When people talk about those "creative-types" here in Fort Wayne, Greg Jacobs, president at TekVenture, is the epitome of title.
Jacobs has been involved in integral projects in the Fort Wayne area since the 70s. From the nearly 8 years working with a dedicated team of professionals to establish Fort Wayne's only science museum - Science Central - to the Silver Screen movie theatre which was then brought into modern age with the creation of The Cinema Center, Jacobs has had a hidden-hand in many projects that makes Fort Wayne so creative, artistic and fruitful.
But for Jacobs, he said his 8-year-and-counting TekVenture project has been one of the most exciting projects so far. As TekVenture continues to grow, Jacobs reflects back on his career.
As we celebrate Presidents' Day this month, Feb. 17, we sat down to talk with Jacobs about leaderships skills, inspirations, career and life.
1. Who is your favorite U.S. President and why?
Thomas Jefferson was one of our most creative leaders. A true Renaissance man, he was an architect, designer and inventor. He encouraged inventions and entrepreneurship in the new United States. He was a statesman with the charm, knowledge and mastery required to win over Europe to the support of the fledgling US at a time when European powers were much greater than the US. He was an experienced botanist and agrarian as well understanding the value of the earth and farming in sustaining the new nation. His energy and creativity are those traits that inspire me.
Another 'President" who is my hero is my great uncle George Amidon Jacobs who invented durable enamel coatings for copper wire, developed the machines to apply it and created in his own business, the Dudlo Manufacturing Company, the magnet-wire industry in Fort Wayne at the turn of the 20th century. He was an honorable business man who made significant contributions to building his community.
2. What is one quote or philosophy that you live by?
Shakespeare says thru Brutus in Julius Caesar;
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood
Leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat
And we must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures."
3. If you could give tips for advice about life and work, what would that be?
Hang on and keep going. It takes "at least an hour" to create a masterpiece.
4. Tell me about your style of leadership.
I am a very low-key leader. I prefer to facilitate interactions among people out of which come ideas, actions, forward motion and results. I am an idea person who likes to share ideas with those who commit to refining and making those ideas work. I also like to create opportunities and operating environments in which the creative thinking and activity of people is facilitated and amplified.
It is too easy to go through the motions of "being creative" without understanding the often circuitous, contrary and sometimes painful process of bringing ideas to fruition.