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18 Principles on Leadership and Culture

Over the last 15 years, I have served in the non-profit world and co-founded several for-profit businesses. I have led hundreds of people in the process, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Here are 18 leadership principles that have transformed how I lead teams: No One Is Above the Culture You cannot build a strong culture unless everyone submits to its values and norms. No one gets a free pass because of their position, productivity, or tenure. People will not respect or follow hypocritical leaders. 2. Leadership is About Serving Selfish leaders believe that leadership is all about […]

3 Stages of Leadership

Being CEO of a quickly growing company is hard, and each growth stage requires a different type of leadership. To succeed, you will have to excel in the roles of: Player Player/Coach Coach Here’s what I have learned about high-growth organizational leadership. Stage 1: Player In the earliest days of any company, the founders are doing all of the work. There is no extra money to hire others, and you have to be ready to grind. Being a player means late nights, tactical tasks, often feeling overwhelmed, and lots of learning. During this stage, you build high competency in execution […]

Text and Subtext

One simple truth that redefined my understanding of leadership: Values aren’t defined by what a leader says or the words in a mission statement. Values are expressed by the reality of what a team rewards, celebrates, and sacrifices. Some thoughts on the concept of the principle of “text” and “subtext”. On December 2nd, 2011 Enron Energy Company went bankrupt. In the following days, pervasive accounting fraud and manipulation at the company were revealed. Arthur Anderson was their lead accounting firm. Anderson had annualized revenues of around 10 billion before the scandal. The evidence in the Enron bankruptcy was so damning […]

Why Simple Modern Exists

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