Giving in to the Monkey in His Head: Mike Smerklo

Giving in to the Monkey in His Head: Mike Smerklo

My guest for Episode #47 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Mike Smerklo. He is an entrepreneur, an investor, he’s the co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures. He was one of the first employees at Loudcloud, recruited there by  Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.

in 2003, he purchased ServiceSource, a 30-person technology services startup in San Francisco. As CEO over the next 12 years, he grew the business into a successful 3,000-person publicly traded company with close to $300M in revenue. 

Mike now shares his lessons in his book Mr. Monkey and Me: A Real Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs.

In today's episode, Mike shares some favorite mistakes about giving into “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” and how he made the mistake of trying to be a blend of two very different leaders who were both role models to him. We also talk about why he wrote the book and the “SHAPE” formula — Self Awareness, Help, Authenticity, Persistence, and Expectations.

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"[Mr. Monkey and Me"] is about self doubt, fear, uncertainty, and self doubt. And so I said my favorite mistake, because it drove me quite a bit, was probably giving into that..."

 "In particular situations I didn't trust my gut because of 'imposter syndrome' or it felt that, gosh, I'm just not good enough. I don't know what I'm doing. And rather than go in an authentic voice, I went a different direction. I think that was something early in my career..."

"My favorite mistake was not being authentic. And then finally coming to realize just where it was costing me in the business and me and my leadership."

"[Mr. Monkey] is a negative voice inside my head. I think everyone has it. I think it shows up in different ways and has different repercussions."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contain 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.