Brad Szollose has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. That makes Brad no stranger to the Boardroom – during the Dot Com Era of the early 90′s, Brad co-founded K2 Design, Inc. which later raised over $7 million through private placement and an IPO. Brad’s tenure at K2 was explosive – the company experienced 425% growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4$26 million. and expanded to 60+ employees and offices worldwide.
Over the past 15 years, Brad observed a startling change in corporate America.augmented reality. This 24/7 connected, early adopter to anything technology driven has created a whole new divide, in which more and more young people are growing up as Digital Natives – comfortable using technology as their primary resource to do business – while the established older generation of Baby Boomers are using technology as their secondary resource.
And he authored a wonderful, inspiring, insightful response on this challenge of leadership today.
He generously agreed to spend an hour talking about his book, his insights and his solutions. As a country we see a bit of turmoil among our institutions and the leadership models they embrace.
I asked him:
Ok, so now is the imagination part of the show. Let’s imagine...an email from President Obama awaits you. And it includes an invitation to the Oval Office...He’s read your book. President Obama wants you to help him become a more liquid leader. What are three things he can do before his next State of the Union address to be a more liquid leader?
And Brad answered:
He needs to realize he is about to go down in history as either the greatest president in our history or the worst.
One of the principles of liquid leadership is you have to tell the truth. Mr. President you have to stop trying to make everybody happy and tell the truth. The system needs to be upgraded and reinvented.
The 2nd thing is he has to tell people that the model we have been working with for the past 150 years doesn’t work. We can no longer work for the 20th century. We’re in the 21st century where things move much more dynamically. You can’t expect one group to pay for everybody.
The 3rd thing is he has to lead with strength and determination and the sense of re-invention; he has to wear it instead of giving it lip service. Now, we have to see the example. We’re waiting.
If things don’t change, then Gen-Y will be the first generation to march to Washington DC and opt out of social security. They will tell the President "it is a ponzi scheme. We are the first generation to say we don’t want anything to do with it."
What do you think?
Some may say this is inappropriate.
This is politics! And you never discuss politics at Thanksgiving Dinners, backyard barbecues and on a business radio show.
I disagree. As long as only politicians can discuss solutions for our country then those solutions and their interested audiences will remain off-limits, political, for those who make this brand, our country, run. And only politicians, these days that's only career politicians, can discuss those ideas and spoon-feed solutions to the public.
I see our times as an all hands-on-deck opportunity and not a crisis. That opportunity is for each of us to lend our hands, our conversations, our ideas to find and share solutions. In our absence those challenges are left to ideologues, vested interests and politicians of all stripes and partisan persuasion. We...are the only ones with vested interests. And now we have, with social media and the urgency of today, the opportunity to reclaim our place at this table and discuss our ideas to solve our challenges. At the very least, we can listen to a discussion until we are ready to speak up.
Want More from Brad Szollose?
- Read transcripts of our conversation here.
- Listen to our conversation here.
- Read his blog.
- Follow him on Twitter.
- Buy his book.