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Leadership Lessons: Derek Flanzraich, CEO of Greatist

Nicole Fallon

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: Derek Flanzraich, founder and CEO of Greatist
  • Time in current position: 5 years
  • Derek's philosophy: "I think in terms of mission and vision first — and I refuse to take any compromises or shortcuts to get there." (Click to tweet)

Flanzraich explains the experiences that helped form his personal leadership philosophy:

I grew up struggling with my weight, frustrated I couldn't find a health brand that could empower me to get better instead of making me feel like I was never enough. I've been on a crazy mission ever since: To help millennials think of health in a healthier way by building a new, authentic, inspiring healthy living brand. This is no easy feat. Both the magnitude of our responsibility and the importance of our opportunity is why I've taken such a careful, purposeful approach to every step of the process since we launched Greatist five years ago.

There's no logic in signing up for the excruciating journey of founding a business unless you deeply, profoundly want that business to last. I'm proud to call myself a heart-driven founder and prouder to be building the company I most wished existed growing up. That's why building this thing right is so important.

Nothing is more important to me than building the best long-term business without compromising our culture or brand. I approach the process of developing this company and its employees with absolute care and caution. When we hire at Greatist, we look for people that live our core values already — they're authentic to themselves, they're relentlessly working to improve, they're fun, and they're seeking a mission, not just a job. We trust and invest in our employees tremendously and I think, in return, that encourages the same investment in both our brand and the mission. Our employees make the company what it is, not the other way around.

I started this company because I strove to build something that mattered, something that I'd be proud to share with the world. I never could have done it or survived it alone. That's why we believe the faster our team members grow, the faster Greatist grows.

Nicole Fallon Member
Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.