Partner at Old Willow Partners
JuntoMentor: Spikeball (J2), Earlybird (J3), Red Caffeine (J4), Lever Interactive (J5), Vehicle Acquisition Network (J6)
"During Mentor Meetings, you hear how other people solve similar problems and realize that there are other ways to do things, and even better ways to do things."
What are 1-2 leadership virtues you've observed or learned in your career?
Humility. Leaders do a disservice to their companies by believing that they know what’s best, that they know everything, or that they have all the answers. When you run a company it’s about getting all the smartest people that you can, and it’s more about them than you. As a leader you don’t always have to have the answers, and that’s okay.
What are you working on right now?
I am involved with an early-stage cyber security company that has a young CEO so I am filling the COO role to scale the business. I’m involved with another company selling a low-tech medical device. I also have been involved in a real estate software firm that we are currently selling to a Fortune 500 real estate company.
What have you learned about yourself mentoring with Junto?
I don’t know as much as I think I do. When you run companies for so long, you live in a vacuum, and your way becomes the only way; you just aren’t exposed to other strategies. During Mentor Meetings, you hear how other people solve similar problems and realize that there are other ways to do things, and even better ways to do things. You learn that the way that you’ve been doing things the whole time might not be the only way or the best way.
How would you describe your areas of expertise based on industry, market, and/or function?
I’ve been commercializing technology for early stage companies for 25 years. My own function has been around strategy and running the business with partners who have developed the technology. Industry-wise, I’ve been in internet-based technology and data analytics.
What is one book, blog, or podcast you recommend widely?
Finish the following sentence: "In my experience, ______________."
Experience is everything. It’s all about gaining experience and then tapping into that experience. If you don’t have it, then find someone who does.
What is your superpower?
I’m very good at picking up on situations and “what’s really going on” in businesses, and developing strategies from that.
What is your strength when it comes to emotional intelligence?
Simply put, being aware. I understand situations well, and can read and judge people.
What is something that's not on your LinkedIn profile that you wish was?
I wish I had taken a company public; I have never done it.
What is your most memorable Junto moment?
I love watching the teams that I mentored really turn the corner. The light bulb goes off and things come to fruition. It’s special to see them appreciate and absorb the information that we share and watch them learn.