Todd Fein: An Exponential Leader

Leaders need to be empowering. Todd Fein, CEO of Green Diamond, LLC, exemplifies this quality and has used it to spur some profound transformations.

Below are highlights of an interview CIOLook conducted with Todd:

Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a leader.

Like most, it began with my parents modeling what leadership could be – compassion, imagination, courage, diligence, perseverance. That fueled my fascination with what the world could be and what I could do about it. Being captain of a sports team and school officer were early lessons in what people need from leaders, and I’ve journeyed on by leading and serving major transformations throughout my professional career.

In my first job, in the 1990’s, I was one of three people at a $1+ billion consulting firm operating in 40+ countries who designed and was named as a co-inventor of an enterprise-wide system to transform the management of regulated entities. It was not only the first invention to receive a patent in the company’s 30-year history, but it was also nominated for archival in the Smithsonian, showcased to all the governors, and adopted by both agencies and the tens of thousands of companies and entities across the US with whom they interact and exchange data. Last I checked, which was already years ago, the solution was handling well over 1 million permits and $500 million dollars in annual fees.

In my second job, around 2000, I was a founding team member of a company that pioneered a cloud-based event, marketing, and analytics platform, to transform how people connect. Leadership there required helping shape and execute on the go-to-market strategy through a period of explosive growth. Last I checked, they had become the world’s largest platform of their kind, supporting 200,000+ people in 40+ countries on 500,000+ annual events and campaigns.

While founding my next company, I immediately gained a deeper appreciation of leadership in the public sector. I was engaged by the CTO of the State of New Jersey, the top executive the State’s then 1,000+ person, $200+ million central Office of Information Technology (OIT), to help him incubate new ideas and programs, ranging from leadership education and revenue generation to shared infrastructure and technology enablement for economic development.

And from subsequent engagements with both public and private sector clients, ranging from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Education and House of Representatives to Wal-Mart, CVS Pharmacy, and Bank of America, my leadership journey continued through driving solutions that could make the biggest differences for the greatest number of people. For instance, I led concurrent initiatives for our clients CVS Pharmacy, AARP, and the US Department of Health & Human Services to enhance information, advocacy, service, and product for the tens of millions of people they each touch, including roughly 40 million all three served as “customers.” From there, I led efforts to package our work into a reusable solution suite I coined “Insight,” which later became the major attraction for Accenture Interactive, who then agreed to buy that part of the business.

Motivated even more by my three wonderful children, I’m excited to now be leading the evolution of our sustainability strategy and technology platform.

I keep learning much about leadership, and the three things I have learned matter most are that leaders needs to give more than they take, imagine more than they know, and focus more on character than reputation.

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