TheBridge profile: Steve Taylor

TheBridge profile: Steve Taylor

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Name: Steve Taylor

Current city: Washington, DC

Current job: General Manager, Mid-Atlantic at Lyft

Past job: Managing Director at District Ventures; Management Consultant at PwC and PRTM; Lieutenant at US Navy

Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Tryst when in DC and The Creamery when in SF.

Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. During my time in the Navy one of my Commanding Officers taught me the importance of never being too prescriptive when providing a team with a mission. In my current role, when assigning a task I make a deliberate effort to provide my team with a clear objective and the necessary tools, but avoid telling them how to accomplish the task. Doing so allows my team to decide how best to plan, coordinate, and execute leveraging their own unique backgrounds, skills, and perspectives. This also ensures the team takes ownership of the plan and feels accountable for the outcome.

Q. Job advice in three words? Always be yourself.

Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? The introduction of rideshare has altered mobility patterns and behaviors creating opportunities to harness this innovation for the greater good. By collaborating with lawmakers, we can identify how these innovations can best benefit public policy goals.

Q. What can Silicon Valley (innovators) teach DC (regulators)? Innovators can help regulators by continuing to offer new solutions to old challenges through bold and forward-thinking ideas. There's an opportunity for lawmakers and innovators to come together to see how tech can create solutions to issues communities have grappled with for generations.

Q. What can DC (regulators) teach Silicon Valley (innovators)? Regulators are best suited to provide necessary background and context to policy issues plaguing society and then foster collaboration between the private and public sector to jointly solve these challenges.

Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? Your career will be long and you’ll have time to recover from mistakes, so don’t worry too much about bumps along the way. Make career decisions that feel right in the moment. The most successful (and happiest) people I know don’t allow career plans to get in the way of great opportunities.

Q. What's one piece of advice you are still trying to master? Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough.

Q. Living person you admire? A living person I admire is my dad. When growing up my dad worked a demanding job in Los Angeles, commuted to/from work two hours each day, served as a Navy reservist on the weekends, and always made time for me and my siblings; helping with homework, coaching our sports teams, etc.. I hope I’m able to be as present in the lives of my two boys as my dad was in mine.

Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? The most underrated virtue in an employee is self-awareness.

Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? If I had to live in another city I would live in Tokyo. I lived in Japan for 3 years several years ago. Now that I have a wife and two boys, Tokyo is a city I would love to experience with them.

Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? The last time I was completely unplugged was during the 7 weeks of paternity leave I took this summer.

Q: Lyft has recently launched a program promoting Lyft drivers that are driving to fund their own small businesses. Can you tell us more about that campaign and why it’s important? At Lyft, we recognize that our drivers get behind the wheel to fund goals they’ve set for themselves and their families. One in five Lyft drivers own their own business and thousands more have entrepreneurial ambitions. On November 14, Lyft will host Lyft Pitch, a Shark Tank-like event in Washington, D.C. providing 8 Lyft drivers from across the Mid-Atlantic the opportunity to pitch their businesses on stage in front of a panel of prominent investors, founders, and tech executives for the chance to win $30,000 in cash prizes.

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