The Lazy CEO Podcast

From CEO to CEO Advisor

by Aug 12, 2022The Lazy CEO Podcast


Jim Schleckser is the Chief Executive Officer of The CEO Project, a business advisory group for accomplished CEOs to help them solve their most challenging issues, resolve constraints, drive growth, and improve outcomes.

With 30 years of leadership experience in business strategy, organizational development, sales, marketing, and more, Jim leads global organizations across many functional areas in both public and private environments. He specializes in solving issues that fast-growing firms experience in their business models and processes as they reach high-performance levels. Jim has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and National Public Radio. 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jim Schleckser shares why he founded The CEO Project and explains the company’s advisory work
  • How Jim advanced in the sales and marketing industry, and his inspiration for entrepreneurship
  • Common mistakes CEOs make and advice for organizational development
  • Why CEOs should focus on the kinks in their businesses
  • What is the five hat model?

In this episode…

Do you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your entrepreneurial career? Is your organization not functioning as adequately as it should? How can you optimize your business processes to improve performance and maximize success?

First, CEOs must identify the source of the problem in their business processes. According to keynote speaker and business advisor Jim Schleckser, this “kink” directly affects a company’s performance, so it’s essential to develop strategies to rectify it. The five hat framework allows CEOs to analyze their data to recognize flaws, enhance their business models to maximize revenue, and leverage talent to improve operations.

In today’s episode of The Lazy CEO Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Jim Schleckser, CEO of The CEO Project, to discuss how CEOs can streamline and advance their careers. Jim shares the common mistakes CEOs make, advice for establishing organizational development, and how the five hat model helps CEOs identify the kinks in their business.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The CEO Project.

The CEO Project is a business advisory group that brings high-caliber, accomplished CEOs together.

Our team of skilled advisors is comprised of current and former CEOs who have run both public and private sector companies across multiple industries.

With our experience and expertise, we guide hundreds of high-performing CEOs through a disciplined approach that resolves constraints and improves critical decisions.

The CEO Project has helped high-performing, large enterprise CEOs with annual revenues ranging from $20M to over $2 billion to drive growth and achieve optimal outcomes.

If you are an experienced CEO looking to grow your company, visit

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to the Lazy CEO Podcast where Jim Schleckser author of Great CEOs Are Lazy, and founder of The CEO Project features compelling experts and topics for CEOs of mid to large-sized companies. Now, let’s get started with the show.

Jim Schleckser 0:20

This podcast is brought to you by The CEO Project. At The CEO Project, we work with CEOs to help them grow their business, and our members represent billions of dollars of revenue and profit. And frankly, amongst all of us, we’ve probably made every mistake in the book, including some you haven’t made yet. So if you want to learn from the experience of a bunch of really seasoned CEOs, we’re a great place to hang out in this podcast, but you’re going to hear some of those ideas, concepts, and things that are just going to help you on your journey. If you want to find out more, reach out to us at Or you can contact me personally at [email protected] happy listening. Today, we’re going to flip the script. Instead of me interviewing somebody, as you normally hear me do, I’m going to be interviewed by a friend of mine, Dr. Jeremy Weisz from Rise25, as our special guest. I first met Jeremy, as we were thinking about developing this podcast, and that’s what his company does. So he interviewed me and this is a guy that’s on 1000s of interviews, and has been in the podcast industry since could spell podcast. And today, what he’s going to do is work with me and talk about my origin story, which, you know, hopefully, some people will find interesting, sort of how do we get to this place, but Jeremy, I’m gonna hand it over to you and be gentle, please,

Jeremy Weisz 1:55

never gentle, but you don’t need gentle and I just want to say everyone should check out your books, for sure. And, you know, if you would just, you know, Great CEOs Are Lazy, right, and you also have professional drinking. And those are, these are really good. So we may touch on some of those pieces of the books because they’re really instructive. But to hear where someone’s at, it’s always great to hear where they came from. But I would like to just take a minute and just tell people about The CEO Project and what you’re doing currently. So people understand what that looks like,

Jim Schleckser 2:32

Oh, you want me to do it, you were gonna do it, I was all impressed. What we do is we work with CEOs around the country, we’ve got between 100-200 CEOs that we work with right now. And what we focus on is larger CEOs. So generally 20 $25 million minimum revenue. And our largest companies we work with are about two and a half billion dollars. And that’s unique. A couple of reasons why it’s unique. One is, you know, finding those CEOs that have the right level of humility, and learning and so forth a little bit hard to do. And we do screen pretty rigorously for the right caliber of individual. The second is the caliber of the advisors and the coaches. And so we’ve all run companies at scale, we’ve all had massive levels of experience. And so lots of firms have just pure coaches, they really have never run anything significant. And I don’t know how you coach $100 million CEO, if you haven’t had real exposure in that space, we do. It’s a little harder model to run. And then the third element is we have a very rigorous methodology. So there’s some work involved. It’s not like a lot of networking groups where you can just meet interesting people. And that’s cool. What we do is you do get to meet interesting people, but we do work hard real work together, to improve yourself and improve your business. And so we get this definitive change in performance, as we hit inflection points in your business, these really hard issues that you run into, you bring that to your group, your coach, we help you process it. And you know, even if we get two or three or four great ideas a year, I mean, that can really change the performance of a business. So that’s what we do work with CEOs, both one on one and in group to improve themselves in their businesses.

Jeremy Weisz 4:15

One idea a year is huge for a company. And you know, not everyone knows you’ve done business at 40 countries, you ran a technology business valued at $1.6 billion. And we’re going to walk through some of that, but why did you decide to create this company?