Graham McConnell, CEO and co-founder of Nth Round, gave an interview with Executive Aspect, a leading podcast on millennial entrepreneurship, about being a team leader, inspirations on becoming an entrepreneur, and insights on private business equity management.
Graham, 28, discussed the transition from a “behind the scenes” corporate software engineer to a manager for all aspects of running a company. In starting Nth Round in 2018 after working for various companies—from a start-up to an institutional investment manager—Graham tells the story about how he first sat down to write all the things he appreciated in his previous bosses. That has helped him to guide his own management style, “When you start having people work for you…all it comes down to is ‘are you enabling people to do the work they want to do?’”
From marketing, sales, development, and more, Graham’s leadership style focuses on “management by walking around” and being a “cheerleader” for his team. He thrives on conducting daily organic conversations with teammates, sometimes not even having to do with business. Rather, having casual interaction with members of his staff allows for him to find ways in supporting them, which motivates everyone to bring their best to the table. “Take none of the credit and all of the blame. Give credit to others because that’s where it’s due,” Graham said.
Asked by host Josh Marcolino what gives Graham a unique “x factor” as a leader, he answered, “My ability to listen and not be the loudest voice in the room; everyone around you is much more specialized [than you are] and you need to trust their perspective.” Graham also credited his dad, Nth Round’s other co-founder Chris McConnell, for fostering his outlook on leadership.
Learn more about Nth Round by visiting nthround.com
Graham is an entrepreneur with strong passions in finance and technology, especially software development, cyber-security, and blockchain protocols. After stints at TA Instruments and Savana, Inc., Graham joined Relay Network, where he served as product owner, managing priorities for a team of twelve software developers and test engineers. Drawn to finance, Graham then joined AJO Partners ($25B AUM), a top-tier quantitative investment firm, where he oversaw software development. Today Graham runs all aspects of Nth Round operations: from product development, to sales and marketing, to customer support.