View from the corner cubicle: leadership lessons from Tomer Strolight

Posted March 4, 2010 in Latest News & Insights

TorStar Digital is one of Canada’s fastest growing, most innovative media companies.  On March 3, a small group of members of the Executive Roundtable had the opportunity to sit down with TSD President, Tomer Strolight, the passionate visionary behind TSD’s success.  Here are some of the highlights from our roundtable discussion on Tomer’s leadership lessons learned and observations on what it takes to champion an untested idea and lead a fast growth company.

Be passionate about your convictions… to champion a new idea (especially one that carries risk) requires you to be 100% convinced of the importance of what you’re doing.  You will be tested and you need to unswayable in your own vision but flexible in your strategies to get there.

Don’t look for or expect 100% support for your ideas… recognize that many people will be comfortable with the status quo and will resist change.  Don’t waste your energies trying to win everyone over.  Decide who is most crucial to your project and focus your energies on securing their buy-in.

Know which hills you’re willing to die on… “you can’t drink half a glass of poison”.  Be clear on the levers that are crucial to the success of your business and be relentless in defending these key drivers.

It’s all about the people… recognize and recruit the talent that you need and give them the support to drive the plan forward.  Back their decisions.

You can’t boil the ocean… recognize the “smart steps” you need to take to move your team/division/business forward.  Acknowledge when you have to defer or delay some of your objectives and accept the consequences.

Evaluate how you spend your time… the start up phase is key and expect to put in long hours.  With some structure in place, step back and look at how you spend time.  Eliminate time wasters (eg: meetings that serve no purpose) and continually assess whether processes are relevant or need to evolve to meet the new needs of the business.

Manage expectations… build failure into your plans and build space for things that are new.  Plans written in January will evolve through the year.  16 things may work, 8 may fail and 9 may be new.  Be ready to be flexible and adaptable.

There were many, many more.  Aren’t you sorry you missed it?  Join us next time when on March 31st we look at Managing: The Tough Stuff.  Management’s dirty little secrets exposed!!

Happy leading!

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