TZL 1363 (web)



Guide and lead: Rayburn ‘Jake’ Donaldson Managing partner at Method Architecture (Houston, TX), a firm that practices ego-free architecture, creatively solves problems, and provides unparalleled customer service.


A s managing partner, Donaldson takes a hands-on approach and oversees every aspect of the firm’s operations including master planning, design, business development, and strategic planning. Under his leadership, the firm actively pursues new markets, technologies, and sustainable design solutions for its projects. “My job exists to help guide and lead, but also to be a resource to my team, staff, and partners,” Donaldson says. “I’m the most fulfilled as a leader when I’m helping someone else succeed or reach a goal – that’s what really gets me excited. I hate thinking of myself as anyone’s boss. If you work at Method and need a boss, you are probably with the wrong company.” A CONVERSATION WITH JAKE DONALDSON. The Zweig Letter: Can you explain what “ego-free architecture” means? Jake Donaldson: Our ego-free culture permeates everything we do and allows us to keep the people and

the challenges at the forefront while keeping the blame, the credit, and unproductive worrying in the backseat. This core value allows us to stay focused on productive brainstorming for solutions when we have staffing issues, project challenges, and external threats beyond our control – like COVID-19. TZL: How much time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” JD: I participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2016 and that was a turning point for me, personally. Since then I’ve been very intentional about how I choose to spend my time each day, most of it spent working “on the business” creating or fixing process issues to run more smoothly. It requires a lot of self-discipline and perfecting the art of delegating, which is the key to getting out of the weeds. I spend a lot of time thinking about why certain aspects of the business aren’t working like they were intended and who the best person is to fix it.


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