How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Nati Harpaz from Catch Group.
Current gig: CEO of Catch Group
Location: Mulgrave, Victoria
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: Lenovo X1
One word that best describes how you work: Fast
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
No such thing.
What social network do you find the most useful?
LinkedIn for Work, WhatsApp for personal. I don’t use Facebook anymore due to lack of time.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
Focus is really important and defining a clear strategy that is communicated across the organisation which will help create alignment, certainty and a sense of belonging. The most important lesson of all is not to compromise on the quality of your human capital. If it doesn’t work then move on quickly.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
How effective a clear strategy and business logic can be when applied in the right way and ultimately how that can contribute to a turnaround of a business.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I am sure that in everything I do there is someone who is better than me. What does work for me really well is that I am super-fast at getting things done and that’s because I understand and grasp things really quickly and am then able to translate them into an action plan.
The other thing that really works well for me is the fact that I have a extensive experience in many areas which means that every conversation I engage in I understand it really well and can challenge those around me. Starting from Law, technology, marketing, product and finance.
Coming from an entrepreneurial background I have done almost any role you can think of in an organisation so I have a very good understanding of many disciplines. I think this is something that can put one apart from other executive in the corporate world. Take for example a CEO who was previously a CFO. Prior to being a CFO he may have been a head of finance and before that an accountant. Put him in a CEO position he doesn’t really understand marketing or technology or product and he applies the same rules and logic he has used in his experience running finance systems and that’s a potential recipe for disaster.
Obviously there are many exceptions to this but in general I think a good CEO would be one that had experience across multiple disciplines.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I am not a routine person.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Focus hard on what you do and make sure you find the best people that can help you execute your plan. If you compromise on the people around you it is going to be really difficult to be successful as eventually you will work harder to make up for the under performance of other executives.
Learning is another key metric. Keep learning as much as you can from external resources but also from your own operation and your own mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn for the future so embrace these opportunities and don’t punish yourself over them.