The FORT Podcast: Will Friend

Will Friend is the CEO of Bisnow, an online real estate publication and event firm, where he has implemented an incredible culture through Bisnow’s Mission, Vision, and Values. Will and Chris discuss the journey of becoming the CEO of a company and why there’s no “step-by-step” process, company structure as a family versus a team, why it is important to love what you do, and Chris reflects on this conversation and his role at Fort Capital.

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01:50 — Will’s Journey Before Bisnow, Growing Up in the UK, The Desire for the American Dream, and Moving to America
09:23 — The Journey to Becoming a CEO at 27 Years Old
16:50 — How do you see your experience as CEO so far?
19:33 — What did you expect to be part of the role as CEO that actually are not?
22:22 — Level Up Talent
23:20 — How can you know if you’ll keep the role? How do you evaluate yourself and the organization?
24:10 — Team vs. Family
26:40 — Were these values already set or was it an “ah-ha!” moment?
31:05 — Deciding on a Vision and Values for Bisnow
40:50 — How do you make your Vision and Values a habit?
46:15 — Are these open to be debated and changed?
47:54 — How is a private equity buy-out a learning experience for everyone? Is this the right thing for everyone?
52:40 — What do private equity firms do for family-owned businesses?
53:04 — 3 Failures That Changed the Way Will Thinks
1:00:50 — How does culture affect a company’s bottom line?
1:04:00 — Hitting a Sales Mark
1:08:50 — What does it take for an issue to make it to your desk?
1:12:42 — What is it like to run a sales team? What makes a successful salesperson?
1:16:46 — What do you say to people who are not doing what they love?
1:19:49 — What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self? What is your favorite interview question?
1:27:20 — How Chris Critiques Himself and What Makes a Company’s Mission, Vision, and Values Work


Will was one of Bisnow’s first employees and has had hands on experience in all of the Company’s key roles, including being made Chief Operating Officer in 2012, prior to his appointment as CEO in late 2014. Will has been instrumental in Bisnow’s extraordinary growth; moving the head office to New York and building the firm to become one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies. Under Will’s leadership, the current management team, backed by The Wicks Group of companies, bought out the original founders in April 2016, setting the strategy for international expansion and the next chapter of Bisnow’s growth plan.

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