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Leadership (& Squats) for All

New gym at OpenWater

Our gym is open! David L., Rebecca, and Jim demonstrate some of the machines in this photo. David is on the Concept 2 rowing machine, the Rolls Royce of rowing equipment. (A large percentage of OpenWater staff have been, or are, on a rowing team, hence our name.)

OpenWater values stability and consistency. Both traits are necessary for athletic training as well as business building. So it’s no surprise that an impromptu exercise-related Slack channel popped up this week at HQ, too: #SquatSquad.

Drop & Give Me 100 Leadership Reps

At OpenWater we have a “bias toward action,” to borrow management consultant Tom Peter’s phrase.

Like fitness, leadership development requires consistent investment.

Conceptually, leadership is easy to define.

Leadership requires:

  • Establishing a clear vision;
  • Sharing a vision;
  • Motivating others to follow this vision to achieve common goals;  
  • Mediating conflict and crisis along the way, using creative solutions.

In practice, leadership also requires mastering “soft” skills. These skills can be harder to quantify. These skills may be less tangible, but are no less important to the end results.

For example: top salespeople are good listeners who value their clients’ needs over their own. By building genuine relationships they, and the business, flourish long-term.

Leadership for the Next Five Years

How can the OpenWater team become better leaders?

This question is top-of-mind as we make plans for the next several years. This isn’t discussion limited to co-founders Tim and Kunal; rather, it is an ongoing, company-wide distillation of culture and values.

At core is the idea that we are each responsible for ongoing improvement. Discipline is self-generated. So is the willingness to reflect, reassess, and learn. Dynamic organizations are the result of empowered individuals.

Tim and Kunal want formalized leadership training for the staff. Like our sales training, leadership will provide a common language to identify gaps and measure our successes. We want OpenWater to have best-in-class clients served by an outstanding team.

That’s the plan. We’re each assuming a position of leadership. It’s up to us to take the necessary steps forward every day.

Katie is OpenWater's Content Director. Her interests include entrepreneurship, permaculture, and blockchain. She enjoys spicy food and salty words.

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