Interos CEO explains how to build a company from the ground up

Jennifer Bisceglie, founder and CEO of Interos, joins Aileen Black on this week's Leaders and Legends to explain how she turned a small startup into a dynamic s...

Jennifer Bisceglie, founder and CEO of Interos, joins Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to explain how she turned a small startup into a dynamic supply chair risk management and operational resilience company.

Interos has disrupted the traditional supply chain risk  management discipline, bringing 24/7 real-time visibility into every supplier at every tier  and at every location around the world.

It gives companies the tools they need to detect and respond to supply chain crises before they happen. Clients include the Defense Department, NASA and a host of Fortune 500 companies.

Bisceglie described Interos as a “see everything, do anything, operational resilience company” that is now valued at more than $1 billion.

According to Bisceglie,  she was able to set a clear vision for what she wanted to accomplish at Interos. She then “hired a great team” to carry that vision out.

Bisceglie said one of the keys to effective leadership is to give  your teams all the resources they need to do their jobs and then get out of their way. She describes her leadership style as “up and out, not down and in,” and now focuses most of her attention on moving the company forward.

Bisceglie also believes that culture is key to a successful strategy execution. She interviewed the first 150 people hired at Interos because she wanted to be sure they shared her vision on the organization’s culture.

“It is important that we have a culture that values mutual respect. It is OK to have healthy friction, but with respect. My door is always open and you need to value everyone’s opinion,” she said.

Bisceglie’s leadership style was also influenced by one of her favorite books: Sharon Hadary’s How Women Lead: The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know. She said the book taught her how to use information to drive results and how to make that information your ally.

That lesson stuck with her when she went to Sand Hill road in the Silicon Valley to meet with potential investors for her company.

She learned that “first you need to be a ‘subject expert.’  Second, you need to be sure you are solving a problem. Third, you need to have ‘grit and be scrappy.’ The fourth is you need to know your numbers and the story and the results that can be driven. Build business acumen.”

Bisceglie also shared her thoughts on what government can do to build a more resilient supply chain.

“Get rid of uncertainty and mandate transparency in the supply chain. This will allow people to visually see the supply chain, the risks and the ethical issues associated with it. This will allow us to de-risk our supply chains and allow people to make choices on where and what they consume,” she said.

Bisceglie also offered some advice to the next generation future women entrepreneurs.

“Just do it. If you have an idea, you can make it happen,” she said. “Ask for help. Have persistence and apply grit. Just do it.”

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