Aspiriant’s CEO: Give others the space to make mistakes

Rob Francais

Rob Francais learned about sales and customer service at the young age of seven, working swap meets in Orange County, Calif., with his father.

At 11, he was running his own stand and figuring out that mistakes aren’t the worst things that can happen in business.

Today, at 49, the chief executive of Aspiriant, one of nation’s largest registered investment advisers with $8 billion in assets, believes in giving his employees the space to learn from their mistakes, too.

Mr. Francais says he’s no longer trying to prove he’s a good leader; instead, he’s focused on giving the firm’s 132 employees a sense of purpose.
He’s found that one great approach is letting clients speak for themselves.
As for his own greatest challenge — time management — Mr. Francais has found his way around this deficiency.

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