Founder’s Mentality in the News

Micro-battles Can Help Companies Overcome Growth Hurdles

February 16, 2018, The Economic Times — How have India’s long-leading companies continued to succeed while the rest dropped off? Read more >

Figure Out Your Company’s Make-or-Break Strategic Problems, Then Use Small Teams to Solve Them

November 16, 2017, — The success of micro-battles depends on the executive team’s ability to step back. Read more >

Region’s Conglomerates Must Stay Competitive

March 23, 2017, The Business Times — How a strong Founder’s Mentality can help Southeast Asian conglomerates thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Read more >

Why Leaders Should Write Their Company’s Obituary

March 12, 2017, The Wall Street Journal’s “The Experts” Blog — James Allen examines how writing your own corporate obituary can reawaken your company’s incumbent advantage. Read more >

Podcast: Why Front-Line Obsession Is Critical to Growth

March 2, 2017, The Net Promoter System Podcast — Chris Zook and Bain’s Rob Markey discuss how great leaders maintain a short distance between leadership and the front line. Listen here >

When Large Companies Are Better at Entrepreneurship than Startups

Dec. 27, 2016, — Chris Zook discusses how companies with a strong core business, a repeatable formula, and a founder’s mentality are ideal places to found a new business. Read more >

The Company Founder’s Special Sauce

Dec. 19, 2016, The Wall Street Journal — The new film “The Founder” starring Michael Keaton is a tale of founder-driven corporate growth. Chris Zook and James Allen discuss how this breed of entrepreneurial spirit is crucial for the economy. Read more >

Why CEOs Should Commit to Many Small Battles Instead of a Single Big One

Dec. 14, 2016, — James Allen writes about how micro-battles can restore your company’s ability to learn and actually get stuff done. Read more >

The Founder’s Mentality makes The Washington Post‘s bestsellers list

Nov. 10, 2016, The Washington Post The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth by Chris Zook and James Allen ranked in the top 10 bestselling books in the Post’s Nonfiction/General category for the week of Nov. 13, 2016. Read more >

How Boards Can Assess the Health of Their Companies

Nov. 2, 2016, — Chris Zook shares the best way for a company to avoid activist attention and grow sustainably. Read more >

The 33 CEO Characteristics That Inspire Employees–and the One That Matters Most

Oct. 6, 2016, The Wall Street Journal’s “The Experts” Blog — James Allen examines the qualities that make an inspirational CEO—and how they can mean the difference between a company that performs well and one that’s extraordinary. Read more >

How to Pull Your Company Out of a Tailspin

Sept. 8, 2016, — Chris Zook discusses how companies can reverse free fall— the crisis of obsolescence and decline that can happen at any point in a company’s life cycle. Read more >

Maintaining Your Focus on the Front Lines as Your Company Grows

Sept. 1, 2016, — Chris Zook discusses why having an obsession with the front line—where the company meets the customer—is fundamental to achieving sustainable growth. Read more >

Professionalize a Startup Without Stifling It

July 29, 2016, — James Allen outlines how leadership teams at insurgent companies make a number of common mistakes in hiring and managing talent as they grow. Read more >

How Dell, HP, and Apple Rediscovered Their Founders’ Vision

July 15, 2016, — Chris Zook recaps the ups and downs of three key companies in the computer industry and discusses how the founder’s mentality helped them preserve the traits that made them successful in the first place. Read more >

How to Stop People Who Bog Things Down with Bureaucracy

July 12, 2016, — James Allen discusses six ways to keep the “energy vampires” in your organization from clogging up the works and slowing the company down. Read more >

Keeping the Zeal of a Startup as You Scale

July 5, 2016, — James Allen explains how “Scale Insurgents” are able to achieve scale without losing their insurgent missions. Read more >

The Best Companies Invest Aggressively in These 3 Areas

June 30, 2016, — Chris Zook, coauthor of The Founder’s Mentality, discusses how the best companies invest in game-changing capabilities, next-generation leaders and next-generation business models. Read more >

Every Fast-Growing Company Has to Combat Overload

June 21, 2016, — Chris Zook, coauthor of The Founder’s Mentality, outlines how to battle against “overload”—the internal dysfunction and loss of external momentum that strikes young, fast-growing companies as they try to rapidly scale their businesses. Read more >


Getting Growth Back at Your Company

June 10, 2016, Harvard Business Ideacast — In a podcast interview, Chris Zook discusses how the elements of The Founder’s Mentality can help companies to overcome the crises of overload, stall-out and free fall. Listen here >

The Curious Downside of an Owner’s Mindset

June 7, 2016, — The idea of the owner’s mindset—that managers should treat their company’s money as if it were their own—is one of the great innovations in business. But it can lead to pitfalls if not accompanied by the other two key elements of the Founder’s Mentality, explains James Allen. Read more >

Chris Zook

Success hinges on founder mentality, but maybe not founder

June 6, 2016, USA Today — Chris Zook, coauthor of The Founder’s Mentality, is interviewed about successful founder/CEOs and how these leaders were able to keep their companies innovative and profitable. Read more >

FM-hbr-99x93The 3 Things That Keep Companies Growing

June 1, 2016, — An excerpt from the book The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth, by Chris Zook and James Allen. Read more >

The Case for Companies to Focus on ‘Micro-Battles’

June 1, 2016, The Wall Street Journal’s “The Experts” blog — James Allen, coauthor of The Founder’s Mentality, writes about how “micro-battles”—discrete, customer-focused initiatives that can be pursued by a small team—are a way to help counter self-inflicted stall-out that comes with growth. Read more >

The Greatest Barriers to Growth, According to Executives

May 17, 2016, — Chris Zook, coauthor of The Founder’s Mentality, explains the different ways that bureaucracy can distort behavior in your company. Read more >

Founder-Led Companies Outperform the Rest — Here’s Why

March 24, 2016, — When the founder is still involved, why are companies more innovative? Chris Zook, coauthor of The Founder’s Mentality, outlines about three sets of hard-edged practices and underlying attitudes that are common in companies that possess a strong Founder’s Mentality. Read more >

hbr-article-99x93Reigniting Growth

March 2016 issue, Harvard Business Review — Chris Zook and James Allen, authors of The Founder’s Mentality, describe the root causes of stall-out and what faltering companies can do to recapture profitable growth. Read more >