What most notably stands out about your leadership style or what is an example of leadership success you can share with our readers?
Over the last 25 years, I have been in various degrees of leadership, ranging from small organizations to Fortune 100, for-profit and nonprofit, with teams consisting of two reports to more than 100. Therefore, my leadership style has continually evolved with each new opportunity. I learned where my strengths are best served and, likewise, where I needed to improve, change or adapt. A style of leadership that worked at a Fortune 100 in 2003 may not serve me today at a smaller nonprofit.
During this time, one quality that has stayed true is my willingness to be a servant leader, one who sees the strengths in others and manages to those specific qualities. At one-n-ten, I view myself as the person responsible for making sure my team has the resources they need in order for everyone to do the life-changing work they do so well.
When I became the executive director, I flipped the org chart upside down, putting myself at the bottom and demonstrating the importance of our frontline staff. This also demonstrated how my position is the proverbial tree, with expanding roots, working to provide what our staff needs most to succeed.
What impact has COVID-19 or the disruptions of the past 18 months had on you as a leader?
The pandemic has shaken companies far and wide. Many leaders have left the sector completely, while others have made major career changes as a result. My experience is not any different and there were many moments when I thought long and hard if I was the right one to lead the charge or if I could continue.
Despite the stress of managing through the unknown, there were many silver linings. One was most certainly my staff. I learned I could trust my team to work remote, be collaborative and focus on our mission, despite the upheaval around us.
I was never a believer in remote work, but now I see it as an effective tool for various roles and it offers flexibility for those who need it. The ROI for the organization is staff who feel valued, trusted and empowered to lead, while leveraging technology to allow us to be more effective. Truly a win-win.
What do you feel we can be doing as a business community to empower economic growth here?
Leadership does not begin and end at your office door. As a community, leaders must reach beyond their companies and organizations to help grow the community they call home.
I believe we live in one of the very best cities in America, poised for continued and vast growth. Each of us must be a part of this collaboration or, ultimately, we will only be as good as the weakest link of our connections. To accomplish the synergistic potential, we must work together and be a part of the solution to community needs and issues. This may take the form of serving on a city commission, a nonprofit board or volunteering for a campaign or foodbank. Reaching out and being a part of the fabric of the community is necessary and makes us better leaders for our teams.
What is new and notable for your company’s near future that will impact our economy?
At one-n-ten, we believe in the potential of our LGBTQ youth and young adults. Often overlooked, marginalized populations such as ours (and others) can provide some of the best and brightest ideas, employees and leaders to our business community. Therefore, we actively worked through the pandemic to revamp and reinvent our Promise of a New Day (POND) Workforce and Supportive Housing programs. Relaunched this year, these two programs work to ensure our young people have the skills necessary to be actively employed in our community, while also creating the safety and support needed with adequate housing and social services to achieve the success we know they are capable of.
Through this work, along with our employer taskforce and community businesses supporting these programs, we are striving to bring capable young people into the job market, ready to make an impact on their community. Together we can make tomorrow better for all by focusing on the individual.
Name of Leader: Nate Rhoton (he/him)
Position of Leader: Executive Director
Organization Name: 1n10, Inc. dba one-n-ten
No. of Years with Organization: 6
Main Local Office Address: 1101 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 400-2601
Number of offices in Greater Phoenix: 9
Year Established Locally: 1993
City Nationally Headquartered: Phoenix