From CEO Forum Keynote on October 1 with Paul Sarvadi

About Paul Sarvadi

Paul Sarvadi is the Chairman & CEO of Insperity, a $4B public company he founded in 1986. He has 34 years of experience learning to think like a CEO who is always ready to take his company to the next level and create consistent, predictable growth and profitability. Paul has led through startup, growth, expansion and going public, mastering the CEO role in every phase of his company’s journey.

What are the 5 CEO Breakthroughs?

Paul is arguably one of the most successful founders and CEOs in American, and his leadership is characterized by 5 CEO Breakthroughs he shared at the 21st Annual CEO Forum on October 1st. Through a series of five posts, we will dive into each Breakthrough to help you unlock greater growth for you and your company. And remember, every Breakthrough comes down to how you think.


When we want to go somewhere, we are accustomed to hopping in the car, hitting the road, and traveling the distance until we arrive at my destination. So it is with your company – it is a vehicle that is designed to take you somewhere, to arrive at a destination, and to do so effectively and efficiently, while enjoying the journey. Culture is the oil in your engine that makes the drive smooth and enjoyable.

Here are a few keys to this Breakthrough:

Many companies view culture as a nicety, or perhaps a defensive tool, but it is much more powerful than that. Paul sees it as an offensive weapon, capable of bringing levels of success you never dreamed of. Let’s dive into why that is.

  • Culture determines the effectiveness and efficiency, and ultimately the speed of execution.

What slows down your team members when they are making decisions? Often, it’s a hesitation because they don’t know how to make the right decision. Culture solves this, because it provides a common set of values that serve as the basis for decision-making. For example, two of your company’s values are respect and accountability. Imagine your employee is dealing with a very frustrated customer. By having a shared set of values, they can confidently make a decision that honors your customer while maintaining accountability to their team. If your values are clear enough to become the foundation for values-based decision-making, it leads to consistent, predictable success.

  • Is your culture by design or by default?

Your company does have a culture, whether by design or by default. To determine which yours is, ask yourself, “What is it like to work inside my company?” What do you want the answer to be? Ask your employees. Look around your company and notice what it is like for your employees. Are they fully stepping into their roles or are they holding themselves back? Do your people trust each other? Are people having fun? Do they enjoy taking care of your customer?

If your culture isn’t by design, start today and decide what you want it to be. Visualize the environment you want to create and work backwards to implement change. Figure out what you must institutionalize in order for your employees to have that experience. Only you, as the CEO, can set the framework for your company’s culture.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Can your people execute quickly? Is there effectiveness and efficiency in your company?
  • Are your values clear enough that they serve as the basis for decision-making?
  • What is it like to work inside your company?
  • What do you want the answer to be?