Build Effective Teams, Be a Great Team Member & Incorporate Service

Advice from Code Fellow’s Brent Turner.

Thanks to our new CEO Jeff Lanctot, every month my company Mixpo invites a community leader to present to our employees at what we call The Mix. I was very impressed with this month’s speaker Brent Turner, a former colleague of Jeff’s, successful businessman, passionate community advocate and straight shooter from Tennessee. Brent and Jeff discussed topics ranging from how to build great teams, be a great team member, to how to incorporate service into your company and career.

For some quick background, Brent Turner is the Co-Founder & President of Code Fellows, an engineering training program that teaches people to code and guarantees them a job. Previously he worked as executive vice president of call products at Marchex. Prior to that, he spent nearly 10 years in various roles at aQuantive and Razorfish. He is also the Director of Strategy at REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade), an organization with a powerful mission. He is very passionate about his family and service. From what I can tell, he only gets involved in projects that really matter.

Highlights from the interview with Brent:

01:57  Advice on how to build effective teams:
02:46  1. Get the right people in the right roles.
05:13  2. Get very clear on what your company’s plan is – what you are going to do and what you are not going to do.
06:47  3. Talk about the right things at the right intervals.
08:09  4. Figure out the right culture for the team and then everyone needs to accept it and lead it out.
10:30  Four characteristics of how to be a good team member:
10:41  1. Be committed to an outcome versus being helpful.
12:10  2. Constantly be learning and trying to improve, and find a mentor.
13:50 3. Explore versus purely asserting yourself.
15:32  4. Keep your introspection on whether you’re on the right path in your career.
18:26  The market need and strategy behind CodeFellows.org.
23:36  Insights into why Brent got involved in REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade).
28:02  The importance of having a service component for your company and career. Brent recommends self-taxation of your time, your talent and your resources to help people wherever your passions lie.
35:40  How he developed his management style.
37:48  Ways to find a mentor.
40:44  How nonprofits can coexist rather than compete.
44:45  Ways to make an organization more efficient.
50:32  Personal organization techniques.

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