Ali Foughi is an experienced Silicon Valley executive who has adeptly served in various executive management roles. He shares his personal observations and experiences in this 5-part series.
1. Know the Difference Between Managing vs. Leading – Mr. Foughi believes managers “control” while leaders “inspire.” Inspiration brings out the full potential of people. Teams and employees are most innovative, productive, happy, and tend to stay with a company longer when they work in a motivated and inspirational environment—and effective leaders enable such environments.
2. Recruit Great People – To assemble a world class and winning team, one must be able to attract great talent. Experts create innovative solutions and build highly differentiated businesses. In order to attract top-notch professionals, executives need to feel comfortable and surround themselves with great talent because quality attracts quality. Building quality teams takes time, vision, passion, and is critical in the highly competitive and innovative high tech industry. The collective IQ of a team is always greater than that of a single individual, no matter the talent.
3. Domain Knowledge – Ali Foughi believes it is very important for leaders to have, maintain, and develop domain knowledge. As an example, the head of a hospital’s surgery department needs to have a keen understanding of the intricacies of surgical procedures to have the credibility that allows him/her to lead a highly skilled team of surgeons. The same principle applies to leading high technology professionals. It is rather difficult to be a visionary leader if one does not have domain knowledge and vision is like a magnet. It helps to attract, retain, and lead the kind of talent that is required to build a successful enterprise with steady growth.