Inc. asked the nation's fastest growing, private-company CEOs to fill out a survey, addressing a series of wide-ranging questions involving everything from President Donald Trump's policy initiatives to dealing with lightning fast growth. Among other things, here's what you really think about Trump--and what you can learn from him.
77 percent of those surveyed cited cutting business taxes as a key policy action they hope the Trump administration focuses on. That made it, by far, the most popular policy goal of Inc. 500 CEOs. Cutting personal taxes came in second at 59 percent; creating jobs came in at 51 percent.
49 percent of surveyed CEOs expressed hope that a priority for President Trump would be fostering an influx of talented immigrants. While not one of Trump's stated policy aims, it nonetheless far outpolled the 16 percent who seek a focus on keeping illegal immigrants out of the U.S. and the 10 percent who want a travel ban on immigrants and visitors from certain countries.
41 percent of survey respondents said fixing Obamacare should be a policy objective for President Trump. In contrast, only 20 percent said Trump's priority should be repealing Obamacare.
Q: Is there anything, positive or negative, that Trump's leadership style can teach entrepreneurs?
A: "He isn't an entrepreneur. Don't emulate him." -- No. 179 | Aaron Bird, Bizible
A: "I hope his style is not influencing how entrepreneurs (or anyone else) interact or communicate with others. We can accomplish great things as a nation and as individual companies without attacking or belittling those around us. We all want to 'win,' but we need to maintain dignity, civility, and integrity." -- No. 117 | Eric McGlade, Vantage Point Logistic
A: "Never give up, feel good about yourself, and pump up the crowd." -- No. 121 | Rafael Zakinov, Ruby Has Fulfillment
A: "Classic Marketing 101. Segment your market, target the right audience, and get your positioning right, and you could very well achieve the impossible." -- No. 445 | Shashank Shekhar, Arcus Lending
54 percent of survey respondents said that managing fast growth was the biggest challenge facing their company. (There are worse problems to have, but look below for some thoughtful and detailed comments about the specific pitfalls that rapid growth can bring.) It dwarfed other responses: Attracting and retaining talent came in second, cited by half as many CEOs.
Q: What's the biggest danger of growing too fast?
A: "Becoming average. We have to retain the ability to produce what makes our company special as we grow." -- No. 255 | Blaine Stimac, Health & Rehab Solutions
A: "When you're growing like mad and hiring fast, it's easy to ignore red flags and bring in someone who's not a good fit. Do so too often, and you can alter your company's DNA irreparably." -- No. 167 | Samer Hamadeh, Zeel
A: "Problems get much bigger as you grow, so if you don't solve certain business challenges at a small scale and grow through them, they become much harder to solve later." -- No. 110 | Erik Huberman, Hawke Media