Title: Chief Executive Officer

Legacy with Lori Tauber Marcus

Legacy with Lori Tauber Marcus


 [Click to Tweet]

 [Click to Tweet]

 [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: Many years from now Lori how would you like to be remembered?

Lori Marcus: You know I always get back to, I feel like so much what defines me is being a mother. I love my work I love everything I’ve done for work but one of the most important things in my life is being a mother. And one of the things about being a mother is I am always conscious of the fact of always trying to be a good role model. And I’ve always said that if you were too in n number of years from now, I’m going to cry, interview one of my daughters and you said who was the most meaningful person in your life, who was the person that really inspired you?

Lori Marcus: That without thinking about it that they would say “my mother. My mother really inspired me because she treated people well, she was smart, she was hard working, she showed us that you can be a working mom and be a devoted mom and successful executive. She tried to be a good wife and a good daughter and a good sister and a good friend. And did all of that with getting up at 5 o’clock every morning, trying to eat right and stay healthy”

Lori Marcus: and everything else that I hope they would say and they would recognize the charitable things that I’ve done, in terms of my community service with my non-profit board work. But the notion that they just wouldn’t even have to think about it, that it would just be me. And so I think first and foremost I try to live my life everyday in a way that n number of years from now that that is what my daughters would say but not just my daughters, people that i’ve worked with, people that i’ve known.

Lori Marcus: When they say who’s someone that’s really inspired you, that’s left a mark not just on the organization or the project but whose left a mark on you personally and someone who believed in you and brought out the best in you and teach you to be the best that you can be without thinking about it those people would say “Let me talk to you about Lori Marcus, because she was somebody that believed in me and she helped me become a better version of myself,

Lori Marcus: that’s ultimately I feel like how I want to be remembered. The projects that we work on, you know soda at subway or oatmeal at McDonalds, or Keurig hot or Keurig cold or riders on the peleton bike. All those things are all amazing and there really fun and it’s a privilege that we get to do those for a living. But the impact you have on others to me is really the greatest legacy that you can have in your life.

Learnings 2 with David Sable

Learnings 2 with David Sable


“Think about the job you’ve been given and how to get it done.” – @DavidSable #Insights [Click to Tweet]

David Sable gained valuable #Insights from his mentor Edward on the importance of working in an open office. [Click to Tweet]

Read everything you can. Not just what interests you or supports your biased; read the other side too. #Insights [Click to Tweet]

David Sable: I was very un-corporate.  I had been living on a kibbutz for about a year.  I was really totally and completely in a different head set. I had come to work with this buttoned-up guy who started the American Revolution background, fifth generation Dartmouth corporate wasp.   You can’t even imagine.  He is like this crazy Jewish kid who walks in with long hair.  He was also Republican but very – the old kind of Republican, social-liberal.  He was very social-liberal, physically concerned.

David Sable: I walked in like this – a nutcase, leftwing kind of hippie, whatever.  He became a mentor until the day he died.  He became a mentor.

David Sable: Wherever me and my wife went in the world, he visited us. He came to be with us.  I had a problem on anything, I called Edward.  He was my man.  He was my go-to for everything.  He was amazing.

David Sable: What did Edward teach me?  He taught me a lot of things. He taught me discipline. He taught me how to write better.  He taught me a lot of things like that.

David Sable: But the most important things he taught me were – as I started my corporate career – he sat me down once and said, “David, look you’re going to work at Y&R.  You’re going to work with people who lust for the corner office.” He said, “It’s irrelevant.  Don’t ever sell yourself for an office.  Don’t ever change your job for money. Always think about the job or the task you’ve been given, the job you’ve been given and how you get it done.  So, you don’t need a corner office to get it done.”

David Sable: Which is why today, I sit literally outside on a big open desk. It was so easy for me to do.  It was what Edward taught me throughout my whole career.  It’s irrelevant how big your office is, where it is so long as you can work.

David Sable: In fact, he taught me about the Boiler Room because he came out of that political environment.  He did a lot of work for the Republican Party.  If you know, even back then they were the first open offices.  It wasn’t Silicon Valley.

David Sable: That whole open office, Boiler Room kind of thing was financial and politics because in politics you need everybody in a big room.  That’s how they work – Boiler Room style.  He was working open office long before anybody ever thought about that.

David Sable: That was Edward.  He was amazing and I was blessed to have him.

David Sable: My other two mentors, one is Howard Burson who founded Burston- Marsteller.  Howard is 96.  He goes to work every day.  He’s one of the smartest men that I have ever met and learned a ton from him about corporate relations, about speech writing, about dealing in the C-suite.

David Sable: How do you talk to a CEO? This was when I was a kid.  How do you talk to a CEO?  How do you think?

David Sable: To this day, I share this to everybody here.  Read everything that you’re hands-on.  Don’t just read the things that are of interest to you where it might support the bias that you have.  Read everything about the other side, too. Make sure you understand.

Learnings 1 with Martin Babinec

Learnings 1 with Martin Babinec


From bagging popcorn in the park to running @TriNet @MartinBabinec never thought he’d be an #entrepreneur #insights [Click to Tweet]

When you are selling your time, it’s not the same as building a company. #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Martin’s first company was @Trinet which today is the largest independent professional employer organization #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: As far back as you can remember, Martin, what was maybe your first entrepreneurial venture or what were some of the things that you did early in your childhood that made you realize that you were different, that you were self-aware, that you understood things in a different way in an entrepreneurial way?

Martin Babinec: I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur when I was growing up. I did grew up in a working class family.  My dad worked in factories and my mom was stay-at-home because together they raised seven children.  There was not a lot of resources to spread around.  We all just did what we could to put any extra bread on the table.

Martin Babinec: Probably I was seven years old when my mom helped me bagged popcorn that I would sell in the park on band concert day. Maybe that was the first entrepreneurial venture.  From there, paper routes and shoveling snow, you name it.

Martin Babinec: When you don’t have a lot and you’re trying to do more with what you have, you learn to be industrious.  My background was probably not different. I certainly did not think of myself as an entrepreneur.  But my opportunity to go down the entrepreneurial path took probably the most significant step up when after college I worked for the government for about 11 years and spent most of that time outside the US.

Martin Babinec: It was a wonderful experience that I would never trade again because I learned so much about the world.  It was wonderful cultural experience living both in Asia and Europe.

Martin Babinec: Sure enough when I retuned back to the US after being outside the US for almost seven years, then I was unemployable.  That’s what happens sometimes when you worked for the government for too long. Even though I had certain skills and believe I have certain value in the marketplace, nobody would hire me.

Martin Babinec: My background was in human resources and my experience was not valued.  That’s what lead me to consider other alternatives.

Martin Babinec: When I initially thought about becoming an entrepreneur many people in my line of work of human resources would become consultants.  I didn’t understand very much about the consulting business.  I mean, I had the expertise but somehow even though I did not know much about business models then, I realized that when you are selling your time, it’s not the same as building a company.

Martin Babinec: And so, I kept looking at models that might be able to leverage the expertise that I had in human resources but build something that could have some value beyond the time that I would spend.  Ultimately that lead to helping create what today is the industry of companies that are professional employer organization. My first real company Trinet, today the largest independent professional employer organization.

Success with Jim Madej

Success with Jim Madej


Financial discipline is 1 of 3 core business metrics taught at @generalelectric #leadership development #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Using six-sigma training @jsmadej ‏was able to turn around an underperforming program in 9 months #Insights [Click to Tweet]

“In your first 17 years, you’re still malleable as an executive.” – @jsmadej #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Jim Madej: To me, GE leadership development; I think there are a bunch of fundamentals right but I think there are 3 that are really really important. One is financial discipline. The company runs on a set of core business metrics that you’re taught when you’re 22 years old. This is what you’re driven to deliver. It’s also built on human resource systems and teams.

Jim Madej: They’ve been in the news lately trying to get to the next level of capabilities on those things. Then I think the third they brought in, kind of mid-way through my career, was six-sigma. Essentially productivity and driving productive discipline, data-driven analysis around what you’re doing, how you’re deploying your resources, etc… I got that base in my first 17 years you’re still malleable as an executive. And it was fantastic and I’ve been able to take that learning and bring it to the other companies that I’ve been with.

Jim Madej: More recently in my career with National Grid, I took an assignment on a big transformation project you know a thousand people. They were a big part of the group was missing their measurements so they would overspend the funding requirements of the program and under deliver the performance requirements of the program.

Jim Madej: I used those three core things I learned at GE: What’s my team look like? How do I deploy my resources better? Am I structured correctly? How do I structure it better to achieve the results? I ended up splitting the responsibilities of the departments then I got the metrics in place. Within a year we were delivering the performance and underspending the programs. That’s continued till now, so you know that took me nine months to get it in place and for five years it’s been working.

Jim Madej: The leadership development training at GE was phenomenal. Those were only a couple of examples obviously. You know when people ask me that question you know they say how do you perform? I’ve never missed a number and that’s GE’s training. You’re given difficult assignments, hard to make decisions in those assignments. But, if you know how to do the analysis and use your training you can meet your numbers.

Success with Itzhak Fisher

Success with Itzhak Fisher


Buzzmetrics was sold to @Nielsen in 2007 for $124 million #Insights [Click to Tweet]

From 0 to 4,000 employees, @Itzhakfisher built his first #startup in the #US [Click to Tweet]

Since selling his shares in 2000, Itzhak Fisher became an angel investor, investing in over 100 companies #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: Very excited to speak with you this morning Itzhak, it’s great to have you, thanks for joining us.

Itzhak Fisher: Thank you for having me.

Dave Carvajal: Help us understand, what have been some of the noble accomplishments in your illustrious career? How have you helped move the needle? What are some of the ways you’ve created enormous enterprise value?

Itzhak Fisher: So, I came to the US in 1994 and I started my first startup, it was RSL Communications. I formed a partnership with Ronald Lauder. It was the good old telecom days where telecom was as hot as the internet now. And we started a company end of 94’ and in 97’ we took the company public on a billion-dollar valuation.

Itzhak Fisher: I started from being a one-man show, putting a business plan together, hiring my first employees into building it into a company that had 4,000 employees, in 22 markets around the world with over $1.2 billion dollar revenues and at one time even profitable and that was my first big play and I tell everybody that meets me today I actually had a unicorn. So, then we didn’t call it a Unicorn but that was my first achievement. While I was at RSL I did two deals that were notable.

Itzhak Fisher: One is I acquired a company called Deltathree for $10 million dollars which was a voiceover IP company. Early mover there were like two companies in the space, IDT & Deltathree. We took that company public also at $360 million-dollar evaluation all the way to a billion so I double Unicorn at that time. And another company we did in the telecom days, im talking much much earlier in my career we bought international directory assistant company in Germany.

Itzhak Fisher: We bought 25{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} stake for like $25 million-dollars, we sold it like 3 or 4 years later for $400 million dollars. Those are early investments that were highly profitable for me. In 2000 I sold all my shares and became an angel investor. So throughout my angel investing days I’ve invested in over 100 companies.

Itzhak Fisher: My lifetime IR is over 67{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4}. The most notable deal, not money wise, but the most notable deal that had the most effect on my career is a company called Buzz matrix. I invested in Buzz matrix when they didn’t have a product yet. I became one of the founders. The company became the leading company in social media analytics.

Itzhak Fisher: We sold the company for $124 million dollars to Nielsen in 2007 and as part of the sale I joined Nielsen 75{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} of my time and I became one of the top 5 and I became, I learned a lot about data, analytics, media consumer which is the main areas that I am doing now,

Itzhak Fisher: I find those areas fascinating. And they give you insight about how to manage your business in a more effective way and be at the tip of innovation when it comes to different type of businesses.

Challenges with David Sable

Challenges with David Sable


@DavidSable believes in looking deep inside oneself to realize your mistakes and learn from them #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Learn to look deep, fix your problems & pick yourself back up again #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Too many people write off adversity as issues out of their control instead of looking to themselves to improve [Click to Tweet]

David Sable: What lessons do you learn from adversity?  Well, so many. So many. At the end of the day we all have faced adverse situations and we’ve all failed.

David Sable: I’ve lost clients. I’ve lost pitches. I had a business and a partner in ’96 that I thought was going to be the greatest in the world.  We were early in the internet and we went boom bust.  It happens.

David Sable: And so the question, “What do you learn from it?”. I think that the biggest learning comes back to what we were saying before about leadership and self-awareness.  If we don’t have self-awareness, we can’t learn from an adverse situation. You have to really deep down inside yourself.  You have to look deep down inside of what happened and be able to say, “Okay what did I do wrong?  What didn’t I do right?  What did I miss?” Sometimes it’s not you did it wrong, sometimes you missed something.

David Sable: Sometimes by the way, it is political. What is serendipity?  What is pre-determined?  All kinds but not always. I’ve had those issues in my life and those hurt when you can’t learn anything because you just look at it and say, “Wow, I got screwed.”  It happens but it doesn’t happen every time.

David Sable: The problem is too many people will just take that view every time instead of looking deep and saying, “What did I do wrong? What didn’t I do right?  What more could I have done?”

David Sable: Frankly, I have had that. I’ve seen it happen to myself. I’ve seen it happen to other people. What do you learn? You learn to a) make sure you never do that again.  Maybe you didn’t pay enough attention.  Maybe you didn’t listen correctly or you didn’t “hear”, it’s probably more to the point. You didn’t hear what was being said. You weren’t sensitive enough to the whole picture.  Maybe you were just focused on what you were doing. You didn’t sit in the shoes of your client or whoever it is you’re trying to be successful with.

David Sable: Maybe you didn’t deliver.  Maybe you just didn’t work hard enough.  You thought you had two more weeks to do it and they didn’t have that time.  Maybe you took the order and they didn’t really want you to take the order, they wanted you to recommend more and you didn’t pay attention. It happens. What do you learn?  You learn first of all to look deep, second of all obviously you need to fix those things and make sure you don’t do that again.  But I think the biggest thing is you just got to learn to pick yourself up.

Leadership with Jim Madej

Leadership with Jim Madej


Leadership is the innovative opposite of management #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Management is doing things the way they are always done. Leadership is finding innovative solutions for problems [Click to Tweet]

“You need to find a set of people and a set of qualities based on the position that can make a great team” @jsmadej #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: How do you make a differentiation between management and leadership?

Jim Madej: I find a lot of people are very comfortable being managers. And what that means to me is, you know i was given an assignment when I was given the assignment here’s the twenty things we did. So it’s my job to be a steward of those twenty things that I was assigned to do. You know fill in these charts, file these reports. I think leadership is in some ways the creative opposite of that, right?

Jim Madej: Which is your given a problem to solve: grow the business by 30{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4}, cut 25{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} out of our procurement costs. And you have to find innovative ways to do it, including building a team, looking at in-source, out-source, different suppliers, looking at new designs. You know to me that’s leadership. You’re struggling to solve a different type of problem in a different way, then just doing it the way it was always done. Like I said, there’s room for both without question. Different types of businesses require different sets of those skills.

Dave Carvajal: When you think about leadership, Jim, what are some of the qualities you look at in people to help you achieve your mission and set your goals?

Jim Madej: My leadership philosophy is interesting. I don’t look for one thing. What I look for is what the position requires. I truly believe it takes a village. If you have a dozen people on your direct staff and every one of them has a specific set of characteristics you’re gonna get one answer.

Jim Madej: Conversely, if you have a procurement department at National Grid was a highly risk-oriented group, meaning if they screwed up they screwed up to the tune of massive consequences so I looked for a leader in that job,

Jim Madej: You know based on the characteristics and responsibilities of the assignment that was more of a prudent, reserved, steady state leader that knew how to organize his team very very well with a bunch of experts. I think you need to find a set of people and a set of qualities based on the position that can make a great team. And you need to put the structure around them to allow for them to prosper. So I think my leadership philosophy maybe a little different.

Challenges with Itzhak Fisher

Challenges with Itzhak Fisher


Generational gap isn’t always the issue in the workplace, it’s the individual’s drive to succeed #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Always invest in areas you know about or it could “eat up” your investments #Insights [Click to Tweet]

“I don’t look at gender & I don’t look at age. I look at what someone brings to the table” [email protected] #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: Itzhak, wisdom often comes from some of the greatest failures. What have been some setbacks or some real opportunities you’ve had for learning and growth?

Itzhak Fisher: So, I tell everybody about my first failure. I went to school in the US and I came back to Israel after working in the US at mobile oil., IMB, and went to this start up doing databases and electronic mail and I was a little bit bored. And it’s very dangerous when you are bored. So I decided to make an investment.

Itzhak Fisher: So I invested in a horse ranch. I put 100,000 dollars, which then was a lot of money for me, into a horse ranch in Israel, looked at the business plan like you look at a business plan. We had the best-looking ranch in Israel, we had 12 horses. We did lessons on riding and different programs and on paper the business plan looked great. But I invested in an area I know nothing about. I found out that horses actually eat a lot and you have to buy a lot of food to feed those horses and there’s no bearing on the business plan, we didn’t have the right projection of what horses will eat.

Itzhak Fisher: Then I found out that in the stores, wherever the horses are you actually have to change the store every two days. Which store is expensive in Israel. So, I lost all my money in like less than a year. And then on whenever I looked at an investment I tell myself in my head, “You only invest in things that you understand. And don’t let it be the horse and the ranch investment you had done”. So that was my lesson in making investments in areas you know nothing about expecting it to work out.

Dave Carvajal: What do you think are some of the challenges of having such a diverse work force today? Right, we’re dealing with people who are the millennials, gen-x, gen-y, and we also have people who are significantly older and have more wisdom but what do you think are some of the challenges in having such a diverse work force today?

Itzhak Fisher: When I was at Neilson I think I was the only guy that had the 4 day req report and 3 of them were women. I don’t look at gender and I don’t look at age I look at what somebody brings to the table and I find that the older people are, in some cases, the more drive they have to succeed and the more experience they bring to the table.

Itzhak Fisher: So, I take every case, case by case basically. I value people based on their experience, drive & stamina. Stamina is also very important, sometimes you have a very young guy who is very tired and sometimes you have an old guy who is very fresh and excited about the new challenge that comes his way. That’s one of the other things that I think are very important.

Learnings with Jim Madej

Learnings with Jim Madej


Instead of only focusing on the output metrics, focus on the input metrics when dealing with #sales #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Even though he worked at big companies, @jsmadej always headed change, growth & transformation #Insights [Click to Tweet]

After being promoted numerous times at @generalelectric, @jsmadej moved on to @HessCorporation #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Dave Carvajal: Jim what a pleasure it is to have you here today. Thank you so much for being here.

Jim Madej: Thank you for having me.

Dave Carvajal: Tell us about yourself. Start from the beginning, give us a good sense of who you are.

Jim Madej: So I started my career, went to St. Michael’s college. Started my career at General Electric Company after college. Spent a total of 17 years there. Started off in the leadership program doing auditing, accounts payable, cash, account receivable. And then I went to a leasing division, spent 5 years there, promoted throughout for sales and sales management type jobs. Then I got transferred to the power systems division. Spent 6 years there, again a bunch of different jobs including building a business, starting a group, starting an international company for them.

Jim Madej: Got transferred back to GE capital integrating a bunch of companies. So did a bunch of different things at GE then got recruited out to Hess Corporation in the energy marketing division. Called on national accounts doing customer service and a bunch of sales, sales management type activities and then got recruited from there to utility where I spent the last 6 years running essentially all commercial operations.

Jim Madej: All the marketing, sales, procurement, environmental. A bunch of different activities. You know the interesting part about it for me is I worked at big companies. You know General Electric Corporation, Hess Corporation, and National Grid but I was always in assignments that were transformational, growth, change, building type of assignments. A lot of people look at my experience and say oh you’re a big company guy, I actually think the opposite. Yes, I worked for big companies but I work on projects and assignments and teams that build great growth, trajectory & transformation.

Dave Carvajal: What advice would you give someone starting out their career in sales?

Jim Madej: The process of learning and growing in your career and your relationships is extremely enjoyable, pay attention to it while it’s happening. Ask for help, find people you can talk to. You don’t have to know everything. Now-a-days there’s a lot of good tools out there. Salesforce.com Probably the simplest example of it. The tools tell you how to do your job. So use the tools and the capabilities of those tools to the fullest.

Jim Madej: My biggest pet-peeve with sales; people always pay attention to the output metrics, not the input metrics. And that’s a six-sigma, GE training example again. To get a lot of volume, orders, sales, revenue depending on how you want to measure it. All companies do it slightly differently.

Jim Madej: You need a lot of appointments and those appointments gotta lead to a lot of proposals, those proposals gotta lead to a lot of commitments and the commitments turn into volumes, revenues, orders, etc. So, you need to pay attention to the input metrics and make sure your spending your time very wisely on targeting and all those types of things.

Learnings 2 with Itzhak Fisher

Learnings 2 with Itzhak Fisher


Dave Carvajal: What motivates you? What has been your driving force? Your noble cause?

Itzhak Fisher: Well, first of all, you have to remember where my wife and I came from. So, my wife and I are 2nd generation Holocaust survivors. My wife’s parents had it much worse than my parents, they were survivors of death camps, Auschwitz. My parents are survivors of the war; my father in Hungary, my mother in Lithuania. From both sides, what they went through their lives is just unbearable and unbelievable.

Itzhak Fisher: For them the most important thing was kids to succeed and live good life and continue the tradition of what their families had. We both lost most of our families on both sides so we didn’t have a lot of relatives to begin with.

Itzhak Fisher: So, for me my kids and the next generation, showing that our family survived in spite of everything they went through is something that is very very important and this is something that is very very important to me and hopefully my kids will continue with that tradition, give it to their kids and so on. That is the first thing that comes to mind about next generation and things that are important to me.

Dave Carvajal: What motivates you? What drives you? What are the things in your life that really are your driving force, your noble cause maybe your noble purpose?

Itzhak Fisher: So, education is very important to me and helping kids get their first jobs. So, for a kid that just graduates from college I feel it’s impossible for them to get a job. Unless you are the top 10{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} of a top school you get a job immediately, if you are not, and most kids are not, it’s very very hard for kids to get a job.

Itzhak Fisher: My wife is making fun of me right and left, but I have helped a lot of kids getting their first job. I will never forget the guy that helped me get my first job. Back of my mind that is something that is important. I also pay for some kids for their educations which is you know, people who can’t afford it. Why not? It is a very important cause. I am also friends with the heads of the Ariel University in Israel, in the US. It is a University that sits before what they call occupied territories.

Itzhak Fisher: But it has 15,000 students, 1500 Palestinians. I believe that you have to do your own efforts for co-existence in Israel and this school is a good example for that and we raised over 15 million dollars for them for this year which is up from 300,000 3 years ago so there is a lot of things I do that are not business related but for me they are very very important.