The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk
Full show notes can be found at www.LearningLeader.com
Ep: #339: Robert Greifeld – Lessons Learned From A Decade Of Change As CEO Of NASDAQ
Robert Greifeld served as the CEO of Nasdaq from 2003 to 2016. During his tenure, Bob led Nasdaq through a series of complex, innovative acquisitions that extended the company’s footprint from a single U.S. equity exchange to a global exchange and technology solutions provider, nearly quadrupling revenue, growing annual operating profits by more than 24 times and achieving a market value of over $11 billion. He is the author of a new book called: Market Mover: Lessons from a Decade of Change at Nasdaq.
- Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
- “Once you achieve competency, they’re on a daily battle with complacency.”
- Always looking forward – never resting on laurels
- A mindset that: “Success in the past is no guarantee that success will happen in the future.”
- Self reflection is important for self awareness: “Being focused on the present doesn’t preclude self reflection.”
- Has being rich made you happy? “Wealth makes you more secure?”
- How to balance family time and work time?
- “Balance is a dangerous word. I prefer having an integrated life instead.” “I made a rule that I did no business dinners unless I was doing the selling.”
- Make multiple short trips instead of longer ones… Only miss seeing your family for a day or two at a time
- Bob describes the story of how he was recruited to NASDAQ and why he took the job…
- During the interview process, he shared the five things he would do within the first 100 days:
- Get right people on board
- Reduce bureaucracy
- Embrace fiscal discipline
- Overhaul technology
- Stop being satisfied with number 2
- Have to have the right people on the bus
- Bob met with many people prior to starting as the CEO of NASDAQ: “I fired a lot of people before 8:00am on the first day I started. I did a lot of work prior to starting to learn who was going to buy in.”
- “Good morale in a bad organization is not a good thing.”
- With promotions, live by the 80/20 rule: “We tried to promote 80% from within our organization.”
- “When interviewing people from the outside, the odds of being wrong are higher.”
- Qualities to look for in people to promote:
- Positive attitude/energy — “Happy campers”
- Pure skills
- How well do they play with others?
- Won’t tolerate prima donnas
- How to be a great leader?
- Must be in front of your customers
- Stand in the shoes of your people
- Do a lot of individual contributor work
- “Don’t be a conference room pilot” — Don’t spend all your time in meetings
- Learned knowledge vs. Lived knowledge
- Learned: “Don’t know what’s coming, you just learned it.”
- Lived: “You’ve sat in the seat, you can see around corners.”
- Geography – If location is near us, that helps
- Industry – If it’s the same industry, just smaller, that helps
- Overall advice:
- Never had a career path or end goal
- Wanted to do something that energized me
- “Don’t focus on climbing the mythical career ladder.”
- “Don’t take a job to just get another job.”
- Why leave NASDAQ?
- “I like controlling my schedule.”
- The benefits of growing up with blue collar parents. His dad worked for the Post Office, he was always upbeat and believe that life can be better.