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7 More Questions on Leadership with David Carmell

Name: David Carmell

Title: CEO/Founder

Organisation: DEALROCKIT LLC

David Carmell is the visionary founder behind the award-winning DEALROCKiT® and STARTUP ROCKiT platforms. These exceptional digital marketplaces and membership communities create unprecedented access and first-mover advantages, revolutionizing how businesses and brands approach scaling, engagement, and inclusivity. With a track record that speaks volumes, David is recognized as a global top 50 fintech thought leader and has been honored with prestigious innovation awards.

What truly distinguishes David is his unparalleled understanding of the multifaceted challenges and complexities confronting businesses and stakeholders today. His profound insights and expertise are invaluable resources, equipping CEOs and heads of talent with a groundbreaking playbook for professional development, innovation, and growth. David Carmell is a driving force, propelling people, businesses, and powerful ideas to achieve extraordinary success together at an unprecedented pace

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.

I hope David's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?

Building trust with employees, customers, and other stakeholders is crucial for effective leadership. To me, two immediate keys to building trust are consistency and communication. Work on being excellent at both and eventually 80% of your issues or fire drills will go away. Leaders that are consistent and good communicators are usually transparent, listen well enough, do not permit groupthink, and exude integrity and accountability making everyone else around them more willing to go the extra mile and move forward together as a team. Remember that trust takes time to develop but can be lost quickly. It's an ongoing effort that requires attention and commitment. By consistently demonstrating these qualities and behaviors, you can build and maintain trust with employees, customers, and stakeholders.

2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?


• Vision in essence is aspirational, pertaining to the organization’s hopes, dreams, or primary purpose that an organization strives to achieve. To some it is meant to depict a clear and inspiring picture of the future. To others it’s about shared purpose and bringing others into the fold. To me, vision is how we resonate with other players in our ecosystem, encouraging their willing buy-in and inviting them to hop on board, joining our “better together” journey.


• Mission defines an organization's fundamental purpose and reason for existence. It answers why the organization exists and what it aims to achieve. A mission statement serves as a daily reminder regarding who you play for acting as both a check and balance, guiding you and stakeholders, and forming the foundation for setting goals and strategies.

3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?

Part of empowering people involves putting them in the best position to succeed. Meaning before giving them the authority, responsibility, and resources to take ownership of their work and make decisions, leaders need to make sure they are trained well and ready to proceed forward with both parties being on the same page regarding setting clear expectations against a backdrop of balancing support, providing autonomy, and delegating responsibility.

4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?

Leadership mentors and coaches can have a profound impact. For example, one of my early career mentors was my first boss, who happened to be the chairman and CEO of a large public company. Fresh out of law school and in my role as the assistant to the chairman and CEO, Bob shared some invaluable advice from day one. Using baseball metaphors, he said, "With some people, you will be batting 300, which is very good. Just remember never to fall below that with them. With plenty of others, you will be batting closer to 100. You have nowhere to go but up. Good Luck!"

Bob was fully aware of the challenges I was stepping into, and as a great leader, he was deeply invested in my future and wanted me to succeed. He consistently provided invaluable insights and guidance on decision-making and strategic direction. Our relationship grew very close, and in fact, he became one of my first shareholders when I ventured out on my own.

5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?

Maintaining unwavering focus in a leadership role entails the following critical elements:

• Prioritization: Identifying and championing the most pivotal tasks and objectives, judiciously allocating time and resources.

• Delegation: Bestowing team members with the authority to assume ownership of tasks, thereby liberating the leader to concentrate on strategic imperatives.

• Time Management: Skillfully deploying time management techniques such as time blocking and establishing boundaries to fend off distractions.

• Clear Communication: Ensuring that objectives and expectations are impeccably communicated, diminishing the need for overbearing supervision.

• Regular Evaluation: Prudently assessing progress and recalibrating priorities when necessary to stay on the desired course.

• Discerning Your Presence: Recognizing when your leadership and guidance are indispensable and, conversely, discerning when to step back and grant your team autonomy.

6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?

I wish I could tell you that my approach to planning is a consistent routine day in and day out. But much like cooking, planning can vary depending on the circumstances – you add a little here, adjust there, all while holding certain aspects firmly in place. Effective planning entails setting both short-term and long-term goals, breaking them down into actionable steps, and skillfully allocating resources. However, as mentioned earlier, even the most meticulously crafted plans can deviate from expectations, requiring swift adjustments and adaptable forecasting. The ability to harness good data, intuition, and experience becomes a game-changing skill. It's crucial to work on honing these areas, transforming them into strengths, or surrounding yourself with individuals who excel in the areas where you may feel less comfortable. This ensures alignment with strategic goals and the agility to make necessary adjustments as circumstances evolve.

7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?

For leaders grappling with delegation challenges, consider the following two suggestions:

1. Embrace the Nike Approach: "Just Do It" Sometimes, the simplest approach is the most effective. Delegate tasks, projects, or responsibilities with confidence. Afterward, take the time to recap the delegation process, assess the outcomes, check for any issues or fallout, and most importantly, learn from the experience. Overthinking can often lead to hesitation, so trust your judgment, and remember that experience and training are invaluable assets in refining your delegation skills.

2. Diagnose the Delegation Challenge When encountering delegation difficulties, it's essential to pinpoint the root of the problem. Is the issue primarily with your ability to delegate, the person you've delegated to, or a combination of both? If the problem stems from your end, seek assistance and apply the "Just Do It" approach mentioned earlier. On the other hand, if the challenge lies with the individual you've delegated to, consider whether additional support, training, or resources are required to set them up for success. Identifying the source of the issue is the first step in addressing and resolving delegation hurdles effectively.

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