CEO Joel Trammell Had Trouble Hiring a VP of Marketing, Again and Again

CEO Joel Trammell Had Trouble Hiring a VP of Marketing, Again and Again


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #122 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Joel Trammell. He is CEO and Founder of Khorus Systems, a business management system that empowers CEOs to lead high-performance organizations. 

Joel is the author of books including The CEO Tightrope: How to Master the Balancing Act of a Successful CEO and his latest, available in January, titled The Manager’s Playbook: Make Exceptional People Management Your Competitive Advantage.

In today's episode, Joel shares his “favorite mistake” story about having trouble, multiple times, finding the right VP of Marketing for a startup company. What happened, and what did Joel learn?

We talk about that story and other topics including:

  • Steps to avoid making that mistake?
  • What are some Mistakes CEOs make in evaluating the performance of other executives?
  • As boss, do you have to more expert than your team?
  • “Be an expert generalist”
  • Being CEO at 2 companies at the same time? 
  • As a CEO, what’s your role in creating a culture of learning from mistakes?
  • When do you have to bring in an outsider as CEO? 
  • Keep Austin weird? Is it a Mistake for companies to “hire for fit”??

Find Joel on Social Media:

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript



A CEO can't be authentic and transparent if you're covering up your mistakes and if you're acting like you know everything — when you know you don't. - Joel Trammell
“Anytime somebody brings a problem to you, the first words out of your mouth need to be ‘thank you.’ Thank you for letting me know that we had a problem. Now let's talk about how we're going to solve it. Who's going to go solve it?” - joel trammell
"You want to be what I call an 'expert generalist' in that role [of CEO]."
"I think the two most powerful phrases that CEOs need to use are 'I don't know' and 'I made a mistake'"
"They get into a management role and they think, 'Wow, I get to make all the decisions now' and they just make decisions. Then they wonder why nobody's following them and nobody's getting any better."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.