Since joining Quick Base in May, CEO Ed Jennings has leaned on his years of experience in software to lead Quick Base on its new phase of growth. Throughout his experience, and especially the rapid changes of the last few months, Ed has certainly picked up a lot of lessons about leadership.
Ed recently spoke with Authority Magazine on his tips for fellow transformation leaders and his leadership style. Here are three top tips from Ed in his interview:
While Ed mentions that he is a “data-driven person,” it’s important to be able to lean on your people and give them agency to understand the full picture of your organization. “You have to lean on the people and teams that are closest to the day-to-day business to get the extra color that’s needed for truly informed decision making,” as Ed puts it. “And you ultimately need their buy-in, or at least understanding, to become a leader they respect.”
Further, one big mistake leaders can make is not involving those front-line employees in actions. For organizations looking to make a digital transformation, giving employees the ability to rethink the processes they are close to in their business will result in a more innovative outcome.
Ed also emphasizes the value of transparency and direct communications, especially in times of uncertainty like this one. By slowing down or stopping regular communications with your team, for example, you are much more likely to create more stress than is necessary. While working remote, it may take more time than usual to get your teams aligned, but it is worth it to make sure your important message sticks.
And direct communications is what leads to more human interactions. By not sugarcoating bad news, and communicating in an understanding and empathetic way, teams are much more likely to respect the message being delivered.
Ed’s number one principle to navigating turbulent times is to act with authenticity and awareness. By understanding the possibility that “situations can change in minutes,” you can plan in a way that will build in flexibility – and ensure you are being honest with your team about the possibility of change. From business challenges, to reacting to the social issues of our time, authenticity is a critical trait for any leader.
“Even if the road ahead is uncertain,” as Ed puts it, “knowing your core strengths and acknowledging your weaknesses in a way that’s authentic to your company’s mission will go a long way.”
Find Ed’s full interview with Authority Magazine here, for more on how he leads and how he strategizes as a leader.