Welcome to Authentic Leadership for Everyday People, the podcast that investigates the connection between effective leadership and authenticity. Today, venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Raj Kapoor joins the show to share a conversation about authenticity, vulnerability and leading by making adjustments. Raj is the Chief Strategy Officer at Lyft and Founder of World Without Covid, a nonprofit health initiative with a goal to connect individuals to urgent clinical research trials to end the pandemic.

Raj talks about how the values of the founders at Lyft set the tone for its vision of making the world better through transportation. Raj goes deep into how these values influence the way choices are made daily at Lyft. They discuss Raj’s personal journey as a leader, how he’s adjusted and evolved, and his passion for giving back. Raj opens up about his experience contracting COVID-19 and the decision to launch, World Without Covid. Finally, Raj provides listeners with advice on personal development and shares how his passions outside of work influence how he shows up at work.

Key Takeaways:

01:11 – Dino introduces today’s guest, Raj Kapoor, who joins the show to discuss authenticity, his strengths and weaknesses and the biggest challenges he faced when he joined Lyft

10:16 – Raj discusses how the values of Lyft’s founders have influenced the way choices are made daily at Lyft

12:20 – Raj speaks to how Lyft maintains its culture and hires the right people

15:46 – Facing and overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19

20:10 – Raj discusses how Lyft has fostered a sense of transparency and trust throughout this global pandemic

21:51 – How Raj defines success and what initiatives are most important to him

26:03 – Raj opens up about his frightening battle with COVID-19

29:48 – Dino takes a moment to let listeners know where they can learn more about World Without Covid

30:02 – Raj describes his ever-evolving leadership style

31:26 – Raj talks about his experience as a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist

36:48 – Advice Raj would give to listeners on personal development and vulnerability

38:16 – Raj talks about how his outside passions have influenced how he shows up at work

39:58 – Key business words and phrases of this era that Raj absolutely hates

40:56 – Raj shares some food for your soul

42:03 – Dino thanks Raj for joining the show and Raj encourages listeners to learn more about World Without Covid

43:59 – Dino leaves the audience with ‘Work Hard, Love Harder,’ a song written and performed by his wife, Susan Cattaneo

Tweetable Quotes:

“Authenticity is really being, acting and saying who you really are versus what you think others want you to be. Being authentic is really doing it from a place that is devoid of fear of judgement and devoid of fear of reprisal.” (04:24)

“I would say that getting a company that’s kind of in somewhat of a rut, but to get out of that and go into the virtuous cycle was a great learning just to observe that and playing a little role in that along the way.” (10:03)

“At its core, [Lyft] is a founder-driven company and it came from the founders. They have strong beliefs that we’re here to improve people’s lives with transportation, not just provide transportation.” (11:29)

“Now that activity is resuming in some areas, we made it a ceremony of asking for their hand back and we put out a carpet and asked them if they will come back to us. And it was quite beautiful to see that.” (21:26)

“I think the hardest part in going through that [battle with COVID-19] was the emotional toll of waking up every morning and wondering if it’s gonna be worse and not knowing what’s gonna happen the next day.” (26:58)

“The parts of my leadership style that I think have worked are being direct, setting clear goals and being involved at the right time, but not all the time.” (30:23)

“It’s good that I got some of that harsh feedback as a venture capitalist, because it helped me understand that you don’t need to be the one always in front or right to have impact or to be content.” (35:47)

“The minute that you make yourself the great limiter on everything because you feel insecure is when your odds of success go down.” (38:06)

Links Mentioned:

Dino’s Email

Dino’s Instagram

Dino’s Twitter

Authentic Leadership for Everyday People Website

Authentic Leadership for Everyday People Facebook

Raj’s LinkedIn

World Without Covid 

The Power of Now 

‘Work Hard, Love Harder’