We all know that managing our work and personal lives can often be challenging. Just imagine building a successful business, growing a family, and spending time with your significant other. Overwhelming, right? The common theme that repeats itself in all of these areas is the relationship component - in order to grow a successful startup or build a family, you need to form all types of relationships and nourish them so they become meaningful and successful. The question to be asked is: what core relationship values can we leverage to effectively assist us in all of the important areas of our lives?
To answer that question, I met with two successful CEOs representing the best of Startup Nation who are not just experienced entrepreneurs, but also a married couple growing a family while building their multiple businesses. This couple has managed to leverage their own personal relationship, family values, and work ethic toward growth and fulfillment across all of those areas, and it's definitely do-able!
Amir and Tali Orad have a fascinating life story: together they have built six companies while raising three kids, and as parents know well, every child is a startup that needs and deserves a lot of attention.
Amir Orad is the CEO of Sisense, a massively growing business intelligence software company that is looking to become Israel's next billion-dollar company. Amir is a successful CEO and a serial entrepreneur who built his first business at the age of 16 and managed to grow and sell two global technology startups while building a family of his own. Amir became a top thought leader in the area of big data and is well-known in the startup world for his ability to significantly scale businesses up financially. Despite managing to stay a bit off the radar, Amir's track record makes him one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Israel and New York tech.
Tali Orad is a successful entrepreneur and currently the founder and CEO of GetScreen, a parental control app that manages all electronic devices at home. In addition, she is the founder of non-profit organization BeCPR, which educates parents about basic lifesaving skills that aim to save lives. Tali is a software engineer with vast corporate and business experience. She is the best of all worlds- a woman and a mom with an entrepreneurial mind who received tech-related education that led her to form businesses that contribute to families across the globe and make a positive impact.
Photo taken by GetScreen
So how does this Startup Nation couple manage to do all this and not lose their minds? That's what I wanted to know when I spoke with them, especially after hearing the struggles of entrepreneurs trying to manage working for a startup and balancing their own lives. Amir and Tali told me the core values that helped them grow both their family and their businesses. Here's what they had to share:
1) Lead by example
When you think about it, leadership values can be applied similarly in different areas of life and business. As leaders, Amir and Tali make sure to empower each area of life they are part of. "We strive to lead and manage by example. We can't ask family members or, alternatively, fellow co-workers to do what we don't do ourselves," Amir said.
One example of their leadership is the fact they both like to collaborate on growth thinking exercises, and share those ideas with their colleagues and kids. Both groups, in their own ways, take part in the process of an idea being manifested and then morphed into a live product. Amir and Tali's co-workers get to develop these processes together, which helps build a culture of collaboration, while their kids are learning by seeing their parents in action. In fact, they even get to develop investigative thinking in the form of a family game, "Find the Bug". The rules are simple: their kids are looking for system bugs in their products. Every time they detect one, they get $1 and ultimately learn how to "think differently, think beyond, and think big."
Tali shares: "I'm proud to be a female entrepreneur who works to make a difference. When my daughter sees me getting ready for an investor meeting or a lecture and asks what I do, I get to show her how I approach my work and share my secrets and tricks. Little by little, I plant the seeds to empower values I believe in within my kids." Entrepreneurship is all around, in the house and at the workplace, and it's wonderful to see how the Orads find creative ways to expand this skill.
2) Create a supportive environment
In our conversation Amir and Tali repeatedly and passionately talked about the importance of creating a supportive environment around us to serve as a growth engine for family life as well as in business. As a couple, they were always closely involved with each other's management and entrepreneurship journeys, and testify that they have multiplied their own experiences by learning from each other's mistakes and successes. And of course, this applies for managing a family as well.
"You can achieve anything you want if you believe in your own ability to succeed, but also make sure to be around supportive people who share the same passion and vision," Amir noted. Both Amir and Tali surround themselves with colleagues and friends whom they trust and have built relationships with over time, and who support their own journeys.
Building a startup is a lot about learning, making mistakes, hearing "no," and getting back on your feet quickly! Similarly, as parents and experienced CEOs, the Orads believe in the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them: "We give our kids the freedom to make their own choices and mistakes. You can't grow a family or a company by just telling people what to do. You have to give values and guidance and create room for people to make their own decisions and yes, also mistakes." Tali explains: "I chose amazing people to join me and to serve as board members and employees of my startup. I make sure to be among experienced, bright people who can help me make fewer mistakes and reach our goals together in the best way possible." You can definitely supercharge your skills, efficiency and results if you make sure to be around the right people!
Photo taken by Sisense
3) Invest in relationships
As we know, "it's all about people": families and companies are formed and developed through different levels of human relationships and connections. Creating loose and strong relationships with others is key to empowering your family, company, friends, and yourself. Amir and Tali have countless stories of how a little help they gave someone turned out to be very significant for them or others around them down the road. "We believe in being available to other people, employees, friends, and our family of course, and happy to help anyone at all times." Investing in their relationships with others ultimately translates into great results at work, better communication, and of course a happy family life.
"Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, and be humble even when you are on top. These are true at home, with your partner and kids, and in sports, but also at work. Not only is it the right way to behave as a human being, it is also the right way to carry yourself in a tight business community." The way we are engaging with others around us constantly influences the spirit of where we are and makes a difference for everyone. The Orads say: "What goes around comes around!"
Ultimately, when it comes to the human component, there isn't a big difference between building a successful company and managing your family life. There are basic values that are used in all areas of life that can promote flourishing relationships and build a great corporate culture and sense of community. Eventually a happier, more successful, and richer life is possible, even when both partners in the family run their own company. Amir and Tali Orad prove that what may be perceived as "impossible" for many is definitely achievable if you hold the right leadership values and have a supportive environment to grow into.