Mike Youngblood | Crain's Charlotte

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Mike Youngblood

Background:  

Mike Youngblood is president and CEO of Hire Scene, an online virtual hiring platform that connects prospective employees with jobs in the hospitality industry. Hire Scene, based on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, focuses on the gig economy, allowing users to pick up shifts listed by employers.

The Mistake:

It was a mistake to assume everyone understands my vision as well as I do.

Our product connects employees with jobs in minutes versus three or four days. We need to explain that process to who we’re connecting with, and not only the technology but to the workforce we’re going after.

It’s not safe to assume everybody you’re speaking with understands what you’re talking about when you say employees in the gig economy. I think one mistake is starting with the technology and not the people who are in the gig economy and why they’re there. What do they look like? What is their background? How do you speak to them? Then you go into the technology.

Learning the lesson of how to explain the process and the reason for the process has certainly strengthened our internal team. I want to make sure small details aren’t lost in translation because everything matters when we’re moving the platform this quickly.

Communication is a skill to learn for any career. It’s not only about speaking but about listening, and you should start learning these skills in your first job.

The Lesson:

This has changed my perspective on how to lead a team. It’s not just an ability to perform but the ability to communicate effectively. You need to clearly communicate your vision and bring all the stakeholders together with you as a group.

We’ve done focus groups on people who’ve used the app – employees, clients, people on the team I work with, and make sure we connect all the dots.

I learned the importance of explaining more than I think I need to, which translates to making the app more user-friendly. It’s important, not only to my team members but to the community that we explain what we’re doing in more detail than what we think we need to explain.

Communication is a skill to learn for any career. It’s not only about speaking but about listening, and you should start learning these skills in your first job.

Hire Scene is on Twitter at @hirescene.

Photo courtesy of Hire Scene.

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