CEO Mel Price Interviewed for Authority Magazine

WPA co-founder and CEO Mel Price was recently interviewed for Authority Magazine’s series on “successful rulebreakers.” The in-depth conversation covers the experiences and ideas that helped shape WPA at its founding, some of the challenges she and cofounder Thom White have faced in the 14 years since, and the principles that guide the firm as it works to build more resilient communities.

Mel also shared these five strategies that helped the firm succeed while doing things differently: 

  1. Know Your Mission and Core Values — The mission and core values that we set for the company in our business plan still hold true today. The vision is something that we are constantly refining with our whole team as we grow together. Without taking the time to set a clear mission and core values, we would not have had a framework for making so many key decisions about what work to take on, who our clients would be, and who would be a great fit for our team.
  2. Be Transparent — The more we share what we know and what we don’t know with others, the more that honesty and transparency pays off. Be clear about what you know, what you have a hunch about but are just testing out in search of an answer, and what you don’t know and need help with. It’s incredible how many people and experts will come to your aid when you are open about needing a little advice.
  3. Listen — Every time I’m faced with a person who is behaving in a way that is challenging, I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine things from their perspective. If I don’t have the lived experience to do this, I ask them to have a conversation with me and I try to focus on asking questions and listening. Once someone can see that you care, there are few problems you can’t solve together.
  4. Trust Yourself — In the early days of my career (and sometime still today), I was often told that I was “too nice” and that people doubted my ability to get things done because of this. After receiving this backhanded compliment a number of times, I looked back and realized that I had prevailed in nearly every situation and I did so without breaking people and organizations. My method admittedly takes more time, but it brings people along with me, and I believe there’s power in that. I trust myself to get things done my way, and I thankfully had the confidence to keep working in a way that was successful for me. I now work hard to help my team develop their self-confidence and a way of working that is authentic to them. There are many ways to accomplish great things.
  5. Follow Through — If you say you are going to do something, do it. I’ve seen more trust built and broken on follow-through and implementation. Trust takes a long time to earn, and a short time to break. Once lost, it takes even longer to earn again. If you dream about being a leader, start by writing down what you commit to, and checking it off your list. You will be recognized by your peers and by leadership in no time.

Read the full interview with Chad Silverstein here.

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