Nadine Watt is president of Watt Cos., a 70-year-old real estate firm in Santa Monica that was founded by her grandfather, Ray Watt. The 106-employee operation has developed homes for more than 100,000 families, built more than 8 million square feet of office space and developed more than 50 shopping centers. It’s also developed three hotels and six master-planned communities.
When she became president in 2011, Watt led a reorganization that expanded the company’s range of business to acquisitions, real estate development and entrepreneurial joint ventures to lessen its exposure to the volatile retail market. Her company won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Los Angeles area.
“[My grandfather] always taught me to treat everyone with respect. He always looked everyone in the eye and said hello, and he asked them questions. He knew a little bit about everyone from his janitors to presidents. The last thing he ever said to me was, ‘Do your homework.’”
Read the full article: Nadine Watt tried to avoid the family business. Now she helps run it. (Los Angeles Times)
Business leaders like to “pick the brain” of powerhouse players for insight and to learn from their mistakes. What’s the best way to engage leaders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Arianna Huffington? Read what they’re reading. As Bill Gates has famously revealed, getting to know 50 new books a year has helped make him who he is. Here are our staff picks:
“Radical Candor” by Kim Scott
Recommended by Tracy as a study in candor with clients, reporters and your team.
Scott uses engaging and hilarious personal stories from her experiences at Apple and Google to illustrate her approach to effective management – radical candor. She theorizes that effective leaders must “care personally” and also “challenge directly.” More than just a management book, radical candor informs how we communicate with one another while remaining compassionate and empathetic.
“The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli
Recommended by Trish, an avid reader and firm believer that “one must be a fox.”
“There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.” A classic and one of the most impactful books on power. Ruthless? Yes. Yet this book contains tremendous insight on the importance of controlling the narrative. Machiavelli’s debate on which is more valuable to a leader, being feared or being loved, fits right in with today’s “Game of Thrones.”
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
Recommended by Ashley, who uses every party she attends as practice for Carnegie’s tactics.
Every high school student should read this before graduation, and so should we all. After 80 years, this book still has a cult following. Warren Buffett said “it changed my life.” It’s one of the best public relations reads because when you are genuinely interested in what others say, you create a bond. Carnegie also presents useful insights on the psychology behind social interactions and great tips on how to approach people.
“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
Recommended by Wes, who says its take on establishing core values can serve as the guideline for every decision.
Born from his 2009 TED Talk on his book Start with Why, the third most popular TED video of all time, Sinek speaks to a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. His theme is that leaders who’ve had the greatest influence all think, act and communicate in the same way, which is the opposite of everyone else: they start with why, not just how, their company is different.
“Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences” by Nancy Duarte
Recommended by Paulo, OWC’s content creation guru, who says the book is visual and informative, making it a great mix of concept with how-to instruction.
Creating a presentation can be a daunting task: How many words are too many for one slide? Does this image make sense here? Am I boring them to death? Duarte’s answers can help wake the sleepers and lead to better and more entertaining communication.
Our staff commutes from Simi Valley and Pasadena to Silver Lake and Santa Monica, so podcasts are the medium of choice for getting our daily dose of news, insights and learning:
Recommended by Trish, who listens to at least five podcasts every day to maintain sanity while driving “the highway of the damned” (aka the 405) during her 3-hour daily commute. See Trish in The Wall Street Journal.
Communication requires an effective storyteller and what better way to learn than to follow the examples of the most skilled. The Moth podcast is a collection of people telling true stories in front of live audiences. Topics and lengths vary, but the level of excellence is consistent.
“The Intelligence Squared Podcast”
Recommended by Ashley, who says it sharpens argument skills and helps us incorporate witty, well-reasoned positions into conversation.
If you love a good debate, this is the podcast for you. It’s like eavesdropping on the brightest visionaries and most intelligent leaders from around the globe as they deliberate hot topics.
The New York Times’ “The Daily”
Recommended by Paulo, who recommends it as the ideal podcast for a quick news fix during the morning commute.
Hosted by Michael Barbaro, each 20-minute episode is a deep dive into the latest news, all told by the Times’ award-winning staff. It summarizes the day’s hot-button headlines with original reporting from those covering the stories from the front lines and commentary from policymakers and interviews with persons involved.
We’d like your book and podcast recommendations. Please share them with us on Twitter @owcpr or via email, and we’ll include them in our next newsletter.
According to Lido Advisors’ Greg Kushner, we are all worried about managing risk in our portfolios, and it’s not just a baseless concern.
“This year we have seen more volatility than we have since the financial crisis,” he says. “Just look at the soaring CBOE Volatility Index (VIX, aka the fear index). Even more concerning is that this volatility may continue, making potential investors queasy about their participation in the equity markets.”
Lido Advisors thinks investment advice should go beyond just wealth management and into a bit of life coaching. “The first thing I do is sit down with a client and drill down into their current situation.”
Read the full article: Keep Your Composure (And Clients): A Field Guide For Managing Fear In A Volatile Market (Forbes)
One of the best ways to grow a business is to expand your network and broaden your influence in the business community. You need to meet new people, reach potential customers and find opportunities to connect with like-minded people. There are many ways to do that at trade shows, conferences, and networking events and through business relationships. But how do you maximize business discussions to ensure you get noticed and identify potential partners?
ProVisors’ mission is to build relationships and to understand what works. Conversations naturally start off with the exchange of pleasantries and understanding the business and the role of each person. But then the conversation needs to get interesting, and you need to look smart. ProVisors’ Matt Toledo gives his top five questions to help you get noticed, find the right connection and grow your business.
Read the full article: Five Questions To Spark A Business Connection (Forbes)
CrowdOut Capital CEO Alexander Schoenbaum is one of the M&A Advisor’s 2018 Emerging Leaders.
Based in Austin, Texas, CrowdOut is the first online marketplace for short-term lending for the lower middle-market companies with revenue from $5 to $500 million. CrowdOut provides the flexibility and efficiency for companies to avoid the rigid processes and structures of traditional funding, where long-term lock-ins, minimal loan size and interest rate adjustments made loans onerous and ultimately stunted the growth opportunities for these companies.
The M&A Advisor, renowned globally for its recognition of leading M&A, financing and turnaround professionals, created this event to promote mentorship and professional development amongst the emerging business leaders.
“The Annual M&A Advisor Emerging Leaders Awards was born as the 40 Under 40 Awards in the United States in 2010 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of young M&A, Financing and Turnaround professionals who had reached a significant level of success and made a notable contribution to their industry and community. With the expansion of the Emerging Leaders program to the United Kingdom, and Europe in 2016, the 2018 US award winners join a truly global network of outstanding young professionals,” said David Fergusson, President and Co-CEO of The M&A Advisor.
Read the full announcement here.
Rosie O’Neill, 38, is co-founder and co-chief executive of Sugarfina, the artisan candy company based in El Segundo that she runs with Josh Resnick, 51, the other founder and CEO. From a 2012 start with just $60,000 in savings, the duo has traveled the world looking for unusual and tasty sweets for adult connoisseurs. Sugarfina employs more than 500 people and racked up $40 million in 2017 sales. O’Neill and Resnick were 2018 finalists in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year awards for the Los Angeles area.
On her third date with Resnick in 2010, the couple went to see “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” The film sparked a question, then an idea. “We were thinking, ‘Why are there no candy stores for adults?’” O’Neill said. “The entrepreneurial bug was calling me. Josh and I just finally got to a point where we said, ‘Let’s give this a shot, and if it doesn’t work we can always go back to what we were doing before.’”
Read the full article: She left toyland for candyland, finding a sweet spot with Sugarfina
Not many health clinics offer showers, but Saban Community Clinic has been doing it for about three decades. The clinic serves an urgent need, given L.A. County’s growing homeless population, which is up almost 50 percent in the past six years to roughly 53,000, though it dipped slightly this year, according to the annual homeless count.
About two dozen people line up at the Saban clinic each weekday morning, waiting for the showers. They come with backpacks, shopping carts and folded-up tents.
Saban’s free showers are a gateway to other services it offers homeless people, who sometimes resist seeking medical care, said Adam Friedman, the clinic’s chief marketing officer. About a third of the people who take showers at Saban also see doctors there. Some of the patients have untreated mental illnesses and chronic diseases. Others have injuries from living on the street.
Read the full article: At L.A. Clinic, Free Showers Can Get Homeless People in to See the Doctor (KQED)
EY is pleased to announce the winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Greater Los Angeles Awards. As the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes business leaders who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. The entrepreneurs noted below were selected by a panel of independent judges and revealed at a special black-tie awards gala on Thursday, June 14, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“These winners represent the booming industries, leadership and exceptional ideas that are driving innovation and growth in Greater LA,” said Scott Porter, Partner at Ernst & Young LLP, and Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year. “They are creating jobs, disrupting industries, and developing services and solutions that are improving whole economies, countless lives and society at large.”
The winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Greater Los Angeles Awards are:
- Master Entrepreneur Award | Arie Belldegrun, MD, FACS
- Technology Award | Jake Winebaum, CEO | Brighter, Inc. | Santa Monica, CA
- Emerging Award | Heather Hasson, Co-CEO, and Trina Spear, Co-CEO | FIGS, Inc. | Los Angeles, CA
- Consumer Products & Retail Award | Eddy Lu, Co-Founder & CEO, and Daishin Sugano, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer | GOAT | Culver City, CA
- Digital Media Award | Rich Pierson, Co-Founder & CEO, and Andy Puddicombe, Co-Founder | Headspace | Santa Monica, CA
- Cleantech & Renewable Energy Award | Patrick Maloney, Founder & CEO | Inspire | Santa Monica, CA
- Health Award | Dr. Anthony Gabriel, Co-Founder and COO, and Rich Whitney, Co-Founder, Chairman, & CEO | Radiology Partners | El Segundo, CA
- Marketing Technology Award | Michael Blend, Co-Founder & President, and Chuck Ursini, Co-Founder & CEO | System1 LLC | Venice, CA
- Family Business Award | Nadine Watt, President | Watt Companies | Santa Monica, CA
Read the full announcement here.
The CUREfilm technology, developed by Cure Pharmaceutical, delivers drugs through a dissolvable strip that can be applied in the oral cavity or onto the skin. It replaces the need for swallowing or injecting medicines. The film has the ability to hold multiple active ingredients on one dissolvable strip, hence, eliminating the need to take multiple medications for daily treatments.
“CUREfilm products are designed to optimize drug release profiles and achieve a target product profile,” says Jessica Rousset, COO at CURE Pharmaceutical. “Unlike traditional oral drug delivery, CUREfilm can be designed to bypass the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, avoiding GI-related side effects and inactivation in the gut or liver.”
Rousset spoke to Pharmaceutical Technology about the advantages of CUREfilm and its applications in drug delivery.
Read the full article: An alternative to pills and injections: CUREfilm redefines how medicines are delivered and experienced (Pharmaceutical Technology)
According to Jaspar Weir, co-founder and president of TaskUs.Employee happiness is important because it translates into better quality work, which, in turn, can equal increased customer retention, satisfaction and revenue.
But what makes a happier employee? There seems to be a widespread myth that free lunches and ping pong tables drive employee happiness. Many companies spend a lot of money on frivolous things but still have employee morale and retention issues because those incentives are not meeting employee needs — the ROI is just not there.
You need to align with your employees to understand what is driving them.
Read the full article: Daily Satisfaction: The Fuel To Drive The Employee Engine (Forbes)