Inc. 5000 honorees tell us how they would tackle a common business challenge. This month: How do you elicit feedback from your team about your performance?
Founder and CEO, Mystery Tackle Box (consumer products & services)
No. 435 2017 Rank | 1,013% Growth | $9.7M Revenue
"As part of the weekly or monthly check-ins I have with the leadership team, I ask if they have any feedback about what I'm doing. It's scary to ask how you're doing--and sometimes challenging to hear--but so helpful. For example, one of our new board members recently gave me feedback on how to make better use of my time with the board, and our latest meeting was the best ever."
Founder and CEO, Dumbo Moving + Storage (logistics & transportation)
No. 3,261 2017 Rank | 98% Growth | $14.2M Revenue
"Asking your team how you're doing can show a lack of self-confidence. Team members value a leader's ability to pick up on body language. Even with a 300-member operation, I've found there are ways to work closely enough with team members that there's no need to ask for feedback."
Co-founder, chairman, and CEO, the Learning Experience (education)
No. 3,972 2017 Rank | 72% Growth | $56.5M Revenue
"I approach people when something seems amiss. Employees respect someone who wants honesty. I often speak to people in their offices--it helps them feel more comfortable. We also have an SVP of people, who can report on things weekly."
Founder and CEO, Charm City Concierge (real estate)
No. 4,792 2017 Rank | 46% Growth | $9M Revenue
"We ask new employees for honest feedback about the onboarding program. I gather intel from anonymous surveys twice a year and monthly open-forum meetings with specific teams. And I'm looking to start 'lunchtime chats' with small groups."
Founder and CEO, Prosek Partners (advertising & marketing)
No. 3,708 2017 Rank | 81% Growth | $31.5M Revenue
"We use SurveyMonkey about four times a year to take a pulse check on the culture and the performance of management. Also, as painful as they may be to read, the posts on Glassdoor are incredibly useful. The best performance review I get as the CEO is from our Glassdoor page. There's even a CEO rating, which I pay close attention to."
Rankings and data are taken from the 2017 Inc. 5000: Growth is calculated from 2013 to 2016; revenue is from 2016.