Nick Smoot has been on a lifelong mission to help people identify opportunity and open up channels to collaborate. He started working in nonprofits as a 19-year-old, helping teens identify their life story and helping parents tell theirs to their children to facilitate a more open relationship.
Seeing many companies that needed to be able to tell their story better, Smoot moved into consulting and in his “spare time,” launched a real estate tech company, Toor.me. The company continues to give sales agents the ability to tell the story of the home they are selling across communication devices (phones, tablets, etc) with high-resolution pictures and brochures.
Smoot has now created a company to make business travel much more worthwhile. HereOn.biz alerts business professionals when someone from their network is nearby while traveling, utilizing phone contacts and LinkedIn. This business app helps people identify nearby opportunities and provides secure chat within the app to open up a conversation and collaboration. Smoot says, “Think of it like a dating app but instead of love opportunities, we provide business opportunities.”
In addition to road-networking, HereOn.biz now gives one user a month a mentoring opportunity, pairing him or her with a high-profile business professional for a 45-minute mentorship session. The app’s “influencers” include a Wal-Mart board member as well as highly placed politicians and executives from companies such as Guggenheim Partners and Tumblr.
Here are the three things Smoot thinks make a good leader:
1. Accurately know your strengths and be confident in them. Accurately know your weaknesses, and build a team you couldn’t live without around those weaknesses.
2. Read obsessively about things that matter. Ask those you respect as leaders for their top three books of all time. Then read those. (When I was a pre-teen, my father gave me three books to read, and he wrote on the inside flap of each why he wanted me to read them. He also paid me $20 for every book I read! They were: Dress for Success by John T. Molloy, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.
3. Know that it all comes down to people. Every great leader I have ever met understands vision, goal setting, how to make hard decisions, process, etc., but at the end of the day they all know delighting people and showing that they care, in good and bad times, is key.