My Favorite Mistake — 219: Hank Levine, CEO of iPlace USA, Shares Two Favorite Mistakes From Sales and Technology

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My guest for Episode #219 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Hank Levine, the President and CEO of iPlace USA, a global Recruitment Process Outsourcing company.

He has 39 years' experience in sales, business development, marketing, and general management. He created the marketing and business strategies for six companies – four of which were acquired for a total of $92 million. Hank has twice “reinvented” his career. Before heading offshore recruiting firms, he held senior management positions in venture capital-backed technology companies. The first phase of his career was with cutting-edge home automation and telecom firms.

Hank holds a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s in management from the Sloan School at MIT.

In this episode, Hank shares two favorite mistake stories from earlier in his career at two different companies — one related to sales and one related to technology development. Why did the first story profoundly change how he views leadership? Why did the second story teach him to avoid the “curse of the expert?”

We also discuss his efforts to cultivate a culture of learning from mistakes at iPlace USA.

I also want to mention that Hank is mentioned and quoted in my book The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation, based on a previous interaction we had.

Questions and Topics:

  • Putting the right person in the right role — good fit
  • Examples of putting that lesson into practice?
  • Giving up on a person vs. finding a different role?
  • Dealing with politics in an organization when you think they're wrong and you're right
  • Turning around and mentoring younger employees based on his lessons?
  • Tell us about iPlace – the business and the environment
  • Core values of respect, integrity
  • Try to make it safe to admit mistakes
  • Methods or approaches to help learn and avoid repeating mistakes? Learning from mistakes? Spreading that learning?

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