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Guiding Fast Slow Motion to New Heights: The Leadership of John Burdett

John Burdett’s Masterclass: Navigating Growth and Leadership at Fast Slow Motion

In this insightful episode of “Bright Founders Talk” at Temy, a software development company , we have the pleasure of featuring John Burdett, the dynamic President and CEO of Fast Slow Motion. John shares his rich experience in the software industry, from his initial steps as a software engineer to his current leadership role at Fast Slow Motion. His story is one of growth, learning from mistakes, and seizing opportunities, often before feeling fully prepared.

John’s journey is marked by a transition from building custom software for major companies to venturing into the challenging realm of software product development. His candid reflections on the complexities of scaling a product company and his subsequent self-discovery highlight the importance of self-awareness in business leadership. John’s passion for the “non-sexy” aspects of business, like systems and processes, shines through as he discusses his approach to helping businesses grow efficiently.

His experiences as a CEO, coupled with his vision for Fast Slow Motion, reveal his dedication to being a blessing to business leaders. He emphasizes the value of solid systems and processes, balanced with the unique contributions of diverse team members. This episode is not just about John’s impressive career but also about the lessons learned and wisdom gained from a life dedicated to building and scaling successful businesses.

John Burdett's Masterclass: Navigating Growth and Leadership at Fast Slow Motion

The Unconventional Path: John Burdett on Building Success with Grit and Grace

John Burdett’s journey into the entrepreneurial world was anything but conventional. Starting his career as a software engineer, John quickly learned the ropes of the industry, albeit in an unexpected way. “I got the opportunity to make every mistake possible,” he shared with a chuckle. His early days were filled with learning from these mistakes and growing into roles he never imagined he’d take on. His humility shines through as he talks about the opportunities he was given, opportunities he believes he didn’t initially deserve. This candid reflection sets the tone for a man who values hard work and the power of learning on the job.

I got the opportunity to make every mistake possible

As the conversation with Barry delves deeper, John’s passion for the oft-overlooked aspects of business becomes apparent. He speaks with enthusiasm about systems and processes, the “non-sexy stuff,” as he puts it, that are crucial for business growth. This love for the intricate mechanics of business operations led him to his role at Hospice Link and eventually to founding Fast Slow Motion. His approach is clear: “You want to know why you’re winning and why you’re losing.” John’s philosophy is about building a robust foundation and then allowing talented individuals to thrive on it – a blend of structure and freedom that has been a cornerstone of his success.

John’s insights on networking and mentorship are particularly striking. He emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with the right people and mentors, noting, “You’re going to become like your friends, you’re going to become like your mentors.” His advice reflects a deep understanding of the impact that one’s environment has on personal and professional growth. John’s story is not just about the successes and challenges of his career; it’s a testament to the power of self-awareness and the right network in carving a successful entrepreneurial path.

Integrity, Mentorship, and the Entrepreneurial Spirit: Insights from John

In the heart of our conversation, John delves into what makes a good mentor, emphasizing integrity as a non-negotiable trait. “It’s not just about making money,” he says, differentiating between mere financial success and ethical entrepreneurship. John’s philosophy is about creating a business that’s profitable yet principled, emphasizing the importance of cultural and moral alignment. His perspective is refreshing in a world often blinded by profit margins, highlighting the value of saying ‘no’ to the wrong opportunities and ‘yes’ to the right ones. His approach to mentorship is about balance – fostering both professional success and personal integrity.

It’s not just about making money

John candidly shares his early career focus on personal success, admitting it led to a path where he “didn’t like himself.” This realization sparked a transformation towards emotional intelligence and empathy, reshaping his approach to business and leadership. He underscores the importance of maintaining high standards while nurturing and coaching people. His philosophy is encapsulated in the quote, “I’d rather lose with a team I love than win with a team I hate.” It’s a powerful testament to his evolved approach, prioritizing relationships and team cohesion over mere victories.

When asked about mixing friendship with business, John’s response is thought-provoking: “Everything’s personal.” He advises treating business partnerships with friends as seriously as any professional venture, emphasizing clear, upfront communication about roles and expectations. His comparison of a business partnership to a marriage underscores the commitment required for such endeavors. John’s advice is practical yet profound, focusing on intentional conversations and aligned goals to ensure both friendship and business thrive together.

Balancing Ambition with Integrity: John’s Guide to Entrepreneurial Success

In our insightful chat, John reveals his admiration for Craig Groeschel, not a typical business tycoon, but a minister and leadership guru. This choice reflects John’s unique approach to leadership and personal growth. He values Groeschel’s continuous pursuit of self-improvement and balance, even in the face of enormous success. John’s admiration for individuals who excel in their fields while maintaining strong family ties and personal interests is palpable. As he puts it succinctly, “I don’t want to wake up one day with a successful company and a sacrificed family.” This quote captures his commitment to achieving professional success without losing sight of personal values.

I don’t want to wake up one day with a successful company and a sacrificed family

John tackles the often-debated topic of work-life balance, particularly as a CEO. His perspective is refreshingly realistic: true balance might be unattainable, but one can still lead a fulfilling career and family life. John stresses the importance of intentionality in decision-making, understanding that saying ‘no’ is as crucial as saying ‘yes’. This approach has guided him in maintaining a healthy family life and a thriving career. His unique way of unwinding, involving physical activities like CrossFit and travel, showcases his belief in active rest and continual learning.

When discussing his company, Fast Slow Motion, John outlines their mission to transform small businesses into large ones by professionalizing their operations. His entrepreneurial journey is marked by a constant pursuit of growth, but not just any growth – healthy growth. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining financial margins, employee happiness, and client satisfaction. For John, growth isn’t just a business metric; it’s a philosophy that challenges complacency and fosters continual improvement. His leadership style is dynamic and forward-thinking, always seeking the right balance between pushing boundaries and maintaining the core values that define both him and his company.

Staying Grounded Amidst Success: John’s Journey from Humility to Leadership

In our engaging chat with John, the President and CEO of Fast Slow Motion, he shared candid reflections on his entrepreneurial journey. Early in his career, moments of feeling like he’d “made it” were common, but as he progressed, his outlook evolved significantly. John no longer sees success as a destination but as an ongoing journey. “Nobody’s more surprised about the growth of our company than me,” he admits, expressing gratitude and a sense of stewardship over his company’s achievements. His greatest joy? Watching his team excel beyond his expectations. “Seeing my team do things way better than I ever could” is his proud admission, reflecting a leader who values collective success over individual accolades.

Nobody’s more surprised about the growth of our company than me

As Fast Slow Motion grew, John faced the challenge of scaling his involvement in team building. Trusting in the abilities of his leaders and team, he emphasizes the importance of investing in people who can, in turn, nurture others. This approach has enabled him to step back from the day-to-day operations, confident in his team’s ability to maintain the company’s ethos and quality. John’s philosophy on hiring revolves around finding the right fit for the company culture, a process both meticulous and intentional. His belief is that once the right people are on board, it’s about aligning their aspirations with the company’s goals and letting them lead the way.

John openly discusses the challenge of balancing empathy with maintaining high standards – a lesson he admits he learned the hard way. Every individual is unique, and as a leader, John has learned to manage people according to their individual needs, without compromising the company’s standards. “You have to manage the individual,” he says, acknowledging the messy but essential process of understanding and relating to each team member. For John, the true measure of success isn’t just in financial metrics or business growth; it’s in fostering a team that excels, enjoys their work, and contributes to a collective vision.

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