Moves The Needle & Brad D. Smith Podcast Recap

In a recent interview with Moves The Needle, Brad D. Smith shares his experience as a leader, educator, and executive. Brad speaks about what an empathic and productive leader looks like for businesses and beyond. With a rich personal history of meeting challenges in the workplace and changing executive roles, he talks about what makes a leader effective when helping produce innovation and while cultivating these skills in others.

According to Brad, one of the most important approaches to leading a successful company starts with asking goal-based questions that help distribute innovation throughout a company instead of centralizing it into just one or two groups. Brad also speaks to teaching experimentation processes to employees with the expectation that failure is just as much a part of the innovation and learning process as success. With the right experimentation models, expectations become more realistic and each employee has the ability to contribute to the company and customer wellbeing.

For a snapshot of the interview’s topics, read the following timestamp guide:

01:34 – Brad D. Smith introduction

03:32: – How to create an environment for productive self disruption and the advantages of it 

07:02 – What defines the Brad D. Smith leadership style

15:42 – Authentic leadership and letting employees know that you care

21:08 – How leaders can teach skills by leading with questions

22:58 – How Brad became CEO at Intuit

23:53 – The leadership difference between needing to change and leaving a mark on something

28:01 – The importance of creating a learning environment where people treat success and failure the same way

36:24 – Tradeoffs between delivering the numbers today and planning the company’s future

44:47 – How to motivate innovators and distribute innovation in a large company

46:44 – Brad about creating a Founder’s mindset to balance interests of the company and the customer 

49:57 – Actual innovation vs. false signaling

51:58 – How Brad gained insight about his “Why”