Evan Harrison | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Evan Harrison


Evan Harrison is based out of Los Angeles and a music industry veteran. He is the CEO of Huka Entertainment, a music festival promoter and producer.

The company is based in New Orleans, LA but has several music festivals throughout the country, such as the Tortuga Music Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year on April 7-9th.

The Mistake:

The big mistake was [during my time at Clear Channel Radio]. I moved too fast and that definitely caused more work. [It was hard] to bring some of the key people along for the ride.

[Sometimes,] I think back to just how hard it was and some of the pain points that could have been eliminated by tweaking my leadership style. 

The thing that I would have done differently would have been giving up the speed, to make sure that I had a complete buy-in from some of the stakeholders. Because when all is said and done, the people I was answering to were still used to a massive, high-margin business. So if the digital business wasn’t moving at a fast enough clip, the support from above would no longer exist.

Building the right team is the key to any leader’s success.

The Lesson:

It probably makes sense to move a little more slowly if that’s what’s needed to make sure that some of the key stakeholders are completely bought in and are helping to lead the cause along the way.

A piece of advice I would give myself is really to just slow down, just a little bit, and make sure that the other members of the team are feeling attached to the goals and objectives. Make sure they’re speaking about it, feeling it and living it. Not just nodding their head along.

So one thing that really proved to be a turning point to get individuals invested was to let them talk about where we were going in their regions, among the rest of the leadership team, and to be able to talk about the challenges and how they put their own personal touch into overcoming the obstacles. To brag about the results a little bit.

Ultimately, building the right team is the key to any leader’s success. And making sure that team is completely bought in and heard.


Follow Huka Entertainment on Twitter @HukaEnt 

Photo courtesy of Evan Harrison. 


Do you have a good story you’d like to share, or know someone we should feature? Email jfisher@crain.com.

And be sure to sign up for your local newsletter from Crain's.