31 January 2022

Season 3, Episode 3. On Leading in Business with Mike Krass

Welcome to Innovation Meets Leadership! I’m your host, Natalie Born. In this episode, Mike Krass discusses what it takes to build a business that lasts for centuries, the considerations in this evolving society to make it happen, and the way to cultivate leadership in this values-led organization.


Mike Krass is the CEO of MKG Marketing, a digital marketing agency that gets tech

and healthcare brands found online through transparent, measurable digital

marketing. Over the last ten years, Mike has grown MKG Marketing into a 7 figure

business not only by specializing in data and analytics, but by embracing a “people

first” philosophy that promotes a strong work-life balance while systematically

holding employees as well as clients accountable. Mike takes this philosophy with

him as he sits on the Board of Directors of the global Entrepreneur’s Organization,

as well as mentoring other businesses through organizations such as Idea Village

and General Assembly.


The genesis of MKG Marketing came when, at a creative agency, Mike was caught

completely flat-footed by a client’s question - “How much money did we make from

your campaign?” Realizing the importance of analytics, Mike and his business

partner, Kerry Guard, set out to found an agency that could both perform creatively

and provide hard numbers in order to quash the frustration that companies can

often feel when navigating the digital marketing landscape.



[00:28] Building Businesses That Lasts for Centuries

  • Who is Mike Krass?
  • Building an infinite business
    • It is all about looking at a long-term lens.
      • What do we need to do?
      • What decisions do we have to make?
      • How do we need to think and act in this business to exist for 100 years?
    • Lead by values through difficult situations.


[04:12] Values Run in the Company’s DNA

  • Values being in your DNA
    • Employ a beginner’s mind because the future is uncertain.
      • What could we be?
      • What could we look like?
    • It’s not about changing a lot, but about changing the right things.
  • Other considerations for the 100-year plan
    • Consider business utility as it changes over time.
      • Ease to do business


[11:33] The Path to Leading a 100-Year Business

  • Humans wired for complexity
    • Sometimes, you can be too early especially when the utility is not yet ready.
      • More than investing in the organization
  • Creating leaders in the 100-year business
    • The leader’s duty is to develop the next generation of leaders in the organization.
      • Existing at multiple levels
  • Crafting the leadership plan
    • It must be communicated and understood. A lot of times, it is not clear on how to advance.
      • The reality of firing


[20:09] Final Thoughts 

  • It’s up to you to set the pace of the race
  • Connect with Mike (Links Below)


Key Quotes:

“When things get tough, your values are not the things that you put on the wall. Your values are the big statements that say, this is a very difficult situation, could be good or bad, right? Difficult doesn't always mean bad. ” - Mike Krass

“You can see some of those trends of, you know, not changing a lot, but changing just enough and changing just the right things.” - Mike Krass

“A leader's duty is to develop the next generation of leaders within the business.” - Mike Krass

“It [leadership plan] exists. It's communicated. It's communicated regularly. Those are two separate things, right? You didn't just say it once, and then put it in the drawer. It's communicated regularly, and that it's understood. And I use the word understood very intentionally.” - Mike Krass

Connect with Mike

Website:  https://mkgmarketinginc.com/

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/mikekrass

Twitter: @mkgmarketinginc

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