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EntreLeadership is not just a theory. Thousands of business owners and leaders are using Dave’s principles every day to take their companies and team members to heights they never imagined. In the EntreLeadership Spotlight series, we’ll be highlighting some of these great leaders and learning about their dreams, motivation and secrets to success.
What I Do
I’m co-founder of Zero VFX and ZYNC. Our team of artists and producers provides outstanding visual effects for feature films, commercials, and interactive and print projects.
A Characteristic Every Leader Should Possess
You can develop most qualities over time if you have integrity as your foundation.
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I have different mentors for different areas of my life: professional, personal and spiritual. But there is one mentor whose knowledge I trust in all these areas—Dave Ramsey. Dave’s ministry has truly changed my life. We became debt-free just months before being laid off. It gave us the freedom to start our own company instead of just getting back on the wheel. Our company started with three people in a basement. Just over two years later, we have 25 team members and reside in an 8,000-square-foot space. As a Christian business owner, Dave sets a great example for how to do things and what is possible when you follow the plan the Lord has for you and do work that matters.
My Best Leadership Advice
Early on, you will make mistakes and missteps, and you’ll change directions when you should stay the course, etc. Being a leader means many of these will be public, so don’t try to hide them. Admit mistakes to the team if they are affected; be honest with them and keep them informed as much as possible. Lack of information is a speedy culture killer. Your team will guess what is going on—and not optimistically. If it was good news, you would have spread it. Don’t be shy when it comes to sharing. On a hard day—and there will be several—remember that every person on your team not only wants the team to succeed but also wants YOU to succeed. Take much comfort in that truth.
My Biggest Takeaway From EntreLeadership Master Series
I needed to take WAY more time to add a team member, including an interview with their spouse. The spousal interview is a great opportunity to get to know the person and their spouse on a more casual stage and allows for them to get to know you outside of the office.
I'm Passionate About ...
My faith, my family and film. I have no doubt that I have been called to do what I do, and I have been blessed with a wife and two daughters who support me every day in this constantly changing industry.
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How to Beat the Competition
Knowledge is power. I never stop reading. This goes for every aspect of my life. I read a little over a book a week, listen to podcasts from several of the greatest thinkers out there, and chew through trade journals. Complacency can be a dark nemesis. I fight it by absorbing lessons from people smarter than me. I try to keep up with my competition but have learned that what I do is much more important than what they are doing.
Favorite Part of the Job
I love to mentor younger talent and see them grow into seasoned artists. We are a very apprentice-based industry. Seeing people with a similar passion succeed brings me great joy.
If I’d Knew Then …
I would lead with much less fear. My first year as a business owner was one of the hardest of my life, and I made it more difficult by acting (or not acting) out of fear. I’m very happy to have gotten over that quickly.
To learn more about business, team building and leadership, download our EntreLeadership Podcasts, which include lessons from Dave, plus interviews with key business leaders from across the nation.