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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leadership

This was no humdrum panel discussion on what it means to be a leader in your organization. It was a candid conversation with 4 CEOs from tech, life science and non-profit sectors who found themselves opting out of their corporate jobs to start their own ventures. These CEOs--Steve Delity (Rapid Micro Biosystems), Anderew Paradise (AisleBuyer LLC), Brad Rosen (Drync LLC), and Vishal Talreja (Dream a Dream) each had unique paths to entrepreneurship but all seemed to take notice of a problem or an injustice and invest themselves in the solution. Whether dissatisfaction with big company aversion to change, an unwillingness to accept entrenched poverty and social economic class divides or inefficiencies in everyday life like the long checkout line at the grocery store, each of these CEOs had defining moments in their lives that lead them to start companies that would solve real world problems. In an interview style discussion, Anu kept the conversation moving, touching on every area of starting a new venture while encouraging the panel getting to the heart of the issues, which in some cases meant going off the record… But for the record, some key advice:
• Seek out and cultivate relationships with mentors, getting advice on a regular basis is critical, even once a month. Different mentors with different expertise will be import in each phases of the company.
• Early on, don’t focus on too many things, just one: when, where and how are you are going to compete, and then execute around that differentiating quality or factor (it’s 1% idea, 99% execution).
• On hiring, wait and hire the best. Don’t hire anyone who doesn’t get excited about the vision. (can you trust them with your baby?)
The evening ended with a question: how effective are you as a leader? The answer came in the form of a question that seemed universal no matter what you do—mobile app, med device, profit or non-profit—has it made a difference in someone’s life?

1 comment:

Ritu Dayal said...

This is a very interested article. Effective leaders are not born with the gift of knowing how to lead. Rather, they gain experience, they absorb knowledge, they see and listen to the world around them - both inside the organization and beyond.

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