SPIKE_INNER_LINK_REPLACESPIKE_INNER_LINK_REPLACE_ENDWelcome to the second installment “Through the Leader’s Lens,” a series of interviews that provides an exclusive glimpse into the minds of exceptional leaders. In our previous installment, we spoke to Einav Maya, SVP Marketing at Equitybee about team management, communication, and collaboration, that gets results.
For this issue, I had the privilege of speaking with Eldad Postan-Koren, the Co-Founder & CEO of WINN.AI.
In this interview, Eldad shares his belief in the power of an open work space for everyone, from the CEO to the most junior employee, emphasizes the importance of eliminating work silos and fostering a warm, generous, and supportive atmosphere. With his humble and open minded approach to leadership, Eldad has successfully created a collaborative and aligned team environment within his organization.
Let’s dive in!
What is your leadership philosophy when it comes to creating and maintaining a collaborative and aligned team environment?
I’m a really big supporter of open space, not because of silos, but because human nature tends to look at the difference between us and others. So when we, from the CEO to the most junior member of the organization, sit in the same environment, conditions, and benefits, there is less room for complaints, jealousy, and other things that create negativity in the organization. So you should try to bring everyone together by creating a similar environment that’s warm, generous, and supportive.
How do you ensure that every team member is aware of their individual goals, as well as the team’s goals, and that they are working towards achieving them?
It’s challenging as a young startup to set KPIs because everything is so vague and flexible. But we do have KPIs and we try to look back at them once in a while. And the ongoing management has daily and weekly patterns to help people stay aligned.
How do you build and maintain trust with your team members to create a positive work environment?
I try to have personal meetings with most of them, and the one question I have is “How can I be better?” Two of the things I try to do as a CEO is to admit “I was wrong” and display my willingness to be better, given the understanding that they can be wrong and be better. And it’s not a weakness; it’s a strength, and I think this creates a very fertile soil for making mistakes, trying, and being out of your comfort zone.
How do you manage conflicts or disagreements within the team to ensure that everyone is working together effectively?
Generally, people want to keep their frustrations internally. So when I see potential clashes which aren’t managed, I will take those people in a room, we will sit, and I will say “It’s gonna be awkward, but we need to speak about this and that” and find a solution to the disagreements.
How do you promote team building/bonding?
We spend a lot of time and resources in building the team. Next week, we have the first vacation of the company. We have lots of extra-curricular activities. We are true believers in giving more, and the idea is to create bonding within the team
As a manager, how do you decide which tasks, projects or initiatives to prioritize on?
According to the things that move the needle for the business, 100%.
What are some of the key challenges you have faced in leading a team, and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest problem is different sets of expectations. The problem with frustrations comes when you have different expectations, and then it reflects on the culture of the company and 2000 other things, which can potentially destroy the organization.
Looking back at your career, were there any managers that were influential to your growth and your management style today?
Back in the army, I had a manager who was very energetic. His name is Idan. And I think the manager that I am today is very similar to Idan. And I think that’s one of the things that I took from him: to motivate people from how you do things, not only by the way you say things – I think that’s a very strong statement.
That’s a wrap! A big thank you to Eldad for taking the time to share his valuable insights with us. Eldad, your leadership style is grounded, humble and something most employees would dream to work with.
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