Back in April, we began an interview mini-series with the founder of 600 Global in celebration of our company’s 18th anniversary. This month, we caught up with Michael again to learn a little more about the people and practices that help him reach his own goals and have positioned him to guide others in fulfilling their own.
Now the CEO of a company with over 80 offices and approximately 600 employees across the United States, he has come a long way from the 10-year-old who wanted to be a fighter pilot after seeing Top Gun. Like many successful individuals, Michael credits much of his success those who have supported and mentored him in his endeavors. He names God, his wife, and Bob Proctor as a few. When it comes to business, he stresses the importance of having a student mentality and never thinking you’re too important to learn from someone.
“I’m a good student of anyone that’s doing a better job than I am. The world is way different than when I started in 1999. I actually learn a ton from newer entrepreneurs, so many of them come to the table with fresh ideas. It’s just like that saying, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears.’”
Any employer can testify that it’s vital to trust the people who work for you, and after 18 years in business, Michael knows this all too well. He explains that he’s learned this lesson after giving certain people the benefit of the doubt before they deserved it. “I wanted more for them than they wanted for themselves. But I can only be part of the equation.” It’s through these experiences that he has developed a high standard for what it takes to earn his trust. But he doesn’t believe in mistakes.
“As an entrepreneur, you’re going to try things and they’re not going to work, and you’re just kind of going to go back to the drawing board, learn from it, and keep going.”
These days, he seeks out employees who are self-driven, “down for whatever,” and above all, full of grit. He doesn’t care what you look like, who your dad is, or where you went to college. “Talent loses to grit every time. That’s what I’m looking for. I want a badass.”
Keep an eye out for the conclusion to this series over on the 600 Global blog!