Building Community Leaders with Brian Newhook

We’re proud and excited to launch a new initiative – “All Hands on Deck: Genoa’s Community Support Series”. Genoa cares about the social, cultural, and economic well-being of our communities, and our team has been rolling up its sleeves to take action. As part of our 2021-2025 Strategy, we have set an ambitious goal to uplift community and ecosystem partnerships that link purpose in the work we do, to the places where we work, and the industries we serve.

As the saying goes, “a rising tide raises all ships”. As Genoa grows, we want our communities to grow, too.
These efforts have already begun, and over the coming year, we will be sharing stories about what our team members are doing to contribute their time, talent, expertise, and good will in our communities.


Building Community Leaders with Brian Newhook 

We’re kicking off the series with a community impact story from our local start-up community! On February 2nd, Brian Newhook, Technical Manager at Genoa, shared his leadership journey with the team at Mysa Smart Thermostats, a growing St. John’s tech start-up, focused on enriching our communities through energy efficient, environmentally-friendly, thermostat solutions.

Mysa invited Brian to a development session they had with their employees, as they are always looking for opportunities to learn from their peers – other leaders and organizations within the local tech ecosystem – who have blazed the path before them, and whose experiences can provide valuable perspectives which, in turn, will boost their potential to scale-up more efficiently.

Here’s what Maria Miskell, VP People & Culture at Mysa, had to say about Brian’s talk on behalf of her team: ​

“Based on the overwhelming feedback I have received, I cannot express how incredibly valuable we found your content and your personal perspective to be. You not only made it relatable, but you made it relevant and easily applicable for our team. THANK YOU!”​

A few leadership tips from Brian:

Tip #1
: GAIN acronym: 

Strong teams follow this acronym. If you have these 4 components, you will have trust.



  • Good will – Everyone’s heart is in the right place, they are there for the right reasons, and not just a paycheck.
  • Ability – Everyone on the team has the right skillset and aptitude for the job. Teach and Train your people. Have clear standards and guidelines.
  • Integrity – Being honest and having the right morals. If people on your team aren’t honest, then you won’t be able to trust them.
  • Notice – If you see something, say something. That goes both ways. If you see something you like, let that person know, and depending on the person and circumstance, do it publicly. Let others see what kinds of actions and behaviors you value. If you see someone going down the wrong path, say it as soon as possible. People want feedback, they want to know if they are doing something wrong so they can change it.


Tip #2: Inspire Trust:

Give a voice to 100% of your associates

  • Define Winning: What does the enterprise want to accomplish?
  • Align Winning: Does the individual know how they contribute to the enterprise “Winning”?
  • Execute Winning: Do you have a process that enables and develops people, drives ownership accountability, and recognizes process adherence?


Tip #3: 3 H’s of Leadership:

  • Humor: Be funny. Be light. It can really diffuse tension and create a pleasant environment. Bringing humor keeps things human.
  • Honesty: Be as honest and transparent as you possibly can with your team, about what’s going on (big and small) within the team and the company.
  • Humility: Share stories of your failures and mistakes. Make it safe for your team to try and fail. Remember that feedback goes both ways.​​


Thank you, Brian, for taking the time to support a start-up in our community. Your leadership continues to inspire inside and outside of our walls.