Welcome to another episode of CTO Studio! Today I’m sitting down to talk with my close friend and colleague, Michael Saul. Michael is the cofounder of 7 CTOs, and is a dear friend, partner, and mentor.
On this episode, you’ll hear about how Michael came to be my work partner, as well as the value of emotional intelligence in the business world. You’ll also hear his advice for better communication among CEOs and CTOs, how his interest in emotional aptitude came to be, and so much more!
In this episode you’ll hear:
- What exactly is emotional intelligence?
- How can you become aware of and in control of your emotional responses?
- What did Michael learn from first venture in the business world?
- Why people are so invested in their outward appearances.
- The reasons why CTO and CEO can be such lonely roles.
- And so much more
Michael’s interest and experience with emotional intelligence began at a young age. As he recognized different emotions he also discovered there was often a root problem attached to those emotions, just buried underneath them. That knowledge would go on to serve him well in business, and other areas of his life.
This same process he uncovered with emotions – the problem being buried behind people’s emotional responses – is similar to the reverse engineering process people in technology and tech-related businesses often use to get to the heart of an issue.
When I asked about his early days in business, Michael explains his journey in business was deeply rooted in his love for the outdoors combined with problem-solving. His initial business was a white water rafting company as well as a beginner’s kayaking school, both of which he founded at the age of 20.
Shortly after he expanded his businesses to include winter sports facilities, he experienced devastating fear when all three of his new businesses went bankrupt and collapsed. Those losses left him fearful his business image had been permanently damaged in the outside world.
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But Michael persevered, picked himself up and carried on. He took the lessons he learned and applied them well to overcome adversity in the future, and has been successful as a result.
I was curious to know more about how emotional intelligence and recognition can play such important roles in the business and technology worlds. Michael has witnessed firsthand how the CEO and CTO roles can both become very lonely, if the people in those positions allow for it.
He gives two main reasons for this: being the person who makes decisions that affect everyone in the company and being the one in charge of so many employees.
In order to combat that loneliness that can set in, proper communication between the CEO and CTO is vital. It can certainly seem as if the two partners live in extremely different worlds, but when you look deeper you’ll see the two roles have so much in common. Both roles have similar goals, drive, and vision.
Continuing on that train of thought, we discussed what Michael has observed in current CTOs at 7 CTOs. He says that he has been pleasantly surprised at how wholeheartedly the CTOs have embraced their roles, and that he is looking forward to seeing what happens when CTOs begin collaborating with one another and using innovation as a tool.
You can hear more from Michael on emotional intelligence and other topics when you tune in and join us for this episode of CTO Studio!
Michael Saul on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/misaul