Today our expert guest is Marissa Levin, a 25-year entrepreneur, speaker, and globally-recognized growth strategist. Her lifetime legacy mission is to educate, equip, and empower a hundred million entrepreneurs and leaders with the skill sets and mindsets they need to reach their greatest potential.

She wrote the #1 best-selling book Built to Scale: How Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards. Using her model, her organization has helped CEOs select and implement highly effective advisory boards, which is essential for any business looking to grow exponentially. She is also the author of My Company Rocks: 8 Secrets to a Growth-Driven Culture and a contributor to You at Work: Unlocking Human Potential at the Workplace. She is also a leadership columnist for Inc. Magazine.

Inspired to start her company because she worked for someone who didn’t value her. She wasn’t going to make any more money working for the company she was with, and she knew she was worth so much more, so she decided she needed to start her own company.

Marissa’s masters degree was in Human Resources and Organizational Development. The company she built had to pivot multiple times in order to stay relevant. When she launched the company, the only place that people were learning were in classrooms. She took that online by developing user guides, online help systems, and materials for instructor-led material.

John Chamber, the CEO at the time at CISCO, announced that e-learning would be the “killer application” of the internet, and Marissa had to change her business overnight. In order to become what the market needed, but still be true to who they were, they had to become a web-based training company. That required her to bring on a lot of creative talent and allow them to expand their offerings into different fields.

When social media really started to take a foothold, Marissa knew that it was going to change everything. Where traditionally the CEO of a company controlled all messaging, once everyone in the company could make a LinkedIn or Facebook page, it began to flatten organizations because everyone in the company had a voice.

Why is building community in organizations and in life so critical? One of the most important factors for a successful life is to belong to multiple communities. It creates a feeling of belonging. One of the ways this gets applied to the corporate world is to build an advisory board made up of people from different communities.

Marissa eventually wrote a book, Built to Scale, around the power of advisory boards. In that book, she introduced the SCALE Model, which stands for Select, Compensate, Associate, Leverage, and Evaluate, Evolve & Exit. It’s a 5-phase model that leads a business owner through the process of how to strategically and intentionally select the advisors around them based on the holes and goals of their organization.

This is what each phase looks like:

-Select: Analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as it relates to your advisory board. Be intentional about who you are bringing in to fill in those holes and reach those goals.

-Compensate: You need to show your advisors that you value what they do and are willing to make an investment, whether that’s cash, trade, or stock.

-Associate: How you associate with your advisors, including legally (non-compete, NDA, etc.) and process of integration.

-Leverage: This is all the different ways you can take advantage of your advisory board. There are over 70 of these in the book, and there are even more than that if you can get creative.

-Evaluate, Evolve, and Exit: Arrange to revisit each advisors involvement, evolve your board as your company grows, and if you find you’ve outgrown an advisor, make sure to give them a gracious and grateful exit.

Just like communities are important to us as individuals, advisory boards act as a place for diverse opinions from different communities to come together and improve upon each other. Use the SCALE model above, as well as the tips in her book, to build the advisory board that can blow up your business growth.

The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“For leaders, never underestimate the influence you have on the people who work for you. And for employees, know that you have a voice in your future and your outcome, and always take responsibility for that.”

Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.


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