Co-CEO & Co-Founder
 at 
Chili Piper
   

What do you wish you had known 10 years ago?

I wish I had felt more comfortable in using my voice externally. I was terrified of my imperfections. I was awkward, and I didn’t want that on display. Once I understood, about two years ago, that my voice could impact those around me positively, I finally got the courage to speak.

What book do you recommend the most?

"Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg. Because most people fail due to their own internal limiting beliefs (violent voices in our head).

What's a mistake that you're happy you've made?

All the “mistakes” have taught me something. I wouldn’t say I’m happy I made them, because there’s always a “negative” impact of a mistake. But I wouldn’t take anything back because I wouldn’t have learned without it.

What's the biggest insight you've learned in your entrepreneurial journey so far?

The weight on a founder's shoulder for all successful companies is a lot greater than meets the eye. Strength comes from the ability to know how to get back up when you’re pushed to the ground, what feels like a million times over.

What’s a guiding principle that informs the way you build and run your business?

If we do right by our ecosystem (employees, partners, customers)  for the long term, trust that the ecosystem will thrive together.

What motivated you to become an entrepreneur / leader?

I started working very young on all sorts of ventures when I was 8. By necessity. Chili Piper is my first “real’ company. I started it because I believed the B2B buying process is broken and also because I believed companies can do better for their employees and their ecosystem.

What's a perspective that we should pay more attention to in the workplace?

Belief is critical. Without the belief that we can succeed together, we have nothing.

What's your secret sauce for building a great team?

Trusting them to do their best work without monitoring or keeping them captive in an office. While giving them systems that: (1) let them see how the work impacts the overall bottom line; (2) allow them to contribute to all decisions (and all decisions are transparent); and (3) allow them to thrive at work.

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Here’s More, From Other Founders Around the World

What's a skill that we should pay more attention to in the workplace?

We have to put way more effort into really listening to the people in our teams, talking about impediments, needs & ideas. We won't be able to create growth if we continue to act like leaders from the 90s.

  
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What should leaders understand about their own role and responsibility?

You serve the team, not the other way round.

  
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What personal habit or behavior helped you accelerate your personal growth?

Adopting a 'growth mindset' sounds fancy and fun, but it is very uncomfortable. It requires a great deal of self-reflection, the ability to admit where you have gone wrong and to find new ways to become the best leader you can be. Getting into the habit of these behaviors sucks at first, but it pays off every time.

  
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What personal habit or behavior helped you accelerate your personal growth?

I once received a quirky compliment from an Investor: “Achim, you are not afraid to ask questions that make you look stupid." I lean into that a lot now because many things that people take for granted don’t have a reason to be the way they are.

  
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