Scott Estill, Lancor | Talent Dynamics in Private Equity: How Firms are Refining their Approach
1:53 - Scott's story: solving a problem and whether or not to talk to your uber driver
11:43 - The most important things to make talent searches successful
22:54 - How top PE firms are managing through the assessment phase and appealing to talent
29:25 - Scott's book recommendations
For more information on Scott and Lancor, go to www.lancor.com
Welcome to the Karma School of Business, a podcast about the private equity industry, business best practices, and real-time trends. In this episode, we have a fantastic conversation with my friend Scott Estill, managing partner with Lancor. This episode is brought to you today by BluWave. I'm Sean Mooney, BluWave's founder, and CEO. BluWave is the go-to expert of those with expertise. BluWave connects proactive business builders, including more than 500 of the world's leading private equity firms and thousands of leading companies to the very best professional service providers, independent consultants and interim executives for their critical variable on-point and on-time business needs. Enjoy. I'm very excited to be here with my friend Scott Estill from Lancor. Scott, thanks so much for joining us.
Yeah, thanks for having me. Excited to be here as well.
So Scott and I have known each other for a longer time than we will date ourselves on, and Scott also has one of the special places in my heart because way, way back when I went to him hoping that he was going to talk me out of doing BluWave and he is one of the few the proud that said, "No, go for it." So the first year of BluWave, I blamed you for it, but now I'm incredibly thankful to you.
That's a standard reaction for most things. That's good.
So Scott, great to be here. I think anyone who knows Scott, knows him to be one of the gems of the gems in our industry here and for a whole variety of reasons. But for those who don't know Scott as well as they will someday, I'd love if you could just give us kind of the quick story of you and how you got into this crazy world.
Yeah, well, it's a little bit like you trying to solve a problem. I think some people keep stubbing their toe and just buy bigger shoes and prevent the problem perhaps. But so my frustration in how we started this business here is, how we got to know each other, I spent most of my life as an investment banker sadly. It's one of my many shortcomings in life, broadly defined. But the reason I say that is my frustration with M&A is that you take two companies, same industry, same size, four years later, one's a five bagger, one's a zero. And you're like, "Wait a minute, the models are giving the same numbers. Well, why the heck is one company actually so much more successful?" And if you do the regression on that, it's almost always about the management team and their ability to pivot and transition during an ownership period to generate truly differentiated alpha as opposed to just financially engineering your way to a return.
So most people, most operators will say, "Yeah, that's obvious," but most finance nerds like us in the banking world and PE folks were like, "Wait, doesn't salvation lie in Excel? I mean, that's supposed to be what all the answers are." So that's one pillar of the model for us. And the other one is around the bad math, in my mind, in search. So I used to get these calls from Heidrick & Struggles and they used to call, the CEO, Kevin Kelly, would try and get you to change jobs and you'd say no.
And at the end of one of these conversations, they're like, "Listen, I get it, Scott, you don't want this job that I'm trying to get you to take, but you should come join us as a firm." And I said, "No, that's a horrible idea. That's not at all what I do." But what I heard him saying, this will quickly come full circle, is the problem they have in search is if pick your PE firm is looking for a new executive and you reach out to a hundred people, more than half the people that you speak to don't want the job. They're just curious about what's going on in the market.
And I was like, "Yeah, that's certainly consistent with my experience." And of the remaining half, half are moving to New York or Nashville or California, Cleveland or London or pick your location around the world. So the pool of people that are both good and actionable on a search, it's like 5%. So I said, "All right, listen, if that's true, respectfully, you got a pretty bad business model, CEO of a public traded company. Here's what I would suggest you do is why don't you reach out to these executives and say, 'Listen, on the one hand I'm calling you because I'm looking for a new executive. And if you want the job, great, but if you don't, why don't you keep your current job because you're good at it?' That's how I got your name. Two, let me introduce you to these firms, these PE firms, not when you're looking for a gig, but when you're not because you have more leverage.
Third, you can co-invest, that's of interest. Fourth, you get equity. That's how you make real money. Fifth, you can join the board all while keeping your current job the same. And sixth, maybe you do want to be a buy-in executive. Well, then great, but you don't have to change a job necessarily to create value." So he said, "Listen, I don't know what that means, but it sounds great. You should come build that." So I did. I left traditional banking, built what I called an executive led merchant bank, and Hedrick can now do it here at Lancor where we've got offices all over the world and do this proactive reactive model. We're working with executives to generate angles and then helping PE firms see around corners because you're going to have to pay an irresponsible purchase price multiple, sadly, for an asset. So if you are, you better have a game plan that's operationally sound like day negative 70, not just once you own it.
I think that resonates a hundred thousand percent with everything I've seen and a lot of the same themes that led me to BluWave. And as I think back on PE in the late '90s when I started in, it was really more of a buy low, sell high game, and it was still really hard. There was all this information asymmetry and we didn't have nearly the tools that we have today, but there was much more kind of cream to be skimmed and you had a lot more room for error. And I remember as the game progressed, it went from going from really optimizing a company. We would do the kitchens and bathrooms to transforming a company because we had to, because all the cream was skimmed and we had to now turn these things into something fundamentally different and then it became we're all trapped in this game of beta.
I mean, you mentioned alpha and it used to be that beta was plenty of good. You can get a great return if you were beta. I was like the good old days. That's when I was at my best in private equity when I was going with the flow and then the world changed. And similarly, I was like, "I need someone very specific to give me an edge." And so I think the siren call that drew you to creating this, really, I think novel take on people and talent was really similar. And so I can a thousand percent appreciate and respect the poll that led you to creating in some ways a segment that didn't exist before. And similarly, probably going through what was otherwise accused as a massive midlife crisis.
They say kissing cousin to some degree, but hopefully, it's the end result. I mean, it's fun. I feel like, and we've talked about this, I feel like we're in a pretty privileged position. They get to speak to these executives who've done something right repetitively throughout their career and then they say, I've only got so many at bats left. I'd rather have control over what I do next as opposed to just hoping the phone rings when I sell a PE backed asset and someone that is trustworthy and has a strong moral compass is going to allow me to run a company as opposed to let's go pick the right companies and go run those and use all of the experiences. So it's a neat position to be in.
And I love that. And I want to drill down deeper into a couple things that you mentioned at the beginning of our conversation here. But before we do this, I don't want to let you off the hook and get away too easy on the humanity part of you. So I would love, Scott, one of the questions I'd like to ask is, what's one of the things we'd know you better if we knew this about you?
Good question. I think as much as I feel like it's great to build a business, it's great to have success. I think it's just an enjoyment of getting to know folks. I think you can shine that on, but I really do like talking to someone who's a mile deep in healthcare, a mile deep in consumer. I mean, it doesn't matter. The two things you always look for in our own colleagues and when we're trying to back a business is intellectual curiosity and humility. Those things don't go together often, but when they do, it is just awesome and it's fun. It's leading indicator of top [inaudible 00:08:59] investing. So I think it is just I really do enjoy getting to know people's stories and then helping them figure out what it is that they want to do next.
See, I think there's two types of people in this world. There's those who like to talk to their Uber driver and those who do not. Where do you fall?
It depends on the day, man. Sometimes I'm pretty comfortable clicking the do not talk to me button because you talk to me all the time. But I don't know, sometimes it's interesting to hear their story and you never know. Sadly, there's no Q of E, so I don't know how much what they're telling me is true or how much it's fake, but it's sometimes interesting.
Yeah, I'm one that likes to talk to Uber drivers and in Nashville, that can get you in a little bit of trouble. So I'm constantly getting the, "Well, I'm actually a musician, would you like to invest in my next product program?" Or, "I'm creating movies." Or one guy is like, "Hey, I'm a chicken farmer." Everyone in Nashville seems to have chickens if you're an Uber driver. So they're like, "Hey, do you want to buy some eggs?" And they're in their trunk. I'm like, "No." So I probably should sometimes hit that button more.
Well, it's entertaining if nothing else, right? That's part of the fun of it.
There was one, I'll tell you a quick aside, a story where someone was telling me they were a fashion designer and I go, "That's really interesting. How did you get into that?" And he goes, "Well, actually I'm a clothier." And I go, "Oh no." Because I knew exactly what was going to happen within an hour the person that had figured out my email and was trying to style me, I'm like, "Clearly, sir, you have met the wrong person. I am not going to spend money in styling."
Maybe he or she saw a meaningful bid ask spread.
A lot of room for improvement for sure. So it should have been easy pickings.
It's better than the conversations you get in New York City, which we don't need to talk about.
Yeah, it's a different type of person and conversation in Nashvegas here. So let's dive back in. And so I think what I'd really love to get your thoughts on, and I think a lot of our listeners would as well, is we're all in this search of alpha and you get that alpha by working with the best people. And maybe in the '80s or '90s, early 2000, the line was the hardest thing about business was the people. Now it's the most important thing about businesses and people. And everyone realizes this and our data shows it. I mean, usage of human capital every quarter, it's like a new all time high. So I'd be curious if you could turn this kind of open candid conversation towards some of your clients, what are some of the most important things that you think hires of talent, whether it's a private equity firm or a CEO or otherwise can and should do to make their search getting to the right person and navigating the complexity of humanity as successful as possible?
So we take the mindset of, because you're a function of your own experiences, we co-invest in all the things we work on. So oftentimes you need a new CFO, you need a new CTO, CIO, whatever it is, right? CEO. And people are looking for someone who's done that before. Well, of course, that should be part of the candidate landscape, but maybe the better question is often what's the investment thesis? What are assets that you've passed on? Why did you pick this asset? You can't have 10 number one priorities, but what are the two or three things that from CEO to secretary that you're going to try to accomplish during your ownership period? And it's like a puzzle piece. And so how do you think about what the team's good at, if you're honest, and where could they be better? And then putting that into being ruthlessly systematic, teasing out those specific desires.
So then when we're talking to someone, I can get empirical evidence that suggests is it selling into these big box retailers if they still have those anymore, is it going after these clients? Is it maybe forgetting about integration that hasn't been a strong suit to the opportunity? Is it better KPIs? All the things is all we do is PE. So what specifically are you looking for? And it seems like an obvious thing to ask, but too oftentimes people go off sort of half-baked and sort of say, "Listen, let's go get going. Here's a bunch of CFOs in Nashville that understand healthcare. That's part of it and an important part." But all those other nuanced questions style, if you're looking for a CFO, what is the CEO like? What does she or he thinking about? What are they looking for? Do they want them to be, everyone says, "I want a strategic CFO." Do you?
I mean, here's what that means. How much of it has to be blocking and tackling? Is there a strong controller? So we spend hopefully not an inordinate amount of time, but a lot of time before even starting a search, just asking those questions. So then it feels like when we're talking to an executive, here's why we've, here's the opportunity, why it matters. Here's the different things this PE firm has looked at, here's what they've passed on and here's why this asset is unique. Unique's a tough word, differentiated, and here's why I'm calling you candidate A because you have these qualities that are important.
Yeah, I'd love that perspective. And it hits me on so many levels because one of the things is when I first started off in PE, I started off in industrial private equity. So investing in industrial companies, I fell in love with this kind of concept of Lean Six Sigma. And a big part of that is kind of like scorecarding, measure what matters, spending time to see what's important, turning them into KPIs, those type of things. And that was one of my big epiphanies when I started having to hire people was taking that time to really focus on what should be on that scorecard. And then there was research from people this duo called Hunter and Hunter that led to this kind of structured interviewing.
And then you had groups that did these kind of assessment groups within private equity that are part and parcel to some of the whole process as well. And what I learned is this whole idea that name the cliche, it's measure what matters. It's measure twice, cut once. It's if you fail to prepare to fail kind of a thing. And all of those things are so really important in terms of setting it up for success. And then what that helps you do is actually go get what they want and need. And so I think that's really, really good advice. So I guess one of the questions that I'd be curious about is you've gone through these processes where you're aligning people, the right people to the right role, et cetera and you're spending this time upfront, how are you seeing private equity firms using human capital, which is kind of, to be candid, it's private equity has to put capital on everything, and so otherwise, it's called human resources in a way to create alpha.
Yeah, I think the thesis is everyone's effectively gone to the same business schools. I teach up at, adjunct professor I guess, up at Columbia Business School and everyone's like, "I want to build a model." I'm like, "Listen, you can teach a six-year-old chicken to build a model. It doesn't matter. What matters more is what's your right to win." It's not necessarily about picking the right weighted average cost of capital or whatever it is for the inputs of the model and how much debt to put on a business. It's the people. And so you need to do that earlier and earlier. In my mind, there's three buckets of a life cycle of a business. Bucket one is what should we buy? Lovely. And we talked about how we help PE firms figure that out. Bucket two is, okay, I've identified the asset, do I really want to own it?
Well, sure you can use talent to help you figure out that sort of equation. And the third bucket is now I own it. I better do what I said. I was going to do an investing committee and most search firms play in that middle half of that third bucket, which is, oh my God, it's always month 13 that it's not going as advertised. I got one arrow in my quiver, we're going to get rid of the CFO. And the next thing you know, because can't fix or can't measure, as you said earlier, the next one is I get rid of the CO. Well, now you've wasted 15 to 20 months in your IRR clock. So you got to get that talent in bucket one and in bucket two to help you determine what's the right asset. And then, of course, you're going to augment the team as necessary, but you need to be thinking about that talent equation throughout the life cycle of a deal, not just once you own it and you lift up the hood and you're like, "Oh God." You go to your first board meeting and you're like, "This person ..."
So even in that scenario, what we're doing with PE firms is saying, "All right, you've gotten your first board meeting. You're sort of not super convinced that this is the right person. How about we just give you five people in location X that understand this industry and are in this C-suite? And you can pressure test them." Right now that's counterintuitive because why would I do work without the traditional signed engagement letter, which we always want because we're retained. It's called business development. It's called knowing good people. And so it's what I used to do as a banker. I would show you or anyone else at a PE firm, do good things for you and you would give me a sell side or a financing or an IPO mandate or whatever. So I think the talent is getting better and better within PE to start ... the talent side is to use talent and partner with talent earlier and earlier to make sure that you're thoughtful about where you want to go.
Once again, I think that's a spot on perspective. And as I'm thinking about what you're saying here and kind of bringing myself back is every deal's got really three components to setting it up for success in addition to a number of other things. But most of them come down to valuation, speed and certainty, and it's both on the entrance and the exit. You need to have all three of those things. And then in between, there's certainly, there's value creation that involves those as well, but the speed and the certainty is something that plays really big before you make the valuation in it.
And as you're exiting, for sure, and one of the trends that we're certainly seeing a lot more of is private equity firms calling us to get connected to a really excellent executive recruiter like Lancor and you before the deal even closes. And that's kind of a new trend, but you're taking it step further. You should know your person before you're even really getting into the system because really that plays on, there's valuation, but the speed and certainty of the outcome is so important. And finding an A player in this market still takes six months at times, maybe three if you're doing really well.
And you need a reason. The best people get phone calls weekly, like multiple calls weekly, and it's all noise. So if you can showcase ways for someone to keep your job, co-invest, get equity, join boards outside of changing your job and getting to know the top PE firms out there before there's a need, and it's not just a waste of time, just like a group grow like, "All right, Sean, whenever you have a deal, let me know and I'd love to work with you." How many times has an executive heard that, right? But if you can translate that into real opportunities and board rules, the most underutilized arrow in the quiver of PE is independent board director. Now, most search firms don't like because it doesn't pay that much. I mean, people are calling operated animals, right?
It's actually awesome BD to talk to the best executives out there. So I think that's something that people can do a better job and you got to put yourself on the board because as a PE person because you own the company, it's your fiduciary obligation. But sometimes you can get away with not making a change on the search side, but putting in an independent board director is going to help the management team get to your goals faster. So how do you be the old term that everyone talks about, a trusted advisor? I mean, either you are or you're not. And so you're trying to find various ways to give, give, give first and economic results come after you've built real relationships, both PE firms and executives.
Spot on. So Scott, as we both know, the world in private equity has just changed a lot, like any industry does as it matures and grows and it's attracted a lot of really good investors and a lot of really good investment bankers and a lot of really everything into this ecosystem. And so there's more of everything which makes things harder. It's still really interesting. It's just harder because that's what happens in an industry. And so one of the things that we've certainly seen is in the journey of a recruiting process, in the journey of bringing your A player, it's no longer about having the candidates beg you for the job. It's much more than that. And there's almost like there's both an assessment and a sell process on both sides of the table now. So I'd love to get your perspective about how top private equity firms are managing through the assessment phase, but then thinking about I want this person to want us as well.
Yeah. Well, you're right. I think it used to be I'm doing you a favor and letting you work for me and you'll make some money, right?
Now, when you and I were starting off, you'd sell a business, you'd go to 20, 30, whatever institutions, now you're going to 300. So basic supply and demand would suggest there's too many PE from chasing the amount of assets. So therefore the returns are harder and harder. So that means the war for talent is more difficult. And so I think what executives like to hear is it's I'm a body of work today and I want to be better going forward. So what am I going to get out of working with a PE firm outside of millions of dollars? Everyone's going to make millions of dollars, all these successful deals. So hey, let me talk to ... One of the things that resonates a ton with some firms do this. "Listen, we want you to join us. We'd love you to talk to a handful of executives, either, both current, we'll let you pick.
Here's a list of if it's a CFO, CEO, whatever, C something it is, here's a bunch you can pick from. Why don't you call them? We want you as our next executive. Why don't you just call them? I won't be on the phone and I'm not going to pick which ones. You just pick which ones you want, just call them and we'll let them know that you're calling and you talk to them about ... Because we're not perfect. We try to be additive." And then you get that sharing of that self-awareness is sort of a best practice that often wins the day for PE firms as opposed to, again, "I'm going to let you work for me. I'm going to keep grilling you. I'm going to put you through more case studies."
Again, you need to do your diligence full stop on executives, but you do need to show the human side. That's sort of why operating partners exist. And we do a ton of operating partner work because you need the EQ IQ combination. That person possesses and can be the translator between the C-suite and the sort of [inaudible 00:25:12] committee. But I think painting with a wide brush, if PE firms can be more and more human about what it is to work with them and why they value that talent, it makes the talent of course feel good and it differentiates them from the competitors.
That's once again a really, I think, important insight in this. One of the biggest evolutions that I think private equity is going through right now is the first word in private equity has always been private. It's all about kind of holding your cards tight and trying to be this kind of vessel and it'll drive great outcomes. And increasingly, there's things going on like brand formation and private equity. There's heads of human capital or HR that are not only looking outwardly but inwardly.
And this whole idea of this openness to get a candidate to be wanting to be with you and saying, "Call anyone you want." That's something that is relatively new in private equity, but incredibly important because, one, it helps you kind of stand by your results and you let people, "We're going to let you call anyone you want," but also it provides discipline. We're going to be in a partnership knowing that you could be a future reference someday on both sides of the equation, which I think makes this whole symphony of motion and value creation and PE just work better as it becomes more integrated.
Of course, there's good behavior on your current portfolio company C-suite executives, because if you want them to wax philosophical on why it's good to work with you, then it better be good to work for you.
Yeah. It's a two-way street that we live in, in a mature market. So I think all of this is a really important kind of evolution in the industry that is making the business of private equity much more like a business than maybe these partnerships of way back when. And so that's a great, I think, mindset to have for anyone, whether you're a CEO of a company or an investor, is understanding this two-way street and making places, places that people want to work in as much as having those people really sell for you. And I'll tell you, as a CEO of a company now, we understand when we're trying to hire really highly sought after people, we're selling as much buy-in talent because if you're not, the labor markets are just too tight.
And paying someone, I mean, the feedback we get because we're talking to all these executives like an extra 20, 30, 40, whatever the number is, grand. That's not why I left. That's not why I'm making this move. In fact, what I want is buy-in to my career progression. And so engineers are a big one there where it's such a war on talent there. And so how do you get someone where they have a skill that's needed? It's not just paying them more. It's spending the time to really invest in helping them progress. So I think that's throughout the, as I said earlier, CEO to secretary, everything in between. It's got to be felt the same way that it's collaborative.
Yeah. That makes a ton of sense. And I think it's going to resonate with a lot of people who are going through this labor market as it exists today, and we'll likely continue to exist for as long as I can see forward in the future until we all work for the robot overlords. But I think that's at least a few years away. So I don't think we should worry about that.
Yeah, you get [inaudible 00:28:49].
So maybe as a segue, I'd be curious, Scott, one of the good things that we know is most people who are pretty successful in business and life are pretty frenetic readers. And large part because you realize if you have to create the wheel each time, you're going to be in a lot of trouble, at least that I do. I call my life, it's like the Walmart form of innovation. I don't come up with anything myself. I just take little pieces of what other people have figured out and hope they work for me. So it's like live my life through an expected value equation. And so I'd be curious, Scott, order one or some of your favorite business or personal books that you've read and maybe some of your takeaways.
So I'm in a book club, that doesn't mean I sit around drinking chardonnay, which is fine. So with a bunch of PE guys and hedge fund folks that are sort of interested in a whole bunch of different topics. And so the one, a couple of them, I guess, that we've read have the same sort of mindset of how do I learn more? There's this book got Chip Wars. I don't know if you've seen this by Chris Miller, but we know a lot about the history of microchips and how it started in Moore's law and whatever.
Only the paranoid survive, right?
Totally right. That's why we're friends, often paranoid. So that was a great book. I mean, you talk about what's a nanometer and then what the heck? You know what that ... It's a billionth of a meter. So that one human blood cell, I remember, one human blood cell is 7,000 nanometers in diameter. So you think about how 7,000 nanometers for one blood cell and these are down to three, five nanometers, these chips. So another way to think about it is that if the microchip's the size of your thumbnail, just your thumbnail, it's got billions of transistors on it. So that was a great book. It was easy reading, it wasn't super dense talking about the history of sort of, I don't know, technology. And then I guess riffing on that, there was a cool book called AI 2021. So it was written in 2021. Surprise, surprise. But it was written by two guys that worked together at Google, and one ended up being a venture capitalist and one ended up being a science fiction writer.
Super interesting. But they co-author this thing. And so there's 10 short stories of how technology over the next 10 years and 20 years is going to change our everyday life. So five or 10 or 15 page, whatever, short stories. But man, it's interesting and it's coming from the perspective of a bit authenticity of knowing where technology ... not perfect, no one's crystal ball is perfectly aligned, but knowing what's reasonable and what's not, I don't know, things like that. Those are cool books where it just has conversation starters amongst folks. Is this real? Is that real? And how does that affect my business or my life or whatever? So two quick reads that are just fun and maybe people will find interesting.
On the tech one, I'd be curious or the second tech one since tech was-
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
What was one of the more kind of exciting or scary things in their kind of prophecies of things to come in the visible future?
Yeah, I mean, there's a bunch of them that touch on regular everyday living to sort of conflicts to all the different things that technology can implement. But I mean, just little things of ... What's an example? One of the short stories is a family in India and it's all over the world, different places, so it's all ... But they track you. And so what you're doing, because technology is good at that and are you doing things that are going to increase or decrease your insurance premiums as a family or whatever.
So going to a dangerous part of town temporarily increases your insurance premiums or a love interest of someone who is more or less compatible or going to be good for you in the future increases or decreases your life insurance premium. So it's super dramatic and scary and Orwellian, but you sort of see how technology, the unintended consequences can often come to bear here. So there's lots of ones like education and just things where technology you used to be ... Remember when we were in finance, there was the internet group in banking. Now everything is just like technology. It's a hundred percent of the GDP has a technology bent to it to some degree. So that's something that is just going to continue to be part of our everyday life.
Yeah, it's funny you say that because my daughter who just turned 16 and our insurance person said, "Well, if she gets this app on her phone, you'll save 10% or something like that on the deal." So long as she gets A grades and she's already in this hyper high achiever school where everyone's got to get A's so like, "She should be fine on this." She's already under the pressure for the A. And so she gets the app, she's driving through it, and the first day she has the app, she goes in the car with her friend's dad who apparently has a bit of a lead foot. And so she immediately goes into a panic because her first score was an F, so she went into a panic mode about this kind of population management system. And as any good, I guess she's Gen Z, she very quickly figured out there's a way to go in and amend the score by saying I was actually a passenger. And so now I think whether she's driving or not, every score is an A.
Was this friend actually you, Sean? I'm just wondering with the lead foot.
There's a high chance that I was also that friend. But what you bring up I think is really profound. You mentioned the internet group because I think the time that we're in right now is a lot like the introduction of the modern day internet in 1995 when Netscape came out. And like you said, there was internet groups and you could go to Warden and get into COMBA in the internet. This is crazy. And just like everything, I think we're all trying to figure out what these things are, and usually what it means is they're efficiency tools. They can do what people can do, but they can do them faster. And that's what the internet did and that's what these LLMs are doing. I think if we have this conversation a year from now, I think people are going to realize that it's just going to enable us to do the more human things more often.
But it's also going to change the way that people go through apprenticeship models and have to live and learn and grow. And even as I think about our team right now, the big challenge for everyone is the world's going to change really quickly and we can either change with it or we can resist it. If you've ever read this book, Who Moved My Cheese?, it's a great book. I think every company in the world right now is going through the things that you talked about with this change and displacement. If you lean into it, embrace it can be a good thing, but it's scary in the meantime.
Yeah, well, I mean, that's with the old saying, right? The only thing that's consistent is change. So it's going to happen. And so as much as we think we're so smart and we're trying to get ahead of the curve, we're already dinosaurs. To your point, my kids know they're way more faster than I am around how do use technology. So we just got to hang on as long as we can.
Yeah, that consistent thing is great. When my kids were four and seven, I thought they were perfectly cute and they would both hold my hands. And so I was talking to my wife, "How do we keep them the same way?" And I talked about getting them drinking and smoking early, but my wife said, "What are you, nuts?" I'm like, "No, it'll stunt their growth." And I was, once again, for good reason, I was vetoed on that.
That's why there's a board. That's why there's board of directors. You can't have one guy do everything.
Yeah, exactly right. So Scott, this has been a total pleasure. It's been great catching up with you and I've really enjoyed our conversation and I've learned a lot and I've got two new books to add to the stack next to my bedroom table here. So thanks so much for joining us.
Yeah, listen, thanks. I appreciate the opportunity to do so, and I'm excited about what you've built and it's nice when you've got good friends doing good things. So wish you guys the best of luck.
And likewise. And we, by the way, appreciate having you in our ecosystem because there's a few safer intros than a PE firm to Scott Estill. So thanks so much as well.
All right, thanks all, see you.
Special thanks to Scott for joining. If you'd like to learn more about Scott, please see the episode notes for links. Please continue to look for us anywhere you find your favorite podcasts, including Apple, Google, and Spotify. We truly appreciate your support. If you like what you hear, please follow, rate, review, and share. It really helps us when you do this, so thank you in advance. In the meantime, if you need to be connected with the world's best in class PE grade professional service providers, independent consultants, interim executives, or anything else, give us a call or visit our website at BluWave.net. That's B-L-U-W-A-V-E. And we'll support your success. Onward.
BluWave Founder & CEO Sean Mooney hosts the Private Equity Karma School of Business Podcast. BluWave is the business builders’ network for private equity grade due diligence and value creation needs.
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