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.


You know how kids love to stick something to another kids back and see how long it takes them to notice? And if it’s you, it’s the worst. Everyone laughs while  you look around confused, trying to figure out why everyone is laughing. When we’re children, we’re not taught to appreciate blind spots, let alone embrace them. Yet in life, we all have blind spots, and the more we know what they are and work to fill them with the gifts and genius of others, the more we, and our teams and companies, can thrive.

Here are a few keys to this Breakthrough:

  • Focus on your highest and best use.

Your success as a CEO depends on having a team of people who are doing their highest and best, giving their all, and making great things happen for your customers and company every day. How can you possibly help others do that if you haven’t first done it for yourself? Start with yourself and center your role around what you do best, so that you are able to help others do the same. That’s when the real magic happens!

  • Be brutally honest about lowest and worst use.

The more you focus on your highest and best, the more you’ll find yourself eager to release things you’re not good at and give them to others, so that they can bring their highest and best to that work. “Half of being smart is knowing what you don’t know.” Never try to hide your weaknesses. Instead, be honest about them, and surround yourself with people who fill your blind spots beautifully by hiring people for their input, not just their output.

  • Develop the emotional strength to hold great people accountable.

Once you understand your blind spots and do something about them, you need to have clear-eyed conversations with your people about what’s going well and what’s not. By developing relationships with your people, you can notice something that can really help them accomplish what they’re trying to do, and share it from a genuine desire to see them excel.

To Know Your Blind Spots & Do Something About It, Consider: Are there ways of thinking you need to change?

  • If you’re doing things that are your lowest and worst, recommit yourself to finding ways to give that work to people who have the genius needed to do it well.
  • Instead of thinking it’s hard to let go, think about what it looks like to let it happen and create the conditions for your people to thrive.
  • If you hesitate giving meaningful feedback and holding your people accountable, spend some time thinking about what they’re trying to accomplish and note things you see that could really help them succeed – and share it with them.
  • If you’re feeling critical of others, look first at your own role and what you need to do to be effective. Then, as you thrive in your role, you will be able to help others to thrive as well.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Do you know what your genius is? Your highest and best? If not, CTLF’s Leadership Growth Experience may be able to help. Learn more here.
  • Are you hiring people for their input and surrounding yourself with people who fill your blind spots?
  • Are you genuinely excited to see your people succeed and thrive in their roles?