The word “managers” is through about and often seen as interchangeable with the word “leaders.” However, the concept of “leaders vs. managers” must be seen as different. Today’s guest is Naveen Jain, Founder, and CEO at Viome. Viome Life Sciences was founded in 2016 with a mission to make illness optional by predicting, reversing, and preventing chronic diseases, cancer, and aging through a deeper understanding of an individual’s biology. Naveen has a unique take on leaders vs. managers to help you understand the differences. Tune in to this powerful interview to spot the signs of those differences.
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Naveen Jain: The Transcript
About: Naveen is an intensely curious entrepreneur who is focused on ideas that will push humanity forward. He is the author of the award-winning book Moonshots: Creating a World of Abundance. His current moonshot adventures are Viome and Moon Express. As a serial entrepreneur, he previously founded InfoSpace, Intelius, and TalentWise. Viome’s singular mission is to “make illness optional.” Viome has built an AI-driven platform that analyzes the interaction between food, our microbiome, and our human cells in order to develop precision nutrition to prevent and reverse chronic diseases. Moon Express is the only company globally with permission to harvest resources from the moon—developing the infrastructure needed to push humanity forward towards a true multi-planetary society.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
Naveen Jain: [00:00:00] Leaders are the ones who ignite passion in each individual for them to be at their best. The leaders are the ones who align every person with the call that we all stand for. Whereas the managers are essentially using the resources which are finite and manage those resources. To get the best outcome, not necessarily best in each individual, the best outcome for the company. And managers spend to keep the loyalty of the person to themselves. Whereas a great leader aligns the loyalty, the cause, or the mission.
Intro: Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs, the fastest-growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?
Gene Hammett: Today we look at the big concept of leaders versus managers. And you may think that they’re the same thing inside your company because you call them the same or you use that word [00:01:00] interchangeably, but there’s a very big difference between leaders and managers that we’re going to talk about today. And we are going to do that with the multitalented the ever passionate Naveen Jain. Naveen Jain is the founder of Viome. He’s also a founder and investor in moon express and InfoSpace he has been incredibly successful with his career. And most certainly what he’s doing with Viome is this most passionate work because he’s setting out to change the world and really help people go from having chronic diseases to that being a matter of choice. Not something that just bad luck. And he does this through a lot of different techniques in the very start of the interview. He goes through a good bit of how Viome is tackling this complex problem and making sure the world is a better place because of it. But we’re not here to talk about Viome specifically.
We’re here to talk about leaders versus managers. This whole concept will change the way you look at developing people and selecting people to be the leaders of your company. Managers are people that are able to take [00:02:00] resources. And get specific outcomes and really help you get things done. And you may sound like that sounds incredible, but leaders are those that can ignite the passion in others and align people to the cause. And there really is a lot more depth around that inside the interview with Naveen Jain, if you are on your own personal journey to be an extraordinary leader. We look at leadership in many different ways, but if you want to know what your game plan is to really get to the heart of you being the best leader you can be and not feeling the pressure and not filling all of the things that keep you from being the best leader you can be, then make sure you check out all the content we have at GeneHammett.Com. If you want a call with me, the game plan, call, we’ll help you get exactly what you need and have clarity about what’s standing in your way. Of driving more growth, increasing the value of the company, and being an extraordinary leader. Just go to GeneHammett.com. I’d love to help you in any way I can.
Now here’s the interview with Naveen.
Naveen, how are you?
Naveen Jain: I’m absolutely amazing.
Gene Hammett: Well, I am excited to have you on the show before you were on maybe about 18 [00:03:00] months ago, we talked about moonshots and we talked about Viome catch us up on where you are with Viome today.
Naveen Jain: Well, first of all, you know, I just said that 18 months is a lifetime in a, in a, in a startup company where the things are growing exponentially. literally exponentially. So, you know, 18 months ago, we were simply analyzing the gut microbiome to understand what is causing people to have various types of chronic diseases. And then we realized that that was only part of the puzzle. The other part that we’re not analyzing was. How does these microbial activities are changing the human host? That means how are we being impacted it’s, how is our immune system reacting? How is it our cellular health? How did the mitochondrial health, how all of them are, how are they connected to our microbial activities in our gut and in our mouth. And so we started to not vote the, analyze your blood that allows us to look at the human gene expression and look at the stool that allows us to look at all of the gut microbial activities.
As I did last time, we are the only company in the world that [00:04:00] actually looks at what microbes are producing or what genes are expressed in the human body. Not what genes you have. And the gene, as you know, I’m not gene back to gene, not no pun intended. Your genes never change when you develop chronic diseases. Like if I can do your DNA test today, and then you get 400 pounds, you still have the same DNA. Now you have diabetes. Now you have heart disease. Now you have depression. Now you have anxiety. Now you have Alzheimer none of the things change your genes. What is constantly changing your gene expression. And we are the only company that actually looks at these and modernized our gene expression that tells us what is happening in the human body. What’s happening in your gut and then like putting them all together with a massively ditch matter data, we are able to now predict met 30 different diseases before they happen. So every time you do a test, we can tell you, are you moving towards the disease? You’re moving away from a disease. Where are you in terms of people who have a disease versus you?
And then the third part of so first thing, our focus really has been on prevention of chronic disease. [00:05:00] Can we prevent these chronic diseases from happening. And it turns out that, unlike infectious diseases, you can wake up one day and have a COVID. You can’t wake up one day and say, honey, I think I was out late night for the boys. I think I might’ve bought diabetes. You don’t catch diabetes. You don’t wake up in the morning. I think, honey, I think I caught obesity last night. No, you’ve been fed for a long time. You don’t get any of these diseases you don’t get depression. These are the diseases that happen over a long period of time. And the interesting thing is our life. In fact, the foods we consume are the major factor in developing these diseases. So if you look at the human genes, they haven’t evolved in the last a hundred years. If they, you know, tens of thousands of years to have a small evolutionary thing in the genes. But if you look at the epidemic of chronic diseases, more people now are obese. More people have diabetes, more people have got different types of cancer. More people have mental health. You can’t see somehow we are different human beings. [00:06:00] It is our lifestyle choices that are making us sick. So our first thing was what if we can analyze what’s happening in your body value?
Don’t eat broccoli, don’t eat spinach, don’t eat lentils, eat this, don’t eat these foods. And here’s why. Eat this food and here is why. And then what we did was very interestingly, we say your body, let these following nutrients, you need 22 milligrams of elderberry. You need 17 milligrams of calcium and everyday unit 79 milligrams of Emily’s every day. And literally, we make those capitals for you for each person on demand every month as your body’s nutrients need changing. We actually adjust your supplements every single time and ship them to you on demand. Every capsule is made just for you and only you. And there’s nothing premium right now. Having done all of that, we were able to now say, okay, we can prevent, hopefully, everyone who comes to us early enough, we can prevent these diseases. But lots of people came to us late and say, can we not predict that you’re [00:07:00] going to have a disease before you do. And the third part of our business is early diagnostics. So we now, in fact, just got, this is a recent news FDA breakthrough device designation, to be able to detect stage one, stage two oral cancer and throat cancer, simply with your spit, just to spit in a tube. And we can tell you, you have it canceled or you don’t, whether it’s a throat cancer, oral cancer. And now we are working on extending that’s alive on liquid biopsy, simply with your saliva to be able to detect breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, head neck, shoulder cancer, your high insulin.
Our thinking is that we’ll be able to make these diagnoses very, very early before you see any symptoms. Imagine if you’re able to diagnose Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s 20 years before you see the symptoms, right? And the fourth part of our business is prognostic. Now, now that you are sick and you have a disease, can we predict which drug is going to work for you and which drug is not going to work for you? In fact, we just published in the [00:08:00] paper on when you have a diabetes, we can predict if you take Metformin, is it going to work for you or not? And now we are working with several pharma companies to be able to predict when you have a cancer, whether you take immunotherapy, is this going to work for you or not? Is chemotherapy going to work for you or not? Is this particular drug is going to work for your auto-immune disease or not? And the last part of our business is therapeutic scan. We actually not. And none of the stuff that in the marketplace is going to cure you.
Can we come up with a preseason vaccine? Pre-seasoned phages, pre-season drugs designed just for you to be able to cure what’s ailing you. And we currently have two, two indications that we’re working with a pharma company on one is a vaccine for an autoimmune disease. And one needs a vaccine for cancer. So imagine that someday you’ll be able to take a vaccine to prevent from having a tensor or reverse the cancer that you already have. And that’s really, so from Viome perspective, we are really looking from prevention, prediction, early diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutics. And there you have it in the next year.
Gene Hammett: [00:09:00] Well, that’s very complex, but what I take away from that is you’re on the cutting edge of the change of our entire health industry with cycles that you’re developing with your team and all the analysis and the diagnosis and what you do from that and the information, the data that you have. So I really appreciate you walking us through that. Viome is something I believe in. So I sent my test in and I really can’t wait to get back the results. When you, when you’re thinking about all the things you just talked about, the impact of. Naveen you came here before we talked about not only you starting the business and the mission behind this. And give us just to kind of take you wrote the book on moonshot. What is a moonshot? Just the short version here is to get into the real topic.
Naveen Jain: So the moonshots are these audacious ideas on the surface. They look difficult if not impossible. And those tasks are the ones that fundamentally if successful can move the humanity forward. So I look at moonshots at these grand challenges that are facing humanity that are 10 at, from where the, where the things are today. That means if you take anything [00:10:00] that you find and you can make it 100 X better. That is your moonshot.
Gene Hammett: Love it. Now, in order to do that, what you talked about before was you had to be able to invite people on this mission with you this cause, and you had to be able to lead them appropriately because if not, you won’t be able to achieve this and they won’t be able to be a part of it. And so I was asking you about, what would we talk about if you came back on the show and you said, I think really intelligent. I’m going to, I’m going to prompt you here a little bit. When you talk about managers versus leaders, And then a leadership. What do you see the big difference there?
Naveen Jain: And I think Gene, you know, the leaders are the ones who ignite passion in each individual for them to be at their best. The leaders are the ones who aligns every person with the call that we all stand for. Whereas the managers are essentially using the resources which are finite and manage those resources. To get the best outcome, not necessarily best in each individual, the best outcome for the [00:11:00] company. And managers spend to keep the loyalty of the person to themselves. Whereas a great leader aligns the loyalty, the cause, or the mission. And one of the things that Gene that you and I never talked about in the past, I’m going to check it. I have now created this framework that every time I started it. Neither. I call a moonshot, a moonshot idea. I asked myself the question, why this, why now, why me?
And once you can actually frame that everything you do in life, that, that suddenly you start find what side to why this is really simple. That’s it, God forbid, you’re actually successful in solving the problem that you set out to do. Would it somehow help a billion people live a better life? And it’s not because I’m philanthropic because we know if you can improve 1 billion people’s lives, you can create a hundred billion dollar com and that’s the trickiest. How do you go find a problem? That is so massive. But when it is successful, it actually moves the needle for the humanity. The second question you ask [00:12:00] yourself is why now, why now is critical of all the things you do in life? Timing is the most important part. And here, the question you ask yourself is what had changed in the last two years, but more importantly, what do you expect to change in the next three to five years?
That will allow you to solve this problem now than it was possible. Say decades, because are you using tomorrow’s model’s technologies to solve tomorrow’s problem, or you’re looking at yesterday’s technology to solve tomorrow’s problem. Right? So in this case, you look at what technologies are on the financial curve and are, will you be able to intercept them to solve the problem that has been unsolvable for decades? The last question is the most important question you ask. Which is why me that needs, what questions am I asking? Which are different from what everyone else in the industry is asking? Because the questions you ask is the problem you solve. If you’re asking the same questions, you’re solving the same problem in the same way that anyone else is doing it, and you will become a common. And I can apply this principle [00:13:00] to while I can apply the same principle to a more depressed. And literally, you can see how it works in the case of while we see what, if we can prevent and reverse chronic diseases, would it help a billion people live the better life? Answer what? 7.4 billion people check why now, but to solve this problem, you have to be able to sequence digitize the human body, to be able to decode the human body with massive processing, to be able to decipher the human body with powerful AI.
And we realize that in the next two, three years, that will be there affordable and it will be become common phenomena versus it was possible a decade ago. Why me was the most important part. What everyone, as I mentioned was focused on looking at the human DNA. We said, no, it is going to be the human RNA that will allow us to understand the chronic disease, not the human DNA. And that shift allowed us to solve the problem that no one else has solved. Right. And you can apply that to others. You’re dating someone. You ask yourself. Why? Why, why heart? Why now? Why me?
Commentary: Now, hold on for a second. Naveen just said why me now there was a [00:14:00] lot of questions inside of that, a little bit of a rant, but he talked about why me and what would your answer be to the why me? Why are you the leader of this company and driving this forward? Are you willing to challenge your own beliefs and thoughts? Are you willing to shift your mindset, to become the person that can lead this company to the next level? Because all of the things that you have been doing and all of the decisions you’ve made and all of the systems that you’ve put in place. And the people you’ve hired have given you the results that you are today, you have to be willing to shift to a higher level, to be more focused, to be more aligned, to be the leader that your team really deserves. Now, I say this to you because if you want to create something bigger than you’re creating right now, you want to get results that you don’t have yet you have to shift to a higher level. I can help you do that, but you gotta be willing to write. And say, I want to have a conversation just go to GeneHammett.com and I’d love to talk to you about what’s next for you and your leadership back to Naveen.
Gene Hammett: Yeah. I love the simplicity of those questions, but the depth behind it is where the power is, and really [00:15:00] understanding it and really going beyond that surface level. So you’re a deep person I know, from our previous conversation. Someone who could see this Viome capability. You know, I know you got this from, from some other companies that created technology that didn’t know what they had, and you were able to see new uses for this technology. And that’s the reason why you’re creating this momentum today inside Viome. I want to go back to something that you said about leadership. Igniting the passion and people. Yeah. What are your best strategies or tips for igniting the passion and people that people just don’t aren’t aware of.
Naveen Jain: I think it’s really simple. If people actually believe that they’re not doing the things for you, they’re doing the things for a cause that they are willing to die for. That means, can you essentially give them a north star or a mission that they believe is worth dying for, then they live for it, right? Can you actually show them the things they do every day? How that will change the lives of billions of people around them. And I think in a way, the [00:16:00] interesting thing is the best and the brightest in the world want to work on the toughest problems. People who are successful want to work on something that will make them significant, what would be that legacy-making things that they, you can give them a task to work on. And how you attract the best and the brightest, you become the magnet for talent. When you have a problem, that is what solving, right? So if you can tell them, Hey, I’m going to work on an iPhone app that will help you find a roommate. People say, go enjoy, have fun. Then you see, Hey, I’m going to work on things that are fundamental, getting rid of cancer can get rid of chronic disease. And by the way, you can have a healthy aging people said, Holy cow, I want to be part of that.
What can I do to align my passion with that mission? And that’s how you get people to be at their best because now did jump out of the bed every single morning. Wanting to solve the problem and the way you know, for yourself that are you working on something that you’re willing to die for it when you wake up in the morning [00:17:00] and you don’t jump out of the bed, whatever you’re doing, you should quit that day. It’s not your calling. Cause then you find your calling. You don’t lay around in the bed, jump out of the bed, wanting to do it.
Gene Hammett: I think that you’re working on something that you know, let’s just say in simple terms is curing chronic diseases, for example, cancer, diabetes, and things like that. And that’s impacted, my family. It’s probably impacted your family. It’s probably impacted every listener, hears family in some way. And so you have designed the company with a mission in mind first. But there’s a lot of people listening in here that don’t have a mission, a north star it’s alike that. What would you say to leaders that haven’t really jelled that mission and north star for their company, that, that would align people to something bigger than just the work.
Naveen Jain: And I think. People mistake from what they are doing with the fundamentally, what could that be? So people tend to focus on what the world is, not the word can be just to give you an example, right? So let’s assume I’m working on something as trivial, as NFTs, [00:18:00] right? Nephi’s that non-fungible tokens or crypto and people say, what is it, how is that going to move the humanity forward? And you still think for a second, what. We can get rid of all the things that exist today, just to create a basic trust among people. Right? So what is that? What is the non-fungible token is this fundamental record of what just happened that needs now I don’t need to create many of the things today that people need to actually have a record of the things. Right. For example, today when I buy something. I have to have a record of my deed that didn’t really need to exist anymore. If it is as a non-fungible token, everyone can see it right now. If I create an idea, I, why do I need a patient? Why do I need a kid, mom, if I can show in public, this is my idea. This is what I own.
And I created on this date. You don’t need the some office to actually do a bit in trademark. My point is everything you do today. You have to see it is a ISTEP word, the word you want [00:19:00] to create. So always describe the word to people when they are you’re hiding. What would that world look like when you are done? So focus on to give the people an idea and describe them in vivid details, what that wall they’re working towards. So yesterday they may be working on something really small, but that’s a stepping stone to the next big thing that that’ll be become the stepping stone with this new future that you want to create and everyone can align with that.
Gene Hammett: I think you did that really well. I want to bring this home for everyone listening in on leadership versus managers. And one of the things that you said that we haven’t really talked about much is managers create loyalty to themselves. Whereas leadership is creating loyalty to the cause. Give us a little depth around what that means and how it plays out inside of our organizations as we continue to grow.
Naveen Jain: So think about it. A good manager is concerned where everyone says, I want to work for tasters. Good management, right? Because they are now everyone believes in [00:20:00] them. They are. And make sure that, you know, people get their raises, people get their options. And now they’re basically using what we call finite resources of money equity, to give it to these people who are actually performing. So you say, if you work hard and perform well, I’ll give you a higher salary. I’ll give you more equity. And that’s how the great managers are created the rewarding, the high performers, and they are letting go of low performance. Without understanding why is the low performer is a low performer. You’re not giving them a task that actually ignites their passion. And lot of the times I’ve seen you move people from one place to another place and they hide. I mean, why is it the same person in India is not working hard. And somehow that person comes to America and he said, they are the hardest worker. What has changed? What has changed is a simple and wireman that allows the person to hide in that end.
So great leaders create an environment where every individual cries, they don’t wake up in the morning and say, I want to go work for [00:21:00] Naveen. They say, I want to go solve this problem of a chronic disease. And whether it’s Naveen is there today and the, he leaves and there is going to be a new leader. It doesn’t matter. We are all working towards a purpose that is our purpose, and he just happens to be a quarterback. That’s putting it all together.
Gene Hammett: You are amazing in all of this. You have been here the second time. I’m sure you’ll come again because there’ll be an update to Viome that we need to talk about at some future. So you have an open invitation. I really appreciate you sharing your insights on leadership versus managers and really what that means. Naveen I really can’t say enough how much I appreciate your wisdom here.
Naveen Jain: Thank you. Thank you to you, Gene. I appreciate it.
Gene Hammett: Now we just wrapped up an incredible interview with Naveen. One of the things I’m taking away from this is the distinction between leaders versus managers. Specifically, leaders are people who inspire loyalty to the cause. Whereas managers inspire loyalty to themselves. Now think about that for a second. Do you want your people to be aligned and passionate and really take ownership of making the [00:22:00] cause possible? Or do you want them to have loyalty to the person that they are looking up to? Well, I know the answer inside my company, and I know that probably the answer for you. You want them to be leaders. You want them to have that loyalty to the cause. So inside this episode really helps you unpack that.
Now, if you’re concerned about how do you play a stronger game, how do you really ignite people to play their best, to set up that environment, to be the kind of leader that your people are craving to make sure you check out the game plan. All you have to do is schedule a call with me. The next thing that you want to do is go ahead and go to GeneHammett.com go to schedule your call, and I’d love to talk to you about what your next step is in leadership. Many of the conversations I have with leaders really help them understand what’s getting in the way of their leadership.
And sometimes it’s something that they’re not talking about with their family, their board, their peer groups. They only want to talk about this with our coach. Now, I want to be that person for you as a sounding board, to help you understand where you’re going to reflect that back. Just go to GeneHammett.com and schedule your call. [00:23:00]
Thanks for listening in to the podcast. When you think of growth and you think of leadership, think of Growth Think Tank. As always lead with courage. We’ll see you next time.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
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