Two old adages, “don’t waste time reinventing the wheel” and “profit from the mistakes of others, you don’t have time to make them all yourself” gave rise to a new series for 2017. Role Models is my effort to help you adhere to both, always remembering to tweak their ideas to fit your MAP.
Yuchun Lee was a member of the famous MIT blackjack team (the basis for the movie 21) and a serial entrepreneur since childhood. Unica, his first “real” startup, which went public in 2005 and sold for around $500 million to IBM in 2010 . He is currently co-founder/CEO of sales training startup Allego.
Lee learned early on that telling, let alone ordering, people to do whatever didn’t work and radically changed his approach.
But then you very soon realize that human beings have free will and you’ve got to persuade them.
He runs his company based on three core philosophies.
The first is the ability of the company to know what is true, what is not true, and what’s real and what’s not real. (…) The foundation is all about truth.
The second is how you behave as a team to solve problems. (…) Everybody’s trying to figure out how to look smart in front of the C.E.O. (…) it’s actually O.K. if you sit there. If you’ve got nothing to say, don’t say it.
The third is about mistakes. We tell people you’ve got to love your mistake. If you go through a whole day without making a mistake, you just wasted a whole day because you probably haven’t pushed yourself. (…) You need to see mistakes as opportunities to improve.
Image credit: Allego