CEO BrainFood

023 Mastering The Great Game with Jack Stack

Episode Summary

Welcome to CEO Brain Food, a show aimed at providing key insights, fresh perspectives, and proven tools that CEOs can apply to build enterprise value, generate higher profits and develop the talent needed to succeed in their businesses. In this episode of CEO Brain Food, Michael invites author, strategist, and Founder, President and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation, Jack Stack on to discuss his experience as a pioneer of leadership through open-book management. Michael and Jack talk about The Great Game of Business as well as Jack’s latest book, Change The Game. They expound on the importance of forecasting, critical numbers, and job creation. Finally, Jack shares his thoughts on the state of the economy as well as his predictions for the year ahead.

Episode Notes

01:01 – Michael introduces today’s guest, Jack Stack

04:21 – Jack’s origin story and the goal of The Great Game of Business

14:25 – The importance of forward-thinking forecasting

20:29 – The secret sauce of The Great Game of Business

27:50 – The importance of the critical number

34:14 – Jack speaks to a story in his latest book, Change The Game

38:03 – The importance of creating jobs

39:59 – Michael and Jack discuss the value of culture

45:13 – Jack provides some final observations and takeaways on business

49:34 – Jack talks about the state of the economy

53:57 – Michael thanks Jack for joining the show and for the great work that he’s doing

54:23 – Where listeners can follow Jack

56:08 – Where to find Michael’s Functional Team Scorecard


“I began to realize there’s two ways of leading a company. One is by a product and service and then one is these people look at the company from a totally different set of metrics. I’m trying to make a precision flywheel and they’re trying to make a precision balance sheet.” (07:26)

“If you’re not creating new businesses in your companies right now, your survival’s gonna be very very small in the future.” (21:38)

“If you can forecast, you can actually control the world.” (24:40)

“You need sales. There’s no question you need sales, ok? But sales without margins is just more work.” (33:04)

“Selling EBITDA is like selling a house with only one bathroom.” (39:34)

“When you appeal to the highest level of thinking, you get the highest level of performance.” (45:47)


Michael’s LinkedIn

Michael’s Website

The Functional Team Scorecard

Jack’s LinkedIn

Jack’s Website


Jack’s Books – The Great Game of Business & Change The Game

Get In The Game