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What makes a top ranked business leader?

Saturday, February 10, 2018


According to Comparably’s annual Best Places to Work 2017 list, these are the top ranked CEOs in the U.S. (for large and mid/small companies) this year.1 While startup companies are certainly different in many respects from these sizable companies, much can be learned from these individual’s and the culture which they foster.

Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO
According to the study, Salesforce (CRM) employees gave Benioff an average score of 90 out of 100. One employee added that, “Marc drives an amazing culture through the whole organization,” while another employee said, “they care just as much, if not more, about their employees’ well-being (from health, to pay, to benefits, to happiness, to equal rights...), their community and the earth than revenue.”

Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO
Halligan scored a 94 out of 100, citing his “down to Earth” demeanor and transparency as key factors to his high-ranking. “They all do real work. They are biased toward action,” one employee said.

Brad Smith, Intuit CEO
Smith scored a 91 out of 100, citing his ability to be “open with their plans,” and solicit info from the rest of the team,” as driving factors.

Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO
Weiner scored an 86 out of 100, citing his ability to listen and be supportive to his team as driving factors. One employee said the executive team, “are doers, they don’t just delegate but jump in and take on tasks themselves when it’s needed.” 

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Nadella scored an 82 out of 100, citing his ability to drive culture changes at the company in a “very impressive way” and moving from a “know it all” mentality to “learn it all.”

The short version of what we can learn from these CEOs who were ranked high by their employees?

Care for employees is as important as revenue generation
Down-to-earth, “doer” type person
Biased toward action, even for themselves
Openness with everyone, soliciting information from others
Listening to others as a driving factor
Learning culture, with a “know it all” culture not tolerated

Best and worst CEOs of 2017, by Jade Scipioni.  Published December 29, 2017 Career FOXBusiness.


Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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Is your Kingdom business one of the “Best Places to Work”?

Saturday, February 03, 2018


“If you are not investing in your employees, there’s really not much more to invest in. People are first and foremost at PSE,” says Kimberly Harris, CEO of Puget Sound Energy

I am always curious when the latest study comes out on “Best Places to Work”. Seattle Magazine1 came out with its latest study in January 2018.  These Seattle-area companies range in size from fifty to thousands and have a wide range of business models.  I was intrigued as I read some of the factors making them one of the local “best places to work”.

Accolade:  Said one employee review: “The best organization I ever worked at.  Management instills an empowerment environment.”

Housing Hope:  This nonprofit spent three years transforming the culture of the organization for its employees into one of two-way communication, hope (by encouraging employees to imagine what might be), and affirmation (showing appreciation for what is and challenging employees to bring forward best practices.  “We wanted to create a place where everyone could flourish, both in their lives and at work – and where employees knew we cared about them as people” says Todd Fast, Director of Administration and HR.

MOD Pizza:  The founders created a business that has a positive impact in the lives of their employees and their communities.  They believe that if they take care of their employees, those employees will take care of the customers, and the business will take care of itself.”

Overlake Medical Center: “Our employees are our greatest asset,” says J. Michael Marsh, CEO.  Interesting side note.  I had three operations in this hospital in 1969 after a construction accident while in college and six days before our marriage (but that’s another story).

Puget Sound Energy: “If you’re not investing in your employees, there’s really not much more to invest in.  People are first and foremost at PSE,” says Kimberly Harris, CEO.

WE Communications:  Miesha Swensen, senior account executive says, “Our opinions matter; we are encouraged to talk about what’s working and what’s not.  We are encouraged to take time off and recharge.  The people here are inspiring; I feed off their energy and knowledge…”

Sweeney Conrad:  The locally owned accounting firm gets high marks for treating employees like family and encouraging them to maintain a healthy balance between career and personal goals, “Leadership genuinely supports and values you as an individual,” says Michelle Peters.

Zillow Group:  Zillow takes care of its employees and they, in turn, are fanatically loyal…96% say they are proud to work at the company.

While some of these companies have thousands of employees, two of them are in the 50-60 range.  Many of the perks are things that even small companies can do, like: provisions of healthy snacks to give energy during the day, a $300 wellness certificate to pursue health activity times during the work day, incentives to work at an overseas office, encouraging gifted artistic people to improve the work environment, an on-site coffee cart during the busy season with free espresso drinks, provision of flexible work hours and days to work at home, and employee get-togethers for fun.

Kingdom companies should start off by being committed to being a “best place to work.”  Such a result takes commitment, intentionality and hard work.  But remember, the employees are the greatest asset, wherever and whatever the business may be.

They believe that if they take care of their employees, those employees will take care of the customers, and the business will take care of itself.” MOD Pizza


1   Mickool, Sheila, “Best Places to Work:  The Working Life.”  Seattle.  January 2018.


Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission