Colorado Collaboration


Friends, LIVE audience podcast events are SO funFood, drinks, friends, and your questions can be part of the episodeI hope you’ll consider coming to a future LIVE event!   

When What I Love Inspires Me

I love podcasting, I really do.  I’m often asked about my favorite episodes.  I don’t have one, although if you asked me which most amazed me, which was most about a certain kind of content or a had a CEO with certain qualities, I might answer that.  If you ask me which inspired me most, I’d say that the episode just produced with R & R Head Labs comes to mind.   

What a privilege to be able to help launch a business with the noble motive of helping formerly incarcerated barbers find a new start in life.   

Charles Smith (pictured), formerly incarcerated himself and now an Advisor to R&R Head Labs spoke with me after the recording with a profoundly kind and personal message about my calling in life.  Recalling it brings tears to my eyes as I type.   

Remote Colorado: Home to Cantaloupes… and Life Saving Technology

There’s lots of recognition that Denver and the Front Range where the weight of our economy is centered.  That’s why when I recorded the last episode of ProCO360, with guest Jack Barker of Innovative Water Technologies, I felt compelled to highlight that his company is doing amazing work from its global headquarters (and only location) in Rocky Ford!  Where’s that?  Go south to Pueblo, then east and little south for an hour.   

Why Rocky Ford?  Because Jack lived near there when he built a prototype, and a building that had been sitting vacant for over 10 years was offered to him.  Now Innovative Water Technologies’ SunSpring has produced and installed over 850 solar/wind powered water filtrations systems being used by communities all over the world, preventing disease, serving emergency needs, the military and more.   Jack’s story is a great reminder that Colorado – the whole state of Colorado – is a great place for business innovation!   

Does a Nice Leader Make a Good Culture?

The most recent ProCO360 podcast episode is called “Deliberate Culture,” and was recorded with a LIVE audience watching and listening to the leaders of four Colorado companies known for having a positive culture. Recognizing that we’re in a massively competitive talent war, I wanted to explore what leaders DELIBERATELY do that creates and maintains a culture that is far superior to what might be typical (even good) in their industries.

All these people are passionate about their team members, they all seem like great leaders to work for. So how automatic is it when there’s a caring leader to have a positive culture? Here is a synthesized sample from each of the leaders I interviewed…

Anthony Lambatos, “The Coach,” Footers Catering

Alejandra Harvey, CEO of Tendit Group: “When we form a strong culture, we attract those who share our values.”

Mary Moore-Simmons, VP Engineering of AgentSync: “Difficult problems tend to be culture issues, and it’s important to include middle management in culture.”

Bill Graebel, CEO of Graebel Companies: “Seeing a new problem? Start by looking for where there is an absence of love, truth, or integrity.”

Anthony Lambatos, The Coach of Footers Catering: “Build a culture that embraces what’s HARD because accomplishing difficult things together in a fun way is the work people feel is most gratifying.”

Back to the original question: is a good culture what you get when you have a kind leader?  It’s way more DELIBERATE than that.

Trust Drives Colorado’s Entrepreneurial Progress

I got to thinking about TRUST following my interview with co-founders Jenn Knight and Niji Sabharwal of AgentSync.  Jenn said that because they are spouses, they have an existing level of deep trust, which allows each to more readily accept the other’s judgement, facilitates candid dialogue, and ultimately allows the company to move more quickly.  This is consistent with the theme of the book titled, The Speed of Trust.

Time and again I hear from entrepreneurs and founders that the spirit of collaboration has helped them succeed in Colorado.  Colin McIntosh of Sheets & Giggles (episode), talked about how Chris White,  founder of Shinesty, helped him to initially establish Sheets & Giggles’ shipping from the Shinesty facilities.  That kind of collaboration can’t happen without trust – Colin trusting that Chris wouldn’t try to somehow take Colin’s products or customers, and Chris that teaching Colin the shipping ropes and helping him get started would somehow, oh, I don’t know, build Karma in exchange for their effort.  It seems to me that TRUST is a core value in Colorado’s entrepreneurial community, and it’s one that is universally rewarding.

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