Serial Entrepreneur Robert Manasier’s 5 Tricks For Building High-Performing Teams


To learn more about building high-performing teams, click here to watch Robert Manasier’s keynote.

Robert Manasier is part of the elite club of serial entrepreneurs who seem to consistently – and effortlessly – strike gold. He’s launched 155 companies, sold over $1B in sales, and raised $100M for startups and $350M for next-level growth companies. 

Today, as CEO of his private-label acceleration firm, In Focus Brands, he deploys teams that offer organizational change strategy and branded execution systems to get companies on the right path.  Robert’s idea for the firm came to fruition when he saw an opportunity to help other entrepreneurs avoid making the same mistakes he has made during his entrepreneurial journey. 

“A brand is not a logo to me, it’s a system,” says Robert. “And in order to achieve success you have to start by building the right team.

“At In Focus Brands we’ve launched 155 companies with about a 70 percent success rate on true startups, which is 10 times more than the national average.” 

In a global keynote for Founders Network on July 19, Robert shared his entrepreneurial journey and provided tips for developing loyal, and high-performing teams. He also shared how he has refined his process for hiring quality employees and achieved a near 100 percent retention rate for the companies he’s led.

His keynote covered:

  • The fail-proof process for hiring the right people 
  • The value of working with people who say ‘No’
  • How to develop a working culture that puts people first 
  • The best process for identifying your weaknesses and getting out of your own way
  • How to start your own journey toward building a 100% retention team

Playing To Your Strengths

Perfecting a business model is something that has always made sense to Robert. At In Focus Brands, Robert’s team deploys directly into businesses to find the squeaky wheel, oil it, and celebrate the success of a problem solved. 

That’s also how he approached his growth-to-exit SaaS company CrowdBuild which touted an early entry into the crowdfunding market.

Robert reflects that there was one consistent fallacy that took down businesses in the early days of Kickstarter and GoFundMe: the idea that the platforms were free. Sure, many fundraising platforms are free. However, the future costs behind them include marketing and production costs that can become overwhelming for early-stage startups. 

The private label service Robert now refers to as CrowdBuild, set out to solve this problem. The service grew rapidly reaching 13,000 paying subscribers in under a year. Despite the instantaneous growth, Robert says the model outgrew his original vision.

“What we didn’t realize, going back to not truly understanding the do-it-yourself market at that point, is that do-it-yourself to them really didn’t mean do-it-yourself. Our subscribers had a million questions. [So] we had to triple our customer service department within the first month,” he says.

As a team-centered leader, Robert saw that the model at hand was no longer a fit for his team. He quickly found a collaborative partner to take the platform and run with it – prioritizing the needs of his people.

Putting Teams At The Center Of Business

Robert has learned a lot about building high-performing teams from his experience both in tech and managing his own film production company.

“What I learned from that, I put into every other culture I built. Because the only thing I really care about is the people I’m working with,” says Robert.

In his work with teams, he strives to create a connection between the mission that drives a company forward and the people who make the work happen. To achieve success, Robert finds it essential for all leaders to challenge their own assumptions and create structures that are best for the team’s dynamic.

“We have to be motivated, but the motivation comes from the team. And if it’s transactional or transitional teams, it won’t work,” he says.

Robert has developed a strategy for building high performing teams that can be applied by early-stage startups and seasoned founders alike. The central pillars include offering teams brutal honesty, setting expectations, and holding people and yourself accountable as a leader. 

In his global keynote, Robert drilled down on what leaders must get right to build high-performing teams. To learn more, click here to watch Robert Manasier’s keynote.

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