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Active Listening and Grit with John Belizaire, pt. 2 — Scaling Clean Ep. 11

2 min. read

Hey #cleantechers, this week we’re back with part two of our conversation with Soluna Computing CEO John Belizaire. John’s current company is building modular green data centers that run on renewable energy. And though he just turned 50, John has already sold two companies.

Our conversation for Scaling Clean was incredibly rich. You can hear the first half of the conversation on last week’s episode. In last week’s episode, John described the attributes such as active listening and mentorship that are keys to successful entrepreneurship. 

Part two is just as interesting. John and I discuss hiring, how an effective CEO inspires change in his team, and the key determinants of success in cleantech companies.


1:51 — CEOs should accomplish 5 things for their company. One is being the primary storyteller, because a company is primarily defined by its story.

08:23 — When John hires, he’s looking not just for the right skills, but also the right fit with Soluna’s workplace culture. Finding the right fit requires a detailed interview process that seeks the decision-making patterns of prospective employees. 

12:40 — Companies struggle to hire diverse people because people largely work through their professional networks. When people don’t have diverse networks, it’s difficult to hire diverse people. Continuously expand your network and reach out to professional organizations focused on diversity.

14:41 — Focus is a key part of success. Do something well, better than anyone else, and focus on that part of the business. Distraction can lead to disaster.

18:32 — To successfully change the sector and change the world, you need to convince people why they need to change. If there is a customer problem your company addresses, you need to talk about that problem and show how you are the team best equipped to help. When customer prospects see the problem, they’ll think of you as a solution because you already built an audience.


Topics: Scaling Clean Podcast