Working On the Business, Working On the Mind

To participate in The Junto Institute’s curriculum, our founders “go” to class, “go” to the leadership forums, and “go” to office hours. All are held at our host partner’s sites, Catapult Chicago and Foley & Lardner.

For the rest of the curriculum – the mentoring program – meetings are scheduled mostly at the startups’ offices. So while they don’t “go” anywhere literally, they spend time thinking and talking about the business with their mentors every few weeks.

Beyond the actual content of the curriculum – class topics, agenda items, exercises and homework,  questions and challenges – the physical nature of “going” somewhere had produced a pleasant surprise: it forces the founders to work on the business not in it.

That itself is a challenge virtually all entrepreneurs and business leaders face, especially during growth. It’s easy to remain locked up at the office, easy to stay focused on the team, and easy to “go to work”. But getting into a routine where one is forced to be out of the business for the purpose of making it better is really hard.

And what makes this all the more magical is that getting out of the building is also how we learn the most.