Preston Smith on When to Be a Hands-Off Team Leader

In Chapter 15 of 22 in his 2014 Capture Your Flag interview, elementary charter school network CEO Preston Smith answers "When Are You At Your Best?" As a CEO, Smith learns when not to be a hands-on leader and focus his energy on empowering employee teams in a hands-off way. He finds he can be at his best by putting people in a position to succeed and learning when to insert himself and provide support.

Preston Smith is co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Education, the highest performing low-income school system in California. After graduating the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Smith joined Teach for America. After three years teaching 1st Grade, he founded a district school in San Jose and became its principal. Smith was selected as a member of the 2010 class of Aspen Institute New Schools Fellows.