President and CEO The Receptionist
Welcome to Authentic Leadership for Everyday People, , the podcast where we investigate the connection between effective leadership and authenticity. If you are looking for inspiration and tips on how to become a better leader by being your true self, you are in the right place. Today we talk to Andy Alsop, the President and CEO of The Receptionist, the company that made the original iPad based visitor management system.
Andy is a serial entrepreneur. In the past 30 and more years, he was part of the founding or c-level team of at least 6 different startups. He acquired The Receptionist in April of 2015, and he used all his previous experiences to adopt a new approach to leadership. He calls it “Employee Supremacy”, and it is grounded in the principle that if run a company with the primary goal of helping the employees flourish, in the long run the company will be more successful and more profitable.
[02:20] – Andy, welcome, I am very excited to have you on the show. Why don’t we start, why don’t you give me a sort of a sense of your background.
[05:32] – That is fabulous. I assume by removing the name iPad maybe at some point you can do the android version as well?
[06:17] – What are like the biggest lessons from Pre Receptionist that you brought in terms of what to do and what not to do with The Receptionist as setting up the company?
[08:29] – I wanted to have employees that felt satisfied and that felt fulfilled.
[11:36] – What are you seeing in your employee base, in terms of your retention and sort of the results of this investment that you obviously decided to make in them?
[13:02] – As you were starting the company and, if you took the time to think about what were the values of the company, and what was the process to determine those values? And then starting making sure that the people within the company lived according to those values.
[15:42] – We do have them on the walls. But more importantly through this exercise, I recognized that I wanted to make sure that everybody in the company adhered to those core values.
[18:12] – How do you personally define authenticity and then what’s the definition within the core values and the expectations within, for your employees?
[19:04] – How deeply do you go into definitions as you sort of socialize the employees to them? So you give them one definition of authenticity and then do you have, for the values, do you also have practical examples of situations, and how the values live in there?
[21:29] – There is a decision that needs to be made that may impact the company negatively in the short term but if you take the decision to keep the company in a positive state, the decision goes against the core values. Did you have to navigate any situation like that?
[23:40] – How large is your team overall?
[23:52] – What do you think would be some of the challenges maintaining that strength if you were like, scaling it X times, not going from 16 to 20 but if you were to 160, 1600?
[26:19] – How can we make a company that is really the long game, not just a short term we’re going to be growing as quickly as we can but as something that can last for the long time?
[27:24] – I remember that I was on this one walk that I came to the point of what my why was.
[30:12] – The ones who suffer the most from that are employees, right? Employees become part of the balance sheet.
[36:00] – In a situation where it is a public corporation, where shareholders have the option of where they put their capital, how that would play? Have you, is that something you have asked yourself?
[39:24] – That’s what I want to do, I want to start thinking about running my company using employee supremacy as a criteria, what are the two or three things that you would recommend they do?
[42:28] – Do you have any interest or hobby outside of work that is important to you? And how is that potentially impacted your work?
[43:40] – Every era has business jargon and cliches, which is the one that drives you crazy?
[44:07] – Food for the body or food for the soul; is there a recipe or drink or is there a piece of art, song, movie, book, that has really inspired you?
Links & Resources
Andy Alsop / The Receptionist
Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo
Dino’s Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dino on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/dinocattaneo
Podcast Instagram – @al4edp
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Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
The Social Responsibility Of Business Is to Increase Its Profits by Milton Friedman, 1970 NYT
Warren Buffet, Archive