When I met Kevin O’Leary, founder of O’Leary Funds and meanest Shark on Shark Tank, I expected the same kind of treatment. I mean, they don’t call him Mr. Wonderful because he’s a nice guy.

To my complete surprise, Mr. Wonderful was actually one of the most wonderful entrepreneurs I’ve heard speak because of the treasure trove of knowledge he laid out in the short time he spoke. However, he was still rather imposing so I refer to him as Mr. O’Leary, not ‘Kevin.’

During his talk he stated how he could tell if a candidate business up for an investment opportunity with the Sharks was going to be successful on Shark Tank. Listen up, people, because if this seasoned entrepreneur can tell in about 2 minutes if a business is going to be profitable from these 3 things, you should be giving these 3 things a health check in your OWN company:

  1. They were able to explain the value of the business and the opportunity in 90 seconds or less. Can YOU tell me the value proposition of doing business with your company in 90 seconds or less? Is it powerful and compelling?
  2. They had the right team to execute. They were able to demonstrate that they had the right leaders in the right seats in their company with the experience, knowledge, and know-how to drive the company to success. How is your leadership team functioning?
  3. They knew their numbers inside and out. They could rattle off who their competitors were, the break-even analysis, and profit margins. Can you?

Then Mr. O’Leary laid his 10 Secrets To Being A Successful Leader on us:

  1. Employees are not your friends. (Now you know why they call him Mr. Wonderful) Pull the trigger on firing when you know its time. Pay your people well when they achieve their goals and remove them when they don’t.
  2. Maintain a clear line of command. Help them to see the future of your company, continuously state clear goals for the week/quarter/year, show them the clear path of how you are going to get there, and hire GREAT people to execute it!
  3. Be accessible. If employees reach out, respond.
  4. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Teach, guide, step back.
  5. Don’t procrastinate. Make the hard decisions (they are usually people decisions), be pragmatic and don’t make decisions on emotion.
  6. Never pass the buck. If there’s a problem, OWN IT.
  7. Service trumps price. The best investment in your company is in customer service.
  8. Life is not fair. But what goes around comes around, so learn when life hands you lemons, and then (in his own words) make f-ing lemonade.
  9. The boss does not always make the most money. Often times, the sales people make the most money, IF they are good sales people. If your compensation structure makes sense, you WANT them to make the most money. The more money they are making, the more money your company is making.
  10. Business is war. There are winners and losers. People are out there that want to destroy your business. Each day remember, “I am the General and we are going to war.” So march out there and WIN the war.

We are so lucky to be able to learn from those who kick butt and take the time to show us the way. It is my sincerest desire you got as much or more from this as I did!

To Your Continued Success,

Leia Shilobod, IT Princess of Power