Experts in Residence: David Friedman, Kathleen McGrorty

Deep Dive
July 23, 2016 By Applied Innovation

David Friedman Kathleen McGrorty


David Friedman

David Friedman is a tech-savvy marketing and operations executive with an expertise in bringing to market new technology particularly in wireless, software and the internet.  He is currently a member of Tech Coast Angels. He writes a blog on business issues and has been a guest speaker at entrepreneurial meetings.  He is a co-founder of C-Level Partners, a consultancy focused on startups and small to mid-cap companies who are experiencing turbulence in their markets and changes in their product life cycle.  Prior to this he was a senior executive at Connexion by Boeing, ATX Group (now Sirius Connected Car), and Narus.

Who or what has been your greatest inspiration in life?
My grandmother was my greatest inspiration. She was an immigrant from Russia, coming over as a young girl in the late 1880s. She never learned to read the English language, but she spent time with me, talking to me and making sure that I read to her and learned the alphabet. She taught me and encouraged me from an early age that I can be successful in anything I want to do. Given the struggles she faced growing up, working as a young girl, and supporting a family, I believe I can endure the little things that I face versus the huge challenges she faced. A second inspiration was a mentor when I worked for the federal government. His name was Whit Dodson, a former marine colonel who was tough as nails and a great negotiator, but taught me how a leader should act and build a team.

What is one piece of advice you would share with a new entrepreneur?
Focus! Make sure you stay on the one track that leads to success. Make sure nothing detracts you from the end goal. But, make sure you do it with respect for others and with integrity. I have seen too many entrepreneurs lose their integrity and discipline when their business became too difficult.

Why did you decide to become a Cove Expert-In-Residence?
I like to teach and want to give back to budding entrepreneurs. I believe mentorship is important and wish I had a mentor very early in my career. Eventually, I want to again be an operational executive of a funded startup and perhaps helping as an EiR will provide a path to that end goal.

If you could pick a superpower what would it be and why?
It would be ideal to have the power to see and affect the future, in essence being a time traveler. It’s similar to the character Scott Bakula (NCIS New Orleans star) played in Quantum Leap. He had the power to change the future by his actions in the past, but was judicious in using this power. But wouldn’t it be nice to see what would happen in your business and make the best decisions because you know the future results?

Kathleen McGrorty

Kathleen McGrorty is Chief Executive Officer of NewView, which provides individual and group coaching, facilitation services and strategic advisory services to businesses and individuals. For over 30 years McGrorty has worked and consulted in a variety of business environments, including financial services, manufacturing, technology, retail, and global supply chain. She has had the privilege to facilitate CEOs and business executive teams as they align their business plans with many of today’s business risk issues. She is involved in community and philanthropic organizations such as Girl Scouts of America and The Salvation Army. She has a BA in American Studies from Rutgers University.

Who or what has been your greatest inspiration in life?
I’ll give you a concrete answer first. The concrete answer to that happens to be my great-grandmother… she pulled herself up by her own bootstraps and became a woman who was quite successful in the dress-making trade… She’s been an inspiration for me because she is a woman who lived a life as a single mother well before her time. She made choices to live her life the way she wanted to in a time when very few women were able to do that, so she’s inspired me quite a bit. The other thing that inspires me is the commitment to self-knowledge. I try to understand who I am and how that affects the rest of the people around me, and the more I can understand myself, I can get inspiration from how I learn to adjust what I know about myself to help other people be the best that they can be… I can’t control anything except me… That’s the greatest thing that I can offer another person, is my own self-awareness and my own self-confidence.

What is one piece of advice you would share with a new entrepreneur? 
Seek discomfort. If you’re given two paths and one of them is the easy path, take the hard path. And I’m sure a lot of people already know this, but you learn more when you struggle.

If you could pick a superpower what would it be and why?
The power of the individual. The thing that nobody really sees is that when you stand in front of somebody, you have immense power just as you. A lot of people don’t expect to have someone who is powerful in a very quiet way because they are in the moment. They’re in the moment because they are aware of everything that is going on around them. That is one of the most difficult things to do, but that is one of the most powerful things to be.

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