Guest: Roger Zalneraitis has learned how to be a CEO through “trial by fire.” And what’s gotten him through tough challenges is being nimble. Roger is the CEO of MODSTREET, a manufacturing company that build outdoor parklets for restaurants and city municipalities. Before joining MODSTREET, he spent over 15 years in community and economic development. Roger utilizes his economic development experience to help MODSTREET’s clients shape their communities, making them more outdoor-friendly.
Roger holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Virginia Tech.
Episode in a Tweet: One of the biggest challenges of being a first-time CEO is scaling your expectations and skills as the company grows and matures.
Quick Background: Roger Zalneraitis is a first-time CEO determined to build his company and become a leader worth following. After joining MODSTREET in early 2021, he’s learned just how hard yet rewarding it is to scale a startup. During our conversation, Roger shares how being nimble has helped him overcome the challenges that startups often face. He candidly tells us how he’s grown in his role and how learning by making mistakes has made him resilient.
I’ve known Roger for many years and hired him as the Executive Director for the La Plata Economic Development Alliance back in 2011 when I was the board president. I’ve watched Roger grow as a person and leader and was thrilled when he and the co-founders of MODSTREET asked me to join their Board of Directors.
My favorite line from Roger’s interview is this – “Some of the things that I thought were a challenge when I first started are things I look at now and say, “whatever!” I look forward to new challenges because it means I’m growing as a leader.”
I can relate. I rarely get worked up about much these days, and it comes from dealing with difficult situations repeatedly. The more adversity you overcome, the less adverse things feel over time.
Roger leaves us with excellent advice at the show’s end, reminding us that we don’t have to have all the answers as leaders. We don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. Instead, we should lead with humility because that’s what makes us leaders worth following.
You can find out more about MODSTREET here: https://modstreet.co/
You can find Roger on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roger-zalneraitis-1899045/
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