1. Who are you?
Mike Bott, General Manager of The Brandery.
2. Where did you work before The Brandery?
I worked in brand management at P&G, and before that I worked as a product manager for AOL and for Match.com
3. What are your primary roles at The Brandery?
I do everything from vetting companies, mentoring companies, to changing toilet paper rolls. I also take care of hiring for interns and other employees, and planning events throughout the course of the program.
4. How does your previous work experience influence your management style now?
At P&G, I developed techniques for work plans and goal-setting, but the way I approach things is impacted by my time at AOL or Match.com. The power of having worked in multiples places is that you can form your own ideal based on all types of perspectives and skills. Every organization is very different and The Brandery, especially, has to have a very unique work structure.
5. How would you describe your management philosophy?
My management style is similar to Nelson Mandela’s philosophy, “leading from behind.” What I try to do is get people excited about where we are going. If the end destination is understood, I think you get better results once you just energize them to get after it.
6. What do you most value in an employee?
I value self-starters who have attention to detail and take responsibility for their work. I want an employee to challenge me, so confidence is also a big factor. In this fast-paced environment, nothing can be half-assed.
7. What do you value in an employer?
I look for clear responsibility, a sense of autonomy, and an opportunity to do something meaningful. I also look for how the opportunity is going to help me to learn a skill or develop as a professional.
8. Where do you see The Brandery in the future?
There is some opportunity to do some startup executive classes, like two-week intensive classes, where the teams do not have to give up 6% but will learn a lot to help them build their company. I don’t necessarily think we need to expand to two classes a year or anything; it’s more about doing as much as we can to sharpen the sword in everything we do.
If you have questions for Mike, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.