Peak Four: Leadership and Culture

Thriving leaders develop positive culture by embracing vulnerability. Innovators create an atmosphere with supportive environments, healthy communications, and bold intentions.


This week, we sat down with Vance Brown to hear a bit more about our fourth peak, Leadership and Culture. Vance is the co-founder and board president at Exponential Impact.

How have you seen and worked with Leadership and Culture while at XI?


At Exponential Impact, we begin the Accelerator program at Launch Camp. This three-day retreat in the Rocky Mountains allows us to understand who the startup founders are as people and better understand their story. While we use this time to look at the startup’s technology, the XI staff and mentors focus on the qualities that make thriving leaders. The main qualities thriving leaders embody are: transformed, humility, resilient, integrated (mind, soul, and body), visionary, ethical, and sustainable.

When we select startups to join the Accelerator or Amplify program, we first look for leaders that want to build great cultures. While a lot of leadership traits can be learned, the person must be open to learning and willing to improve their internal and external awareness.

How do you think a startup applying for our 2020 accelerator program should embrace Leadership and Culture?


Leadership and culture are more important than the technology for emerging startups. Technology can change, pivot, and advance, but culture defines your values and what is important to an organization. Peter Drucker, a leader in management education, said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” A leader’s biggest role is to define the culture, model the culture, and set the tone. Through the Accelerator selection process, we are looking for founders and leaders invested in fostering a positive culture early on for their startup.

Share a bit more about yourself. Has Leadership and Culture influenced your life in other ways?


Leadership and culture are “my why”. After leading three different technology companies, I have found that leadership and culture are the biggest indicators of success. I strive to foster ethical leadership and good culture. This focus is a driving force behind building teams with character that want to change the world.


Leadership and Culture