Alumni Leading Our Community

  • Mark Teckenburg

    Founder & CEO, PushSave
    Marketing Strategist & Entrepreneur | Mass Communications

    "Failure is a state of mind. My failures have shaped my abilities and progress as an entrepreneur. Obstacles are placed in our path to help us improve and achieve our ultimate goals. The faster you fail, the faster you succeed."

    How did your time at MSUM shape you to be the leader you are today?

    My degree in mass communications taught me how to be creative, resourceful and to think outside the box for solutions. I worked at the Advocate and in the Athletic Department where I learned how to work on a team (as a team) to accomplish a common goal. As a football player, I gained valuable intangibles such as dedication, commitment and perseverance.

    What has been the biggest obstacle for achieving success in your career?

    Failure. Failure is a state of mind. My failures have shaped my abilities and progress as an entrepreneur. Obstacles are placed in our path to help us improve and achieve our ultimate goals. The faster you fail, the faster you succeed. When you overcome an obstacle, success is that much sweeter.

    Has there been a challenging time in your career where you felt frustrated?

    Challenges and frustration are an inevitable part of the game. The key is to embrace them and learn from them. This is how you grow as a professional and a person. At the end of the day, doing what you love and what you are passionate about will make those challenges feel minor. Exercise helps too.

    What is the most important skill of an effective leader?

    Leadership is about possessing passion, vision and drive. If you can exemplify your passion and drive while clearly communicating your vision, people will follow. As a leader it is your responsibility to enable your team to be successful. Empower them, encourage them, let them make mistakes (albeit not continuously) and inspire them. People want to make a difference. Without a team, success is nearly impossible – unless you are a golfer.

    What’s the best book on leadership you’ve ever read?

    “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership” by Richard Branson. My favorite quote by Branson is, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”

    What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

    The biggest challenge today is the changing tide of today’s workforce and understanding what motivates them. We are seeing a rapid change in the desire for a true work life balance. The most successful leaders and companies will embrace this idea and encourage it, attracting the greatest talent and building unique thriving cultures.