October 25, 2017

Actions Speak Louder than Words in Culture, with Drew Davis

Episode 112:

Having led in both restaurants and a startup, Drew is no stranger to the travails of leadership, mentorship, and management in chaotic, cash-constrained environments. He currently serves as Human Capital Advisor to Fulcrum Investing and as an Engagement Manager for Artemis Connection. He recently published his first book, “What I Learned Before 30.”

Drew climbed the ladder of the restaurant industry as many do: with a great deal of empathy, a little bit of luck, and a massive amount of overconfidence. After graduating from Harvard in 2009, he worked his way up from being a busboy in Boston to being a beverage director for Momofuku in New York City, where he managed the buying, pricing, and selling of wine, beer, and spirits for the restaurant. He decided that he wanted to have more ownership of the guest experiences he was creating, so he took to Chicago to see how Booth could help him open his own restaurant.

While attending Booth, Drew met his business partner, Hunter Swartz, and the two quickly realized that their shared background in endurance sports mixed with complementary work experiences could build something remarkable. Drew joined the Eastman Egg team in January 2014 and served as COO for three years. In his time there, the company grew to four operating units and grew its revenues and team each by a factor of 10.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why Drew decided to leave a business that he built up
  • The importance of actually taking action
  • The coaching groups and one-on-one sessions Drew built after leaving his business
  • Being open-minded to change in your business and being ready to not necessarily stick with your original idea
  • Why culture is more about how you interact with your team and your customers and less about how well written your mission statement is
  • Incentivizing people to act in accordance with your company culture
  • How to attract the right candidates
  • Why you should ask your team “why do you work?”
  • The benefits of empathetic leadership
  • The difference between working towards something and finishing something and why it matters

Ways to contact Drew: