Culture Comes First
Jessica Herrin is a savvy entrepreneur who has started two successful companies. In her early 20’s, she founded WeddingChannel.com, which she sold to the Knot. Now, she’s the founder and chief executive of Stella & Dot Family Brands. When Adam Bryant of The New York Times interviewed her, she revealed the important leadership lessons she has learned throughout her career.
Herrin says her first venture, WeddingChannel.com, was a “warm-up round” for Stella & Dot. As a young leader, she had an “early-entrepreneur complex” and focused more on doing well personally than helping others to do well.
With Stella & Dot, she has her priorities in order. Herrin believes that good leadership means focusing on developing company culture, and says leaders “have to commit to caring for the culture more than the quarter.” She asks prospective hires how they grew up, what influenced them, what their family is like, what they’re passionate about, and what their superpower is. She looks for people who others like to be around, who are adaptable, curious, and open-minded. Making these qualities a priority has allowed her to build a team that works hard and cares about the company’s mission.