The Power of Personal Touch Leadership
JewelBuzz|September 2016

In this age of technology, it is easy to write a management book about how the technology revolution requires a radical management revolution. But as the CEO of a tech company in the heart of Silicon Valley, I disagree: while technology has changed, human nature hasn’t. Every management theory can look good on paper, but the countless daily interactions are where the rubber meets the road.

Now that I'm running a company for the first time, I have an abundance of these interactions to learn from. One management principle that has crystallized for me as a CEO is the enduring power of personal touch. At a time when customs and expectations for the workplace are rapidly changing, personal touch is a constant that can create success across the organization.

With that in mind, here are four principles that drive my leadership style:

1. Build an organization employees take pride in.

Leading a young team is an experience I share with most CEOs since millennials now make up the majority of the workforce. This generation of talent has a complex identity: on one hand, they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves; on the other hand, they have a very strong sense of individualism.

In interviews, even entry-level candidates often ask, “Why are you better than this or that competitor?” It’s a question you wouldn’t typically hear outside of Silicon Valley, but it’s because of that strong desire to align with a winning organization. That puts the burden on me and other CEOs with young workforces, to articulate a clear vision for the company and ensure we are able to execute on it.

Related: Why Leadership Hinges Upon What You Do -- Not Who You Are

At the same time, these employees need to feel individual accomplishment as well as organizational pride. That means empowering people to feel they can be successful in their role, and giving them operating room to progress in their professional development -- sometimes through failure and feedback.

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