At his consulting company, Steve Scheier develops leaders in cannabis that everyone wants and needs. Why? Because everyone is counting on leaders in cannabis to change the world, build their company and achieve financial success. They help you do that by focusing on your leadership, your organizational culture and helping you build a network of industry experts to catapult your business.
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Table of Contents
Welcome to your ValiantCEO exclusive interview! Let’s start with a little introduction. Tell us about yourself.
Steve Scheier: I am a Leadership Cultivator at my consulting company Steve Scheier, Inc.
I am proud to be a Bestselling Author and Speaker on industry panels where I can help cutting-edge cannabis and hemp companies discover how to use power to run their companies. I recently released a book that I Co-Authored called, “Power Up: Essential Tools for Committed Cannabusiness Leaders.”
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get to where you are today? Give us some lessons you learned along the way.
Steve Scheier: You might assume I’ve understood and wielded power from a young age. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a child, I was both fascinated by power and scared to death of it. I picked up on my parents’ tendency to stay out of the limelight and kept to myself. I only spoke up when I had to, otherwise I was happy fading into the background.
This trend only worsened when my family moved from the East Coast to California. Talk about culture shock! My strange relationship with power continued until I transitioned to Silicon Valley. Working at Apple under Steve Jobs changed my life forever, setting me on the path to be the cannabusiness power partner I am today.
STEVE JOBS TRIED TO BREAK PEOPLE. IF HE COULDN’T, HE KNEW YOU WERE USEFUL
I worked on many successful projects at Apple. I was the leader of Apple’s K-12 computer donation program. I was the product introduction manager for the 1984 Mac launch, I led the company’s award-winning creative services group, I served as the chief of staff to Apple’s president. I completed my career at Apple as the director of K-12 Education, directing the launch of the Mac in the K-12 market and helping reestablish Apple’s dominance in K-12 education.
Apple’s education team, under my direction, donated 9,000 computers to California schools. (Many kids of the ‘80s can fondly recall playing The Oregon Trail, in part thanks to me.)
I was Apple’s lead presenter at a kickoff meeting featuring 100 state officials and Apple’s top brass, including Jobs. Knowing government officials were my major audience, I wore a tie to the meeting. Ties were not common in Silicon Valley—even back then. I stood out like a sore thumb. When it was my turn to speak, I walked up to the podium and was heckled by Jobs for wearing a tie. I had two options: stand up to the genius behind Apple or grovel.
In part, I am a cannabusiness power partner today because of the choice I made that day. Looking Jobs in the eye, I said, “It took me too damn long to put this tie on, I am not taking it off.” The room erupted in laughter, Jobs’ loudest of all. He respected people who stood up to him, and it taught me a key lesson: authenticity, humanity, and quiet strength bring you power.
Cannabis companies have the opportunity to change the world and improve their customers’ lives. To make this goal a reality, executives must change their leadership style and improve their companies’ operations first.
Tell us about your business, what does the company do? What is unique about the company?
Steve Scheier: I’m a leadership cultivator, author and speaker focused exclusively in the cannabusiness space. What is unique about my company is that I address the often taboo subject of “power”. Who has it? How a person can develop it. And how they can use power to develop their cannabusiness. My work is based on showing leaders how to manage their power efficiently and effectively. Businesses run on a Leadership “Power Grid” built from the leader’s perspective.
I help these leaders become more comfortable with their power and build a “Power Management Plan” for their business. I do this to ensure that power is distributed efficiently to achieve their desired output..I am their Cannabusiness Power Partner.
How to become a CEO? Some will focus on qualities, others on degrees, how would you answer that question?
Steve Scheier: Have vision. Talk about that vision in a powerful way. Mobilize members of your team to adopt this vision. Distribute power to others so they can move the vision forward. Treat your power with respect knowing that every day you’re either gaining or losing power. Power ebbs and flows. it never stays the same.I learned a great deal about how to mobilize people from Steve Jobs. he was a mobilization master.
Steve got you to believe that you could do the impossible. That’s how you become a leader. By sharing a vision and mobilizing a team. There’s one more thing. The crucial thing. An essential element in become a CEO is the ability to build and sustain trust. There’s no substitute for trust and its the fuel that powers organizations. With our trust you have nothing.
What are the secrets to becoming a successful CEO? Who inspires you, who are your role models and why? Illustrate your choices.
Steve Scheier: Having a vision, creating trust, mobilizing your team to advance your goals, distributing power and decisions.
One of my role models was Steve Jobs. Steve had a vision and would pursue it relentlessly. he would engage with people and mobilize his team. he was a great leader..
Many CEOs fall into the trap of being all over the place. What are the top activities a CEO should focus on to be the best leader the company needs? Explain.
Steve Scheier: CEOs need to focus. I see this shortfall all the time. i wrote about it in my new book “Power Up”.CEOs need to be deployed where they have the most leverage. There are three points of leverage:
- High level strategy
These are the building blocks of a successful CEO.
The Covid-19 Pandemic put the leadership skills of many to the test, what were some of the most difficult challenges that you faced as a CEO/Leader in the past year? Please list and explain in detail.
Steve Scheier: I’m a solo consultant so my biggest challenge was getting CEOs whose companies were under stress to let go of some power and trust their teams.
What are some of the greatest mistakes you’ve noticed some business leaders made during these unprecedented times? What are the takeaways you gleaned from those mistakes?
Steve Scheier: Running from crisis to crisis and not talking about their vision and staying focused on that. Holding power too close and not letting people help them.
In your opinion, what changes played the most critical role in enabling your business to survive/remain profitable, or maybe even thrive? What lessons did all this teach you?
Steve Scheier: I focused intently on my target market. I sought strategic alliances. I honed my message even further. I co-wrote a book. i started doing podcasts with cannabusiness industry leaders.
What is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
Steve Scheier: Not getting too stretched. handling the volume of requests.
You already shared a lot of insights with our readers and we thank you for your generosity. Normally, leaders are asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is the most useless skill you have learned, at school or during your career?
Steve Scheier: I really can’t think of anything. Even courses I hated or employment I’ve despised (which has fortunately been very few) have taught me something about myself and my fellow humans.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. We will select these answers for our ValiantCEO Award 2021 edition. The best answers will be selected to challenge the award.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make, this past year 2021, for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Steve Scheier: Whether or not I should right my book “Power Up”. It took a good deal of effort and time away from clients but i think it was the right strategic move.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Steve Scheier for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Steve Scheier or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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