The theme of The Fintech Collectives 7th annual meeting of CEOs and LPs in Brooklyn, New York this afternoon consistently revolved around people. With a panel of highly expert management on stage with Brooks Gibbons (Fintech Collective Founder) we were instore for some great insight.
From the top Courtney McColgan, CEO of Runa, explained that great things are never done by 1 person, it is done by a team of people (this is physically written above her office).
To drive this success you need your management to be onboard. I just finished reading the Barcelona Way (excellent read on the same topic) that talks of collaborative cultures and the need to have shared vision and cultural architects across the business. Courtney supported this by explaining that ultimately your people need to buy into the company vision which is ultimately projected by the founder(s). I also believe this will trickle down and help form your cultural architects who will in turn attract the best talent to your business since they are 'new power' and will have a greater to influence network.
Courtney's business even runs a weekly survey to keep in-check her management's performance (she reads every response).
Dr Jonathan Fader, clinical and sports psychologist explained the need for leaders to show passion, be less transactional in communication and more empathetic. The empathy can be developed through learning methods of self awareness. This is a trait that Fader finds in highly successful leaders.
This inclusive and collaborative culture was supported by Head of People, David Kaplowitz. David explained that he knows a business is headed in a bad direction when he sees a management meeting with multiple seperate meetings happening within, no accountability, individuals focusing on pleasing the CEO only and not putting the time in to build trust.
As someone who has competed in sport at a reasonable level I love the analogies between sport and business work. In sport shared vision is far more common as is a lot of what is mentioned above. When I used to travel with Great Britain Triathlon, although we competed individually we had a vision of a medal tally and importantly there was always enjoyment across the team. You'll see this with performance teams whether sport or business. Giving people control also leads to increased performance/enjoyment (it is how the first cooperative business came about and interestingly is linked to improved mental wellbeing).
Fader made a really good point which is enjoyment and work do not need to be a choice. You can do both and I would recommend for any leader to try and understand how your team can enjoy what they do. To quote my colleague and former Olympic Athlete, Charles Cousins, Love what you do.
To close Brooks explained that one of Fader's concepts is that talent equalises. Hopefully I interpreted this correctly however as Fader went onto explain this is why at the sharp end of a business you need to grasp every 1 percent and having a mental strategy through 'curling the brain' is key so you can focus on the right thing at the right time.
Some great insights into building and managing high performance teams. Looking forward to getting into Fader's book!