Nuggets from Behind Closed Doors

Inside every private Alliance meeting, there are hundreds of years of experience. While keeping confidentiality of the member who provided the challenge to their group, we’ve captured (with permission) just some of the insightful comments from a handful of members. Read what these members had to say to get a glimpse of what it is like to be an Alliance member.

To see insights for a certain category, choose one from the following list:

Member David Earp Speaks: Convene the Board to Consolidate Strategy and Introduce New Members

Integrating a newly hired board member often comes with both changes and challenges. David Earp, President and CEO of Circle Pharma, shares some effective approaches for successfully bringing new board members up to speed.

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Insight categories include: Boards   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Erin Mendez Speaks: Involve (All) Your People in Strategic Decisions

Whenever major changes occur within a company, there is a risk that employees won’t jump on board with the new plan. Erin Mendez, President and CEO of Patelco Credit Union, shares her insights into the benefits of involving every level of the company when executing major strategic changes.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Peter Koshland Speaks: Share Fears, Empathize and Negotiate

Navigating a fifty-fifty percent ownership structure is difficult, and perhaps even impossible. Alliance member Peter Koshland, Founder of Koshland Pharm, describes the inherent difficulties in this arrangement and strategizes approaches to mitigate dysfunction.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Organizational Design   Strategy & Planning   

Member Mark Johnsen Speaks: Fulfillment Doesn’t Rest on the Bottom Line

If you weren’t paid for your work, would you still do it? Alliance member Mark Johnsen, Chief Wealth Architect & Executive Officer at Wealth Architects, explores the importance of finding meaning in our work beyond earning money.

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Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Ethics   

Member Paul White Speaks: Instead of Diving In, Consider Zooming Out

More often than not, CEOs are hyper focused on the here and now. Paul White, Founder and CEO of Muir Services, advises that while it is hard to step outside and look down upon a business holistically, doing so can reveal transformational opportunities.

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Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Leadership   Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Sheeroy Desai Speaks: Don’t Forget The Troops. They Win The War.

CEOs spend a lot of time in the C-suite and sometimes that warps perspective on strategic priorities. Alliance member Sheeroy Desai, Co-Founder and former CEO of Gild, suggests paying more attention to employees on the ground as the company ramps up for serious growth.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Operations   Organizational Design   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Katy Spink Speaks: Turn the Battleship by Planting Seeds

Proposing a major alteration to strategy is tricky business. Alliance member Katy Spink of Asterias Biotherapeutics suggests a measured and gradual approach to changing minds.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Everett Harper Speaks: Exit Patterned Thinking

Companies inevitably arrive at critical strategic crossroads as they strive to manifest themselves in the business world. Alliance member Everett Harper, CEO and Founder of Truss, elaborates on an inclusive, structured process to identify options and evaluate the optimal path forward.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Raj Raman Speaks: How to Find Superstar Employees in Your Backyard.

Executives often search the firmament to hire superstar employees that can deliver outsized results. Alliance member Raj Raman of Minjar suggests an alternative path to success if your dream team isn’t forthcoming.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Human Resources   Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Jason Petralia Speaks: You’re Sitting on a Gold Mine. Mine It!

CEOs are under constant pressure to increase revenue and profitability. Alliance member Jason Petralia of Raizlabs suggests that an established company could dramatically increase its revenue by prioritizing current accounts rather than finding new ones.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Gil Ben-Dov Speaks: Optimize Yourself Holistically

CEOs can lose touch with the needs and responsibilities beyond work, in areas like family, community and self. Alliance member Gil Ben-Dov, CEO of Total Phase, shares a simple framework in which to holistically evaluate and manage top-line priorities to achieve greater balance and overall effectiveness.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Work/Life Balance   

Member Andy Barrons Speaks: Build on Your Reputation of Independence

No CEO likes lumpy revenue. Alliance member Andy Barrons of Navis offers a cautionary tale and intriguing idea for smoothing out revenue and opening new lines of business.

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Insight categories include: Sales   Strategy & Planning   Technology   

Member Rob Stump Speaks: Falling Behind? Disrupt Back!

For market leaders, disruption can lurk on the periphery and threaten company profits and market share. Alliance member Rob Stump, CEO of ANI, advocates an honest approach to “disrupting back” and retaining dominance in the market.

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Insight categories include: Leadership   Strategy & Planning   

Member Jeff Cleland Speaks: How About a Win-Win-Win Situation?

Clever corporate actions of spin-off and licensing can create optimized arrangements where all parties win and future value is maximized. Jeff Cleland, President and CEO of Graybug Vision, suggests a tried-and-true maneuver that eschews acquisition in favor of equity swaps and licensing deals.

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Insight categories include: Finance   Leadership   Organizational Design   Strategy & Planning   

Member Jorge Titinger Speaks: You are the CEO. Time to Turn up the Heat.

Boardroom pressures can derail a CEO’s agenda to the detriment of the company’s ultimate performance. Jorge Titinger, former CEO of SGI, walks through a few strategies to regain control and deliver shareholder value, rather than appease problematic board members.

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Insight categories include: Boards   Finance   Leadership   M&A   Strategy & Planning   

Member Jeff Antrim Speaks: Double Down on Quality and Accountability

It can’t always be the best of times. So how can a CEO manage revenue when cash flow is tight and profitability has declined? Jeff Antrim, President of Proforma Construction, shares a few battle-tested approaches to weathering the storm while keeping the dollars flowing.

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Insight categories include: Operations   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Peter Koshland Speaks: Go. To. Bed.

A CEO may have impeccable business strategy and execution. Yet without the sound physiologic underpinnings of a healthy body, all bets are off. Peter Koshland, Founder of Koshland Pharm, sheds light on the dangers of chronic stress and suggests one simple solution that busy CEOs often overlook.

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Insight categories include: Health   Work/Life Balance   

Member Harmeet Bhatia Speaks: Don’t Just Report. Involve.

Many management teams are spread over great distances and among diverse cultures. Harmeet Bhatia of Jade Global emphasizes the importance of substantive dialogue and collaboration to forge a path to success.

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Insight categories include: Culture   Executive Development   Sales   Strategy & Planning   

Member Bryan O’Connell Speaks: In Hurricane Winds, Remember a Compass

The startup CEO commonly experiences stress and pressure from all angles. Bryan O'Connell, CEO of Meras Engineering, describes his philosophy for not losing sight of long-term goals in the heat of the moment.

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Insight categories include: Finance   Strategy & Planning   

Member Craig Sardella Speaks: You’ve Been Promoted to Chief Dreaming Officer

Regardless of a company’s niche, primary competitive advantage is gained by ceaseless innovation. Craig Sardella of Guild Mortgage Company lays out his vision of how a CEO can make all the difference — by dreaming.

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Insight categories include: Entrepreneurship   Executive Development   Leadership   Strategy & Planning