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Learn More, Grow More, Be More

It happens: You build a successful organization and business is humming along. Suddenly you realize: You’re bored and you want more. Not more money necessarily, but more personal and professional fulfillment. More enjoyment, more opportunities, more challenges. Entrepreneurs with an ongoing thirst for learning often turn to executive education programs to expand their knowledge base to tackle new challenges and opportunities. The Entrepreneurial Masters Program class of 2016. Core to EO’s mission is an unrelenting commitment to helping both first-stage and experienced entrepreneurs learn and grow to new levels of leadership, in business and beyond. Continuing education is important, especially when you’re trying to challenge the status quo. One way is executive education, offered through university programs and other professional organizations and institutes. We asked EO members about their experiences pursuing executive education, specifically the Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) at the MIT Endicott House, located in Dedham, Massachusetts. Here’s what they said. Why, as a successful entrepreneur, did you seek additional education? Michele Hecken, CEO of Alpha Translations Canada: “I sought additional education for the same reason professional athletes need a coach: To grow my potential and create the best company I can―to win when I compete. Surrounding yourself with successful peers from different industries and walks of life provides some of the best learning opportunities and provided a significant competitive advantage.” Hao Lam, CEO of Best in Class Education: “There is a Chinese proverb that resonates with me: ‘One must keep learning as long as she lives.’ So, when I discovered the opportunity to enrich my life through additional education and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs, I knew I had to take it.” What did you gain from executive education? Hecken: “EMP provided some of the best speakers, tailored to entrepreneurs’ most pressing challenges, who provided concrete, actionable insights and advice which we could implement in our companies immediately. Those learnings, tools and metrics have provided a foundation upon which my company continues to grow to this day.” Lam: “Not only did I learn vital information from fantastic speakers, but I walked away with invaluable lessons and tools that I could apply both personally and professionally. Most importantly, I formed bonds with 66 other…

6 Keys to Building a Winning Startup Team

Did you know every job opening attracts around 250 resumes? And that number can feel like hundreds more if you’re in the midst of starting your own company and searching for the perfect startup team. Before you begin reviewing candidates, consider this checklist of tips for developing a top team. Choose Experts. Whatever area you’re looking to recruit in, look for experts in their fields. It’s tempting to hire people and then get in the habit of directing them on how you like things done. If you hire experienced professionals, you should trust that they know the best way to do their job. Explain your goals, describe what you hope to achieve and then give them the space to do what they do best! Build a Culture. As you build your team, introduce your potential candidates to your existing hires to ensure cultural fit. Today, culture is a big factor in job searches and something potential employees actively research. Set up casual meetings with team members as part of the interview process. Particularly in the start-up phase, personal connections and group dynamics can make or break your success. This awareness of culture will eventually help you create a supportive atmosphere where obstacles and solutions can be openly discussed. Set Goals and Values. Successfully managing a team means getting everybody on the same page. Whether it’s a daily stand-up or weekly conferences—make certain everybody understand your goals, your values and your short-term tasks. Consider putting your vision to paper. Not a writer? Online resources such as State of Writing or Viawriting can help you find the words.   Be Brutally Honest. If you have any doubts during the hiring process or if you realize you hired a bad apple, act swiftly to correct the mistake. Whether an individual is causing conflict or not pulling his or her weight, it’s going to negatively impact the entire team and, eventually, your bottom line.   Give Your Employees Room to Grow. When choosing your startup team, look for individuals who you can trust to own their responsibilities and who are also open to guidance when needed. You want to give team members room to learn and support to improve…

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