Twitter's Dick Costolo Believes in Team Building
BY Will Yakowicz
Having been named CEO of the year at the Crunchie Awards, Costolo had plenty of thoughts on what makes a great leader.
Dick Costolo may not have become an actor as he'd hoped, but the chief of executive of Twitter has certainly been in the spotlight since Twitter went public last year. On Monday, Costolo was honored as "CEO of the Year" at the seventh annual Crunchie Awards in San Francisco.
In an interview afterward with TechCrunch, the host of the event, Costolo called the honor "a team award" and said "it's the people inside the company that make the company what it is, and I certainly wouldn't be here without them."
Costolo also gave viewers a sense of what it takes to be the top executive at a newly-minted public tech company.
"'One of the great players in the NBA told me that championships aren't won on the court, they're won on the bus,'" he said, "and what he was referring to is that sense of team building and making sure that it feels like a team, and that you're all pulling for each other and working together. That is what makes something work. And I think that's something I just really pay very careful attention to."
Costolo also discussed his interview with Inc. president and editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg, in which he described himself as being "present" and "in the moment" with employees--a skill he learned while doing improvisational acting with Chicago's legendary Second City.
"I try to be really present and there for the team, and to understand what everybody else understands," he told TechCrunch. "Because when you have that understanding of what everybody else understands, you can provide the proper context for the decisions that are being made and help communicate those decisions. And then it's easier for everybody else in the company to feel like they have a sense of why decisions are being made."
WILL YAKOWICZ is a reporter at Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and politics at Patch.com, and his work has been published in Tablet Magazine and The Brooklyn Paper. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. @WillYakowicz