Chris Zook: Founder's Mentality®—Owner's Mindset

Having an owner's mindset is the rocket fuel that can propel a company to success—when it's maintained. Chris Zook, coauthor of The Founder's Mentality, discusses the three traits of the owner's mindset and how they can help companies achieve better performance.

Read the transcript below.

CHRIS ZOOK: Founder's Mentality consists of three elements, one of which is what we call owner mindset. Owner mindset is something that all the great founders had in spades at the beginning. It consists of three things.

Number one: an enormous bias to act quickly, an obsession with speed. Number two: a tremendous distaste for the trappings of bureaucracy or things that get in the way of speed to act. Number three: a real focus on cash—uses of cash, sources of cash.

Companies that lose the owner's mindset find that their leaders gradually turn into managers, then the managers turn into custodians, the custodians turn into bureaucrats, and the bureaucrats, in fast-moving markets, ultimately lose. And it really matters. Owner's mindset is the rocket fuel that propelled the enormous rise of private equity in the world. And the companies that maintain all three elements of the Founder's Mentality—though only about 6% to 7% of all companies—we found accounted for an amazing 50% or more of net value creation in the stock market.

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