1. How do you keep employees engaged and motivated?
One word: Purpose. Everyone who engages in an activity does it for a reason. This includes a hobby for leisure, a dinner out for social connection, a job for making a living, etc. But if one can elevate a job to deliver purpose other than making a living, it would deliver far more satisfaction, and therefore, motivation.
That purpose can be for growing a skill set or acquiring a new experience. It could be for paving a path for a future career advancement. It could be for making industry or business impact. It could be for doing social good. Whatever it is, the purpose is usually different for everyone, and it could change from time to time. Sometimes it’s even unknown to the person.
Therefore, it is particularly important that a good leader works with team members to understand and discover what that purpose is, and then work together to create an environment that helps foster that purpose, while aligning it to the benefit of the company and the business.
2. How do you manage work-life balance?
Same word: Purpose. In my mind, work-life balance is not a thing. Work-purpose balance is a thing. Life-purpose balance is a thing. If I can do meaningful work that contributes to my inner purpose, I can work long hours, sacrificing personal time that was for other lower-level purpose or leisure. If work becomes less challenging or meaningful, then it becomes harder. Therefore, it’s really more of a work vs. life purpose balance.
The first degree of importance is then to continuously challenge myself at work, while finding fulfilling life elements to balance it, which can be just getting back enough sleep, clocking up exercise time or spending quality time with family over the weekend.3. What is a book/person that has most influenced your career or life, and why?
There are many. But if I had to pick one, there’s an easy one for technology guys over the last decade or so: Steve Jobs (both the person and the book, i.e. his biography).
- Number 1: Easily the most revolutionary product of all kinds in this generation, the iPhone, which represents the holy grail of a technology product – intuitively easy to use, elegantly designed, technologically advanced.
- Number 2: The guy had incredible success, failed miserably, made numerous mistakes, and then succeeded again, again, and again. What goes on in a mind behind that?
- Number 3: Watch his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!