understand?
- Re-Founders are the people you want in your company because when you get stagnant or complacent, they are the ones that help you breathe new life into it.
- Founders start with an idea and go all in creating something from nothing. They are visionaries.
- Re-Founders are visionaries as well, but in a different way. They re-imagine existing and broken structures and improve them or change them for the better. They are magicians.
- Re-Founders use their magic to create something better from something broken.
Characteristics of a Re-Founder? Who are these people?
- Re-Founders are not afraid to take a sober look at hard realities. They have awareness.
- Re-Founders identify and solve “Problem Zero” which is the main problem threatening flourishing. It takes selective focus. “Kill Your Darlings”
- Re-Founders imagine audacious possibilities.
- Re-Founders spring to action and create better realities for people. They lead with empathy and create momentum.
- Every Re-Founder has a team that they work through.
At the 14-minute mark, we discuss Re-Founding in the context of DCP (Discipline, Consistency, Persistence).
Where does Re-Founding start? Problem Zero?
- There are two different scenarios.
- The first is those that are in the midst of a crisis. These are the easiest.
- In those moments, people are willing to spring into action. There is a playbook for this.
- The second scenario is more difficult and is when people/companies are very successful because they are more resistant to change, but they have to realize they will need to change in the future to remain viable.
- The key is to be proactive and be looking for the areas you need Re-Founding in ahead of time.
At the 19 min mark, Patrick talks about the problems ripe for Re-Founding as well as some of the principles used by Re-Founders to solve them. It’s best to just listen.
What do leaders need to do to perform at their best?
- Great companies build great cultures.
- Sustained success comes from a great culture.
- Build a culture that develops Re-Founders.
- Companies that develop Re-Founders invest in programs, processes, and ways to help people be seen, challenged, and grow as Re-Founders.
- You also have to pay people well and take good care of them.
- How does your programs and processes help people feel seen and celebrated? How do you challenge people in a way that engages all of their senses?
Talk to us about what you do to build a great team…
- Everyone is uniquely made.
- Recognize the uniqueness.
- Your leadership team should do an analysis like DISC or Strength Finders – it will teach you so much about everyone and help you to see the uniqueness.
- Patrick shares a story of a program he instituted in his business that helped people in his company to “be known in a vastly different way.”
Thoughts on how to better succeed?
- If you are not failing, you really aren’t pushing yourself.
- Beware the tendency to become “fat and happy.”
- Think about the lead indicators and focus there instead of just lag indicators.
- Helpful leading indicators examples are MQLs, # of Demos, successful development sprints.
- Patrick uses the example of losing weight with leading indicators as well.
Best advice for an entrepreneur starting out today and best advice for a seasoned entrepreneur?
- Both will need a customer.
- Getting excited about finding customer is very important.
- Don’t overly fixate on profit upfront as a startup – pay the bills and get really great feedback and listen to
Best Quote: Re-Founders use their magic to create something better from something broken
Patrick's Misfit 3:
- Get real about your purpose and your work. Learn your strengths, passions, and your “brokenness for the world” that you will fix. Resist entropy.
- Be a Re-Founder. Don’t get “fat and happy” and stay challenged.
- Rest and reflect.
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