114: Leaders With Heart Strike A Balance Between Heart And Drive

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In this episode, Heather Younger speaks with Frank Ricotta, CEO and Founder of BurstIQ about his leadership style, his unique background that instilled in him a drive to lead, and a time when he was at a low in his leadership and what he did to come out of it. He also shares some key tips to move and iterate during a crisis.

Key takeaways:

  • Strike the balance between both nurturing and being a visionary driving for goal achievement.
  • Focus on growing and lifting those you lead.
  • If we don’t learn from those around us, we cannot lead well.
Are you ready to lead with heart to the next level? Listen and learn!

Frank Ricotta is an accomplished CEO and CTO with 30+ years of experience empowering people, building companies, and creating innovative solutions. 

Frank has been able to combine his love for people and building high performance teams with creating and applying innovative technologies. Strong entrepreneurial, problem solving, and communication skills allow him to see what “can be”, resulting in a relentless pursuit to create world-class solutions that capitalize on market opportunities. He is a life long learner that possesses a healthy balance of business, leadership, and technology acumen, providing a foundation for success regardless of company size and industry.

His skills include blockchain, business transformation, organization development, information security, product and technology strategy, agile transformation, enterprise content management (ECM), Big data, cloud, and healthcare IT, as well as software as a service (SaaS) and compliance. 

Frank’s professional career is guided by three principles: make a difference, have fun, and make money. He also finds it most gratifying when he keeps his principles in perspective

Learn and share

I’m in that stage in life where it’s really been more of a mentoring phase for me. I would love to really pass on all the things I’ve learned over the years—the good, the bad, and the ugly to a next generation of leaders that can go out there and truly be servant leaders.

You take learning from your kids. You have to learn from them, incorporate their leadership styles, and take what’s best in terms of how they respond to you as a parent and as the leader in your house.

If you're not learning from all the people around you, you can't be an effective leader. – @fricotta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Balance the drive

Early on in my career, and even growing up I like to always be the leader, or at least be in an influential position.

I’m probably my hardest critic. I’m most critical of things I do and how I respond in different situations. I am a nurturing leaders that would set a very aggressive and bold vision. I work to get the team empowered to go execute on that vision.

You can set high expectations and goals and not have to be unkind about it. The key is really lifting people up to be the best they can be, particularly in the context of a team, and creating high performance teams. They are happy, motivated, and really energized to achieve the same goals you’d like your company to achieve.

You also have to recognize when you’re already pushing people out of balance. When I started, I was all focused about driving people a lot. However, I was starting to hurt my own team by driving them too hard and not letting them maintain their balance. If you don’t create the environment where people are allowed refresh their mind,  body, health, and spirit, it’s hard to sustain anything for any length of time.

People perform best when they are happy. – @fricotta #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetIf you don't believe where you’re going and you don't have the passion, it's hard to motivate and lead people to achieve anything at all. – @fricotta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Know your people

Money only goes so far. 

People are focused on what their earning potential is and they should be paid according to what they’re worth in the marketplace. But that’s not the top factor that keeps people on your team, without moving around. It’s the culture, the environment, and their fit in that environment.

Everybody has a different set of goals. Not all your execution superstars necessarily want to move in a position of leadership or management because they really like doing what they do in an execution perspective. This is very true for technical talent. So, how do you nurture that forward for exponential contribution? 

You have to have a regular cadence where you’re focused on the actual delivery side, so they’ll know that there’s going to be a consistent amount of communication. It’s an open environment to share any problems so we can solve collectively as a team. 

Never confuse activity with productivity. – @fricotta #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetYou have to know your people. – @fricotta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Mentions

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Read Frank’s LinkedIn Article here

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