Who's the Boss? - Chip Lindgren

Chip Lindgren has run AG Scientific, Inc. since founding it in 1995, and he has seen a lot over those 20+ years! In this Q&A, we ask the CEO what it's like to be the boss of a life science company in the 21st century.

What made you want to start your own business?

With the experience I gained with starting up a facility, it basically was at a point where either I was going to work for the man or I was going to jump into the pool and take a chance at starting my own business, so that was the biggest reason that made me jump.

What is your favorite thing about being a CEO?

I'm not bound to any rules... I knew I wasn't going to grow as fast, but that I was going to be independent.

What is the toughest thing about being a CEO?

You have to make tough decisions. That includes hiring and firing - and those are tough decisions, but you have to be looking at the broader picture of corporate health.

With what you know now, what advice would you give to the past version of yourself that was just starting the business?

I think the biggest lesson I've learned in the company is that I can't do it all. I have to be able to share and delegate responsibilities, and I think over the years, I've learned this role maybe not as quickly as I could have. I'm somewhat of an Type-A personality, where I have to control every thing, and as the company has grown, I have recognized I have to release responsibilities for the organization to grow.

How do you motivate your staff?

I try to make an environment first that is multicultural- that is an important thing to me. I grew up in New England, in Rhode Island, where I think there were 3 minorities in high school. So, when I came out here, it was a really melting pot. And it was something that added a definite diversity to the culture, to the environment, community, so I tried to embrace that as a quality in the office as well.

 

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