Who should be in charge of the culture of a company? How do you maintain a spirit of innovation as an organization scales? How can executives be transparent about their shortcomings while also improving as leaders?
Scott Cook, the founder and former CEO of Intuit, has navigated these challenges himself while mentoring hundreds of other leaders on how to do the same. Scott is a legend of Silicon Valley. In 1983, he founded Intuit and pioneered consumer finance software, first with Quicken and later TurboTax, Quickbooks, and other products that quickly became household names.
During the 8VC Leadership Summit, I sat down with Scott to discuss some of his most important lessons learned and advice to CEOs and founders. He begins with the responsibility of the CEO to set the company culture, and why leadership doesn't get to play by a different set of rules than its employees. He also explains how success can make organizations slow and stupid, and how to fight the forces of inertia. One way is by orienting decision-making around experimentation, not opinion or status, and he illustrates how Intuit learned to adopt this mindset. Finally, he advises CEOs to advertise their failures, not bury them, and seek out accountability and outside scrutiny from coaches and advisors.