The first Speaker Series of 2018 covered many topics and actionable takeaways for our audience of 100+ entrepreneurs at Favor HQ, including daily habits to motivate contributions from team members to how to lead with your mission & values in every conversation.

Anyone is capable of effective team leadership, but everyone will take a different route to assuming their positions, and we dive into our panelists thought leadership on the topic.

The night kicked off discussing how our panelists incorporate culture into the interview process and how people can best prepare to discuss culture.

Alan Knitowski, CEO of Phunware, summed it up perfectly in saying “The first ten employees are life and death for your company.” Period. It’s important to remain wickedly open, caring, and transparent while you’re growing the organization and not sugarcoat the day-to-day experience for a new hire.

Julia Cheek, CEO of EverlyWell, is very intentional in this regard and remarked “I don’t sell people on culture. I’m very upfront and somewhat scare them in the interview, so we have no gaps in expectations.” This is one way to weed out interview candidates and stay agile in your mission while focusing on results over activity.

With transparent leadership comes transparent expectations, and our panelists are no different.

Alan reiterated a culture gap he emphasizes every day at Phunware, which is “I’d rather you violently execute something today and be 80% right than wait three months and be 100% right.”

Perfection is a cliche. Perfection is a niche. Perfection will get you in trouble.

Leaders can accept hastened results, but they cannot and will not tolerate inaction.

“If you’re going to spend a lot of time, money, and effort hiring people, the best thing you can do is get out of the way and let them lead,” remarked Jag Bath, CEO of Favor, and we could not agree more.

The panel took this concept to heart; especially Cheryl Mills-Knight, Brand Director at Kendra Scott, who was one of the “Original 7” to start the jewelry, home decor, and beauty powerhouse.

This allowed Cheryl the envious opportunity to co-create the brand and culture from the beginning. Cheryl and team “hire light-hearted, not like-minded,” because of their three pillars of family, fashion, and philanthropy guide all team building and growth-minded execution.

The night rounded up with an emphasis on the value of time, avoiding all unnecessary meetings, and aligning your actions with mission & values of the company.

No matter how you build & contribute to a winning team in the future, it’s imperative to understand True North for the organization and consistently execute with that mission in mind.

What is the Team Austin Speaker Series?

The Team Austin speaker series is the title of our 6-8 speaking events held every year. The ultimate goal is to provide access to insights not easily accessible to strengthen our local business/tech community. These days, Team Austin provides a one-of-a-kind networking atmosphere for business professionals of all levels and industries.

How can I become a Team Austin Member and receive free entry to all Speaker Series Events?