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Doug Lebda: together CEO, do what only you can uniquely do.


3. Fight the books.

Top CEOs know that it’s their obligation to stay curious and also keep learning. But, as soon as again, the cream the the chop go come the next level. Bill gates takes two “Think Weeks” yearly where that does nothing but read. Richard Branson bought a personal island whereby he might be apart from the daily organization grind and also be complimentary to dream up the next big thing for Virgin.

And Doug, who runs a huge, successful financial company… recently went ago to company school and also finished his MBA! “Our share price has done very, really well every time I’ve been examining at the college of Virginia — Darden college of Business, due to the fact that I use everything ns learned directly earlier into the business,” states Doug.

“The second method I learned is through hiring great people, world who knew more than i did,” the says. “You could be the Dilbert cartoon, whereby smart employees make the CEO the stupidest male in the organization, however a many times entrepreneurs make the wrong of not wanting come look bad in front of your board, in prior of your shareholders, for this reason they hire dopes that can’t really perform the job.”

4. “Do what just you have the right to uniquely do.”

As LendingTree proceeds to scale, Doug has actually passed a blog post down through his ranks to keep every single employee top top task: “Do what only you can uniquely do.”

The CEO has to collection that example from the top. “As a founder and also CEO, I should be in the weeds, but not in the numbers,” Doug says. “I need to be in the weeds the the fine line customer experience. I have to be in the weeds v our lenders, conference the heads of the companies, going and walking around in their speak to centers. I should be in the weeds v their people, encouraging them and talking to them, but I can only uniquely execute that. Somebody else deserve to tell me even if it is we’re running on plan or not, and also if we’re not, I deserve to dig in wherein I need to.”

5. Design a “Project Calvin.”

Thinking around his customers as people, and also not simply numbers on a page, is another method that Doug was able to innovate at LendingTree. He met a guy named Calvin that was down on his luck, had negative credit, and couldn’t get a loan.

So, Doug told his product team, “Go style Project Calvin.” utilizing Calvin’s demands as a test case, Doug and his team created a brand-new loan product that they’ve to be able come automate and market to various other consumers. “It’s going to turn right into a $50 million organization for us in revenue, while likewise helping civilization to anticipate ways that they have the right to improve their credit,” Doug says. “We did that without industry studies and we did it very quickly due to the fact that we built a project approximately one person — yet there’s tens and tens of countless people as with him. Now we’re able come empathize v that person and actually understand his situation, because we are walking in his shoes.”

What might your “Project Calvin” be? What is a product or company your customers need, or will require after the next large shift in her industry. If you’re no on the top edge of the next big innovation, ns guarantee that among your rivals will be.

Top Takeaways

1. Heading into brand-new frontiers have the right to be scary, yet if her vision is strong and clear, girlfriend could likewise be top top the route to large new opportunities.2. You it is in the CEO. permit your managers be managers, your sales civilization be sales people, and also so on under the line. Anyone you can’t to trust to execute their project without your handholding need to not be functioning for you.3. Walk in her customers’ shoes.

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Refine your existing key to very nice one to your wants and also needs, or better yet, dream increase the next huge innovation lock won’t be able to live without.