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Pushing Beyond Comfort Zones

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Mitch Rothschild is the chief executive of Vitals , a website that connects patients with doctors and medical facilities. Adam Bryant from the New York Times sat down with Rothschild to discuss his early lessons from managing people, his leadership style, and how he hires. Here are some great points from the article:

  • Developing personal connections with your employees can be emotionally draining: “You always want to be one of those leaders who care deeply about their staff and look after them, but at some point you have to make the shift and say you’re going to do the right thing for the business.”
  • Don’t always assume that people know everything“People just have this incredible thirst to be connected, and they need multiple reinforcing points of communication. I have to remind myself over and over not to assume that everyone knows something.”
  • Seek out a meritocracy: “If you find a meritocracy and you’re highly ambitious and you want to drive your career forward, then nothing’s going to get in your way.”
  • Don’t wear “busy” as a badge of honor: “We’ve become crazy about being crazy, and I’m stunned at how many people are absolutely exhausting themselves. It’s important to figure out how to be ruthlessly efficient and disciplined with your time, and do only those hings that matter.”

To read the article in it’s entirely, click here.

A Job Description is Just the Beginning

susan story

Susan Story is the chief executive of American Water, a public utility company operating in the United States and Canada. In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Story opened up about her work philosophies that helped her achieve corporate success:

  • Every person deserves respect: “[N]o matter how bad things get, it’s about working hard and taking personal responsibility, because nobody owes you anything.”
  • In life and in work: “It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you react to it.”
  • A job description is just the beginning: “It’s about doing the job but also looking around for what’s not getting done that would bring value. When I would raise my hand, it was appreciated.”
  • Listening is key: “Listening on the front lines is one of the most important things I can do… If you really want to know what’s going on, you get out there and you listen to folks on the front lines.”
  • Focus on doing the best job you can where you are: “One thing I’ve done in my career is to never look at what the next job is going to be. I go in thinking this could be my last job, and I’m going to be the best I can at it.”

Click here to view the full article from the New York Times.

Adopting a “Subcontractor” Approach to Managing

Paula Long

Paula Long is the CEO of DataGravity, a data management firm based out of New Hampshire that emphasizes mutual accountability. In a recent interview with Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Long spoke about her unique management techniques, the importance of mutual accountability, and her interesting approach to interviewing. Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • After you become a manager, nobody really works for you. In fact, you really work for them.
  • It’s your job to help people be successful; it’s not your job to make them successful.
  • It’s important to assert what you’re good at and why it matters.
  • Work out when it’s OK to micromanage, and when it’s not.
  • Consider a “subcontractor” approach to managing. By creating individual, contract-like, relationships between staff and managers, each party approaches the contract agreeing to put in equal amounts of effort in good faith.
  • When it comes to interviewing, consider asking “stupid questions” to see how a candidate answers. Try making false statements to see if a candidate corrects you, or pick a fight to see how they react to conflict.
  • When advising college graduates, Long emphasizes that it’s OK not to know what you want to do. Don’t cut off the ability to explore. Remember, it’s harder to explore as you get older as you have different commitments.

Click here to view the interview in full.