My guest on this episode is Sandy Paige. Sandy has been an operator several times over his career, including being a general manager at a Maine paper mill, a director of The Jackson Laboratory, and others which gave him a wide range of experience to use in growing the company he acquired as a searcher, Explora BioLabs.
He’s also an outlier in being one of, if not the, oldest searchers. But his results speak for themselves: Sandy grew Explora BioLabs over the course of 4 years starting in May 2018 to sell for $295 million in April 2022.
Sandy and I talk about the importance of communication as a CEO and his philosophy behind it, how he sought and hired managers who could grow with the company, early career CEO mistakes to avoid, communicating with your board, and his priorities and focus in the CEO role.
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Check out this podcast for a deeper dive into Sandy’s background
(2:58) – Can you give us your background and career to this point?
(6:36) – How did the paper mill experience influence your management style?
(10:45) – What were some of the characteristics of bosses you worked for that you tried to emulate?
(12:43) – Are there skills that helped you refine your best qualities as a manager?
(15:30) – What do you look for when hiring?
(18:54) – What do you think early career CEOs often miss in management hires?
(21:56) – Are there questions or techniques you use to inform you the hire is a hard worker?
(24:14) – What started to happen after those hires?
(27:41) – As your company grew, how did your team structures have to change?
(33:45) – How do you position a company so that it increases enterprise value?
(35:39) – What made it so different for you?
(37:52) – Did you find it challenging to run the business while going through diligence?
(40:08) – What was your set of responsibilities and priorities as a CEO?
(42:03) – What kind of communication cadence did you have with your board?
(45:08) – How do you ask good questions to your board?
(46:34) – Is there any advice you often give to early career CEOs?
(48:21) – What strongly held belief have you changed your mind on?
(49:48) – What’s the best business you’ve ever seen?
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