There's no one "right" way to lead a business. Today's leaders have a lot of wisdom to impart about managing the modern workforce, because each one approaches leadership in his or her own unique way. Every week, Business News Daily will share a leadership lesson from a successful business owner or executive.
- The leader: Danielle Applestone, CEO and co-founder of Other Machine Co.
- Time in current position: 3.5 years
- Danielle's philosophy: "Cultivate a team that freely shows appreciation, respects the learning process, and is kind to customers." (Click to tweet)
If you want to do something with a hugely positive impact, you can't do it alone. You need a team of people that really love working together. If you are building something that has never been built before, everyone you hire will not know what they are doing. If you want to create something that will outlast you, every customer needs to be treated with care. They have very long memories, for better or worse.
We've been through so much as a hardware and software company trying to survive in the Valley. We've taken money of every color: government funds, consulting cash, crowdfunding, angel, VC, venture debt and finally, customer dollars. There have been at least half a dozen times this company should have died. But we didn't, and I believe it is because we have been open about our failures, learned quickly, and respected ourselves and our customers. We had faith that if you give your all to something that matters, you will succeed.
I wasn't always the person who spoke up about my ideas. I was sculpted into this person by my mentors. I have been fortunate enough to lean on people who lovingly, yet forcefully, called me out when I was waffling. Some of these people are my peers, and thankfully three of them are on my board. The summary of their advice was: sometimes you really only have one shot. If you spend too long talking quietly, no one will hear you, and you will run out of time.
A bird doesn't care what other people think about its song; it just sings because it feels so good, and that's what it was born to do.