How the Young Presidents Organization Educates a CEO
In Chapter 10 of 13 Moo.com CEO and London entrepreneur Richard Moross answers "How Has Your Involvement in Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Made You a More Effective CEO?" Moross finds value in the diverse YPO membership. The YPO peer learning network provides Moross a different perspective to complement the technology startup networks. Learning from international businesspeople working in different industries helps Moross iimprove his decision making. Moross is founder and CEO of Moo.com.
Erik: How has your involvement with Young Presidents Organization made you a more effective CEO? Richard: So YPO was something that was recommended to me, I think, late 2009, and I went for my first kind of introductory breakfast, I think in November or something like that in 2009. The problem that I have and that probably everyone has that works in the technology sector is that everyone else around you is like you, right? Everyone is in the same industry. We’re all in the venture backed, you know. ‘Let’s raise money. Let’s hit the ball out of the park.’ And that’s great. I mean we’re all drinking the Kool-Aid, right? I think – I think what YPO – and YPO is a voluntary organization. I think it’s about 15,000 members worldwide. They have very, very strict qualification requirements in terms of how big your business is, and you know, what you’re doing and your role in that company. But what they’ve – the core of YPO is diversity. And so what I was getting from my support network, and my family or, you know, in my peers in the community, it was all very similar. Their experiences were similar to my experiences, and I think you learn from difference, right? Or you learn from trying, and – but you need perspective, and YPO is all about perspective from a diverse perspective – perspective from a diverse group of people. And YPO breaks down into different levels, so there’s a kind of international level, then there’s a kind of local chapter level in your city or town, and then there’s a forum level. So you’re in a group with like six or seven other people who are all, you know, qualified to be there. They’re all running their own companies all successful, but they all come from very different backgrounds. So I mean my forum YPO is oil and gas, property development, you know, wealth advice, some – actually venture capital, which is also pretty interesting, manufacturing, and a range of other things. And when I bring a problem to the table, I don’t just hear ‘well, when I was running my tech startup,’ or, you know, ‘when I invested in this,’ I hear a completely different view, a world view, you know, it’s very international as well, about the kinds of problems that I’m having, and I think that makes for a very rich perspective on your situation, and I think it’s incredibly important. So its enabled me to look at my opportunities, or my problems, or, you know, decision-making, just from seven or eight different perspectives, which is they’re all different, and its been a real – its been amazingly helpful for me.