AIB Featured Business Leader Brad Smith
As the Chief Executive Officer of one of the world’s largest and most successful financial software companies, many leadership lessons can be taken away from the career of Brad Smith. What is admirable about Smith’s career is the way in which he leads people, as well as the workplace culture that has been fostered under his leadership at Intuit. Despite being a well-established company that has over $4 billion in revenues, Intuit continues to behave as if it is a collection of startups. The culture encourages the thousands of employees to take risks, and to grow by learning from both failure and success.
It seems that Smith believes in learning from failures in his personal career as well – when asked by Forbes Magazine to provide advice in terms of getting ahead at work, he suggested to “embrace failure”. He added, “Have the courage to take risks and grow by learning from your successes and failures – let’s face it, our greatest lessons often come from those things that didn’t work”. Despite being a 30-year-old Silicon Valley company, Smith has fostered an agile, culture of experimentation. Intuit is widely known as an innovative company, and is consistently ranked as one of the top 100 best places to work each year. For employees, it feels like working for a network of startups, however it is packaged with the benefits of an established organisation.
Prior to his appointment as CEO in 2008, Brad Smith was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Small Business Division. He earned his BBA from Marshall University and his Master of Management from Aquinas College, and proves that education builds a strong foundation for future business success. Prior to Intuit, he held various sales, marketing and general management positions with PepsiCo, Seven-Up and Advo, Inc. Smith also has been a Director of Nordstrom Inc. since June 2013, and was a Director at Yahoo! Inc. from 2010 to 2012. It is clear from the number of roles listed above that Smith’s leadership style and opinions are greatly valued in the business world. He is also known to be a strategic forward thinker, telling SIIA that “To see the future, watch how people are changing now”.
Finally, Brad Smith’s career teaches us about the importance of time management. When interviewed by Forbes Magazine he explained that “Leaders have three resources at their disposal: time, people and dollars. Time is the only one of these resources that you can’t get more of, so you must strategically decide how to allocate your time”. Whilst leaders often overlook time management, it can be a great idea to sit back and take the opportunity to analyse how your time could be better spent.
The facts are quite clear – Brad Smith has successfully fostered a positive risk taking work culture at Intuit, as well as teaching business individuals around the world valuable lessons in leadership, attitude and time management. I’m interested to learn what you think – do you believe Brad Smith’s career is one to be admired? Alternatively, who would you like to see featured on our blog? Leave me a comment and we’ll do our best to write it as soon as possible!
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to complete this article: Intuit, Forbes, SIIA.
Image credit: Manager