For over three decades, Glenn Lurie has been on the frontline of the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector. As the former president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations — and the former president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies — he has built and led businesses of all sizes.
Lurie has gathered many valuable professional insights throughout his career. He currently shares these insights with start-up founders in his advisory role at Stormbreaker Ventures.
These are Lurie’s four strategies for managing a disciplined approach to business:
- Having a passion for the business.
- Working hard and smart every day.
- Practicing self-awareness.
- Always find a way to win.
1. Having A Passion for the Business
Being passionate about your work can be the foundation of creating a disciplined business approach. Lurie believes it’s crucial to cultivate a love for what you do. During his tenure at AT&T, the business expert used to say: “If you love coming into work, it’s not work.”
Throughout his career, Lurie has forged a leadership style based on his “three Ps” philosophy: people, purpose, and passion.
In his experience, individuals who do well in their careers usually embody these “three Ps.” They are people who genuinely care about their colleagues and are passionate about what they do. They also understand their purpose within the wider company.
Lurie emphasizes that people who know why their work matters to the business are often the ones who are the most successful and inspiring to work with.
2. Working Hard And Smart Every Day
You may be passionate about your job, but there’s no substitute for smart, hard work. Consistently putting in effort every day is key to maintaining a disciplined approach to business.
For more than 27 years, Lurie worked hard to help AT&T build three new businesses from the ground up:
- AIO Wireless, which is now called Cricket Wireless.
- Digital Life, a business that deals with home security and automation.
- Emerging Devices Organization, which is now known as Internet of Things Organization.
Lurie also played a crucial role in the dawn of the smartphone era. Heled the talks between AT&T and Apple to launch the first iPhone in 2007 and the first iPad in 2010.
A former professional soccer player, Lurie discovered the importance of hard work and a strict work ethic during his athletic career. One valuable lesson he learned from playing team sports was that “hard work almost always beats raw talent.”
Lurie emphasizes the significance of not settling for minimal effort or a lax work schedule. Instead, he advocates for consistently showing up and working diligently each day. Commitment is essential to reach any milestone in business.
3. Practicing Self-Awareness
While practicing self-awareness may be good advice for life in general, it’s also a valuable strategy for staying on track and disciplined in business.
Lurie suggests using simple, daily tools to practice self-awareness. His “mirror test” involves a literal approach to self-reflection. To do the mirror test, look in the mirror before and after work each day and ask yourself questions like:
- What’s my plan for today?
- Did I have a productive day?
- Am I putting in my best effort?
Lurie has held himself accountable as a CEO by regularly checking in with himself in this way. He’d self-reflect with questions like: Are we heading in the right direction? Did I make the right decisions today? Lurie also valued input from his team and took on board their opinions and perspectives.
By practicing self-awareness, Lurie could identify where he and the business could improve. He could then implement important changes, even if this meant having tough discussions with his team.
4. Always Find A Way To Win.
Even if you love what you do, work hard, and practice self-awareness, you still may not achieve your goals if you lack a competitive spirit.
Lurie shares that he used to be ultra-competitive, especially during his early career as a professional soccer player. As he progressed through his telecom career, Lurie’s competitiveness shifted to reflect his business environment. He brought a strong desire to succeed and winning to his work, which drove his professional growth.
Lurie realized that to stay competitive and be the best he could at his job, he needed to:
- Focus on self-improvement.
- Read more and learn more.
- Look for opportunities to learn from his colleagues.
Staying competitive is as important as being self-aware, passionate about your job, and a hard worker. A competitive mindset in business can help you stay disciplined, strive for excellence, and consistently push your limits to reach your goals.
About Glenn Lurie
Glenn Lurie has been an innovator in the TMT space for more than 30 years. He continues to take inspiration from the industry’s mobile innovations that have changed the way we live and communicate.
Today, Lurie is a general partner at Stormbreaker Ventures in California, an early-stage venture capital with a focus on the mobility sector. He is still an active member of the telecom industry, serving on the boards of directors for Avis Budget Group, Teal Communication, Pivotal Commware, and Blue Link Wireless. He is also an advisor to many other organizations.
Glenn Lurie at AT&T
Previously, Lurie worked at the telecom giant AT&T. From 2008-11, Lurie was the president of Emerging Devices Organization at AT&T Mobility. Next, he became the president of AT&T Mobility’s Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships Organization (2011-14).
From 2014-17, Lurie successfully grew AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations as its president and CEO. He managed all operations, including sales and distribution, home entertainment, and customer care.
Awards And Education
Lurie has won the Atlanta Telecom Professional of the Year Award and Wireless Week’s Telecom Leadership Award. In 2014, Russell Reynolds Associates’ #MobileGameChangers list named Lurie as one of the top executives in the mobile sector. He has also appeared on Global Telecoms Business’ “Power 100” three times (2011, 2012, and 2013).
Lurie holds a bachelor’s degree in Business/Marketing from Seattle Pacific University. A passionate soccer player, he became a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) National Champion three times during his university years. Before starting his career in the TMT space, Lurie played professional soccer for teams in Atlanta, Cleveland, Portland, and Milwaukee.
Connect with Glenn Lurie on LinkedIn.