Communication Keeps Rosetta Stone's Crew Rowing Together

The following video excerpt was taken from an interview with Steve Swad, CEO of Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST  ) , in which he talks about his business philosophy, and how it is driving success both for language learners and for the company itself. In this segment, he discusses how his leadership style drives the company forward.  

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David Gardner: We think a lot about leadership and I always feel like when I'm buying a stock, first of all, I'm doing it for the long term, and so it really isn't about last quarter or next quarter.

Steve Swad: Right.

David: It's very much ultimately about the people that are driving the business because assuming that they're going to be around for a while, which we hope you are going to be, that's the surest correlation between how I'm going to do, their ability, their talent, their vision and how my stock price is going to do.

So with that said, just a couple of questions about leadership for you. Leadership means too many things. It's a word that means something to everyone. What does leadership mean to you?

Swad: I think it starts with explaining where we are and where we're heading, and just being very transparent on both and getting an entire company, north of a thousand people, north of 1,200 people, hopefully north of 5,000 people rowing in the same direction every day without question. I know where I am; I know where I'm going.

And so I communicate a lot, formally, quarterly and then through writing or phone calls, just so everyone knows where we are and where we're going with the goal of having everybody rowing in the same direction all the time.

David: Very well put. Would you say that's a change in the culture since before you were CEO? Has this culture changed, or is it more of the same? Have we always been rowing?

Swad: I think we're probably doing a better job rowing together. I think we're doing a slightly better job at communicating where we are and where we're going. I don't spend much time in the past. Whenever you ask me going back, I have to squint and think, so it's very much what I just said. Where are we? Where we're going.


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