20VC: Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman on How To Narrow The Focus and Increase The Quality, Why Every CEO Should Feel Anxious, Why Performance Reviews are BS & How to Unleash the Best People in Your Business

Posted on 17th January 2022 by Harry

Frank Slootman currently serves as Chairman and CEO at Snowflake and has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive in the enterprise software industry. Prior to Snowflake, Frank served as CEO and President of ServiceNow taking the company from around $100M in revenue, through an IPO, to $1.4B. Before ServiceNow, Frank served as President of the Backup Recovery Systems Division at EMC following the acquisition of Data Domain Corporation/Data Domain, Inc., where he served as the CEO and President, leading the company through an IPO to its acquisition by EMC for $2.4B. You must check out Frank’s book, Amp It Up. It can already be pre-ordered here.

In Today’s Episode with Frank Slootman You Will Learn:

1.) Narrow the Focus, Increase the Quality:

  • How does Frank determine what to focus on? What does the prioritisation process look like?
  • What one question does Frank ask his team to ensure they are focused?
  • What are the best answers? What are the worst? When should you change focus?

2.) When There is Doubt, There is No Doubt:

  • What does Frank mean by this? What does it apply to? When is there nuance?
  • How long does Frank give people who are underperforming? How does he communicate their underperformance to them directly but productively?
  • What is the right way to fire someone? Why are performance reviews BS?

3.) Make The Good People Great:

  • How does Frank get the very best out of his teams? How does he make the good great?
  • How does he use compensation and equity structures to supercharge his teams?
  • How does Frank set stretch targets that are both ambitious but also attainable?

4.) The Art of Leadership and Board Management:

  • Why does Frank believe every CEO should be anxious?
  • How has Frank changed as a leader over time?
  • What is the biggest mistake founders make when it comes to board management?
  • How can founders actively manage and control their board?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Frank Slootman

Frank’s Favourite Book: Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favours the Brave, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

Want the latest 20VC insights?

Get all of the insights from of our latest epsiodes and more in our monthly newsletter. All venture, no spam.