Episode 159: Henry Ward & Josh Merrill – CEO of eShares: How To Hire, Manage, & Lead

Henry Ward is the CEO of eShares. Josh Merrill leads product and Marketing at eShares

eShares is a fast-growing online platform that allows companies—from seed stage to pre-IPO—to manage equity electronically with the participation of their shareholders, employees, auditors, and legal counsel.  They are working with more than 1,500 companies and add more than 200 companies each month. Last year, they raised $17 million in Series B funding at a post-money valuation of $77 million. I’m impressed with Henry’s ability to quickly grow his company… However, I’m an even bigger fan of the pieces of work he publishes on Medium.com. Henry is an example of leading authentically and intentionally sharing his thoughts and values for the world to read. For example, this is Henry’s hiring strategy:

Hiring Principles:

  1. Hiring means we failed to execute and need help
  2. Startup employee effectiveness follows a power law
  3. False Positives are okay, False Negatives are not
  4. Culture is defined by who we hire

Hiring Heuristics:

  1. Hire for Strength vs Lack of Weakness
  2. Hire for Trajectory vs Experience
  3. Hire Doers vs Tellers
  4. Hire Learners vs Experts
  5. Hire Different vs Similar
  6. Always pass on ego

Episode 159: Henry Ward & Josh Merrill – CEO of eShares: How To Hire, Manage, & Lead

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The Learning Leader Show

“The success of a company is the sum of the people in it.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Patience, long term thinking, and understanding that your success will be determined by the people you surround yourself with will lead to sustained excellence
  • Product focused and understanding “The Artist’s Dilemma”
  • The best produce it for themselves
  • How eShares was created
  • Why their partnership works so well
  • What Josh feels Henry doesn’t do well (Interesting moment!)
  • Why don’t more companies publicly share what they believe in?
  • eShares hiring process
  • Why you shouldn’t hire someone because they are a “culture fit”
  • Why you shouldn’t have performance plans — Once you’ve deemed the person is not working, then fire them immediately
  • Hiring for trajectory vs. experience
  • How it’s similar to the LA Rams drafting Jared Goff with their #1 pick… Being patient to develop him
  • How should you grade employees? Don’t… Teach them to grade themselves. Don’t give people a number grade — “How am I doing?” “You’re doing a 2.”
  • How to fire someone:
    • Give sincere explanation for why
    • Don’t make it one-sided
    • Help them with what’s next
  • Be intrigued about what you do — “eShares is a learning experience for me. I’m doing things I’ve never done before”

“False positives are okay. False negatives are not.”

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer – Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet – “Turn The Ship Around”

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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If you enjoyed hearing Henry Ward and Josh Merrill on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

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