My Favorite Mistake — 210: CEO Mike Kaeding Learned That Paying to Hire the Best Was Worth the Investment

Episode page with transcript, video, and more

My guest for Episode #210 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Mike Kaeding, the CEO of Norhart. They design, build, and rent apartments. They are transforming the way this is done by incorporating technologies and techniques that have revolutionized other industries. This has resulted in improved quality and reduced cost of housing. Ultimately, they are committed to solving America’s housing shortage and affordability crisis. And in doing so they hope to improve the way we all live. 

In this episode, Mike shares his favorite mistake story about not realizing that paying well to hire the best was well worth the investment. What opened his eyes to this as a new CEO and how did he adjust? We discuss that and the power of intentionally creating a culture that attracts and retains great employees who are aligned with Norhart's mission and goals.

Questions and Topics:

  • How old is the company? You took over from your father…
  • Tell us about some of the history and culture
  • Your company — rare to design, build, AND rent?
  • Is it a matter of speed, efficiency and quality?
  • You’ve brought techniques from manufacturing? Tell us about that and who is helping you?
  • Partnership with Toyota – TSSC
  • You talk about building an attractive culture — Why is that? And how?
  • The connection to employees and how it resonates with them?
  • “Best in the world” is their goal…
  • Life is so short — don’t waste it doing work you don’t enjoy, with people you don’t enjoy working with
  • Norhart values
  • Norhart Invest — interest-bearing accounts
  • Podcast – “Becoming a Unicorn, ” launching soon

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