Scaling Clean

TigerComm

“Scaling Clean" is an insightful podcast for cleantech CEOs, investors and the people who advise them. Each show, host Mike Casey brings you a deeper look into the minds of influential leaders working to create a new clean economy.

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Episode 8: Al Subbloie
Aug 29 2022
Episode 8: Al Subbloie
Pay attention to this episode, cleantechers, because it’s a good one. As our readers know, we designed the Scaling Clean podcast to bring you management and leadership wisdom from experienced company leaders. We’ve got a heavily experienced growth company CEO for you in this episode who is lighting up the traditionally workhorse energy-efficiency sector.  But first, a bit of context; the climate destruction crisis keeps accelerating, and yet here in the U.S. we waste an astounding 40% of all the electricity we generate. We can and should – build a lot of renewable energy capacity. But if we keep wasting nearly half of what we produce, we’re not going to move the American economy onto a more sustainable footing. That’s why those who are driving outcomes in the workhorse sector of energy efficiency are some of the unsung leaders of the clean economy. And today I get to talk with one of those leaders who is avowedly out to build a profitable company and “save the world” from energy waste by eliminating the friction in energy efficiency. Al Subbloie is the CEO of the energy efficiency as a service company, Budderfly, based in Shelton, Connecticut. Budderfly has 125 employees operating in 49 states with a growth rate of well over 50% for this year. And this is the third company Al’s built. As Al describes it, he “starts companies, and then runs them for a long time.” That’s why I know you’ll find this episode rich in lessons on how to build and run dynamic cleantech companies. Highlights: 5:05 – Boss vs. leaders, and why leaders drive better growth companies. Bosses manages tasks to a specific outcome, a leader develops and hold the vision. 8:26 – There are huge differences in running a clean economy company, because you’re not just trying to drive a company’s profits, but also save the world with the same pace as building the company. That’s an enrolling vision, that makes it easier to lead a team because they have a shared vision. 11:10 – Energy efficiency is a neglected, but profitable opportunity because no one measures energy waste over roughly 45 different things that a building’s owner can do. Each requires the owner writing a check, the reward for which is a utility bill, which is a poorly designed ROI document. 13:43 – The growth-oriented CEO is a leader who sets vision, builds a team to executes, then communicates a lot to several core constituencies, including board members, investors, customers and employees. 17:41 – The energy sector has “awesome” macro dynamics, something you should look for but are hard to steer or influence. 19:32 – How multiple interviews of a candidate help with hiring for skills and cultural alignment, because the combination makes growth much more efficient. And cultures last a long time. Al asks candidates: “What drives you” to test for cultural fit. 23:52 – You’ll always take longer to fire someone than you should have. 29:31 – Energy efficiency is a $250B business opportunity.
Episode 8: Al Subbloie
Aug 29 2022
Episode 8: Al Subbloie
Pay attention to this episode, cleantechers, because it’s a good one. As our readers know, we designed the Scaling Clean podcast to bring you management and leadership wisdom from experienced company leaders. We’ve got a heavily experienced growth company CEO for you in this episode who is lighting up the traditionally workhorse energy-efficiency sector.  But first, a bit of context; the climate destruction crisis keeps accelerating, and yet here in the U.S. we waste an astounding 40% of all the electricity we generate. We can and should – build a lot of renewable energy capacity. But if we keep wasting nearly half of what we produce, we’re not going to move the American economy onto a more sustainable footing. That’s why those who are driving outcomes in the workhorse sector of energy efficiency are some of the unsung leaders of the clean economy. And today I get to talk with one of those leaders who is avowedly out to build a profitable company and “save the world” from energy waste by eliminating the friction in energy efficiency. Al Subbloie is the CEO of the energy efficiency as a service company, Budderfly, based in Shelton, Connecticut. Budderfly has 125 employees operating in 49 states with a growth rate of well over 50% for this year. And this is the third company Al’s built. As Al describes it, he “starts companies, and then runs them for a long time.” That’s why I know you’ll find this episode rich in lessons on how to build and run dynamic cleantech companies. Highlights: 5:05 – Boss vs. leaders, and why leaders drive better growth companies. Bosses manages tasks to a specific outcome, a leader develops and hold the vision. 8:26 – There are huge differences in running a clean economy company, because you’re not just trying to drive a company’s profits, but also save the world with the same pace as building the company. That’s an enrolling vision, that makes it easier to lead a team because they have a shared vision. 11:10 – Energy efficiency is a neglected, but profitable opportunity because no one measures energy waste over roughly 45 different things that a building’s owner can do. Each requires the owner writing a check, the reward for which is a utility bill, which is a poorly designed ROI document. 13:43 – The growth-oriented CEO is a leader who sets vision, builds a team to executes, then communicates a lot to several core constituencies, including board members, investors, customers and employees. 17:41 – The energy sector has “awesome” macro dynamics, something you should look for but are hard to steer or influence. 19:32 – How multiple interviews of a candidate help with hiring for skills and cultural alignment, because the combination makes growth much more efficient. And cultures last a long time. Al asks candidates: “What drives you” to test for cultural fit. 23:52 – You’ll always take longer to fire someone than you should have. 29:31 – Energy efficiency is a $250B business opportunity.
Episode 8: Kimberlee Centera
Aug 15 2022
Episode 8: Kimberlee Centera
We designed Scaling Clean to bring you wisdom from clean technology leaders, and this episode won’t disappoint.  Host Mike Casey speak to Kimberlee Centera, President and CEO of TerraPro Solutions. Kimberlee is a trailblazer in the renewable energy sector who has helped build over 10,000 renewable energy projects in the U.S. alone. She can accurately be described as an “OC,” an “original clean-techer,” and has been involved in land-use questions her entire professional life.  If you look up “breadth of development” experience on Wikipedia, Kimberlee’s photo ought to be the visual. That’s why we were thrilled to have Kimberlee on Scaling Clean.  Here are the highlights for our conversation with this long-time cleantech leader: 5:35 – It’s tough to address weaknesses while developing your leadership skills, but it can be an opportunity to build your strengths. 8:00 – Ask your boss how they see your growth. Don’t assume they are paying attention. 9:20 – The work world has changed – but not enough – for women since Centera started her career. 16:00 – Clean economy’s volatility and risk make it different than working in more mature sectors. 18:40 – How corporate values makes hiring easier, and why you can’t coach character. 24:16 – Key advice for the new CEO: There’s power in humility and listening. Talk last in the meeting. 29:15 – Innovations + new talent coming into cleantech inspire Centera to be an optimist about the future of the clean economy. Thanks for listening. Like and subscribe to Scaling Clean wherever you listen to podcasts. And leave a review to tell us what you think.