7 Questions with Michael Ginsberg

Name: Michael Ginsberg

Current title: CEO

Current organisation: Mastering Green

Mr. Ginsberg has consulted for the Departments of State and Defense on energy management and renewable energy issues, designed, installed and commissioned solar energy systems, and trained staff worldwide in building automation controls. He is a Doctor of Engineering Candidate in Solar Photovoltaic Grid Integration at Columbia University, Certified Energy Manager, LEED AP O+M, and holds a MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.

1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Striking a good balance between spending time in business development versus project management of existing work. The former is critical for growing your business in the desired direction but the latter ensures you have enough financial resources to persevere.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I launched my own firm Mastering Green in 2011 while a Masters student at Columbia University. I realized that I needed to start my own business to provide sustainability services to a wide range of clients.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I have an exercise routine that I start with every morning and evening. I don't always stick to that if I'm particularly busy in the morning but, if not, I exercise during the day using Alo Moves or go for a jog outside.

I'm a big fan of writing To Do lists in the morning and checking them off as I go along.

4. What’s the most recent significant leadership lesson you’ve learned?

Spend time training your staff and communicating tasks clearly. This will save time and money down the road when they feel more engaged and can jump into a project under a tight deadline.

5. What one book has had the most profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

I'm not sure there is one book but I enjoyed listening to a podcast on entrepreneurship called "How I Built This" by Guy Raz. There are many useful insights on running an organization, everything from finding a good, co-founder who complements your skills to treating employees well.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Invest in employee training and education. Give them the opportunity to manage and delegate within their division.

7. If you had to pick just one story, what would be the most meaningful story from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

Running a company can be exhilarating. Over the past several years work has taken me to over 10 countries but it is also critical as a leader to take the time to slow down and think strategically. Last year we lost a major contract and, while it hurt tremendously, we learned to diversify our clientele and never forget to continue with business development to ensure a steady stream of new work.

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