The Ben Chestnut leadership: lessons from MailChimp

Chestnut explained some of his key points for leading, and what sets his company apart from others. He promotes active chaos, without rules or regulations, and that constant change and semblance of anarchy shows that you are flexible and expect your workers to do the same. He stresses the permission to be creative, as well as permission to embarrass yourself, make mistakes, take risks, and chase down crazy ideas. He believes in hiring weird people, cross-industry hires that will look at your company with a completely fresh perspective, and be honest about what needs to change, if anything.

Chestnut believes that meetings should not have a top-down feel of delegation and control, but rather be a title-less brainstorming session between equals. Also, compensation for creativity is something that is difficulty to quantify, so Chestnut decided to dedicate much of his annual profits to a 401(k) program for all of his employees. Unlike other companies that enter the minimum amount, MailChimp deposits the maximum amount into the employee retirement accounts, meaning that each employee will have well over $1 million in their 401(k) when they eventually need it. That generosity is rare, but his employees have brought his company to unexpected levels of success, and the unusual compensation levels fit in with the rest of the wild mood of the company.

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Can Akdeniz

Can Akdeniz is the author of seven books and founder of Business Hacker, a popular business blog. His books such as Go Nuts, Cool Boss, Happy Company and MBA 2.0 have changed how people think about business, productivity and work.