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Martin Rowinski is a visionary leader with more than 25 years of experience in top-level executive roles. As a pioneer in technology and a renowned international speaker, he has dedicated his career to transforming how businesses handle board appointments and executive recruitment. He’s the Co-Founder and CEO of Boardsi, an innovative executive recruitment agency that helps businesses build effective and efficient executive boards for exponential growth.
But Rowinski isn’t just a business leader – he’s also a prolific author and a youth soccer volunteer coach, demonstrating his commitment and passion to leadership and development at all levels. His dedication has earned him respect and admiration in the business world and beyond. We’re excited to have the opportunity to sit down with him and chat about his journey, his insights, and his inspiring story. In this exclusive interview with GREY Journal, we’ll get to know Martin on a more personal level and learn from his experiences.
1. When you reflect on your childhood, what’s a specific memory that stands out to you as shaping who you are today?
Growing up in a communist country, Poland, I experienced firsthand the scarcity of basic necessities such as easy access to food, and the absence of fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of choice, and the opportunity to pursue the “American Dream.” When I moved to America, I faced a new challenge – the lack of financial resources – and had to find ways to make ends meet, work my way through college, and start my own businesses. These experiences have left a lasting impression on me and have taught me the value of hard work, perseverance, and gratitude. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunities I have had and the accomplishments I have achieved, and I never take anything for granted.
2. High school and college are often formative years. What was your experience like, and how did it shape your leadership style?
Starting high school was a daunting challenge for me. Coming from a background where Polish was my first language, I had never had any exposure to the English language prior to arriving in America. My main priority during this time was to learn how to speak, read and write English fluently. College presented a new set of challenges as I juggled both full-time studies and a full-time job to support myself. Despite these obstacles, I remained focused on achieving my goals through perseverance and hard work.
During this time, I discovered the power of self-help books, particularly the classics by renowned authors like Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Og Mandino, and James Allen. I found these books to be not only educational but also inspiring, offering valuable insights into personal growth, success, and achievement. Through these books, I gained a new perspective on life and learned important lessons that have helped shape who I am today.
My experiences have taught me that with determination and a clear focus, anything is achievable. I am grateful for the challenges I faced as they have made me stronger, more resilient, and more driven to succeed.
3. What inspired you to start Boardsi, and how has it changed the executive recruitment industry?
I was inspired to create a solution to the problem of finding qualified and experienced candidates for the board of directors and advisory positions. As a former CEO and board member myself, I saw firsthand the difficulty of finding the right talent to fill these critical roles. After conducting extensive research and networking, I recognized the need for a platform that could connect companies with top-level executives and board members.
Boardsi has revolutionized the recruitment industry by leveraging advanced technology and a private network of highly qualified candidates to match the right talent with the right companies. The platform provides a streamlined and efficient way for businesses to find qualified candidates for board of directors and advisory positions, executive branding, executive board documents, and executive board education courses. By connecting businesses with top talent, Boardsi helps businesses grow and achieve their goals while also offering executives opportunities to take on new challenges and advance their careers.
One of the key ways that Boardsi has changed the recruitment industry is by offering a private network of highly qualified candidates. This means that businesses can access a pool of candidates who are pre-vetted and have the experience and expertise to excel in their respective roles. Additionally, Boardsi’s advanced technology and human connection approach allow for a more personalized and efficient recruitment process, saving companies time and resources.
4. Being an entrepreneur can be challenging. How have you managed to balance your personal life and business, and what have you learned along the way?
As an entrepreneur, I understand the challenge of balancing personal life and business. It’s important to realize that the two are interconnected, and neglecting one can have a significant impact on the other.
One thing I’ve learned is the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing my time. I make sure to set aside time for my family, exercise, and hobbies, as well as for business-related tasks. I also surround myself with a team that I trust and delegate tasks to them when necessary.
Another lesson I’ve learned is the importance of self-care. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of running a business, but taking care of oneself is crucial for sustained success. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking breaks when needed.
Overall, I’ve found that by setting boundaries, prioritizing my time, and taking care of myself, I am able to maintain a balance between my personal life and business. It’s an ongoing process, and I continue to learn and adapt as I go.
5. Looking back on your career, what advice would you give to your younger self?
These lessons have been instrumental in my success as an entrepreneur and could serve as valuable advice for anyone looking to achieve their goals and pursue their dreams.
6. What personal achievement are you most proud of from the past year, and why does it stand out to you?
Over the past 12 months, I have achieved several personal milestones that I am extremely proud of. One of the most notable accomplishments is the hard work my team and I have invested in developing our Board Education courses, Executive Branding services, and the Board Document Builder. All three products are set to launch this year and are poised to make a significant impact in our industry.
In addition to these accomplishments, I am excited to announce that I will be publishing a new motivational book in the near future. This project has been a labor of love, and I am thrilled to share my insights and experiences with readers.
Finally, I was recently honored to receive the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marquis Who’s Who Publication Board. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication I have poured into my career and the impact I have made in my industry.
Overall, I am immensely proud of my achievements over the past 12 months, from the development of innovative new products to the recognition of my contributions to the field. These accomplishments have been the result of hard work, collaboration, and a commitment to excellence, and I am excited to continue pushing myself to achieve even greater success in the future.
7. Giving back to the community is important. Can you share what causes or organizations you’re passionate about and why?
At our company, promoting diversity is a core value that we strive to uphold in all aspects of our work. One of the ways we have chosen to support diversity is by investing in initiatives that promote inclusion and equal opportunities from a young age. To that end, we are proud to sponsor the California Storm, a semi-professional soccer team made up of talented young girls. By supporting these athletes, we hope to inspire and empower the next generation of female leaders and athletes.
In addition to our work with the California Storm, we are also dedicated to supporting veterans and non-profit programs that serve their needs. Currently, we are collaborating with Victory Bridge Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides support and resources to veterans as they transition back into civilian life. By supporting these programs, we hope to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for our country and support them as they pursue their post-military goals.
Overall, our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond mere words to meaningful action. By investing in young athletes and supporting veteran non-profit programs, we are working to build a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
8. As a successful CEO and entrepreneur, what do you believe are the biggest misconceptions about business leadership, and how do you address those misconceptions?
One of the biggest misconceptions about business leadership is that leaders are born with innate qualities that make them successful. This belief assumes that some people are naturally better suited for leadership roles and that others will always struggle to lead effectively. However, research has shown that leadership skills can be developed and honed through practice and experience. By investing in leadership development programs and providing opportunities for individuals to develop their skills, businesses can cultivate a culture of strong and effective leadership.
Another common misconception is that leaders must be authoritarian or have a dominant personality to be effective. However, this approach can often lead to a toxic work environment that undermines trust and collaboration. Instead, effective leaders should prioritize building relationships with their team members, fostering open communication, and empowering employees to take ownership of their work. By creating a culture of collaboration and trust, leaders can build stronger teams and achieve better outcomes.
Another misconception is that leaders must have all the answers and be in complete control at all times. However, true leadership requires humility and a willingness to seek input and feedback from others. Effective leaders recognize that they don’t have all the answers and that they must rely on the expertise of others to make informed decisions. By fostering a culture of open dialogue and encouraging diverse perspectives, leaders can make better decisions and create a more inclusive work environment.
9. Your book, The Corporate Matchmaker, established you as an expert in executive recruitment. What inspired you to write it, and how has it impacted your professional journey?
The idea for The Corporate Matchmaker came from my experience in executive recruiting, where I witnessed firsthand the impact that the right executive can have on a company’s success. I wanted to share my insights and expertise with others who are looking to build successful teams and find their perfect corporate match.
The book has had a tremendous impact on my professional journey, opening doors to new opportunities and helping to establish me as a thought leader in the industry. It has also provided me with a platform to connect with other executives, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who share my passion for building successful teams.
One of the key takeaways from writing the book is the importance of aligning company culture with the values and strengths of the executives leading the organization. It’s not just about finding someone with the right skills and experience, but also someone who is a cultural fit and can drive the company’s vision and mission forward.
Overall, writing The Corporate Matchmaker has been a rewarding experience, and I’m proud to have contributed to the field of executive recruitment and to have helped companies find their perfect matches.
10. Coaching youth soccer is a unique hobby. How has it impacted your leadership style, and what have you learned from working with young athletes?
Coaching youth soccer was not just a hobby, it was a demanding responsibility that required a significant amount of time, effort, and patience. Over the years, I had to learn how to work with children as young as 5 years old, figuring out how to explain simple tasks so they could learn and improve each year. As they got older, my job as a coach became a little easier, but working with teenagers presented a new set of challenges. I had to learn how to work with each player, understand their individual personalities, and motivate them to work together as a team.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson about how to work with diverse personalities in the real world. By learning how to work with each person, understand their unique needs, and motivate them to achieve their goals, I discovered that life can become easier, not just for me, but for the entire work environment. When employees feel valued and engaged, they are more likely to produce great results and contribute to a positive work culture.
Coaching youth soccer was not just a hobby, but a challenging responsibility that taught me valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork, and communication. By learning how to work with diverse personalities, I gained skills that I can apply to any professional setting. These experiences have helped me become a more effective leader, communicator, and team player in both my personal and professional life.
11. What skills do you think are essential for successful business development, and how have you demonstrated these skills throughout your career?
As someone who has worked in business development for over two decades, I believe there are several essential skills for success in this field. Firstly, strong communication skills are vital, as effective communication is crucial for building relationships with clients, partners, and stakeholders. Being able to articulate the value proposition of a product or service is also critical.
Secondly, adaptability and flexibility are crucial skills. The business environment is constantly changing, and those who can adapt to new situations and pivot when necessary will be more successful. The ability to think creatively and find new solutions to problems is also important.
Thirdly, relationship-building and networking skills are essential for business development success. The ability to cultivate strong relationships with potential clients and partners can open doors and create new opportunities.
Throughout my career, I have demonstrated these skills in various ways. I have built strong relationships with clients and partners, and my communication skills have allowed me to effectively articulate the value of products and services. I have also demonstrated adaptability by pivoting business strategies when necessary to meet changing market conditions. Additionally, I have honed my networking skills by attending industry events and actively seeking out new business opportunities.
In conclusion, successful business development requires a combination of communication, adaptability, and relationship-building skills. Those who can master these skills will be well-positioned for success in this field.
12. What are your goals for Boardsi, and how do you plan to continue innovating in the executive recruitment industry?
Boardsi is experiencing rapid growth and expanding its product offerings to better support our mission. As part of this effort, we have developed several new tools to help executives prepare for becoming board members. Our Board Document Builder, Board Education, and Executive Branding services are designed to provide comprehensive support and guidance to executives at every stage of their board membership journey.
The Board Document Builder is a powerful tool that streamlines the process of creating essential board documents, making it easier for executives to prepare for board membership. Our Board Education courses provide in-depth training and insights into board governance, giving executives the knowledge they need to excel in their board roles. Finally, our Executive Branding services help executives build their personal brand and enhance their reputation as leaders in their industry.
Overall, these new offerings are a testament to our commitment to supporting executives and helping them achieve their full potential as board members. As we continue to grow and evolve, we remain dedicated to providing innovative solutions and best-in-class support to our clients.
13. What have been some of the most significant challenges you’ve faced during your career, and how have you overcome them?
One of the significant challenges I encountered in my career was being a behind-the-scenes worker who focused on working diligently to achieve results. However, after years of encouragement from my wife, I finally stepped out of my comfort zone and embraced the role of being the face of Boardsi. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and feel a sense of fulfillment whenever I receive positive feedback. For instance, when readers thank me for writing articles that helped them overcome their struggles or when students at Florida International University express gratitude for my motivational speech, I feel motivated to continue giving back.
The positive feedback has been a significant source of motivation for me, and it has helped me recognize the impact that I can have on others. It has also taught me the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing new challenges. I have learned that the greatest rewards in life often come from taking risks and pursuing opportunities that scare us.
Overall, the experience of stepping out and engaging with others has been a valuable lesson that has helped me grow both personally and professionally. It has taught me to be more confident, embrace new challenges, and pursue opportunities that make a positive impact on others. I am grateful for the experience and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
14. What do you believe are the most important qualities to look for in a candidate for an executive position, and how do you evaluate those qualities during the recruitment process?
The most important qualities to look for in a candidate for an executive position will vary depending on the specific role and the needs of the organization. However, some essential qualities that are often highly valued in executives include strong leadership skills, strategic thinking, excellent communication skills, adaptability, and a track record of achieving results. Launching the Board Document Builder, Board Education, and Executive Branding services is an important step for Boardsi, and it is rooted in our experience in the marketplace. Through our extensive network of experienced executives, we have observed that companies increasingly conduct research online when looking for potential board members. This is where Executive Branding becomes crucial. By developing a strong personal brand, executives can differentiate themselves from others and stand out as top candidates for board positions.
The Board Education courses are designed to provide executives with in-depth training and knowledge of board governance. This is essential for those who want to make a valuable contribution to the boardroom and ensure their effectiveness in the role. Additionally, the Board Document Builder is a powerful tool that simplifies the process of creating essential board documents, saving executives valuable time and effort.
Overall, the three products – Executive Branding, Board Education, and the Board Document Builder – are designed to provide comprehensive support and guidance to executives at every stage of their board membership journey. By taking advantage of these services, executives can position themselves as top candidates for board positions, enhance their knowledge of board governance, and streamline the process of creating essential board documents.
15. What’s the best way for others to learn more about you and Boardsi, and how can they get involved?
Whether you are a company searching for top-level executives to join your team or an executive looking to connect with our network, Boardsi is here to help. Simply visit our website at boardsi.com and schedule a call to learn more about how we can assist you.
For companies in search of talented executives, we have a dedicated page where you can register and provide us with details about your company and the executive role you are looking to fill. Our team of experienced recruiters will work with you to understand your requirements and identify the best-fit candidates from our extensive network of executives.
If you are an executive looking to join our network, we invite you to visit our registration page. Here, you can provide us with information about your background, experience, and areas of expertise, which will help us match you with suitable opportunities. By joining our network, you can gain access to exclusive executive positions, board memberships, and other opportunities for professional growth.
At Boardsi, we are committed to making the executive recruitment process as seamless and efficient as possible. Whether you are a company in search of talented executives or an executive looking for your next career move, we are here to support you every step of the way.
Companies is search of executives: https://boardsi.com/companies/#register Executives looking to join the network: https://boardsi.com/registration/
Martin, we are deeply grateful for the inspiring and insightful journey you shared with us at GREY Journal. Your story has left a lasting impact and we would love to stay connected with you and hear about your future endeavors. Your success is something we are rooting for, and we look forward to hearing more about your achievements in the future.