Blog on James River Capital Web Site Takes on Leadership

A blog on James River Capital Corporation’s web site,, discusses three “changes” necessary to improve one’s leadership style. The article was penned by “jamesrivercaptialcorp” and thus the actual author remains anonymous, but does have the hallmarks of its CEO Paul Saunders. The article starts by discussing how art and science are combined when comes to leadership and that becoming a successful leader means accepting this concept. The introduction goes on to describe three areas an individual can address to improve their leadership skills and embrace the art/science concept. Learn more:


The blog first says to “support” and not “lead” teams. This change in “mentality” was inspired by Facebook’s approach to innovation. Focus on support will dramatically change the view of what’s expected of the typical leader. The second concept discussed in the blog involves “welcoming escalation.” Having a critical feedback should be encouraged and doing so will inspire things like innovation, collaboration and engagement with employees. In the same paragraph, the author said about 85 percent of employees withhold negative views from the higher-ups and this has a negative effect on “psychological safety,” a concept explored by the leaders at Google. To promote this safety, leaders should encourage escalation by showing appreciation for those that speak out rather than seeing such individuals as threats.


The third leadership improvement involves applauding the expression of opinion. Doing so lets leaders remove an obstacle that can hinder people who may be have a great idea under wraps. The blog says to track who speaks in a meeting and who does not. Once it is clear, the leader should illicit input from quieter members in a comfortable way so that those employees feel their opinions are important, too.


James River Capital Corp. is an independent investment firm that had been a part of Kidder, Peabody & Co. James River broke out on its own in 1995 under the leadership of Paul Saunders and Kevin Brandt. The two purchased the investment arm from Kidder, who originally started James River as an alternative investment department. As of the beginning of July, 2018, James River Capital Corp. has more than $570 million under management.