This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.

In the interview, Roei opens up about his views on entrepreneurship, leadership, and his relationship with money. We also talk about how our early experiences shape us in subtle ways we do not realise, and the importance of vulnerability, transparency, and caring for people. We also discuss the responsibility of an early-stage startup leader to their team and investors – and how that is paramount.

You can find Roei at the below links

In the interview, we talk about

  • It’s easy to see entrepreneurialism to see, leadership and think, oh, that looks great and looks really attractive, but it doesn’t all the time. And when it is not always a success, it can have real impacts.
  • My experience growing up as a child, teenager was one of, whatever you get in your life, you’re going to have to work for, there wasn’t going to be any handouts.
  • If you did have that experience growing up, I think you mature at a much quicker rate. So I think if you, at eight years old, 10 years old, whatever, it might be, start having to face those realities of, what the real world is. I think it definitely means that when you come into 18, 19 years old, you’re already a few years ahead
  • I’ve got a very strange relationship with money and it’s not been a good one for a long time.
  • That was a really great learning experience for me that, you back people because you want to be involved with the right people and want to support the right people.
  • What I’m learning is you have really got to nurture all of your people to go on, not just the journey for the company, but their own. And you really got to help those people achieve what they want to do because ultimately unless you’ve got the right team to execute on things, that is just not going to work. People are everything.
  • So making sure that you put an arm around everyone and give everyone their own personal plan. It’s so important, but it’s a difficult thing to do.
  • Your job as a CEO in many ways is to protect your time to spend with your core team. So bringing in an EA has massively helped on that side and trying to limit the amount of time I spend on smaller tasks.
  • I don’t buy into this idea of if you’re a founder of a business, you could do a four-day working week. I think your responsibility is to your team and to your investors.
  • I’m very fortunate as well that my girlfriend understands the entrepreneurial journey. Her brother’s an entrepreneur. She’s seen it from a very early age where means to have that commitment. If you’re with someone who doesn’t understand, it can be very difficult.
  • It’s about transparency as well. Being transparent with your team of being authentic and saying, look, guys, I’m struggling with the idea of this. That I’m just going, to be honest with you guys. It’s super important, but, and it’s one of the most difficult things to strike the balance because you need to show and truthfully be very considerate, very open to what other people think about.
  • But you also need to be decisive enough that people have faith in you as a leader. So it’s getting that balance of saying, I want to listen to everyone and I want to take on board all of your ideas and manage that with, but don’t worry, guys, this is the decision. This is what we’re going to do.
  • My mum grew up in communist Hungary and they escaped and she ended up in a refugee camp and, all, but then they were sent back and then when they got send back to hungry, people had taken over that house. So I also think it’s one of the reasons I’m such a hard worker is, from where they’ve come from and it transcends through the way that they brought me up and everything else.
  • I think that so much of life is luck. I’m very grateful that, with real support, we got the right thing at the right time and I’d be so grateful for so many opportunities.
  • I’m still learning so much that I feel like my journey in a leadership position, my journey as a leader is so at the beginning that I still feel like every day I’m learning so much about what I mean.
  • No matter what’s going on in business, if you’re flying and you’ve got a hundred employees and you’re about to do a big fundraiser, you still got to do the dishes at home there. You still got to help out around the house. If you want to have a happy home life.
  • I think success is doing everything you can to reach your potential. Whatever that means, that could be financial, it could be creative. It could be raising a family who are happy, many different people have different views on that. But I think that you need to go for it, whatever your view on success is.
  • You just got to love the journey because you’ll always be on the journey. The second you stop loving the job, you need to evaluate whether it’s a journey you want to be on, or if there’s something else that would make you happy.