This week on the Full Stack Leader we’re having a conversation with Josh Rogers the CEO of Precisely!

Precisely, the global leader in data integrity, with 12,000 customers in more than 100 countries, including 99 of the Fortune 100. As CEO, Josh leads Precisely’s global team of 2,400 employees as they build and deliver software and data products that provide accuracy, consistency, and context to power confident business decisions.

Josh’s Top Leadership Tips:

Below is a summary of the Top 5 Leadership tips shared during the interview this week. Take a listen to the episode to learn more about the thoughts behind these tips.

  1. Be Respectful
  2. Be Transparent
  3. Tell A Story
  4. Be Curious
  5. Manage Yourself Out Of A Job

We hope you enjoy the episode. You can find even more Full Stack Leader episodes here:


Show Transcript

Ryan: Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s episode of the Full Stack Leader podcast. this week I’m here with Josh Rogers. He’s the CEO at Precisely. It’s great to have you here this 

Josh: week, Josh. It’s great to be here, Ryan. Thanks for having me on the program. 

Ryan: I’m really excited to talk to you and hear about your journey as a leader and talk to you about some of the unique areas that, that you’ve brought over the course of time.

Maybe we can start with a little bit of where you come from and, and how you 

Josh: started your career. Sure. Yeah. So, I, my first job out of undergrad was at an investment bank. I, I worked as an analyst uh, mainly in kinda mergers and acquisitions and, you know, built spreadsheet models and presentations and, and learned a fantastic amount about businesses, how to analyze a business.

Certainly about m and. And learned. One of the things I learned was that I didn’t want to be an investment banker. Although I appreciated the learning that position had um, offered. I, I felt. I wanted to kinda move into something that was a little bit more focused on kind of investing and, and returns and seeing things through versus just transactions.

And so I moved to a private equity firm, was there for a couple of years. Really enjoyed that. I, again, analyzed lots of businesses across every industry and, and had the opportunity to. With senior management of a lot of the portfolio companies. And over time just felt like it would be really interesting to be able to, to work in a portfolio company.

And, and one of the things that that drew me to that was just the leadership opportunities and skills that these executives had. And so I I moved I went to grad school, got an mba and came out and during my, my MBA program decided that I wanted to go into sales. And so, I entered into software the software industry.

I, I had modeled enough businesses to know that software had this amazing kind of economic model as well as, you know, was a huge growing market and, and always changing. So always kinda offer opportunities for new learning. And I went into sales because I felt like that would be a really interesting set of skills to build and pair with the analytics skills I developed.

Kind of the finance side. And, and so my first job out of after my MBA was a software salesperson. And um, you know, boy, it was a great learning experience. It was super hard, and stretched me in a bunch of different ways. But I think it, it did build a really interesting set of skills and moved from being a sales rep to being a sales manager and then, you know, running pretty large teams and ultimately running global sales organizations.

 and then from there, Joined precisely and ran a piece of sales, and then all of sales for a number of years uh, became president as we kind of changed the strategy of the business and did that for a number of years, and then ultimately became ceo in very beginning of 2016. So been CEO of about six years, and it’s been a, a terrific a terrific runway that.

Ryan: Wow. That’s amazing. Thanks for the rundown. I really find it interesting that you’ve traversed a couple of very unique areas and brought them together. Ultimately this kind of more rounded, robust aspect of running the whole company. But one of the things I wanted to ask you about was, How you took the knowledge and insight you gained working in the finance part of the business where you’re analyzing a lot of different businesses and brought that into awareness or around your sales practices?

Josh: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. In fact, I remember the one of the first. Deals that I I closed, it was, I was working for a large software company and they tended to have pretty big relationships with large enterprises. And so, kind of a licensing and deployment of, of software would get pretty complex pretty quickly.

And uh, I came into an environment where there was a customer that owned some products, but they were looking at using more of the portfolio and they were having some challenges. Understanding how many products they needed and how the each product was licensed. And it was pretty complicated. And so I actually built a, a spreadsheet.

I, I went and met with a bunch of different project owners and ultimately got them all aligned using kind of financial analysis around, these are the quantities that you need, given the complexity of your infrastructure to. Properly license you across these products. And we, we, I closed the a seven figure deal.

And, and frankly, a lot of that was just laying out kind of, not so much the business case as it was kind of the, the quantities and, and working across these various kind of silo groups within this large enterprise. So, you know, that’s a, that’s a very small example, but was something that was impactful for me in my first role as a software salesperson.

You know, if you fast forward to being a sales manager, Or a sales leader. There’s a lot of numbers in sales. There’s a certain number of reps, there’s certain productivity levels. There’s certain ways to measure the productivity, and so I’ve found that that financial background, the ability to build it, A spreadsheet, a table structure, put that on a PowerPoint slide and kind of walk through, Hey, these are the trends I’m seeing and these are the actions that I want to take.

Based on that has been a really key enabler for building understanding and buy-in to making certain changes in you know, whether it be compensation plans or sales deployment structures or any number of areas. 

Ryan: That sounds amazing. As you were thinking about running the sales team itself, how much did you think about the integration of analytics at the earliest stages of a sales rep’s life cycle, and how important do you think it is to begin training them on the analytics aspect of 

Josh: things?

I think it’s incredibly important. I mean, it’s one of the things that I had to piece together in my first sales role. This was, you know, 20 plus years ago, and so data wasn’t as accessible and it took a, a fair amount of effort. But I just, I think in the sales discipline, and this is certainly true at, in my current position as ceo, you know, understanding the current landscape of your territory, where the opportunity sits, what customers own products, what customers don’t own products, but are, you know, cross sell.

And new logo opportunities is, doing that analysis and make it easy for a salesperson to do that analysis really helps them use efficiently their most precious resource source, which is which is time. And so I think, you know, and we see that I lead this business precisely today and we are the global leader in data integrity.

We help customers. Accurate, consistent and contextualized data to make more competent business decisions. And what I found over the course of my career is that, you know, being data driven just makes you more efficient and more improves your chances of success. So that’s something I really believe.

Ryan: Awesome. Thanks. How did you in the, in the process of, of shifting from a pure sales perspective into. Larger management and oversight level on the entire product line. How did you think about bringing the sales process into or, or help enlighten the sales process with different units across the entire organization?

Josh: Yeah, so, first thing was to really, I say, and this is true today as well, is that big part of my role is to break down myth. Because people will, they’ll latch on to kind of things that have been true for a long time because they heard it from the guy that had the job before they had it, or the former sales manager and, and really I think there are these very kind of important.

Times when you think about transforming a business or a sales team where it’s it’s, you know, putting those myths aside and actually looking at data and saying, is that actually true? Because the reality is something that was true five years ago may not be true today. And so I’ve found several times in my career that kind of breaking down those myths using data has helped not only kinda see a key insight of, Hey, we should probably do something differently.

We should reorganize the way. Structuring our sales team, or we should build a product for this market. But it also gives you an ability using data, particularly if you know how to, you know, laid out and present it, it, it brings along the team. So they say, Oh, I, I get it. That makes sense. I understand why we’re doing this.

So that’s a big piece of, of my role even today, . 


Yeah, that’s great. When you think about data and using it as you were describing kind of to inspire teams, what are some of the best ways that you’ve actually taken advantage of it? A lot of visualization. Do you ask people to get kind of deep into the numbers? How do you like to use. No, 

Josh: I, I remember years ago I did a, a keynote presentation for a, it was a sales kickoff or a company meeting.

And what I did was I did a series of slides that each had one number and, you know, this huge font size of like, you know, 40 size font. So all it was, was a. And what I tried to do was to take the team through some aspects of our business using these key metrics that they probably weren’t aware of. And so I, you know, one was the growth rate of one of our kind of older products, and it was very surprising that it was growing as fast as it was, and we had not been paying a lot of attention.

And so, no, I, I think it’s less about asking people to go deep into numbers and more about telling a story, but having it, you know, using numbers as a, as some key facts to support your claim. And I think the simpler you can make that, the more internalization you’ll get from that. And I remember that slide at a chief of staff at the time that used to build my slide presentations.

And that was his favorite because it took him about 20 minutes cuz I gave him eight numbers. He had to just format him and the company, you know, fought and then we were done. So it was, but it was a very impactful presentation. Yeah. 

Ryan: But those eight numbers can sometimes be incredibly complex to get to as well.

Josh: Well, it, that was the, you know, that’s the hard part, right? Is, is you have to analyze the business for a bunch of different ways to get those key insights. But once you have ’em, and once you fashion a strategy around what that offers in terms of opportunity, then it’s about telling the team, you know, here’s the opportunity and this is why I think we can be successful.

And that’s, in my opinion, The, the analysis piece up front is, is really interesting and fascinating. But the, the thing that really gets the blood going for me is to be able to kind of articulate that, that vision and that opportunity in front of the team. 

Ryan: Yeah, that makes sense. Uh, We talk a lot about this with startups that are raising money as well, like kind of putting down really key metrics analytics that are gonna help show guidance towards the right kind of answers over the course of time.

I know CEOs with more mature companies, like precisely also have to develop and think about creating a great dashboard so that they can manage the business and kind of see where it’s going. I’m assuming you probably have something similar like that. And. working with those kind of core organizational metrics?

Or are they things that you, you do on your own and you manage? 

Josh: Yeah, good question. Something we started probably a decade ago and we use some interactive dashboard technology. And what we found was, initially it was, you know, four or five of us that would kind of build these dashboards around key metrics.

But what’s been interesting is that over time, you know, I would come to meetings and I’d site metrics on these and people would say, Well, I’d like to be able to see that dashboard and. You know, fast forward to today, you’ve got probably 30, 40% of the organization using these dashboards. There are hundreds of dashboards and it’s really been more of developing a culture around being data driven.

That’s been, you know, just fantastic to watch. And, and now I regularly show up Each week I show it to, to meetings. Where people are laying out analysis and saying, Here’s, you know, here’s the insight and this is what I think we can, we can do based on that, that we hadn’t been thinking about before. So the, the fun part for me has been, you know, yes, creating those dashboards and those insights, but really it’s building the culture such that, particularly our leadership team you know, approaches their job as, you know, how do I analyze in a very structured way my business, whether that’s HR or that’s sales or, or product development.

And then how do I kind of chart my strategy and my progress, you know, using data. 

Ryan: And how do you guide your, maybe not just your direct reports, but the, the managers that are overseeing the delivery of these, these metrics. How do you guide them towards making sure they’re looking at the right thing and making sure there’s not a lot of false perspective within the metrics 

Josh: themselves?

It’s a great question. It’s something that you best get to kind of iterating over time. And so there’s kind of two pieces to it from my perspective. One is every year I publish on our intranet and we have, you know, about 2,500 employees. So it’s a reasonably sized organization. Uh, But I publish on the internet my goals for the year, and we kind of split those into a couple different categories and and they’ll be inclusive of very specific measurable metrics.

And so, you know, there’s anywhere from eight to 10 kind of key goals for the company overall. Then we go through a process. This is all actually kicking up now where my leaders, you know, whatever their function is and where organized functionally, they will then build a set of goals that are measurable off of my goals for their organization.

And we do that all the way down through the organization so everybody has a clear set of goals. And then we have for every function we have quarterly quarterly business reviews we call them. And that’s probably not the best name for it. Where. Folks come and they say, you know, this is how we’re doing against the goals and here’s what we’re learning and here’s what’s working well and here’s what’s not working well.

And as a part of that, there’s some, you know, core tables that they fill out and, and we really focus on trends. And so they, they have to, in, in executing their job over time, they have to think about measurable goals and they have to think about, how do I analyze performance and report out on that and develop an action plan based on that.

So it’s a, it’s an ongoing. Conversation that revolves around data. And every time we do that, we, we do a debrief to say, Okay, what, what analysis was helpful and what analysis was not helpful? And we kind of can tend to evolve the, the key metrics and the, the layouts that we use. But it’s all very focused on kind of data and understanding trends.

And I think that it just builds good business discipline and good decision making in the organization. That’s great. 

Ryan: Yep. As a company that. a little more mature and has been around and has a, a good size population of employees. How much of that goal setting. Do you put towards innovation, disruption, kind of thinking about expanding beyond where you’re currently at?

Josh: Yeah, so, that’s a great question. I mean, it’s really for us, we, we try to drive profitable growth in our organization. So we we’re a profitable organization and have been for decades. And every year the goal is to, continue to. drive and deliver that profitability and at the same time grow the business.

And that growth really comes through innovation. And and in fact, you know, over the last couple of years we’ve made some pretty big investments in delivering a whole new set of SAS capabilities for our customers. Cuz that’s what we’re seeing is that’s how they want to consume our technology.

And, and so I would say it depends on the year in terms of percentage, but you. In terms of the goals, they tend to be about the new things we’re gonna do differently. And so I’d say it’s a good 30 to 40%. That’s, you know, hey, how are we gonna innovate here? Sometimes that’s on a product, sometimes that’s on a route to market or or even how we’re managing internal processes.

But, but generally, you know, most of those goals are around some level of transformation. 

Ryan: Great. And when you’re thinking about that transformation, do you prefer to build within the organization? Do you like to acquire, Like what is, what is a preferred route for innovation worked into those goals? 

Josh: Yeah, so we’ve certainly grown through acquisition.

I think we’ve done seven acquisitions over the last two or three years. And and we think that that’s a powerful tool to. To expand our value proposition to our customers and, and fully deliver on this notion of data integrity. Um, And so m and a is certainly a big piece, but we also you know, we have hundreds of, of developers and, and we, we certainly want them to continue to advance our product line and deliver, you know, innovative new features and, and products to to customers.

So it’s really a mix and what we’ve found is, That being able to do both those things allows, allows you to move faster. We’ve, we’ve grown about tenfold in the last six years as I’ve been ceo, so it’s been a pretty exciting time. 

Ryan: Wow. Yeah. That’s serious as you’re, as you’re bringing in some of those companies that allow that growth and, and doing acquisition.

As well as continuing to evolve inside the organization. What are some of the challenges that you’ve seen in terms of like blending cultures with new, new people that are coming in, in groups, and how are, how are you working on getting that as smooth as possible? 

Josh: Yeah, it’s a great question and it’s one of the, the more difficult challenges of, of m and a is, you know, very often you’ve got, you know, you’re acquiring a business that you like.

It’s a, it’s a good, strong performing business. And you know, the only way it got there is that it has this, Talented set of people that, that have been, you know, contributing and performing as a team in that business. And, and to some extent, when you acquire that, that business, you’re, you’re kind of messing that up, right?

They’re gonna be a part of a larger organization that’s gonna create opportunities for them, but you’re also asking them to go through a lot of change. Uh, And so we’ve worked hard to to think about how to manage that change and that transition. And I think we’ve gotten you know, pretty good at it.

And you know, one of the, the first thing is to recognize that this is gonna be changed for folks to, to make sure that folks understand that, that you. You know, really admire what they’ve built and show a lot of respect for the business they’ve built. And then explain the rationale behind the combination and why we think that will be good for customers and, and frankly good for the team.

I’ve also found that being intentional about what our culture is has been really helpful. We’ve got a, you know, very specific set of kind of four dimensions to our culture. And we, when we bring Com folks into the organization through m and a, we, we are very intentional about explaining that and. I think that tends to be pretty motivating because what it does is it, it really tries to put a focus on, you know, collaboration and respect and the ability to leverage this unique set of expertise that we have in the, in the organization largely because we’ve acquired different companies with folks with lots of different backgrounds.

And that’s, that’s creates some unique opportunity for innovation and, and solving of customer challenges.

Ryan: That’s amazing and that, that makes sense. I know. Bringing different groups in, you get these different ways in which people wanna work together. They’re used to going down certain processes and. Guiding people towards like a unified solution takes time and, and requires a lot of patience with people. I know that.

But when you’re thinking about 10 x growth over the course of six years and using acquisition to do that, using lots of innovation inside the organization, what would be some good advice you might offer an up and coming entrepreneur that has a, a successful business and they’re trying to scale up and they wanna really push the scale.

Josh: Yeah, I, I mean, I think the, the first is, you know, be clear about the, the mission and the vision and, and the specific goals that you have for the organization. I think you want to you know, explain how, regardless of the. The function, you know, how each individual in that company can participate towards helping the company achieve that mission and what that’s gonna do for them in their career.

Because ultimately it’s about gaining clarity of the, the goals and the mission, and then buy in to kind of the key strategies to help. Accomplish that mission. And so I spend a lot of time and, and more time than I used to because the organization’s grown. You know, explaining our strategy and going out and and explaining why we think that creates, you know, significant career opportunity for our employees.

I just got back over the last two weeks of doing I think three or four different town halls. Where I gave an update on the business kind of overview of, of the strategy and the goals for this year, and then took questions. And, you know, you get, you’ll get the same question over and over again, but boy, it is really powerful for folks to feel like they can ask you a question you give them an honest and sincere answer.

So those are some of the tools that, that we’ve used is that clarity of mission and goal, why it’s why, you know, the benefit for participating and then taking questions and being, you know, transparent about the answers. 

Ryan: That’s amazing. Thank you. Do you have any daily practices or regular habits that are just part of your life as a leader that you, you like to employ, kind of keep help, help you keep on your toes, like really connected to your people?

Josh: Yeah. So I. Every morning I do get up and I have a set of dashboards that I look through around, you know, our operations and, and sales and pipeline. And that keeps me really grounded in kind of the trends in the business. Obviously I wanna know how we’re doing, but I also wanna understand what’s happening in a particular product category or particular area of the business.

So I kind of build that fact pace and you. Things don’t change that much from day to day, but at the same time, I, I can kind of peek in different windows, if you will. And and I’ve found that that’s a, you know, when I run across somebody working on a particular product line, I, I can say, Hey, you know, I saw this happen, that seems good.

Or, Hey, this, you know, we see this metric going down. What, what would be driving that? And so people appreciate, I think, understanding, you know, my understanding of the business. And so it’s a good platform to engage. Folks with um, the second thing I do is I do a lot of skip level meetings. And it’s not a formal thing, but I have.

Relationships. I’ve been here for 13 years. I have relationships I’ve developed over those 13 years, and so I will reach out to folks that I haven’t talked to in a while and say, Hey, I’d like to get 30 minutes just to catch up. And these aren’t people that I necessarily would talk to on a normal basis, but I find that if you can do that, and I try to do two or three of those conversations a week.

A, the people are super excited to hear from you. And B, you learn. And it’s just it’s really motivating for me. And so I, I really enjoy enjoy that as well. And then the last piece is I, I have a pretty strict adherence to my management cadence, which is a weekly staff call, Weekly one oh ones with my direct and then a quarterly team meeting.

So that’s our, those are daily activities, but kind of keeping that cadence going certainly requires daily management. But those three things, I think give me an ability to engage with anybody across the organization in a, you know, knowledgeable way. An ability to kind of have a good flow of information coming to me, not just from, you know, my direct reports, but from across the organization.

And then an ability, you know, these insertion points to kind of communicate our strategy and and how we’re doing. And I think it, fosters good understanding and alignment across the organiz. 

Ryan: Those are are great thoughts. Thank you for sharing them. And actually they’re a great lead in to our, our next segment, which is your top five tips.

So we’ll be back in just a minute and let you share those top five tips. Sounds great.

Break One.

Ryan: Listening to Josh, it’s clear he has infused a data-driven philosophy into the foundation of his entire career. He developed a financial and accounting perspective early in his career and bolstered it by developing a top-notch sales skill set that guided him into the later portions.

By blending several data driven roles, he was able to really understand the mechanics of applying a data infrastructure to empower an entire team to be focused on the same. Armed with this approach, he has been able to grow the organization tenfold over the past six years. A truly notable feat, Josh, demonstrates that a data driven leadership mindset is truly an enabler for building and understanding change.

Welcome back everyone. We’re here with Josh Rogers, the CEO of Precisely, and we’re about to hear Josh’s top five leadership tips. So Josh, maybe we can kick in and you can tell us what tip number one 

Tip One (Be Respectful)

Josh: is for you. Okay. Tip number one for me, and I’m not perfect at this but I’m trying to get better, but is be respect.

And I, I have my tip, and then I have a little tagline that I wrote. And, okay. My tagline to this one is, Your, your quality of life will improve. If you are consciously and intentionally respectful to everybody you interact with throughout the day what you’ll find is that people will, will treat you and the others they work with differently.

And you’ll have a a different level of conversation. And obviously, I, I don’t think that people are intentionally necessarily disrespectful, but the things like sarcasm, that, that kind of feed into a lot of conversations that I think over time can erode the, the quality of those conversations. And so my, my first tip is just be respect.

The, the world is, is short on that, certainly in social media world. And I think it’s a, it’s a good foundation upon much to build. 

Ryan: Yeah, that’s great. I think there’s something too around giving people the time and openness to hear them as well. You, I think you alluded to that, but that, that respect of actually hearing them.

All right. What about tip 

Tip Two (Be Transparent)

Josh: number two? What do you got? Tip number two is be transparent. And what I have found is that, particularly as I moved into management, and then as I moved into more and more senior roles, is that you know, you would, you would get into these roles and you’re like, Well, there’s certain things that I can’t share necessarily.

And what I’ve found is over time, the more you share, the more clarity and trust that you. And so, you know, that’s evolved to now we have an all hands call once a quarter. We go through and have a series of speakers. I give a business a review, and we save the last 20 minutes or so for questions. And our policy is we will answer any question that you ask and we get like a lot of fastballs.

And in fact, if we don’t get to all the questions, we actually do have a video. Blog of blog that we do and we do a follow up to go through all of the questions that were. And what I have found is that, you know, having those secrets, being transparent, explaining the rationale behind decisions or issues that the business is having just builds so much trust in the organization that, that folks are transparent back with you and now you’re having an honest conversation around how do we improve?

And it’s, it’s a really powerful kind of approach. 

Ryan: Do you think that’s passed down to the different organizational groups within the company as. 

Josh: Uh, I think in general, yes, and I certainly will come across pockets where it hasn’t. Right. And it’s, you know, generally I think people wanna be transparent, but there’s certain times where they don’t know what they can disclose.

And you know, when I come across that, I say, Look, you know, if you just told them like this is, this is what’s happening in the business, this is what’s happening in this market, this is why we’re making this decision, even if it’s unpopular. The amount of trust and respect you’ll get and, and frankly, buy in and alignment to why we’re doing what we’re doing will allow us to move faster and frankly be better for the organization over the long haul.

Ryan: Great tip. Awesome. How about tip number three? What 

Tip Three (Tell A Story)

Josh: do you have? All right. Tip number three, I do a lot of presentations and tell a story. Tell a story. What I’ve found is that if you can start off particularly a, a, a presentation with a story, and I often will start with a personal story that I’ll then relate to something that’s happening in the business.

I have found that engage your listener. And oftentimes I’ll start with a story that, you know, has to do with one of my kids or has to do with a story of my childhood or my brothers growing up. and and people are like, Why is he talking about that? And they’ll, they’ll listen and then you can kind of pivot over to, and this is, you know, kind of what’s happening in the business.

But what I’ve found is the more you can use those forums tell a story, the more engaged your audience will be and the, the higher the recall and understanding will be. 

Ryan: So it’s almost like relating it back to a specific real world event that happened and then, And then offering an illustration of that.

Josh: Yeah, exactly. Are there 

Ryan: any good storytelling tools that you like to implement? 


Josh: I think the, the more that you can be personal about the story, I think the more you know, the vulnerability you, you share. I had We had an offsite couple of months ago and we were talking about, you know, kind of the great resignation.

And I had a situation several years ago where we had launched a new product and I had we had built a big partnership with a very high flying tech company. It was going well, and and one of the, the sales reps that had been in the business a few years was doing well, and he left and he went to this high flying partner that was very controversial and very bad for us at the time, and, I was angry.

I was angry, I was disappointed. I felt like I invested a lot in, in him. And I called him and told him that I was, you know, upset and I didn’t handle that conversation well. And you know, fast forward I, things are fine, I’m doing well. He’s actually a very senior executive in another high flying tech company and, you know, I learned from that, that, that.

Patience and respect and just wanting the best for your employees is, is gonna lead to positive results. And so, you know, I told that story in front of, you know, our top a hundred managers. And I just find that if you can show that vulnerability and people understand that you have also learned from lessons where you made mistakes it.

It makes makes them feel I think willing to take more risk and, and be more honest with with their employees and with you around, you know, how we all move forward together. And so, I, I’ve found that, you know, telling a story and, and giving a piece of yourself is a part of this, is a, is a real enabler for engagement and and just internalization of the message trying.

Ryan: Yeah, and doing that through, as you said, vulnerability is very impactful for people to be able to relate and connect with you. Awesome. How about tip number 


Tip Four (Be Curious)

Josh: What do you got? Tip number four is be curious. Probably not groundbreaking here, but I add a little bit of a nuance, which is my brother uses the phrase all the time.

There’s the, there’s the good reason and there’s the real reason. And a lot of times in business, whether it’s with a customer or with an employee, you’re getting the good reason, but you’re not getting the real reason. And so what I try to practice is, is to be very curious. Whatever the issue is at hand.

And rather than jumping to the answer or the solution or the recommendation or the task list, tell me more. It’s a very powerful phrase, but I think the more curious you can be the more you’ll learn what really is happening, what’s really to drive driving decisions. And I’ve found that that’s, that’s a really important skill, Easy to say, hard to do in.

Ryan: Yeah. I actually use that, that phrase quite a bit myself. Tell me more. It’s a, it’s a great phrase for leaders and it also implies going into that little bit deeper state where you’re trying to find what’s underneath as, as you were saying. And that is often where the truth lies in things and it can get lost within just the banter of, of communication back and forth with people.

So it’s a great tip. Yeah. Awesome. How about tip number five? 

Tip Five (Manage Yourself Out Of A Job)

Josh: Tip number five is manage yourself out of a. . And what I mean by that is that, you know, in a management position, and even in a, in an individual contributor position, but specifically in a management position, you know, your job is to build a system that accomplishes something.

Could be a sales territory, could be, you know, a hiring function, could be, you know, product, building a product or evolving a product. But if you. Build the right network of kind of interactions amongst your team and amongst the, the support network that your team has. In terms of, you know, clear goals, regular cadence for how you come together, how you make decisions, how you, you monitor progress.

You should be able to step away from that system or that team and it should continue to. , and that has to do with the level of clarity you provided. That has to do with the quality of people that you’ve hired. It has to do with the way that you’ve developed and their engagement and accomplishing the, the mission.

But if you can step away and that thing continues to run, then you’ve done a great job. And I don’t know that people always, particularly younger managers, always approach their role that way. Because what, what that does is you are actually seeking out. More contribution from the team because you want them to start doing pieces of your job.

And what that does for you is it allows you more time to think about how do I evolve this team or how do I take on more responsibility in the future? But I think that mindset I’ve found to be a good kind of cultural and prioritization tool for, you know, building high performing teams. 

Ryan: How do you provide a sense of safety? To the leaders that you’re asking to essentially work themselves out of a job and inspire them to actually take that leap and, and do 

Josh: that work.

Yeah. You measure ’em that way, right? I mean, you and I don’t mean that, Hey, we, you know, do we not need you? But you, you measure them on the quality of the team. Right. Do you have the right team in place? Are you giving them development opportunities? You know, do you have enough free time to think about the the future direction that you wanna take the business?

And if you have someone that’s running a kind of a command and control approach, and they’re. Monitoring and micromanaging everybody on their team. There’s no way they can charge the future. And so I think you, you set up the review cadence for managers to be, Hey, you’ve gotta have a couple eyes on the future.

And if you’re not able to get there, like we probably need to think about how you delegate more and how, or how you structure your team differently. So that that, it can operate with less supervision from.

Ryan: Wonderful. Thank you. These were really great tips. We appreciate you taking the time today to share them and taking the time to give us a perspective on your, your career as a whole. We really appreciate it and we know that it will help a lot of upcoming tech leaders as they make their way through this very tricky business.

Thanks for being 

Josh: here today, Josh. Thanks for having me. 

Ryan: Over and over Josh brings to light an impactful concept for any leader, building trust with project teams, with employees and client subscribers, trust with all of them. He drives home this approach by focusing on asking the right questions, and as he alludes to this, allows him as a leader to avoid jumping to conclusions and ultimately finding the right motives that drive.