Describe an event or experience that defines you as an Operator:
I had an amazing career at Intel with a 9 year tenure where I was managing a team of 17 people at my peak, working almost entirely in powerpoint and email, and I missed the spreadsheet. I was focused on growing as a leader, but I wasn’t confident in my own ability to help build businesses. So, I left the big blue and joined a start-up. A few months into my stint there, we finished a negotiation of our first major deal. I waltzed into the controller’s office with a signed contract ready to celebrate. This is when she asked me about the invoicing schedule and payment terms, and that’s how I became an operator.
A time when OG offered value:
There are too many to name. I wish OG existed when I was stumbling at my first startup back in 2007. Most recently, for the PPP fiasco, OG offered a place to vent and commiserate. I learn so much about people development programs, business metrics, and cost benchmarks just by scanning the email exchanges. Evan Meagher recently shared his thoughts on CAC/LTV, and I showed them to our VP of Growth, and he said that Evan’s write up is a full on “beast mode.” I feel that most OG exchanges are in “beast mode.”
Top actionable tools or processes:
I have a very consistent framework for G&A teams – it has to do with the three “I”s – Integrity, Influence, and Individual development. I initially developed it for finance, but it actually scales well to HR and Office, and all parts of G&A. Integrity has to do with providing the business with good data, good processes, and keeping the business running. For the office team, it may be having a productive office. For Accounting, it may mean clean, timely close. Integrity gets you a seat at the table, which gives you an opportunity to influence the business. For office, it may mean having a positive influence on company culture. For HR, it may mean putting programs in place that improve employee engagement and retention. For finance, it may mean increasing profitability. Individual development has to do with your own personal career progression and building a culture of learning. Those three “I”s are the foundation of everything we do as the G&A team – our 6-week sprints align to this framework as well.