What do Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerburg & Sameer Dholakia '91 have in common?

Forbes reports that Sameer Dholakia '91, CEO of email delivery platform SendGrid, is one of the most highly rated chief executives in tech. His Glassdoor approval rating is 98%, the same level as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg. 

"Dholakia attributes his success to a management style called servant leadership. The term was coined in 1970 by Robert Greenleaf. Greenleaf worked at AT&T for nearly four decades, once serving as its director of management development. In his first essay on servant leadership, Greenleaf wrote, 'It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.' Anyone who was more motivated by power or financial gain wasn’t a servant leader, he explained. And the best way to determine if someone fit the mold lay in a simple question: 'Do those served grow as persons?'

Dholakia brought his servant-leadership style to Denver-based SendGrid when he joined in 2014, after leaving his job as an executive at software firm Citrix. SendGrid’s main business is to automate email delivery — when you make an Airbnb reservation or call an Uber, the automated message you receive comes from SendGrid. When Dholakia first arrived, the five-year-old startup’s growth was slowing. But over the next three years, he changed that trajectory. Sales grew nearly 40% in 2015 and 2016, and he has said revenue is on track to reach $100 million this year. Servant leadership has helped SendGrid to get where it is today, according to Dholakia."

Click here to read the full Forbes article.

Sameer is a member of Webb's Alumni Council and currently serves as Regional Representative for Silicon Valley. He has hosted numerous events and mentored many young alumni. He received his AB and AM from Stanford and his MBA from Harvard

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