Developing Leaders at ZX Ventures

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By Alex Nelson

At ZX Ventures, our focus is on human capital: building and developing leaders who can tackle any problem with enthusiasm and creativity. Part of that is teaching and guiding our new hires so that they learn to trust themselves and to lead a team.

One key to this process is learning to trust your own intuition. We like to hire smart, talented people who can learn and synthesize a lot of information and then can make confident decisions based on that information. Often, I’ll remind an emerging leader (or even myself) to take a step back from a problem. Considering everything we know and everything we’ve learned, what’s the best way to solve this problem? We often need to set aside our attachments, or our stress and worries, to see a clear solution.

Another mental trick I like to teach our newer people is based on my background as a consultant. I’ll think like an advisor who isn’t tied down by our current methods. If I were advising this company from the outside, how would I recommend that it solve this problem? I’ve often reached more effective recommendations or seen other new leaders find better solutions using this approach. It’s easy to make decisions that are based on how you’ve always solved a problem before or to keep going down the road you’re already on. But here, we have the freedom to reinvent ourselves and to find better methods.

It can be a challenge to learn to deal with ambiguity and to keep trusting your intuition, but it’s a challenge we meet head on at ZX Ventures. When I first joined the team, there were only a few people here, with no defined organizational structure. It was literally a blank slate. We didn’t have a global strategy, just a ton of ideas floating around. We had to figure out our business models, decide what countries we were going to try to open operations in, and think about how we should be organized. People here have to be comfortable leading in the face of ambiguity, which is again why getting in touch with your intuition is a key first step.

The great thing about working with ZX Ventures is that your career trajectory isn’t limited by who’s above you. If your growth outpaces your position, we will discuss options such as lateral moves or new roles which may be a fit for your skills and goals. The focus is on bringing in and developing great talent. We evaluate people when they first start with us, assessing their skills and knowledge areas, and then we provide people with development opportunities that are unique to them. We, like our parent company AB InBev, believe in giving people a diverse breadth of experience all over the world. That variety of situations, cultures, and challenges builds the best leaders in the business.

For people who are eager, talented, and ambitious, ZX Ventures offers an accelerated career path. Your growth here is limited only by your performance. It’s a unique approach, but it’s one that helps us create leaders who will transform the beer industry and redefine the future of AB InBev.