Dave Green, Founder of Fourth Estate Communications, is a nationally recognized leader in communications and corporate social responsibility with professional experience in the hospitality, technology, finance, and nonprofit industries. He was named the 2017 Orlando Sentinel “Central Floridian of the Year” for his humanitarian efforts. He has served as a delegate to the United Nations and on the United States Global Leadership Coalition. Dave is currently an Advisory Board Member for Issue Voter, an innovative, non-partisan online nonprofit platform with a mission to give everyone a voice in our democracy.
Fourth Estate Communications are a team of leading communications professionals and advisors with values that emphasize a reverence for journalism, passion for storytelling, and commitment to client service excellence.
Dave is also a named contributor to Newsweek, Forbes, The Hill, Disrupt Magazine, and Orlando Sentinel. Additionally, he was named to the Google Refresh think tank on the use of artificial intelligence in food systems. Dave was a finalist for the Fast Company, “2018 World Changing Ideas Awards.”
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Table of Contents
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Dave Green: Marketing and Public Relations have always been fascinating to me. My first venture was selling pecans to classmates on the playground in the third grade. Even then I began to understand the value of learning about meeting consumer needs in a market and the challenges that entrepreneurs face. Entrepreneurial ventures take an enormous amount of courage and determination. Supporting ventures with a big vision requires well-designed and executed marketing and PR strategies. My passion for serving the dreams of entrepreneurs led me to marketing and PR as a profession. Having the opportunity to found our agency is really the fulfillment of a lifelong path to purpose.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Dave Green: I’m especially thankful for the business leaders that believed in me early on. Starting a new agency at the beginning of a pandemic was a huge leap of faith. Like many entrepreneurs, when we were getting started, I struggled to chase away the doubts on slow days. The entrepreneurs and leaders in my personal network were the first to see my new venture and start sending work our way. The encouragement of their early support provided huge validation that I was going in the right direction. Once we were able to get a strong body of work with great case studies our agency really started to gain strong momentum. I will always have immense gratitude for the clients that helped us get started and in doing so fueled my dream.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Dave Green: Without a doubt the most common mistake I made early on as an entrepreneur is having a fear of failure. My career has provided the opportunity to mentor a lot of start-up founders and the struggle with the thought of failure is pervasive. Having the luxury of making a ton of mistakes early on gave me the realization that failure is going to happen, but a defining trait of entrepreneurs is how we process that experience. Learning to be resilient, accepting and owning our mistakes, and relentless pursuit of personal growth from those events was the key to overcoming the failure trap for me.
The error we risk making as experienced entrepreneurs is allowing past failures to drive us into overly cautious behavior or negative feedback loops that cause us to miss opportunities. That fear can still be a struggle for all of us at times, but the key is to recognize when it’s happening and move forward with confidence.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Dave Green: Entrepreneurs are often masterful at reinventing themselves and their brands. That skill is imperative when trying to stay relevant in the industry or one step ahead of the market. That can be a learned function of the entrepreneurial journey, but it is also commonly fostered through personal resilience. Many business leaders started life out in difficult circumstances that they were forced to overcome early on. That may have been in childhood or for some, the major challenges were presented in the beginning stage of their professional career. Necessity is often the forerunner of personal resilience and in times like the pandemic, we were all forced to dig deep into that tank.
Resilience for me is about staying fluid in difficult times. That requires a great deal of confidence and an unwavering belief that things will work out in the end if we stay motivated, active, and optimistic about the opportunities in our path.
When you think of your company, 5 years from now, what do you see?
Dave Green: When looking out 5 years ahead for our agency I get very excited. The compounding effect of delivering exceptional results to advance the vision of our clients will put us in a really great place in the years to come. Our vision is to truly provide an extraordinary level of service that supports the growth of America’s most loved brands. We embrace the journey, and we have a lot of fun executing transformational strategies with visionary entrepreneurs.
What do you consider are your strengths when dealing with staff workers, colleagues, senior management, and customers?
Dave Green: Transparency and authenticity have become pillars of my commitment to everyone I work with. Accomplishing the achievement of major goals requires cutting through the facade and the political maneuvering that become barriers to real success. Authenticity leads to more effective and productive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders. My biggest strength, though, is learning from the mountain of mistakes I’ve made along the way.
The pandemic was a great time for reflection on what I may have done right, and what I most certainly got wrong. That introspection created room for me to have more empathy. That personal leadership breakthrough permeates through all of my professional relationships now. Empathy has become a superpower for becoming a better leader.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Dave Green: Early on in my career the thought of putting myself out front and in the limelight wasn’t something that interested me. I was more focused on direct performance in the advancement of the mission, but that was one of my blind spots. It wasn’t until my career matured that I began to understand how critical it is to also make personal branding a priority. The age of social media, digital media, and influencer marketing has even further amplified the need to consider a holistic approach to personal branding. Thought leadership has become its own currency in the modern environment. In retrospect, I would have made this a bigger priority early on in my career. It takes a significant amount of time to build a rock-solid and influential personal brand so it benefits business leaders to get started at the beginning.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Dave Green: There are two types of leadership that I would consider my personal favorites. First, visionary leadership, which is the style I’m most often engaged in. Early on in my career, it was difficult to really fully exercise that part of my identity because not every role allows for the necessary freedoms required. My visionary leadership flourished in opportunities that were engaged in start-up activities or that were very entrepreneurial in nature. Now, as a marketing a public relations leader, I’ve found the perfect fit to express visionary tendencies that become a catalyst for clients on a daily basis.
Servant leadership is also one of my favorites because it’s how I like to be led. Servant leaders create an environment that validates performance but is also defined by predicting and providing the tools, teams, and resources needed to achieve long-term success.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Dave Green: What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Dave Green: My favorite quote, like many, is often attributed to a multitude of origins. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” That statement defines the philosophy I aspire to live my life by daily. It’s grounded in the belief that the past and the future, our environment, and our current situation are all really insignificant when compared with the power inside of us. We have the choice in every moment to live as a product of circumstances or as the most highly aware and actualized versions of ourselves.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Dave Green for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Dave Green or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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