I have learned a lot from John Thrall. while working at Yahoo! in the last 3 years.
John became the leader for Yahoo! Media during a transition of the leadership position a few years ago.
From the point of view of the rank and file, he looked to be young, high energy but an unknown from our perspective.
I worked with him closely for 2 years to build the new Yahoo! Publishing Platform. He mentored me quietly through the life cycle of conception, buy in from executives, prototype, design validation and finally execution.
All along I appreciated that he never micro managed. Instead, he paved the way for me by evangelizing my role as the architect and encouraging different approaches for me to double check my assumptions.
One of the most important intangibles qualities John demonstrated is his commitment. Famous quote (I paraphrase) : “I’m not going anywhere, I’m here at Yahoo! for the long haul. Let’s do this right!”
He probably has no idea how reassuring and rare it is to hear the commitment spoken out loud and be believed.