The panel featured three smart leaders of prominent PROFIT 100 companies: Tony Lacavera, Globalive Communications; Rebecca MacDonald, Energy Savings Income Fund; John Nemanic, former CEO of Tucows/InternetDirect, now with GeeksforLess.com and TransGaming Technologies.
Q: What did you do that made your companies successful?
Nemanic: “I hired people smarter than me, because if they're not smarter than me, we`re not going to get to the level we need.”
MacDonald: created a flat management structure where you are never more than two phone calls away from a decision.
How do you deal with employees who can't grow with your company?
Lacavera: has had to fire friends five or six times. It’s hard to do, but it usually works out for the best for everyone.
Nemanic: “My experience is that the employees that give you the biggest headaches are not the ones you fire, but the ones you should have fired.”
What other activities are getting your attention now?
Nemanic: Learning to surf (he has a house on the water in Panama); developing a closer relationship with his sons; working on alternative biotech projects.
MacDonald: Expanding into the States: “Try doing business in Texas when you're a woman with an accent.” She has a five-year goal for Energy Savings to become the dominant player in North America.
Lacavera: Buying up bandwidth to create a national wireless platform that will reduce telecom costs.