Tomas is a consultant and business advisor specializing in providing guidance on leadership and performance advice to technology teams and executives. This includes management (team, project, process and change management) and leadership (mobilizing people, managing risk, increasing engagement and building a high performance organizational culture).
His primary focus is helping clients develop their people and their business, adapt and thrive in a challenging environment, create greater strategic clarity, and achieve what really matters to them. Over the past three years, Tomas has trained and consulted with over 1000 managers and executives in technology companies. Prior to becoming a consultant, he spent over a decade developing technology products (including complex enterprise AI systems and learning management platforms) and leading international multi-functional teams.
Looking back on your entrepreneurial career, what are the three most important lessons you learned that you think every aspiring entrepreneur should know?
There are so many lessons and it really depends on the unique position the person is in at the time. But if I had to pick three, this is the one I would choose right now:
- Define and understand your goals very clearly. What do you want to build, what is most important to you, and what does success really look like? Sometimes we let other people or social media influence us to pursue things that are not a good fit for us (for example, everyone talks about scaling and building unicorns, but if you have a small team, innovate a lot, and want to maintain business agility – those are very different paths);
- Customer focus. Look for painful problems. The bigger the problem you solve, the better results you will get. Stay curious, keep learning, add value, understand your customers’ needs, gather feedback, and constantly improve your products or services. Showing up every day and paying more attention to your customers than anyone else in the market can give you a decisive advantage.
- Embrace failure, learn quickly, and develop resilience. Obstacles are inevitable, so you need to develop habits, systems, and thought models that help you adapt quickly, make better decisions in the midst of uncertainty, and maintain momentum. Nothing worth having or building comes without struggle. Remember, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Easy decisions, hard life. Hard decisions, easy life.
Starting a business often means taking risks. How do you assess the risks in your ventures and how do you deal with them?
Risk is an important part of business. Some people are better at it than others and for some of us it comes naturally. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.
Before I take a major risk, I like to do a fear setting exercise that I learned from Tim Ferris.
That’s why I have spent many years looking for different ways to play with risk and support my own mental health with different tools and techniques. Today, I can share these tools with other founders and leaders.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs on how to deal with uncertainties?
Before I take a major risk, I like to do a fear setting exercise that I learned from Tim Ferris. This really helps put things in perspective and consciously consider all the possible ups and downs of that risky idea, initiative, project or business.
In a nutshell, the exercise goes like this:
- Define the worst-case scenario: what could go terribly wrong?
- Figure out how to prevent it from happening;
- Figure out how you would fix the situation if it does occur;
- Consider the benefits of attempting partial success?
- Cost of inaction: for 6, 12, and 24 months. Consider what happens if you decide not to change the status quo.
This simple exercise can be a great springboard for risk diagnosis and mitigation. You can do it personally or within a team.
Building a strong network is critical for entrepreneurs. What strategies have you used throughout your career to build meaningful connections and partnerships?
I could not agree more. The network is the asset, so building meaningful connections has been one of the most important factors in my success.
working in the field of consulting and training, it is very important to constantly refresh and expand my network.
First, I actively attend industry events, conferences and networking forums to meet like-minded professionals. Participating in conversations, sharing ideas, and building relationships have helped me expand my network.
Second, I value fostering authentic relationships by offering support and appreciation to others. I believe in the power of reciprocity and have found that genuinely helping others without expecting an immediate return fosters long-term relationships. Whether I am giving advice, sharing resources or making connections, I want to contribute to the success of my network.
I also use digital platforms and social media to connect with professionals across geographic boundaries. By establishing an online presence on platforms such as LinkedIn, I have been able to establish credibility and find opportunities for collaboration.
For me, working in the field of consulting and training, it is very important to constantly refresh and expand my network.
To scale a business, you need effective leadership and good team management. What leadership skills do you think are essential to managing a successful team?
I could talk about this question for hours! It’s actually what I do for a living, haha!
I believe that the biggest risk for any company is the human factor. Of course, it is also the biggest opportunity. And the best tool to manage the human factor is effective management and leadership.
I believe that the biggest risk for any company is the human factor.
You can find so much advice on the internet about leadership, which comes in all shapes and forms. I want to give you a few insights that may not be as popular as things like fostering collaboration or setting the right goals.
- Empathy and active listening create a supportive environment where team members feel valued and understood. You can find out more about your team members – their aspirations, goals, doubts, fears and expectations. This helps to make better decisions.
- Accept the difficult things, such as uncomfortable conversations. For example, feedback, conflicts and the like. A person’s success in life can usually be measured by how many uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.
- Always experiment, develop agility, and adapt quickly. Make assumptions, test them, determine the results, and change your behaviour accordingly. There is no single path to success, but there is a clear path to failure – always do the same thing without changing anything, even if it does not work.
Finally, could you tell us some recommended resources such as books, websites or communities that have been useful to you as an entrepreneur?
Of course I love this part! I am curious by nature, so one of my biggest passions in life and business is learning new things and sharing them with others.
Here are a few of my recommendations in various mediums.
Huberman Lab: not directly related to business, but contains a lot of valuable information on human optimization. The podcast is frequently listed in the top 15 of all podcasts worldwide and is often #1 in the science, education, and health & fitness categories.
The Tim Ferris Show: The Tim Ferriss Show is often the #1 business podcast on Apple Podcasts and has been ranked #1 several times out of more than 500,000 podcasts. Great guests, lots of insights on business, life, society and more.
- “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Conversations When the Stakes Are High” by Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, Kerry Patterson
- “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
- “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott
- “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
We are thrilled to announce speakers for this year’s Pirate Summit! Get ready to hear from some of the most innovative and inspiring minds in business, tech, and beyond. 🚀
One of the speakers is Tomas, Leadership Consultant at OVC Consulting. In his session titled “Multi-passionate entrepreneur: your superpower or the biggest risk for a business?” Tomas will dive into the age-old debate of whether to focus on one thing or juggle all of your passions in pursuit of success.
👉Readers of Business Observer24 get a 20% discount on Pirate Summit tickets. Discount code “Marko20” can be redeemed on the site of Pirate Summit HERE!