Do you think differently about your role as “manager” and “leader?” Darin Lynch, founder and chief liberation officer of the digital agency Irish Titan, sees the two roles as distinct and complementary. His dedication to good leadership is apparent in the work he and his team produce, and even in how he named his agency. “I felt strongly that I not name the company after me, because I wanted to build something bigger and better than myself…plus, I really like the sound of ‘Irish Titan.’”
Leadership, Not Just Management
It’s easy to think of leadership as a list of responsibilities: weekly reporting, annual reviews, and systems to make a business scalable. Darin sees it differently: “The processes and structures needed to manage a business are essential to open up real leadership. Good leaders surround themselves with people who excel at managing, so the leaders themselves are free to motivate their team.” He says he has learned management skills – but his real passion is connecting with, and inspiring, his employees. “I feel lucky to be able to walk around the office and reward excellent work, or encourage someone to tackle a bigger project than they thought they could.”
Darin’s commitment to goodness continues to grow. After sponsoring several Good Leadership Breakfasts, he and his team were impressed with our exercise in generosity: at each breakfast we ask guests to donate cash into a Handy Paint Pail, and a randomly-drawn guest gets to donate the money collected to their favorite charity. That focus on generosity was part of what inspired Darin to start Irish Titan’s pro-bono program. Every quarter, he and his team build a website for a local non-profit, walking the non-profit through Irish Titan’s full digital development process free of charge. Goodness grows because it’s contagious!
A Blended Life
When I asked Darin how he creates connections with every employee, he nodded to The Seven Fs. Our firm created The Seven Fs to evaluate satisfaction in Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Fun, and Future for leaders – but Darin sees it as a tool to help structure conversations and understand other people’s priorities. And in his own life? “I believe in the message of blending rather than balancing. Almost every F shows up in my life every day.” Whether he is bringing his teenage daughters to work, or playing basketball with his friends, he is always blending: family and finances, fitness and friends. And in every situation…fun!
Darin is motivated to leave a legacy both for his business and for his family. Blending The Seven Fs helps him focus on the work needed to build a company and set a great example for his daughters: “If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of others.” Even though his life is hectic and full, he feels satisfied with how he blends his priorities. “I get to wake up every day and do what I was put on earth to do. I’ve always tried to be a good leader; now I get to turn that leadership into a legacy.”
Good leaders know the important balance of leadership and management. And they blend the Seven Fs into their work to create a life that will leave a legacy.