Say It Skillfully® – Dave Whorton on Evergreen® capitalism
June 15, 2021
Hosted by Molly Tschang
Say It Skillfully® is a show that helps you to benefit from Molly Tschang’s expert guidance on the best possible ways to speak your mind at work in a positive and productive manner. In Episode 84, Dave Whorton—entrepreneur, investor and CEO & Founder of the Tugboat Group™—joins Molly and shares a powerful journey to redefining a capitalism that goes beyond shareholders to serving society. When his father sat him down and said, “You need to carry your weight,” Dave took his responsibility to heart, applying at HP for what he figured would be a janitor job. Experiencing the “caring for people” culture that founders Bill & Dave created imprinted on him. After Berkeley engineering (“best school I could afford”), the feeling of paycheck-to-paycheck, “In Search of Excellence” and wanting to be an owner steered his career. He shares his unlikely and unexpected first entrepreneurial experience, landing in consulting at Bain and venturing into venture capital at Kleiner Perkins (yes, John Doerr reached out, not how it usually works…though Dave did not immediately take up his offer!). He talks through his decision-making to delay pursuing his passion to run a company and immense learning in supporting start-ups—Google, AutoTrader and Amazon. Going on to found Tugboat Ventures® in 2006 and co-found 4 companies, including drugstore.com and Good Technology, Dave shares the pivotal seed planted when one of his entrepreneurs said, “I hate your (VC) model.” “Let me tell you about my people, my purpose, and our impact,” vs. “your get-big-fast and exit model”. The possibility of less transactional and more enduring were intriguing to Dave and led to creating a vibrant community of Evergreen leaders and companies. He’s open about this most compelling entrepreneurial chapter—one that recognizes how ownership is critical, strategic & underappreciated and offers staying private as a means to go deeper than wealth generation and public recognition sought after in capital markets. Dave founded Tugboat Institute® in 2013 to connect, support and inspire purpose-driven leaders of Evergreen® businesses, for which the “7Ps” principles are the defining characteristics: Purpose, Perseverance, People First, Private, Profit, Paced Growth, and Pragmatic Innovation. The “7 Ps” can prevent you from outstripping your financial resources, culture and management team’s capacity to learn, grow and improve. With revenues from $10M-$10B and 10-290 years old, the Evergreen® companies show how the longest living companies most innovative. Curiosity, can-do, an eye for opportunity, and exceeding expectations are constants in Dave pursuing his true north. Tune in to hear his journey, inspiring us to know no boundaries and to commit to taking action so that all can be safe, seen and heard to achieve our true and best selves. Molly’s Thought for the week—thank you Dave! Evergreen leaders and their businesses are the opportunity for capitalism at its best. Learn more: www.tugboatinstitute.com
Say It Skillfully®
Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time/11 AM Eastern Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel
Molly Tschang's Say It Skillfully® is a show that helps you benefit from Molly's guidance on the best possible ways to speak your mind at work in a positive and productive manner. She helps everyone from CEOs to interns to recognize that we are all both part of the problem as well as the solution, and that the path to solving any problem is to say what needs to be said.
Molly is a rare breed: tough enough to advise CEOs and company boards, but empathetic enough to understand the human costs of not allowing talent to shine. She has helped dozens of management teams navigate the human after-effects of mergers and acquisitions, and her show brings her expert guidance to a wider audience.
Say It Skillfully® every Tuesday at 8 AM Pacific Time/11 AM Eastern Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.
Molly Tschang helps her clients' organizations gain the skills to Win As One, which most other companies never even try to do. She starts at the top, guiding management to commit to each other’s success and lead as one cohesive unit.
Molly is Founder and CEO of Abella Consulting, a New York-based leadership development and business advisory consultancy that helps senior leaders cultivate the collaborative capacity to elevate individual, team and organizational performance resulting in accelerated sustained, profitable growth. She created and hosts the “Say It Skillfully®” video series on LinkedIn, making it easier for all members of an organization to say what needs to be said in a constructive and productive manner.
Prior to launching Abella, Molly held executive leadership positions at Cisco Systems and U.S. Filter, where she led the integration of over 80 acquisitions. She holds a BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from UCLA. In 2017, Molly was selected from among 12,000 applicants to be a protégé of Marshall Goldsmith through his 100 Coaches initiative. In her downtime, she enjoys tennis, yoga and cooking with family and friends.