There was never a more exciting time for cell phone and mp3 player development than the early 2000s. Jordan Notenbaum was in college at the time, and the tech device boom landed him a side gig doing phone and iPod repairs. There wasn’t a YouTube channel outlining DIY repairs at the time, and his clients were willing to let him experiment on their devices. Within only a few years, Jordan saw his side gig grow into a profitable business.
Today, Jordan is the CEO and Visionary™ of Mobile Defenders, a global provider and distributor of mobile technology and repair products and accessories, and Erich Baum is his Vice President of Operations and Integrator™. In today’s episode, Jordan and Erich share how owning their Visionary and Integrator roles has given them the freedom to do what is best for the company from the big picture to the minutiae of daily operations.
- A successful Visionary/Integrator™ relationship requires complementary traits and raw communication.
- Role clarity speeds up operations and allows each person in the company to thrive.
- Conflict resolution is easier when your team has the shared vision at the front of their minds.
Some Questions Asked:
- What are some unexpected discoveries Jordan and Erich have made in their EOS® journey?
- How do Jordan and Erich work through conflict?
- What does Erich do if Jordan tries to go around him when making company decisions?
- How did Jordan realize that giving up some of his roles made him a better Visionary?
Flipping the Switch
Some of the best and worst moments in any entrepreneur’s life are when they find themselves struggling to keep up with their company’s growth. Exponential growth is exciting, but it can quickly become a wild fire if a proper operating structure is lacking.
That’s where Jordan was when he hired Erich to run operations. However, the pair were still hitting snags.
“We’re pretty good at creating ideas and selling stuff, but [we knew] the internal culture . . . and accountability is really critical to the long-term sustained growth and success of the company.” — Jordan [6:15]
So, the duo decided to implement EOS®. With the new system in place, employees gained role clarity, responsibilities were dispersed, and clear communication and accountability improved rapidly. By leaving details to Erich and his team, Jordan was able to focus wholeheartedly on the vision and strategy of the company. Seeing the team pick up responsibilities and flourish made Erich realize how little that was actually happening previously.
“When you’re able to make the decisions from a strategic level, and when you’re aligned with the role that you should be in. . . that naturally is going to bring a better sense of enjoyment and also makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing for the business, that I’m spending my time on the most valuable thing for the business.” — Jordan [18:39]
Further, Jordan reflects on what it takes to find a Visionary/Integrator duo capable of producing Rocket Fuel®:
“You need to have somebody that complements you naturally, . . . but I think the most important thing is just the communication. Getting on the same page, talking about the issues, and aligning with the vision up front, that’s the foundation for a successful relationship and it’s worked really well for us.” — Jordan [30:22]
Erich adds that if something isn’t working, make a change. Keep trying to find the missing piece. Don’t let the tail wag the dog; ask what’s best for the relationship and the business and focus on that, instead of getting caught up in trying to follow the rules.
If you’re interested in learning how to use the Entrepreneurial Operating System® to flip the switch on your company’s potential, don’t miss this episode of Rocket Fuel.