Leadership Advice from Carine Clark

10 Leadership Principles I Wished Someone Would Have Told Me Early in My Career

The other day, I was scrolling through my Apple Note App and came across leadership notes I took while listening to Carine Clark speak at the Grow Data Driven Summit a few years ago.

Carine’s topic was about leadership principles she wished someone would have told her early in her career. Her words and advice were a breath of fresh air.

Before I get to her advice, let me introduce you to Carine Clark.

Meeting Carine Clark

I first met Carine Clark at a presentation she gave at the Utah Chapter of the American Marketing Association. At the time, she was the Chief Marketing Officer of Symantec. I was inspired by her passion, smarts, and kindness.

Since that day, Carine has accomplished amazing things. She is a three-time CEO, she’s been awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Technology in the Utah Region, as well as Utah CEO of the Year. Carine also serves on the executive boards of the GOED (Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development) and Silicon Slopes. On top of all her many career accomplishments, Carine is a mother of two sons and a cancer survivor.

What I Wished Someone Would Have Told Me Early in My Career

From the stage of the Grow Data Driven Summit, Carine introduced her topic, “What I Wished Someone Would Have Told Me Early in My Career.”

Below I complied the leadership advice I learned from Carine.

1. Build a Talented Team that Can Work Beautifully Without You

Carine said, “My goal as a leader is to build a talented team that can work beautifully without me.” She challenged us to create frameworks that help team members make decisions. She said, “You can’t and don’t want to be the bottleneck for all decisions. Train and help your team to make the right decisions. Make sure their roles, responsibilities, and success metrics are very clear.”

2. You Should Only Do the Things Only You Can Do

Carine said, “You should only do the things only you can do. I’m telling you to tell your team that you can trust them. That it’s safe to make mistakes. If you build a talented team, they will make the right decisions. You can then focus on the things only you can do.”

3. Teach Your Team to Figure It Out (FIO)

Carine said, “Many times they know the answer, but are scared to make mistakes. Teach them to figure it out (FIO).

4. Help Your Team Learn to Embrace Conflict and Change

Carine said, “Teach your team to be resilient humans. A team that can embrace conflict will become the best team.” She reminded us of the baby chicken who needs to break through the egg shell to succeed in life—overcome conflict.

5. Teach Your Team to Learn to Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome

Carine said, The ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome as the characteristics of very successful people and you want to build of team full of these types of people.”

6. Hire Humble and Hungry Team Members

Carine said, “Hire humble but hungry team members, because they win.” I love the concept of being humble and hungry. It requires a fine balance of gratitude and confidence.

7. Hire People that Will Throw You a Brick

Carine said, “Hire people that will throw you a brick and who will tell you how it really is.” Radical candor will help your team become stronger and more cohesive. Cohesive teams win!

8. Pay Attention to the Culture

Carine, “Organizational health or the lack of it will break your business. Learn how everyone is motivated—even the introverts. And put everyone in the right place where they can succeed.”

9. Care for Customers

Carine said, “Too many companies say they are customer centric, but they are not. Make sure you know what you are putting your customers through—go through the experience time and time again.”

10. Look for Opportunities to Push Team Members

Carine said, “Look for opportunities to push team members. Team members want to know that you care enough to help them become better. That you trust them enough to accomplish things that they never thought they could do.”

These are the 10 leadership principles that Carine Clark wished that someone told her early in her career.

Make sure you seize the moment if you ever have a chance to hear Carine speak. We invited her to speak at our leadership summit (CS100 Summit) a few years back. You can watch her presentation here.

We are tougher than we know. And people are good. And happiness is a choice.
— Carine Clark

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