Forbes sat down with General Assembly cofounder and CEO Jake Schwartz in the original General … [ ] Assembly classroom in New York’s Flatiron neighborhoodIvan Clow for ForbesTen years ago Jake Schwartz cofounded a coworking space General Assembly in downtown Manhattan with three friends Matt Brimer, Brad Hargreaves and Adam Pritzker.
Forbes sat down with Schwartz, who continues to serve as General Assembly’s CEO, to learn his story—and identified five leadership qualities that have helped to enable Schwartz’s success.
1.Strategic comfort with uncertainty When Schwartz graduated from Yale, he pursued multiple careers to make money, pursuing creativity on the side.
”2.Harness the power of the round-tableShortly after his graduation from Wharton, Schwartz pledged to work for himself.
Despite the early success, Schwartz felt uncomfortable building a coworking business.
“Anybody could come and teach something as long as it seemed legit,” says Schwartz of the early educators.
”4.Acquisition doesn’t equate finality; it equates graduationWhen General Assembly selected Adecco as their acquirer, they did so because it allowed them to continue to operate independently with a growth-focused parent, as Schwartz continues to serve as CEO.“I actually thought about Adecco as an acquirer for a very long time, even though I hadn’t even spoken with them because I had this whole theory that while everybody called us an education company, we were really an employment company.