Patrick Danial is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Terakeet, the leading enterprise partner for global brands seeking online business growth through direct audience engagement. He has built, operated and been a leader for several industry-leading technological platforms, and guided Terakeet’s vision and innovation for 22 years — playing a key role in its growth from startup to global marketing partner. This was accomplished in part by pioneering a unique approach to leveraging owned assets to help brands better understand customers’ needs, then truly engage them throughout the digital journey. As a leader in this space, and with a keen eye for the rigors of achievement generally, he shares here, in his words, some essential components of business accomplishment.
1. Reduce the aperture
Avoid the aspirational wide lens — one suited for vision setting — when shifting to execution planning. Aligning an organization around one or two strategic objectives will almost always increase the odds of success, as opposed to the diminishing returns when carrying, say, three or more. Next, empower teams to prioritize the most impactful objectives while rigorously shielding resource allocation from the inevitable day-to-day emergencies and swirling flow of shiny new ideas.
2. Get comfortable riding shotgun
The simplest definition I’ve found of leadership is from the co-founder of Situational Leadership Theory/Model, Paul Hursey, who said, “Leadership is working with and through others to achieve objectives.” Elegantly put, but the real work begins when you realize that as a newly-minted leader, your verbal contributions quickly move from suggestions to high-priority commands. Instead, pause and consider: Will what I’m about to say enhance or diminish the motivation of the person with whom I’m speaking? Using this question to frame nearly every interaction within Terakeet has helped me build two-way trust with my team and support the growth of employees.
3. Cast a wide advice net
Trust is a volatile currency, best appreciated through team authorship and empowerment. So, before you push forward an idea of your own, go to your team first with the hard questions, never the answers. You may think you’re adding value, but at what cost to the team’s desire for ownership and commitment? Trust that team’s groundwork experience and diverse thought processes to help you build the best solutions.
4. Reach out when necessary
While we regularly solicit internal feedback, our leadership teams value the advice and guidance of outside experts who have helped us improve company strategy and growth. As they say, “None of us are smarter than all of us,” and bringing someone from the outside in to help bolster or embolden plans has long been a potent additive for us.