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Tactical Guidance to Level Up Your Leadership

Featuring: Derrick Brooks, EVP Corporate & Community Business Development, VSG and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Allie Felix, VP Platform for Embarc Collective, Heather Rivas, GM of Boulon Brasserie, Allison Casper Adams, Owner/Operator, Oxford Commons Hospitality Company, Brian Murphy, Founder and CEO of ReliaQuest, Punit Shah, CEO of Liberty Group and Co-Owner of Miami Marlins MLB, Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO at Embarc Collective.

Photo Credit: Laura Lyon

Last week, we hosted our 2022 Strategy & Leadership Summit for Embarc Collective members with the support of Beach Bank. As the companies we support at Embarc Collective continue to grow, each founder is challenged to evolve as a leader each day. To support this evolution, we centered the Summit’s theme around Leveling Up One’s Leadership and called on top experts from a diverse set of experiences in tech, sports, hospitality, and real estate.

Here are some of the takeaways from the highlighted leaders:

Brian Murphy, Founder and CEO of ReliaQuest

  • On defining being a leader: “Being a leader is the ability to own your losses and distribute the wins.” The most pronounced quality a leader must demonstrate is accountability. You need to take full ownership of any situation in the business, both positive and negative to maintain your credibility and trustworthiness as a leader.
  • On how he grew to a global team: Brian is constantly recruiting, creating, and maintaining relationships: “I ask myself constantly, what am I good at and how can I recruit for my blind spots?”
  • On how he thinks as a leader: He spends a lot of time thinking about his mindset, staying neutral, calm, and confident as a leader. He reminds himself daily that his behavior not only defines who he is, but it reflects the overall business: “You can’t run around each day with your hair on fire. I am the same way all the time.”

Punit Shah, CEO of Liberty Group and Co-Owner of Miami Marlins MLB

  • On how he has gained respect from his team: “What motivates my team is that I have held every position within the company—from janitor to leading construction.” He demonstrates that no matter what role you play in a company, every role is important. You have to start at the bottom to work your way to the top.

Heather Rivas, GM of Boulon Brasserie

  • On how she scaled her career: “Hard work, taking risks, going outside of my comfort zone is how I started scaling my career. I believe opportunities are not going to be on a silver platter, you have to have the dedication to challenge yourself to grow.” Especially after having a baby girl, she felt pushed to be a better version of herself every day.

Allison Casper Adams, Owner/Operator, Oxford Commons Hospitality Company

  • On how foresight put her on top: “Always be one step ahead and pivot to what the customer wants.” She strives to do this by taking risks and keeping her focus on creating a place for the community.

Derrick Brooks, EVP Corporate & Community Business Development, VSG and Pro Football Hall of Famer:

  • On how his leadership skills on the field translated to his community impact off the field: “TEAM is sometimes used as an acronym: Together Everyone Achieves More. However, my version of TEAM is Trust, Effort, Accountability, and Motivation.” He makes sure his team is built on a level of trust. “Effort is super important, you either gave it your all or you didn’t. Everyone on the team must have the same level of accountability.” Lastly, he said, “You need to have the motivation and commit to your daily routines to be successful.”

Thanks to all who attended our 2022 Strategy & Leadership Summit. Interested in participating in learning opportunities to support your startup’s growth? Apply for membership to Embarc Collective and join our community of 125+ startups all building bold, thriving, scalable companies.

Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective helps Tampa Bay’s startup talent build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Our staff of executive advisors and function-specific experts deliver individualized support to startups inside of Embarc Collective’s state-of-the-art 32,000 square foot hub.