7 Austin CEOs answer what inspires them — and how they inspire their teams

Kelly Jackson
What inspires our leaders might not be the same thing that inspires us, but it's definitely beneficial to know and understand what galvanizes our CEOs and how they help to metaphorically "move" their teams. 
 
We reached out to seven of our Austin tech leaders and simply asked two questions: What is it about your job that inspires you, and how do you inspire your team? 
 
Here’s what they shared.
 

Mickey Ristroph, founder and co-CEO

What is it about your job that inspires you?

Everyone I work with has superpowers, and they are all very different. And when we look at the world around us — objects, experiences, businesses — we always ask, what purpose does this thing serve? Why does it exist? And once we understand that, we can ask, how can it be better? And once we have an answer that, we can actually make it so. That's what inspires me — the team, on a mission to do that, every day.

How do you inspire your employees?

Be a mirror, that reflects back their best self. Show them their own abilities, maybe that they didn't even realize or believe they had. Believe in them, in the ways nobody else has. If you can help someone see what they can become, great people will always be inspired to realize their true potential.

 

Founder and CEO Kevin Sproles

What is it about your job that inspires you?

I wake up every day passionate about user experience and design, with a mission to help breed amazing founders; to help anyone and everyone be able to turn their idea into a business.

How do you inspire your employees?

This year we launched Volusion's Culture Code to do exactly that, inspire our employees. We put our people before anything else because inspired and fulfilled employees create happy, lifelong customers.
 
 

CEO and President Nathan Jones

What is it about your job that inspires you?

As someone who has personally started and built businesses (both successes and failures), I empathize with all entrepreneurs who face the challenges that come with scaling a business. Entrepreneurs and their teams have to be smart, flexible, and hyper focused in order to be successful. The effort and sacrifice these people make is enormous and that is what motivates me to create great solutions for them.

How do you inspire your employees?

I don’t consider it my job to inspire employees. The mission should inspire the team. My job is to make our vision clear and only add people to our team who are energized by it. If you have employees who share your goals, the inspiration and motivation take care of themselves.
 
 

Founder and CEO Michael Griffin

What is it about your job that inspires you? 

I am most inspired by the culture we've built at Adlucent. We are a collection of distinctly unique individuals, yet somehow we all come together to create beautiful work for both our clients and our community.

How do you inspire your employees?

I challenge the team to live by our internal mantra, Better Every Day. This is infused in everything we do in both our personal and professional lives. I'm a big believer in taking risks, failing fast and starting all over again in a quest to find what makes you most fulfilled.
 
 

Brad Weimert, CEO and founder

What is it about your job that inspires you? 

I'm on a journey to find and build deep relationships with people that are passionate – in any area of life.  As an entrepreneur, I’m always excited to connect with people that are passionate about their businesses. That journey led to the founding of Easy Pay Direct which was built to help entrepreneurs accept payments online.

How do you inspire your employees?

An entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, I'm always excited for a passion project - whether it's for a charity, for profit or personal entertainment and growth. In that spirit, the staff at Easy Pay Direct are encouraged to pursue personal and professional developmental opportunities. Each member of the team has one on one face time throughout every week to have their voice heard and to contribute to the mission.
 
 

CEO Mike Ward

What is it about your job that inspires you? 

What inspires me as the CEO of World First is running an amazing business that's truly global, and the incredible opportunity to learn about other cultures through our international footprint.

How do you inspire your employees?

To inspire employees as a CEO is really to empower employees. By helping them overcome obstacles, celebrating their wins when they achieve high expectations, and engaging in open dialogue.

CEO Scott Francis

What is it about your job that inspires you? 

I’m inspired by the people I work with every day — and what they can accomplish. The cumulative effect of many people doing their job better than you have any right to expect has a really amazing impact over time. Knowing that we’re building something together that is bigger than us, is humbling. When we hire someone, it is pretty special to bring them into the fold. Every week I get emails from our customers telling me how great one of our team members has been for their business.

How do you inspire your employees?

I try to inspire our team through our culture — caring about our customers, and caring about each other. The stories and lore at BP3 about what we have done to support each other are intrinsic to who we are.  Whether it is buying cowboy boots together, or covering for people when they’re out for surgery or family reasons, or looking out for their plants and animals when they’re traveling.

Images via featured companies

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