I had the pleasure of sitting down with serial entrepreneur and investor, Itzhak Fisher, for an interview. Itzhak is Founder and General Partner of Pereg Ventures, a Nielsen backed private equity fund. He also served as Executive Vice President, Global Business Development for Nielsen.
Itzhak has a long track record creating new companies and developing them into operationally excellent businesses. As Co-founder and Chairman of Trendum, he took the technologies of this small internet data mining company joined them with VNU, Intelliseek and BuzzMetrics, and sold the new entity to the Nielsen company. In the nineties, Itzhak founded and headed RSL Communications (NASDAQ: RSLC) a Telco company operating in over 20 countries across four continents with over $1.5 billion in revenues.
In our talk, Itzhak opened up about the most important lessons he’s learned on leadership, business and investing.
Every great executive seeks out mentorship. Itzhak Fisher’s mentor just happens to be one of the most influential leaders in the world.
Itzhak also talked candidly about an early business failure. After that experience, he made one rule for himself that he follows to this day. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth (he invested in a horse farm).
Itzhak is a world-class leader, and he’s wise enough to know that when it comes to hiring and investing — the last thing he wants to be is the smartest person in the room.
A bonus from my conversation with Itzhak was learning about his history and his vision for the future. It was humbling to learn about his heritage as the son of Holocaust survivors and hear about the incredible work he’s doing to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.
See my full conversation with Itzhak Fisher on the Insights page of DaveCarvajal.com. You’ll also find more interviews with some of my favorite leaders on the planet.
Victor Hugo said “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” We are living in historic times. And the time for women to be in more executive, business and leadership roles is here now.
Female founders are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs, yet they receive less than three percent of venture capital funding. According to research by Korn Ferry, women hold just a quarter of the top jobs across the most prominent C-Suite titles. And that number is even smaller when it comes to the chief executive position. Women hold only 5% of CEO posts; the role that shows the lowest gender diversity in the entire C-suite.
Fortunately, tech and HR are slightly ahead of the curve. 1 in 3 leaders working in tech are women. And the chief human resources officer position is the only C-suite role where there is gender equality – 55 percent of CHROs across industries are women.
There is concrete evidence that in life and especially in business, for creating stronger communities and enterprise value, women are the greater sex.
Companies that fail to recognize this, are actually paying the price. At Twitter, only 13 percent of employees in tech roles are women – a point of embarrassment for the company as it has struggled to secure strategic options.
Of the c-suite and board member positions my team of recruiters is asked to fill, close to half our clients are asking for diversity and inclusiveness in the search process. The ‘Mad Men’ era of doing business is a vestige of the industrial economy – when the domestic space was a woman’s queendom and a man’s ego battled in business. Entrepreneurship today is about building communities, tribes and the enterprise value that comes from network effects. The growing evidence is that diversity of thought creates the most value.