Name: Taylor Grey
Title: Founder & CEO
Could you quickly take a look and share your opinion on the short bio of me?
I'm Taylor Grey, the Founder & CEO of LyveSocial, and I consider myself a technology and social media entrepreneur. My background spans both technology and business, allowing me to provide strategic guidance across a diverse range of industries, including Social Media, Entertainment, Social Well-Being, and Data Analytics. My expertise is recognising market gaps, tracking trends, identifying opportunities and designing research protocols.
From a young age, I've had a natural talent for spotting potential, as demonstrated by my early recognition of the promise of Bitcoin back in 2010. Being futuristic and taking bold but informed risks has always been a significant part of my life.
My current venture, LyveSocial, is about reimagining how people perceive social media. We aim to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds by inspiring real-life meaningful connections through group-focused coupons at localised businesses.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Taylor's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The hardest thing about being a leader is the idea of being a leader, someone that people look to you for creative solutions and creating new pathways for the future. The concept carries an unknown weight and expectation that a leader inspires, has courage to take a stance and can create a vision for others to get behind and collectively realise. More importantly, they can trust others to deliver on their promises. When you create a vision and start something, that something slowly moves from a seedling idea to a nurtured measurable outcome. Trusting others to take care of it, to shape and maintain it, is one of the hardest things a leader has to overcome because, at the beginning, it all started with you. Over time, a leader has to adapt and evolve slowly, which requires letting go with a clear focus on all aspects or the original idea. It's something that's not easy to explain but something you come to understand only when you go through it.
It is one of the most complex challenges I have faced. Due to the complexity of our idea, with so many different elements and parameters, the risk is far too high to allow one person to tell others what to do or think! To inspire others to take the jump with you, they need to see themselves within the product; their DNA is just as important as yours, sometimes even more so. It's a fatal flaw to overlook and misunderstand the value of others. Another thing is that skills and experience must be balanced by the quality of the person's personality and then measured against your own. The first five people you bring on board tend to shape the culture and can either make or break it. Their personalities often become more important than their skills. For example, someone with curiosity can be more valuable than someone with more experience. The goal as a leader isn't always to hire the best; it's to bring on the right person at the right time. It's your job to evaluate the current situation, understand the wants and needs, and pick accordingly to maximise success. I believe the potential success of a venture is down to your ability to find smarter people than yourself, to bring them together, to inspire them with your passion and vision, to invest in them. Their ambitions should align with your ambitions; which is facilitated through open communication and trust. Together working to create something that is truly unique and different. It's the most rewarding and exciting part of being a leader.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
As a teen, I knew what I wanted out of life, I found my fire. I wanted to make an impact, to create something that will improve the lives of others. From that moment, I realised the importance of people. No one person alone can move a mountain, but by inspiring others, the mountain can be moved by collective cooperation.
A leader must truly understand themselves, their strengths, and more importantly their weaknesses. They need to know themselves completely, before they can begin to lead others. It is about playing the cards your dealt. For me that story started when I was in high school. Born with Asperger's, ADHD, and dyslexia I have been given a unique and different perspective. Yes, it does have its downside, but what I experience day-to-day, it’s through a unique lens. These traits, they gave me an edge, forcing me to find new ways, to adapt, and evolve into what I needed to.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Out of all the questions here, for me, this is probably the hardest to answer. There is no
actual structure, but it gets a little more complicated. My approach may differ from others
who previously have answered this question.
My schedule varies. Yes, there is a framework. But it’s more about setting goals rather than planning. It depends on what’s required; I break tasks into set goal blocks to get an overall timeline and prioritize. Prioritizing works because I am very task-focused due to my personality type. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, three-year, five-year goals and ten-year goals are planned backward. This approach gives me enough framework with added flexibility, but more importantly, overall motivation, letting me see the big picture, which I think is critical.
I am going to tell you something that can't be overlooked. Not every day is going to be a good day. Some days, you achieve more than others.
The up-and-down emotional journey is amplified when you have ADHD and Autism. As I said in my previous answer, understanding yourself is crucial here; everyone is different. I have learned that mornings are best for high-intensity activities such as writing and idea development. I habitually eat superfoods like blueberries to improve memory and cognitive function or take cold showers to induce a higher state of alertness.
It is about understanding the importance of hacking your brain, learning, and leveraging to maximize productivity. I have a goal to switch off before bedtime, but alas, I am not always successful. I have tried to explain what works for me; you will figure it out. Trust yourself.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
This goes back to my first answer. I learned this the hard way. We were able to bring on someone from Facebook. At the time, I believed it was a huge win. But it was mistaken. Remember how I said the first five people determine your culture? The importance of personality: it’s like the mortar between the bricks. The culture of Facebook is highly competitive. Our culture and our values are very different. It’s important to understand that because someone has experience, skills or worked at an amazing company, it does not mean they fit into your company. They can damage the team’s atmosphere, energy and efficiency; you are better off having them as advisors and not teammates.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The 48 Laws of Power book by Robert Greene. In my experience, understanding people and trying to see the world from the perspective of others is crucial. The influence of this book has changed the way I see the world. It has given me the tools to read social cues, which I struggled with in childhood. This book also changes the way I come up with ideas, the way I look at them, how I understand the motivations in the design, and the importance of focusing on small details: understanding intentions and the importance of asking questions with strategy. The gift that this book gives you is that it arms you with the ability to view things differently and ask the right questions.
The social platform we are building is LyveSocial. It is built on design principles, algorithms, and features, all geared towards genuine and authentic engagement and helping people be ‘social.’ Lyve’s mission is to blur the lines between the digital and physical worlds and restore the true spirit of 'social' in social media. This book gifted me necessary life skills along my learning journey.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
My advice is that being a leader is about being curious, teaching yourself, teaching others and letting others teach you. A lot of people will tell you how to be a leader, what you should do, what you need to do.
There are many leaders you will look up to. But being a leader is about being you. Your characteristics, your traits, your curiosity - these are the seeds of leadership. You already have these. It’s just up to you.
So, my advice to you is to embrace your unique qualities, trust in your perspective, and let your innate traits guide you on your journey to becoming a great leader.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
As I mentioned earlier, being a leader is about guiding others to create something truly unique and different. It can be the most rewarding and exciting part of leadership. We faced a significant challenge in our journey when we decided to scrap our design not once but four times! The last time, we completely overhauled our idea. At that point, we questioned whether to continue or call it quits. We emerged from that phase with a completely new vision of what we wanted to achieve. This is what a leader is all about. It’s about relighting the fire in others, not being afraid of what could happen, and instead, talking, showing, and getting your hands dirty. I quickly sketched some designs in a Word document, overlaying shapes to visualize our ideas. From there, we started engaging with random people on the street – I must admit, I looked like a crazy guy. But this time, there was excitement in their eyes. The more we showed people, the more they became interested in what we were doing. We got it right with our potential users!