In a recent interview with IdeaMensch, Nathan Sproul candidly answers questions about the lessons he’s learned as an entrepreneur and industry trends he’s following closely. Here, some excerpts.
On the origins of his company Lincoln Strategy Group:
Politics and government has always been a passion of mine. From my youth, conversations around the dinner table usually included past or recent happenings in government and so it was no surprise when I accepted an internship back in the mid-nineties in Washington D.C. to then Congressman Jon Kyl (R). Over the next 10 years or so, I leveraged the incredible opportunities to work on a variety of political and public affairs campaigns at every level: national, state and local. I also held key leadership roles in business and sales which further refined my managerial acumen. And so, given my entrepreneurial spirit, I recognized the next natural (and audacious!) step: to start my own company alongside a great team of campaign consultants. And so, in 2003, Sproul & Associates, which later became Lincoln Strategy Group was born.
On staying ahead of the competition:
Perhaps because I’m an avid reader, I’ve found that I notice patterns and trends quickly. After catching on to a trend, I’m always eager to act on it—but I’ve learned that they need to be interrogated and tested first. For this, I rely on the support of my team to get a fully-formed grasp on issues, and find that listening helps me understand the situation and settle on a solution.
When the idea grows legs, I try to remain one step ahead of the competition, even if the ideas haven’t been fully tested before. I’ve found that the best way to bring an idea to life is by identifying an opportunity first, then creating a strategic vision. This can be risky, because the ideas I latch on to are often untraditional. So I evaluate the ideas by thinking, what’s the worst that can happen? Then I weigh the risks and rewards. If the rewards are great enough, I move forward and do my best to break new ground.
On why the internet is bad for politics:
The Internet is making things worse for politics. Seriously! As much as I’m a fan of the great new campaigning opportunities the web has made available, we’re seeing so much polarization due to social media bubbles, 24-hour journalism, fake news, and essentially people trying to profit by exploiting people’s worst fears using hyper-partisan content. As a result, people don’t trust the media, listen to each other, and common ground is disappearing quickly.
Click here to read the full interview at IdeaMensch.com.