The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

#297: Tero Isokauppila – CEO Of Four Sigmatic: Principled Based Leadership

Full show notes can be found at

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of sustaining excellence:
    • “They love what they do” — Love the process.  The work
    • Humility/Excitement to learn — they know things will change and they must adjust
    • Listen more than you talk.
    • Curiosity — The Dalai Lama exemplifies this very well.
    • Able to adjust — Madonna is a prime example of being able to adjust and reinvent herself
  • How being a 13th generation farmer from Finland helped set the course for Tero’s life — “I have domain knowledge.”
  • Finnish people consume more coffee per capita than anyone in the world
  • The idea of putting mushrooms in coffee came because of this
  • Super foods help with:
    • Hormonal response
    • Gut health
    • Immune system
  • Four Sigmatic is a company built with super foods
  • The beginning — “It all comes down to value generation.  If you want to generate value, you have to see what others don’t yet see.”
  • Culture — “You need to rally around people who believe in the mission.”
  • Find believers and sponsors as your first employees — his founding team were former teammates
    • Get to know you team deeply — how they think, feel, act, what motivates them
    • Currently they have a fully distributed team of 37 people
  • The hiring process and qualities they look for.  Four lenses:
    • Can they do they job? — Skills
    • How will they fit in our culture? — Fundamentals
    • What do they cost? — Financially and emotionally
    • What is their growth potential?
    • They must be “extra good” at communication – written and verbal.  How do they write emails?  Must be extra organized.
  • “Culture exists whether you want or not.  It is what it is.”
  • Their principles:
    • S – Stay healthy, eat well, exercise
    • W – We are us, not them
    • A – Always carry product
    • R – Results with freedom — KPI
    • M – Make it grow, let it go
  • Examples of innovation

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