We caught up with Grace Rachmany to find out about her new course for leaders of decentralized organisations. Here’s what she had to tell us.
When and where is it on?
We will be running the course monthly starting in September in different locations in Europe. (Other locations on request.) The first two courses are September 5-6 in Amsterdam and October 8-9 in Bratislava. We are set up near major hubs, so people can fly in easily.
How many years has it been going?
It’s completely new! Marco and I have been mentoring startups for at least a decade each, and Alex has been teaching personal development for 15 years. We developed this curriculum now because there are many organizations that have raised money but the founders have limited (or no) management training.
We also realize that running a decentralized organization is a new discipline, so this is a new curriculum for a new industry and a new set of leaders. Alex has been part of the founding team of an organization which has had no one leader for 15 years, so his experience is particularly relevant in creating a training program designed for this new industry. Marco and I have each managed multiple startups, so we have gone through all of the leadership problems personally, and we know what it takes to succeed.
What was the inspiration to start it?
We are inspired by the brilliant engineers who have raised large amounts of capital for ambitious projects, but simultaneously concerned about how they will rapidly get the training they need to lead teams that are dispersed around the globe. We can already see how few projects are delivering products, and that’s a failure of leadership.
Fortunately, leadership is like any other skill: it can be taught and learned. Our workshops are designed as two-day crash courses that give leaders an immediate boost in their ability to effectively lead their teams and create the right incentive and governance systems in their organizations. After you’ve raised the money, the greatest challenges are with the team building. All the money in the world can’t solve personnel problems.
In the blockchain industry, we envision new forms of voting, governance and decision making, but in fact we are in a crisis of leadership right now. We can’t develop new systems with our old ways of thinking. The people who are developing these systems have all been indoctrinated by the hierarchical way of thinking. If we continue to think this way, our governance and voting technology will reflect this old way of thinking. As an industry, we need to develop a new set of skills that allow us to collaborate and communicate with one another.
We started by writing a handbook for leaders: So You’ve Got a DAO: Handbook for distributed and connected leadership 1.0. However, we know that the best way to get this training is in-person, with an experienced coach who can give you immediate feedback, so we designed the courses around the book.
What exciting things can people look forward to?
The workshops are fun and take place in a community environment. We hire a large AirBnB and have our meals together and collaborate during the event. We create a sense of community so that the participants can stay in touch after the event and support one another in the new skills they use. We have one evening out during the two days where we send people on a mission with one of their colleagues.
What opportunities are on offer for those attending?
Participants will be taking a deep dive into what works and doesn’t work in their personal leadership. It’s not a lecture format: it’s a workshop. You will be exposed to the problems that are universal for all the leaders, and those that are specific to you personally. One-on-one coaching is included to create personal breakthroughs for every participant, in the areas that will most impact their companies and organizations.
Who will be speaking?
It’s a workshop, so we don’t think of ourselves as “speakers” but as facilitators. Marco Houwen and myself (Grace Rachmany) will be facilitating different sections of the workshop, and Alex Dower will be serving as an emcee to provide one-on-one coaching and additional support for breakout sessions.
- Marco Houwen : Project Lead for Infrachain, the EU public-private blockchain initiative. Tech entrepreneur with 15 years of experience as a CEO and leader in the technology and telecommunications industry in Luxembourg.
- Grace Rachmany : Serial entrepreneur, most recently of IwriteICOwhitepapers.com. Mentor and coach for Microsoft Ventures, more than 25 years in the technology industry in Silicon Wadi (Israel).
- Alex Dower : Teacher, actor and director. Facilitates training for underserved communities as well as corporations, works in prisons, mental health, refugee communities, and others who are almost as difficult to train as software developers.
What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?
Come ready to admit your weaknesses and mistakes.
Be willing to consider that you are the source of everything in your company.
The most honest you can be about what doesn’t work, the faster we can move through it and get you the skills you need. Many young managers don’t realize that they don’t have to pretend to have all the answers. Leaders are people who can admit their mistakes and quickly find the answers from mentors who have been there before. Being willing to consider yourself as the source of the problem gives you power. If it’s not your fault, you can’t solve it. If you are fully responsible, it means you can find a solution.
How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?
Register here: http://daoleadership.com/
We will have an interview with you personally, to make sure the workshop is right for you and that you will be able to honor the privacy and intimacy of the small group format.
We usually sell out 2 weeks ahead of the seminar, and we conduct the workshops on a monthly basis. We keep our workshops small so participants are comfortable sharing honestly.
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
If you don’t know us and are wondering why you should trust us, we are offering a free 45-minute coaching session to get to know what you can actually accomplish in a short time. You can sign up here for 45 minutes of one-on-one coaching on any issue you are having in your team or with your communications or leadership. We promise you’ll get amazing value on the call, whether or not you decide to sign up for the workshop.