By Charndré Emma Kippie
Global Wealth Group, a leading meta-marketplace offering opportunities for investors to crowdfund property, recently announced its Head of Product and Chief Product Officer of WealthPoint, Linden Booth. Linden has also just joined the Forbes Technology Council. This is an invitation-only community for respected technology leaders and senior level executives, and Booth was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience.
Linden specialises in Product Management, Global Compliance and Structuring, and Real Estate. He also holds a BSC Hons degree in Economics and Environmental Management, which he obtained at the University of Cape Town.
Please provide a brief outline of your background.
In my career I have always been driven by purpose. While still a student at UCT, I started my first social entrepreneurship organisation as a not-for-profit, in 1995, facilitating community involvement in parliament as South Africa started the work of replacing apartheid laws and rewriting the frameworks that would govern how we emerged as a young democracy.
In my career I have worked in the fields of executive coaching, performance consulting, as well as environmental activism, before gravitating to tech with the Global Wealth Group. I continue to do community-based development projects as passion projects.
How did your journey with Global Wealth Group begin and what is your role now?
My first engagement with the company started in 2014, when I was a consultant working with executive teams. The CEO, Scott Picken, brought me into the company to work on creating a high-performance culture. At the end of the contract, he invited me to join the team full time. I was excited at the opportunity to learn from inside a rapidly moving fin-tech company.
I am currently the Head of Product for our global marketplaces. In this role, I ensure that we have a great product that our clients want, that offers a superb investor experience while ticking all the compliance boxes and driving a scalable business model.
Congratulations on your invitation to join the Forbes Technology Council! How are you feeling about this achievement?
Thank you. I am very excited that Forbes embraces a global outlook. Technology has changed the world, and in terms of the social good that it can bring globally we are only getting started. This is a great opportunity to contribute through the council to continue exploring how we can use technology to close the global wealth gap. On a personal level, I am excited to be able to connect, collaborate and learn alongside so many truly inspirational leaders.
How will you be contributing to the Council?
The Council regularly engages with its members around key topics and issues facing leaders in the tech space. Through being part of panels and contributing thought leadership articles I am committed to sharing a broader, global perspective. Where possible I will also be introducing and connecting other fintech leaders and colleagues to people I meet within the council to create a bigger platform for global collaboration.
What are your top 3 tips for good leadership?
- Do your own personal development work. Most of the time we react or engage with others based on beliefs created from our own personal stories and lives. Every leader must be able to discern when something is their own issue, rather than something real in the room.
- Choose the right team. The first act of a leader is choosing who you want in your team. This is the most important decision you will make, so make sure you are aligned on values.
- Give your team the benefit of the doubt on their intentions. When something goes wrong, start by assuming that the intentions were good, and then find out what went wrong in strategy or execution. This creates a team in which people do not feel personally attacked, and an atmosphere in which ideas and actions can be vigorously examined. For this to work, you need to have a handle on the first two points mentioned above.
How have you managed to overcome hurdles faced in your field?
I do not come from a tech background, and still to this day have a limited knowledge of many of the strictly tech aspects of our work. I had to earn the trust of my tech team through being 100% on my game when it comes to being able to articulate the business and client needs for our product and being confident around where I can add value to the team.
Similarly, to ensure I keep their respect, I have to demonstrate daily that I trust their knowledge and experience, and don’t ever try to tell them how to do their job.
On a global scale, we often face the hurdle of getting a foot in the door with potential USA partners. To overcome this means we just have to be able to articulate our value add very quickly and clearly, while blowing them away with our professionalism and knowledge.
Do you have any recommendations for good books on leadership?
Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.
What advice would you give to tech entrepreneurs?
Build a product led company, and drive growth by ensuring your product is at the heart of your customers’ experience.
*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.
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