Alex King and Leadership →

This memory of Alex King contains some very inspiring words, where he describes how he ran things at Crowd Favorite before he sold the company.

His words come from the type of person most of us dream about working for, and one that we would want to be when in a leadership position.

Early on, when it was just a few people, it was very much a team, a collaborative atmosphere. I tried to keep that as we grew. I told them that they had autonomy. I told them that I wanted to hear from them if they thought that things could be improved. I hammered that.

In every meeting, every monthly meeting, I would ask for feedback. I would ask for suggestions of things we could do better. Very rarely did I’d actually get any. The process of asking for it consistently, I think, was important. It let people know that their voice is valued.

When people did come to me, I tried to make sure that even if we weren’t going to do what they asked, that they saw some sort of visible change based on what they’d asked for. Even if it was just me following up in another week or two weeks after that to talk to them about some aspect of it, just to let them know that their voice was heard and what they’d risen wasn’t forgotten.

Another aspect of this manifests itself in the Intranet as a note on process. It says, “If you ever find yourself doing something you don’t understand or think it’s stupid, it is your job to stop and ask somebody why.”

Two things come from this. One, sometimes processes get out-of-date and we end up just doing things because we’ve always done it that way. That’s no reason to do things.

The second, more likely, is that there is a good reason and that this person may not know it. When they ask, somebody can tell them and they could understand the value of what they’re doing.

All of these things come together to create an environment where people feel empowered, people feel like the work they’re doing is interesting and important. Of course, that’s dependent somewhat on client projects as well. The way that we go about doing things is efficient, it’s not a waste of time, and they have input into the process and that their input has value.