Leadership in Action: Jack Peterson

Leadership in Action is our ongoing series featuring inspiring leaders who are taking conscious leadership into their workplaces and lives.

Jack Peterson is Co-founder and CXO of Charmed, a Techstars-backed company that is reimagining how people interact on dating apps. Coaching is an integral part of the Techstars accelerator program. As part of the 2020 Boulder Techstars cohort, Jack chose Crafted Leadership’s Julianna Christie to be his coach.

What’s a habit you had to give up to advance your leadership?

Procrastination (or at least I’m trying to). In a leadership role, I’m much more aware of how my actions come across to the rest of the team, and I want what I do to set a good tone for everyone.

Which conscious leadership leadership tool or practice is your favorite? Why does it work for you?

Unarguable language. At Charmed, our entire team is new to starting a company from scratch and having common language across the group is incredibly helpful. Unarguable language (we’ve specifically leaned on framing everything as personal “stories” rather than facts) has helped our team get past countless hurdles with many fewer emotional casualties.

Tell us one reason why emotional literacy is important to leadership.

Emotional literacy allows a leader to develop an environment that’s conducive to giving and receiving feedback and allowing people to feel understood and heard. This foundation builds a general feeling of camaraderie and commitment that brings out better performance from individuals and the team as a whole.

What’s the best leadership book, podcast or article you’ve read recently?

I love Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio.

What is a key quality in yourself that got you to where you are?

My propensity towards process and order. My other two co-founders are much more “get it done” types. I quickly learned that for an early stage startup, getting things done is critical and necessary at the expense of some quality control. However, the team also quickly learned that we need procedures in place for a common understanding of how we operate as a group. The balance between the two seems to be critical.

Did you receive any formal leadership training? Was it helpful? How so?

The most formal training I’ve received is from Julianna Christie throughout the three months at Techstars. It was incredibly helpful in a couple key ways. First, she (and Crafted Leadership) provided a great “toolbelt” of techniques and ways of thinking. Second, Julianna helped me recognize a lot of personal behavior patterns, both good and bad. After initial recognition, we worked together to either leverage the good or take steps to change the bad tendencies to great effect. My cofounders have certainly noticed!



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