Stüssy Tschudin, Gregory Neely and Laurence Roberts are the co-founding Principals of Forge Media + Design. They are thought leaders, influencers, visionaries, and successful entrepreneurs. Together, they provide the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Forge Media + Design. Stüssy, Gregory and Laurence join other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have them join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Stüssy Tschudin, Gregory Neely and Laurence Roberts, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to answer our questions about leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the one thing that makes Forge Media + Design great?
Our team. Forge is made up of amazing people with very diverse backgrounds. We have designers, developers, programmers, placemakers, architects, interior designers, storytellers and strategic thinkers. Forge’s culture is like a big family and when hiring new team members, cultural fit is the most important criteria.
2. Please tell us what is the key to being a great entrepreneur?
Vision. Being able to take risks, have a clear vision of where you want to be and invest in getting you there.
3. What is the best advice you can give to a young entrepreneur just starting out with a new venture?
Balance. Find the right balance between sales, delivery and administration. Before you hire a team, it can be tricky to ensure there is always enough work around, which often creates a feast or famine kind-of situation. Be organized. Ensure to have time set aside for all tasks (i.e. 2 hours sales, 5 hours designing/developing, 1 hour administrative items, such as invoicing).
4. What is the one thing that you, as a person, want to be known for?
Great leadership. Being a well respected and fair leader. Someone who listens and makes smart decisions.
5. When building a business, what is the one most important thing to keep in mind at all times?
Perseverance. Everybody struggles at times. When you see your competitors putting out amazing work all the time, that may only be a small percentage of what they do. We all have projects that are here to pay the bills and other projects that let us live our passion.
6. When hiring employees, what is the one most important thing you look for?
Personality. We spend a lot of time together at our studio and you want to be surrounded by like-minded people you get along with. Of course employees need a base skill set and talent, but specific software skills, for instance, can be learned. Having a great personality is not something you learn. It’s something you have.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning?
Energy. The energy we get from our team to do amazing work, to work collaboratively with our clients and suppliers, our work environment and the opportunity to figure out something new, those are among the things that get us excited.
8. What is the one thing that makes a great company?
Culture. When we started Forge, we made a conscious and concerted effort to create a work environment where you want to and even enjoy going to work every day. We spend most of our awake time at work, so if you don’t like the place you are at, this makes for very long, arduous days. Great people work with great clients. And therefore, we create some amazing projects in a wide variety of disciplines.
9. What is the one thing that makes a great leader?
Listening. As great leaders, it is our role to listen to our team and guide them, without telling them what to do. This is a fine balance, but nobody wants to be micro-managed. Everyone desires respect and to be encouraged to do their best.
Stüssy Tschudin, Gregory Neely and Laurence Roberts, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Forgemedia, nothing but the best.