A Leader is Someone Who People are Willing to Run Through Walls for When Times are Tough


A Leader is Someone Who People are Willing to Run Through Walls for When Times are Tough


Managing Partner, EnSight Technologies

What makes a leader?

Good leaders know how to get the best out of people. A leader is someone who people are willing to run through walls for when times are tough. When there are turbulent times, people will do what’s needed for the organization to succeed. They are inspirational and respected. 

What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

Leadership and management are two different things. There is vision and there are tactics. A leader sees what needs to be done to succeed; managers oversee day-to-day things. Leaders get people to excel; managers make sure the wheels are on the bus.

How do you motivate yourself to see things anew every day?

I’m a huge believe that in life you only have so much time every day and you need to accomplish as much as you can in that limited time. I get up at 4:30 every day and start by setting a good positive mindset. I’m a driver and have a lot of energy. We only get one life, and we need to make the most of it every day.

What are the biggest challenges you face today in 2022 as a leader?

In leadership, the biggest challenge is people management. I need to be able to identify the group of people who can go out and achieve a set goal and motivate them to excel. That means finding the best talent and motivating them for the greater good. My job is to set a vision around a higher purpose and keep our people motivated to achieve that vision.

Do the C titles make a difference and if so, how?

In some respects, C titles give unwarranted glory, clout, and respect. The question is: How can you connect with every member of your team and get honest feedback? The higher you go up the food chain, the more challenging it is to get candid feedback from your people. When you have a C title people aren’t always open and honest about their ideas. That’s why you don’t want to surround yourself with people who are just going to fall in line. You need people who will tell you what you need to hear; not what you want to hear.

From historical figures or people in public eye, who would you want to be your leader/CEO?

Roosevelt and Churchill are perfect examples. Talk about a time that was tumultuous! Roosevelt and Churchill were able to take people’s fear and turn it into a commitment to work for a common purpose. They were unifiers and inspirational leaders who could build bonds and effective relationships. 

What are the essential ingredients for a successful team?

A team must be unified around a common vision. With any successful team, you can’t have the same cookie-cutter traits and skills. You need to have a well-rounded team with complementary skills. Some team members will lead from the front while others will be more thoughtful and introverted in their thought processes. For the team to be successful, you need them all to come together. I’m a huge baseball fan and baseball teams provide a good example: you need a leadoff hitter, a clean-up hitter, and a number nine hitter. Successful teams don’t just have superstars, they need role players too. 

What is your dream job?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional surfer. Today, though, I think I’d like to be an investor supporting companies with interesting products or services and ideas I find impactful. I’d love to combine that with my love of world travel to become a serial angel investor helping companies across the world.

How do you re-invent yourself daily to avoid being complacent?

I’m not always trying to re-invent myself, but I am trying to get the most out of myself. To be the best version of myself every day. I surround myself with people who are smarter than I am, and I think having humility is very important in a leadership role. //

Chris Scheppmann, Managing Partner, EnSight Technologies

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Chris Scheppmann
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