As CEO and founder of Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting, LLC, Amanda Russo empowers companies to dream bigger by fixing what isn’t working so they can make room for larger and better things. It is gratifying as the go-to professional they come to for advice.
Her company focuses on end-to-end business operations. They concentrate on the people, the processes, technology, and customer experience. She provides business advice, strategy, solutions, and solutions to scale your business. She follows the markets and latest trends in technology and collaborates with thought leaders to implement cutting-edge solutions to address my client’s pain point.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Please introduce yourself to our readers by sharing your story.
Amanda Russo: Amanda Russo, the Founder & CEO of Cornerstone Paradigm Consilting, LLC. We’re an industry-agnostic business operations consulting firm covering end-to-end business operations. That’s people, processes, technology, and customer experience. We get to the root cause of business issues by way of process and technology stack mapping. Companies that are aiming to drive operational excellence and digital transformation hire us to do it right the first time, from strategy to implementation and beyond we do it for you so the initiative is successful.
2020-2021 was unlike any other year. What is your favorite item you’ve bought in the past months and why?
Amanda Russo: From a business perspective, both were incredible years for us. I bought a really good pair of running sneakers and a hydration pack. I love the outdoors in general and I find it’s a great way to decompress, stop working and be in the moment. Although that’s 2 items I like them both equally.
Life is like a box of chocolates…What unexpected surprises did life grant you that contributed to your success?
Amanda Russo: I appreciate the friendships and partnerships I’ve made along the way and the partnerships that have become advocates for me and my work. It’s unexpected because there are so few that will take a chance on a woman in my space. Those who have become cheerleaders.
Tell us about the job. Is there any exciting project you’re currently working on?
Amanda Russo: Owning my own company is an adventure in and of itself. We always have exciting projects going on. We’re agnostic so if you can imagine working on supply chain, call centers, construction, and healthcare it’s truly never a dull moment.
Sir Richard Branson famously stated that “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” As a CEO/leader how do you feel about this philosophy and if you agree with it, how do you implement that in your company? Conversely, if you disagree, explain why and how do you do things differently?
Amanda Russo: I’m with him on this one. I know the team is the heartbeat of any company, frankly, we help our clients in this space. We must set up our teams to be successful, which includes giving them all of the tools and resources they need to be successful. Not telling them how to do something but lighting the fire that’s already in them. You’d be surprised what the results are if you already know you’re not the smartest person in the room you’re already ahead of the game.
According to a breakthrough study conducted by Weber Shandwick, leaders worldwide believe that 45% of a business’ market value is dependent on a CEO’s reputation. We would love to know your thoughts about this. How important is a CEO’s online reputation?
Amanda Russo: I’d disagree, I think it’s closer to 90%. If I find the CEO is unethical or talking about conspiracy theories, or simply not aligned with me personally I will never do business with them, even if it’s the cure to cancer I’ll wait for someone better, smarter, and more trustworthy to open up my checkbook. I believe the same goes for my business. We have our give-back program on our website and that’s deliberate. It shows my values as a CEO as well as the values of my team. We’re more than a company that solves complex business problems, we also care about people, causes, and contribute to positive change.
Do you have a specific anecdote that comes to mind or a news story that helped you realize how critical it is to be mindful of the online reputation, on a personal or company level? Please share how it “opened your eyes”
Amanda Russo: I think it’s always been something any person, not just a CEO needs to consider, people are watching you. Your future consumers, employers, employees, etc. I also think it’s about controlling your emotions, everyone is brave behind a computer screen, but will you be so brave in court? I’m not perfect, but I will say if you had the news on in the last few years plenty of once under the radar companies that just sold products are now forever changed from a broader customer perception in a very negative way. Have I made mistakes yes of course, but I try to be very cautious about what I read and even more what I respond to.
Do you have a set of principles and strategic actions that you and your management team abide by to maintain a good online reputation? What are they and how effective have they been?
Amanda Russo: I wouldn’t call them strategic actions it’s more along the lines of being professional. Read twice before hitting send. Do not respond right away if you feel reactive.
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, in many cases, it pushed the employees and the consumers to critical stress points. How did you lead your team through these difficult times and maintain a good reputation?
Amanda Russo: We were busy. The pandemic has caused so much devastation to families, companies, and people’s livelihoods, and I don’t want to minimize that in any way. I will say it shed light on what we do and on why companies need to stop doing things the old way and address the inefficient and antiquated technology issues once and for all.
The COVID pandemic raised a lot of polarizing politically charged issues. According to ‘The Harris Poll’, 75% of Americans said that they would avoid taking a position on political issues if they were CEOs. We would love to know your thoughts about this. Is it better to take a political position or to avoid it completely When it comes to being a great CEO/Leader, do you have one name that comes to mind, please share with us how they influence the CEO you are today? What lessons did they teach you over the years?
Amanda Russo: Great question. I won’t talk politics with my team or colleagues because I refuse to influence someone’s views. I personally dislike it when someone performs in a way they think they should in front of others. I am all about values and that is what my company is built on. You MUST share my values or it’s not a fit. I don’t avoid the issue, I do lead with values. I think I’m very clear on where I stand and it’s not up for debate, this topic I am firm on.
You have been very generous with your time and knowledge. Our readers would also love to know, What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? and what is the advice you give the most often to new team members?
Amanda Russo: Be careful who you share your dreams with, their response can be a reflection of their disappointments rather than your capability, because everything is impossible until it’s done.
Thank you so much for your time but before we say goodbye, we do have one more unusual question. If you ask yourself any question what would it be and how would you answer it?
Amanda Russo: I’m not sure what question I would ask myself that I haven’t already.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Amanda Russo for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Amanda Russo or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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