Watch: "Kauffman Sketchbook: 'Tried and True'" | 3:19
Jim McGraw knew Ewing and Muriel Kauffman for nearly 30 years. As chief operating officer with Marion Laboratories he worked alongside Mr. Kauffman to grow the Kansas City company by leaps and bounds to become one of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical firms. When Mr. Kauffman’s thoughts turned to his philanthropy, McGraw joined a trusted circle of Mr. K’s associates to help shape the Kauffman Foundation’s approach and focus. They put pieces in place as Ewing Kauffman established a Foundation devoted to improving educational outcomes and advancing entrepreneurial success.
Along the way, McGraw worked with aspiring and established entrepreneurs and identified the common pitfalls that can stand in the way of their success. He offers practical, simple, but often overlooked principles, saying clarity of direction, clarity of organization, and clarity of measurement should guide any enterprise.
“You need to be a straight shooter. You force people to analyze their situation and be honest with themselves,” McGraw says. “It's not that complicated, but people make it complicated because they don't deal with the obvious, basic questions.”
McGraw shares his insights and tried and true lessons for entrepreneurs in the newest installment of the Kauffman Sketchbook series.