Dev Patnaik: “I have been a lousy boss.”
Dev Patnaik is founder and chief executive of Jump Associates, a growth strategy firm. He is also the co-author of "Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy" (written with Peter Mortensen). Patnaik is a designer and strategic planner with experience in engineering, art design and business theory. He has worked with Fortune 500 firms and fledgling startups in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Australia. An assistant faculty member at Stanford University, Patnaik teaches design research methods to undergraduate and graduate students. He also speaks frequently at leading industry forums on product development, marketing and innovation.
Question: Who was your worst boss?
Dev Patnaik: If I ever had a really bad boss, the only person I can point to is myself. I have been a lousy boss for myself just because I find out that I am spending a lot of time focusing on the business and I’m probably not spending enough time giving myself guidance and making sure that I’m continuing to learn and grow, which is what I think every boss needs to do.
That’s really the definition of a great boss at the end of the day, right? It’s somebody who can spend time with you and figure out who you are and what’s going on with you and what you’re really great at, and helping to unlock that so you could become really amazing, right? And then figuring out what you’re lousy at and shielding you from all of that so you can be at your peak potential.
The bosses who figure that out become more than just bosses. They start to become leaders. They start to become folks that we look to for guidance and direction in our life.
Conducted on: June 24, 2009.
Learning from his mistakes, the author of "Wired to Care" explores how managers can become leaders.