Michael was a self-made millionaire by the age of 25. He built two highly successful tech firms valued in the hundreds of millions. Today he ranks as one of Canada’s pre-eminent technology investors and was one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 by age 33.
Michael is the Executive Chairman of Bluecat, one of the leading growth companies in the country focused on the internet if things (IoT). Prior to his role as Executive Chairman, he led the company as CEO, where his leadership philosophy was to empower his employees. He hired those that would work well as a team so together they could make the big decisions. Michael is a believer in pushing authority out to team members in his companies, hiring people smarter than him and pushing for lively debate within the board room. Living by the idea that everything is on the table while pushing the team to be candid helped real progress in the business. He also knows that it’s a constant and consistent march that wins the day. It was the small daily moves that made all the difference to the big picture.
Michael helps and mentors youth and entrepreneurs to succeed and become contributing citizens in their communities. He actively invests and is driven by some core principles: He focuses most on the people as he believes it’s the people who will make the right pivots. Secondly he looks for companies that are trying to make huge impact and have the ability to disrupt. Lastly, he focuses on the ability of the team to execute as there are many great ideas that lack the tough counter –intuitive thinking and experience to make it happen. Ideas alone won’t cut it.
An active lender with Kiva.org, non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Michael also chairs his family’s charitable foundation, The Hyatt Family Foundation. The HFF donates and invests in a number of important projects including women’s health & employment, biomedical research and international water programs.
In this presentation, Michael shares his candid business and leadership philosophies including: how to avoid common mistakes leaders make (but why sometimes failing is good); why asking powerful questions will lead you to the right answer (not just your answer); how to find the best way for a product’s success; why you should hire people smarter than you and let them excel; how to win in the new demographic shift; and why supporting all members of your team is so important.
Filled with these and many more lessons Michael has learned throughout his journey, this upfront talk will inspire audiences to think differently in their approach to business success
In this presentation, Michael draws from his experience running BlueCat, an IoT company with the idea that there needs to be a highly dynamic, flexible way of getting business done. Michael stresses the need to stay connected technologically, without losing the personal connections.
Michael believes in the great potential for opportunity while there’s ‘blood on the streets’ and times are tough. Tough times can define leadership. It’s important not to be an optimist nor a pessimist, but a realist when looking at the situation. Realists come out best in hard times. With an ability to capture and explain difficult concepts easily for audiences, Michael explains his success in challenging times: “Evolve or die.”
He has built two highly successful tech firms, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. So, what’s his secret to start-up success?
The first thing Michael tells a budding entrepreneur or start-up is to focus. Do one thing and one thing well. Just because you can make money at something doesn’t mean you should do it.
At the same time, you need to embrace discomfort, pain and sacrifice. If you become comfortable as an entrepreneur, you might as well be dead.
In this presentation, Michael shows that to achieve success you need to prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.