October 23, 2018

Having just returned from the Gazelles ScaleUp Summit in Denver, I am reinvigorated by the exchange of experience and intelligence on leadership. There were strong themes bolstering the importance of focus and building relationships that resonated deeply with my drive for more candor.  Below are the takeaways that I found most compelling as we consider how to grow our leadership and transition from 2018 into 2019.


“Life is a manifestation of where you invest your energy.”
~ Dandapani, Hindu priest, international speaker and entrepreneur

“Do less and then obsess – be really good at one thing.”
~ Morten T. Hansen, management professor at UC, Berkeley, coauthor (with Jim Collins) of Great by Choice, and author of Collaboration and Great at Work

“Make sure you are creating a “Not To-Do List,” and make sure you keep to your promise not to do these things.”
~ Brad Feld, entrepreneur, author, blogger, venture capitalist at Foundry Group, and early investor in Fitbit

“Stop trying to be good at many things – earn your gold medal in one thing for credibility.”
~ Jeff Hoffman, author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Priceline.com

We must continually reevaluate where we are investing our time and energy.  Is what I am/we are doing both valuable and necessary for the core business? Have open, honest dialogue with your team and customers about distractions, what’s unnecessary, and what we can let go of. When we whittle down our goals, strategies and tactics to a laser-like focus on what really matters, we can grow, exceed and excel in our mission.


“Quit being blinded by your own brilliance. Get out of the office. Spend time in the world.”
~ Jeff Hoffman

“Vulnerability is the currency of relationships.”
~ Mo Fathelbab (quoting David Bradford), founder and president of Forum Resources Network, and author of The Friendship Advantage – 7 Keys to Building Relationships that Transform Corporate Culture and Drive Productivity

“Every year evaluate the people that are active in your life. Reallocate your energy between people who uplift you and those that don’t… away from the Energy Vampires.”
~ Dandapani

“Customers will remember the experience they have with a brand or person much longer than the price they paid.”
~ Tiffani Bova, global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce

Build candor and trust by admitting your own vulnerabilities; it allows others to relate to you and to feel comfortable addressing their weaknesses.  Create opportunities for your teams to build relationships among themselves – these are the interpersonal connections that create engagement and longevity. And, ask your teams what they are doing to build relationships with customers.

“We are looking for someone who is obsessed by their idea, who believes they were put on this planet to do this. We also want a company that is beloved by consumers, not beloved by investors.”
~ Brad Feld