Words of wisdom from business leaders can sometimes fall flat and not resonate much, depending on the context and who is saying them. When most CEOs talk about their background, it’s usually filled with the requisite plaudits, accomplishments, awards and endorsements. But when the CEO of a successful software company talks about how getting fired (on numerous occasions, no less) positively shaped him and his career, that usually gets one’s attention.
In a recent interview with The Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Stefan R. Bothe, co-founder and CEO of Flexi Software, spoke about being fired by one of the largest computer/technology companies at the time.
“Every time I got fired it led to something better,” he said.
Let that settle in for a second.
As you listen to the full interview with Mr. Bothe, pay attention to his humility. Humble people share the credit and the wealth. While they remain focused and hungry to continue the journey of success, truly successful people are always quick to point out that they could not have accomplished anything without the help of others.
Bothe said that in order to be successful you must have three things: People, Passion and Product – in that order. Without good people, the other two are not really possible. Whether it is in sales or marketing or development, great people are the keys to a great company. In fact, when he is hiring people, he looks for potential on a resume and not necessarily experience or time spent at one particular company. “I don’t want someone who’s been doing the same thing for the last ten years. That’s someone who is set in their ways.”
He also said, “there is no straight road to success. There will be plenty of bumps along the way.” You need to be able to respond and react to those bumps. If you cannot, you are going to fail. Failure may breed success, but the key is you must be able to pivot.
His message for those that are just starting out? “Take risks and have a plan. If it does not work, you adjust. But take risks.”
You can view the full interview below..