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    How do people actually solve problems? How do people collaborate?

    This interview with Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive of Brightcove, an online video platform for Web sites, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. The New York Times Company owns a small stake of less than five percent in Brightcove.

    Jeremy Allaire, chairman and C.E.O. of Brightcove, an online video platform for Web sites, says the initial hires are key in building a business. In his case, he sought bright people “with whom I could have a high-bandwidth conversation.”

    Corner Office

    Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing.

    Q. What were your most important leadership lessons?

    A. One of the most important influences early on was being educated in a Montessori setting. The Montessori ethos was very formative for me because it built into me a belief in self-direction, in independent thought, in peer collaboration, in responsibility.

    Those even became tenets for me in terms of my management style — a kind of laissez-faire approach to allowing people to self-direct and peer-collaborate to figure things out and get things done here. That attracts a certain kind of person. There are other people who can’t thrive in that — they need things spelled out, they need their five tasks.

    Another was that I took an interest in high school in extracurricular activities that were really about critical thought, analytical thought and leadership. I was on the debate team. I did model United Nations. So at a very young age I became very comfortable with speaking in a leadership capacity, conveying ideas, arguing for ideas and synthesizing information.

    Q. What else?

    A. In college, I had a mentor, a professor at Macalester College in political science named Chuck Green, who taught me a lot about how things actually get done in the world. It wasn’t just, “Let’s read about politics or political theory.” It was about getting things done. How do people actually solve problems? How do people collaborate?

    We also had to sponsor a project and run the project, in an entrepreneurial capacity. Several of us decided we were going to build something called native.net, which was basically a network using the Internet to enable communication and collaboration among Native American tribes that had been siloed in the past. We had to raise money, set it up and run it.

    Q. What about your parents?

    Read Full Article in New York Times.com

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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