When asked what motivates and invigorates me as a leader, I do not hesitate to say that above all else, I am intrigued by innovation and excellence— the ongoing search for ways to do things better and smarter. We live in a complex world and Gensler clients are looking for “game-changing” ideas—and that means redefining the possibilities!

After many years in business, it is still a source of excitement and pride to see people achieve excellence. My objective at Gensler is to nurture in others an understanding and appreciation of the power of innovation and excellence and how to achieve extraordinary design as individual talents working in teams. There is no question that individual ideas and achievements are a vital part of the creative process. However, powerful synergies develop when groups of creative thinkers come together. When a team takes that seminal idea, builds upon and transforms it, the best ideas become extraordinary design concepts. The spontaneous generation of genius in the group setting generates creative momentum in the group—that’s when the transformative power of synergy is ignited!

Effective leadership requires a balance between the unrelenting commitment to excellence, and the empowerment of the individual talent to develop and grow.

Excellence and empowerment must be balanced; singular focus on either creates unintended consequences. With a strong drive for excellence only, it is possible to frustrate new and undeveloped emerging talent that needs supporting and nurturing, not heavy-handed criticism. Likewise, a leader who fails to monitor and manage individuals’ empowerment runs the risk of multiple objectives undermining the clarity of purpose.

Achieving superior results also means motivating team members. True leadership is about being able to raise the bar, motivating others to reexamine, reevaluate, and rethink without losing enthusiasm or commitment.

Working with our firm’s leadership—all of whom are committed to collaboration and synergy as a “one firm firm”—has been a source of energy and inspiration for me at Gensler. Throughout my career, I have found that the most compelling and accomplished leaders are the ones who think this way. My daily effort continues to ensure that, as our team strives for ever-greater excellence, everyone at Gensler knows that I look for the best in them and strive to help them achieve their greatest potential.