Welcome to DORO – Pull Up a Chair
“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head-that’s assault, not leadership.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower
I’m nearing a decade of small business ownership. In the past two years, I’ve added Sideline Pass, a new sports venture to the DORO group, requiring a new focus on my leadership tactics. To do so, I’ve made sure to do two things: Check Myself and Check with Others.
While trying to establish a workable, efficient system like the one Gen. Eisenhower suggests, I’ve had to evaluate my management skills by asking questions. Here are some of my “Check Myself System” questions:
Answering each question honestly, I’m able to determine where the gaps are. For example, I learned that I often assume too much. I asked a project manager to organize information for a database and sent her on her way. Twenty more minutes of Q&A with her would have revealed that she hadn’t created such a resource before and provided her with critical instruction. Point taken. Spending the time up front to set expectations saves fix-it time on the back end.
Then I Check with Others – particularly those who have done it before. I’ve reconnected with my frosh* dorm mate Warren Packard, a successful venture capitalist and entrepreneur who has spent years leading and growing companies. When asked how he created his style, and he quickly replied: “By observation (and by the seat of my pants). I’ve sat on the boards of dozens of companies and observed many leaders and leadership styles, both good and bad. I am hoping to incorporate the best practices from this accumulated experience. I’m still learning about leadership and crossing my fingers that I’m doing a good job, or at least have the intellectual honesty and self-awareness to know when I’m not doing a good job.”
Putting his skills to test with a new company, Thuuz.com, Warren shared his leadership tactics. In no particular order, here they are:
These tactics are on the lists of centuries of leaders, but I’ve learned that I can never hear them enough. Each new project or endeavor requires that a manager strengthen a different skill or tactic. Determining your leadership identity takes time, self-reflection and an open spirit. Spending time to learn about oneself is necessary for growth. Your team will thank you for it.
*Frosh is the Stanford University term for freshman, making the classification gender neutral.