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Jul 26, 2022
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47. CEO, BambooHR

47. CEO, BambooHR

Jeff interviews Bradley Rencher, CEO of BambooHR where they have an inspiring conversation about leading from where you are, one of BambooHR’s core values. Brad shares how this comes from making an impact, and how it often means you're promoted before you get the title.

Brad and Jeff discuss how most careers are not linear, why senior leaders must proactively mentor less experienced leaders, and how cultures that pitch and catch feedback well outperform their peers. Brad helps listeners understand the need to develop domain expertise at all levels of the organization and why eliminating silos at the top is paramount.

Link to Brad’s article on Entrepreneur Magazine: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/423513

Transcript

Intro: Duration: (02:23)

Opening music jingle & sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Hi everyone, I'm Jeff Hunt and this is the Human Capital podcast produced by GoalSpan. Hosting this show is one of my favorite pastimes because we get to explore the deeply human aspect of work. If you've listened to many episodes, you'll realize I spend a lot of time talking about culture, because ultimately, culture eats everything else for lunch. Today, I'm excited to drive us to the intersection of organizational culture and business excellence.

And once we get there, guess who's standing on the corner? It's always the CEO. The CEO is who we look to for direction and modeling. She or he is the main leadership voice celebrating achievements, delivering difficult information, setting the tone and expectations for the future, and rallying the troops. Often the organization's culture and its core values are reflective of the CEO's values. Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing a CEO who speaks the language of culture.

Brad rancher is CEO of BambooHR, and the host of “The Era podcast”, which is all about the employee experience era. Almost everyone is familiar with BambooHR, but to give you a refresher, they are the leading cloud platform that helps transform employee experiences. Brad joined bamboo HR as CEO back in 2019 and has more than 25 years of experience in tech, customer service, and SaaS. Brad leads the company's mission to set people free to do great work with award-winning software.

And bamboo HR serves over 22,000 organizations in 120 countries. My company GoalSpan is a proud integrated marketplace partner of BambooHR. Before Bamboo, Brad worked as Executive VP and general manager at Adobe, where he led a global engineering and business organization focused on creating the industry's leading end-to-end digital marketing platform, the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Welcome, Brad!

Brad Rencher:

Thank you, Jeff. I'm really excited about the conversation and grateful to be on the podcast. Thank you for the invitation.

Jeff Hunt:

Well, thanks for coming to the show. And I love the opportunity to come on your podcast “The Era” and so now I get to turn the tables on you.

Brad Rencher:

It was fun. It was a great conversation and looking forward to launching that new season soon. So you'll be highlighted.

Topic 1. Who or what inspired you the most along your career journey? (02:24)

Jeff Hunt:

Brad, let's start with a thumbnail of your career journey. Can you share a little bit about that? What got you into SaaS? Maybe who or what inspired you most along the way?

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, thank you. And I'll try to be brief here. It's interesting, Jeff. You probably had the same experience where you have maybe an intern asking you a question or someone who's in university and trying to figure out what's next. And they're like, just tell me how to do dot, so that I can arrive at where you are at this thing. And one of the things that I've had to learn and I certainly have experienced is careers are not a dot-to-dot exercise.

They're not linear. They're kind of accidental. There's a whole lot of luck involved. And I certainly am a byproduct of that. Yes, I have solid B minus talent I have some work ethic. But I've been really, really fortunate to be mentored by some great mentors, but also just to get this plane lucky. I started my career as an investment banker doing mergers and acquisitions and IPOs. And you're like what is a reformed investment banker doing on a podcast talking about culture?

Because it's not like this industry is known as the stalwarts in the great beacon of culture and employee experience. But I ended up building a relationship with a CEO of a company called Omniture. I had taken Omniture public and an IPO and gotten to know the CEO and founder Josh James of Omniture. And he asked me to come and work for him. And I said, I don't want to come and just be an investment banker, or an internal investment banker, a deal guy, I want to help you run and build people in systems and culture because you don't get that experience in that in that world.

And that really kicked off my journey as an operating executive, as a culture builder, and as a product builder. And I think the interesting learning there, it just takes one person to believe in you. And the thing that I appreciate about Josh thinking back, is that there was nothing on my resume that said that I could do the job he was hiring me to do. And how many times do we hire a resume, as opposed to potential? And I think back now, and I'm like, I don't know if I would have had the courage to do it, but I sure appreciate that he did.

Because it unlocked this whole canvas of opportunity for learning and growth for me, and hopefully, I've been able to do some good along the way. And so he certainly was one of the first people who opened a door for me that maybe wouldn't have been open in other areas. And then then, nine months later, Jeff, Adobe came knocking and acquired Omniture, which was the most nonsensical acquisition at the time, people thought what is Photoshop doing buying web analytics. I remember being on with industry analysts, they just didn't get it.

And 12 years later, it's gone down as one of the greatest, you know, kind of business transformation acquisitions of all time. So I was grateful to be a part of that. But shorten Ryan, the CEO is still the CEO of Adobe was another one. At the time that Josh was leaving Adobe, here I was this former investment banker who had been there nine months, and I was kind of the last person from the team standing there. And rather than take this business and ask another leader to do it, he said, Hey, Brad, why don't you report to me and try this.

And 11 years later, it was just the journey of a lifetime. And I learned so much from that experience and had just an opportunity to work with some of the great humans there. So then, as I was leaving Adobe, and just saying, I don't know what's next for me, I got introduced to Bamboo and this company that, rather than thinking about, like I was at Adobe, to where I was like, how do I create an audience to drive more email conversions? And website personalization?

It was to be exposed to this HR category where it was all about people building humans. And I have just fallen in love with the mission and the opportunity here. And so, I see SaaS and business as a vehicle, if done right, it's a little bit the Clayton Christensen, how to measure your life. Business done right can be a noble profession. But the way you make it noble is your focus on the people, you focus on outcomes and building. And that doesn't mean that it's not a for-profit business. But you can drive to outcomes, and not lose the human narrative in the process.

Jeff Hunt:

I love that. And that reference to focusing on people goes right back to that individual focus and mentorship you got early in your career, which really allowed you to get to where you are today. Also, Brad, love your just unvarnished story because so many people think it is a straight trajectory. And it's not. And it does involve luck, but it also involves who you surround yourself with, who you want to be your mentor, and then putting yourself in a position where you can do that, right?

Brad Rencher:

And if maybe if you're listening to the podcast, and you're later in your career, my challenge to you is who are you doing that for? Like, it's your responsibility, like, don't make them find you, offer? Reach out, talk to someone, hey, Jeff, how are you doing? What are you working on? What do you want to do next? How can I help? It's not hard, and it's the most rewarding thing that we can do.

Jeff Hunt:

Absolutely. And if we do that, as an entire organization, that actually creates a culture in its own right, that is about learning and development and growth and where people want to be.

Brad Rencher:

So, that's a little bit in a nutshell. But it's one, I still feel like I'm building, I still feel like I'm learning, I still feel like that my best work is ahead of me. And so it's an exciting place to be in and appreciate the opportunity to talk a little bit about it.

Topic 2. Lead from where you are; everyone is a leader. (08:18)

Jeff Hunt:

I had an opportunity to read your recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine, which is really a great framework for what I want to talk about today. And by the way, for listeners go look this article up, it's titled “The Three Ways to Empower Everyone to Lead and How to Do it”. And we'll put the link in our show notes. But I'd love your concept, Brad, of everyone being a leader. Tell me what that looks like in practice.

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, this is one that I think that I've seen many examples of how this works. But it got codified because it's one of our values of BambooHR is to lead from where you are. Because what happens many times in small organizations, and large organizations are you'll hear things like this. Well, that's above my paygrade or I can't do that, because I don't have the title that I need in order to get this particular initiative over the line and the organization.

That's just not right. It's not right. And it's limiting for the individual and it's limiting for the organization. And so, this notion, yes, are there certain decisions that need to be made by certain people inside an organization? Yes, otherwise it would be chaos, no alignment and to do that, but I think that many times people feel like, in order to unlock and have a big impact, they need a promotion or they need a certain position.

And what this value and what this idea is that if you lead from where you are, you can have a large impact and the business many times actually promote you even before your that you might get the particular title or different things. Let me give you an example. And I highlighted this a little bit in the article. But I can give a little more color. There was a data analyst and insights team at Adobe, and there was a young analyst there.

The name's Dan Mondragon, he's a great guy, he is on LinkedIn, say hello to him. But he started to work on this analysis for all this go-to-market, this global go-to-market, Adobe's entire enterprise go to market imagine how big this is. I don't know what his title was, like, manager, individual contributor, like he wasn't even running the team. But he started to come into these meetings and have insights. And so, people would be like, hey, we need Dan in this meeting.

And so, Dan would be in the meeting, and Dan is in the meeting. And then he added value in the meeting because he was leading out on these insights to help us figure out what we need to do with the business. And then he started to be in meetings with me and the president of Adobe's EMEA region, the president of the Japan region, and they would start to then say, well, before I make this decision, I just want to talk to Dan.

And so they would call and put themselves on his calendar. And so, then he would give me giving them insights. And so here was this person sitting in Lehi, Utah, who was having this major impact across this global organization, because he was leading from his place. And to me, it was just this lightbulb moment. Did Dan ultimately get promoted? Yes. But was it the title and his position that led him to have the impact? No, because he had mastered this principle of leading from where he is,

Jeff Hunt:

Well, and my guest, too, is that Dan, was not adding value, to try to get a promotion.

Brad Rencher:

He wants to have an impact. That's what 99% of the employees are just like, I want to feel valued. And I want to have an impact. How do you let them do that? Let them lead, give them that voice. And there are lots of ways people do this. It's like, well, I want to hear everyone's voice. But I love this idea of leadership that you can lead. And this is my challenge sometimes with employees that you know, that are like, Hey, Brad, I want to grow and develop. Well, tell me about how you're leading from where you are today. Tell me about that.

Topic 3. Creating expertise at all levels of the organization, connecting the people to mission, vision, and values. (12:12)

Jeff Hunt:

That's great. That's such a good question for any of us at any time, really. Okay, so in your article, you also mentioned the importance of creating expertise at all levels of the organization. Talk to us about why this is so important. And what are the benefits of investing in this?

Brad Rencher:

To me, this is, this is how you build. Well, let me step back. You need to identify what the objectives for your business are. Is your business to put the leadership team and executive team a small number of people at the center of your narrative? Are they always the protagonist of the story that you want to write? Or is it that five years, 10 years from now, you have now developed leaders who are now leading out in the core narrative of the business who are not today?

And maybe some of these people go in there and they're writing the narrative in other businesses. And so for me, it comes down to what's your objective? And how do you want to develop? And because if you want to develop and not always put the executive team or the leadership team at the central part of every story, well, then you've got to start to develop those.

It's like, think about any good book or story that's telling is you have to do character development. And in the character development, you start to understand what's the tension? What are they learning? How are they figuring out their skills? In any superhero movie, they have gotta go discover their powers. And for me, getting the insight and the knowledge in different parts of the organization is starting to help each individual in your organization understand their superpowers.

And then it takes time to learn how to harness those and to build those so that they can kind of achieve the measure of their creation. And that's what I mean by that is, yes, there are business benefits from that. But if you think about it from a core people development standpoint, that's the idea. And it makes you more resilient, it makes you deeper. And you know, my experience is I've scaled several of these businesses from $100 million to billions of dollars of revenue. It's the only way that you actually achieve business outcomes and growth.

Jeff Hunt:

Makes perfect sense. The other element is communicating constantly, fiercely, and authentically about the organization's mission, what it stands for, where it's going, its vision, and its core values. Talk to me a little bit about how to connect people to the company and its mission. What does that look like generically? What does it look like specifically at BambooHR?

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, our mission at BambooHR is to set people free to do great work.

Jeff Hunt:

I love that by the way.

Brad Rencher:

I love it. Every day we've got roughly 3 million people in our system working. And I think about that like, today, we can help 3 million people maybe book some time off over the Fourth of July. And then they get to go spend time with an average number of dependents is 2.2. So six to 7 million people are going to benefit from an action that takes place in BambooHR software today. How incredible is that? And that's going to be 10 million 20 million 50 million. And I would say, as a leader, how deeply do you care and feel that mission?

Because mission, vision, values, this is the hard part, if you're not happy with your culture, you're not happy with how that's happening as a leader? You have to look in the mirror, because it's ultimately a reflection of you, if people aren't aligned to the mission, look in the mirror. How do you feel about it? How do you talk about it? How are you driving to alignment? Because the mission is, why does this company exist?

What are we about? And then you get to the vision is like, well, what are we doing? Like, what will we become? And then your values are? How do we do it? And are the values of the pictures on the wall? Or does it actually inform like? Let me give an example. One of Bamboo's values is to be open. And if I'm as a leader I’m coming across as I'm not being transparent and being vague, when I can give information I'm not and I'm not communicating well. How much do you think to be open as a value is going to take hold inside of Bamboo?

Jeff Hunt:

It won't in that case, it might be aspirational. But it won't.

Brad Rencher:

May as well take it off the wall, take it off everything. It's not going to happen. Unless you're committed to it. Yes, aspirational, true, but how then, am I working towards that as a leader? And so for me, most of my meetings, people get tired of it. I will start with especially in like if I'm recruiting someone to come and like, we're going to start and end every conversation the same way. What’s our mission? What's our vision?

What are our values? Then we talk in between and I said at the end, let me tell you about our mission again, let me tell you about how we do it and what we're becoming. And the more you weave this into your core operating narrative, the more it's going to take hold. It's so exciting when it happens. And we're not perfect, I'm not perfect, I'm still learning that Bambooligans who are listening are like, Yeah, I wish you do more of that. You're right, like, I gotta do better.

Topic 4. Eliminating silos, especially at the top. (17:23)

Jeff Hunt:

One of the other things that you mentioned in your article is eliminating silos, especially the top, which, I'm really glad you brought this up because they're so cancerous and problematic when they're silos within organizations. But why? Why is it most important to do this at the top? If you have silos in an organization?

Brad Rencher:

Yeah. And this is the hard thing. In my organization, at Adobe was, I don't know, 5, 6, 7, 10,000 people? Did we have silos that crept in? Yes, because ultimately, you have to have an organizing principle for your organization, whether you're three employees, 10 employees, or 10,000, you have to have an organizing principle and their functions, people need managers.

And, and so yes, that those are gonna exist. What do I mean by how do you eliminate this at the top? There is an opportunity. And Patrick Lencioni has an idea in his book, and he talks about this, this principle of Team One. And Team One is the executive team. And I use this language with all of my teams when I invite you to come and report to me and be on the team. This is how I say it. I'm like you, Jeff, you're running the sales department.

And I need you to run the sales department with excellence. But the second part of your role is that when you come to my team meeting, and we're with each other as an executive team, you're a member of Team One. So, what do I need you to do? I need you to take off your functional hat of sales, you can see my bad hair day, you take the functional hat off, and you leave that behind, and you come in and now who are you?

You are Jeff Hunt and you are an executive who is jointly running BambooHR. And every decision, your commentary shouldn't be from the perspective. I know it's hard. I know, that's your day job. But I need you to come in and represent that and not do it from the perspective of, hey, this is what sales needs. This is what sales needs. It's like, what are the things that we're doing?

And so for me, how I try to eliminate this is Patrick Lencioni's principle of team one, and when I recruit people, I do it when they are hired and their onboarding, I put it in, and many times during a during the executive team meeting I'll say, as a reminder, we're in our team one hats today, not in our functional hats. And because that's I just try to constantly push that out.

Jeff Hunt:

I love that. And Pat has so many incredible references. And by the way for listeners, he's coming on the podcast. He has a new book coming out around the working genius model that he has. He has an assessment called the working genius. And so I'll be interviewing him in September. think the book comes out and are actually in August but comes out in September sort of that.

Stay tuned for that. So also, I think that just the recognition of the different spread between a group and a team is also critical. A group being a loose-knit of people who might be friends and really like each other, but don't have a common goal and a team having that common goal and direction also with an interdependency, wouldn't you think?

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, I think I think that I mean, Netflix has kind of championed this model to where like, many companies say, Hey, we're a family. And Netflix says, we're not a family, we're a team. We're a high-performing team. And that means that you may not choose them to be in your family, but you respect what they do. And they do it. And we perform together in this in this team concept.

And I think it's interesting, maybe it's taken too far sometimes. But I do think that getting out of the notion to where it's okay, because what's the biggest thing? And this is another great book, crucial conversations. How do you have those conversations as an executive team that are what is important and emotionally charged? Can you master those types of conversations on that team? If you can, the sky's the limit

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah. What just staying on that vein for a minute? What are your suggestions for tips on how to master those conversations?

Brad Rencher:

I've had several of these just in the last couple of weeks. And Jeff, I don't know if I'm, I try really hard to be great at it. But my tip is to have the courage to start the conversation. Many times the hardest part is to just have the courage to start it. Because then once you're into it, many times isn't nearly as bad as you imagine, the story you told yourself in your mind. Yes. And you're like, Wow, this that actually, how many times have you had one of those crucial conversations?

You get done, and you're like, wow, that was actually, and this weight is lifted from you. And as humans, we generally most people don't like conflict. And so crucial conversations definition is it is conflict, but you're choosing to handle it in a certain way. So, for me is to have the courage to start, and then when you're there, show up end to end through the conversation, even when it's tough, don't withdraw, don't hold back context, from the pool of understanding, continue to give in, in an authentic way.

And you may not resolve it, it may not be perfect, but I think if you do have the courage to start and show up authentically end to end, it's going to be a positive experience for both the giver and the receiver of the feedback. And in the conversation, that would be my quick tip.

Jeff Hunt:

It's kind of like running, if you want to go running, sometimes the hardest part is putting on your running shoes.

Brad Rencher:

Many people have read atomic habits, that's one of my favorite sections from atomic habits is habit stacking. It's like, if you want to go run a marathon, well, every morning, it's like, I don't want to start today, because I can't run a marathon. And the point was just to make the habit. I get out of bed, I put on my running shoes, because then what happens? Well, my running shoes are on it may as well go for a run.

And I love it to where a lot of times as an executive as a leader, it's like, okay, you know you need to have that tough conversation, well, then just do something to start it to say, I won't let a one on one with this person go by without starting the conversation, make that an operating principle. That's easy. It's like, oh, yeah, that's right. I promised I'd have a commitment. I won't let it one on one go by without giving that feedback. And then you're there.

Topic 5. Vulnerability and authenticity in leadership. (23:47)

Jeff Hunt:

Brad, how do vulnerability and authenticity come into play in leadership? You mentioned it earlier. So I'm bringing it back on.

Brad Rencher:

Yeah. Thank you. I think as you think about the leaders that most inspire you, the ones that you want to be around, how do you get to that team? No one likes to feel managed, manipulated, or just a number or a cog in the wheel. And the experience I had early in my career as I was, at one of the preeminent investment banking firms. And I remember I worked, a couple of all-nighters and all these things.

And we went in to do a review at the senior partner. And the senior partner said, kind of jokingly, in that meeting, something that I've never forgotten, and he made it as a joke. And because I think one of the junior people spoke up and he's like, oh, yeah, you don't speak you're just a unit of production. Like and he said it jokingly, but like, I remember like, wow, do your people feel like a unit of production? your job is to A to B and like, just go do that. It's Is there anything more deflating than being a unit of production?

And so for me, authentic leadership, gets put under the umbrella of servant leadership to where or are you showing up Jeff in a way that's authentic to you? Because the way you lead your organization, the way I lead my organization is different, yeah. Couldn't the principles be the same and those kinds of things, but yes, I think about I've replaced, not replace, but I've, like Peterson and Ryan sanders are the two co-founders of Bamboo.

So I came in, and I think there were a lot of people in the organization who might be worried, like, who's this new person? Is he going to come in and do things differently? Yeah, I am. Because you have to live authentically to yourself. I think about being Tim Cook. And stepping in for Steve Jobs. How many people have tried to be the next Steve Jobs? Like it's countless. Did Tim Cook has he ever been accused of trying to be Steve Jobs?

Never, because what is he doing? He's authentic to who he is. And that's where power is, is when you bring during the day like say, bring your whole self? No, there's, you have to have a professional like, you have to have a professional life. But leading authentically, and part of leading authentically is, Am I perfect? No. And stepping in front of Bamboo and saying, Hey, I screwed this up, or to the leadership team, like I screwed up, I am sorry.

Does that free them as my leaders and the next level leaders and the next level leaders to be able to go say the same thing? Yeah. And that to me is where power and resilience come from. Because right now, like many of the employees entering the workforce today, they may not have received tough feedback ever in their lives, right? And it's really harsh when you get it the first time.

And but it's like, it's okay. Because let me tell you about when I failed, and what and how I learned from that. And I think that pitching and catching feedback, if you said earlier if we could do that, imagine what the organization would become, I think the best organizations in the world, they're going to be the ones that pitch and catch feedback better than others.

Jeff Hunt:

Completely agree. And I think one of the pathways to getting there, which is often overlooked, is actually training people how to do that not just managers or supervisors, but employees. Everybody needs to know how to give and receive feedback well.

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, I think that's super interesting.

Topic 6. Running BambooHR and The Era Podcast. (27:22)

Jeff Hunt:

What's your favorite thing about running BambooHR?

Brad Rencher:

Our mission, matters. We can do good with it. We build two products, we build a product that we shipped to our customers, and we build a culture and a system that ours as our second product that attracts and retains some of the brightest and greatest people that I know. And I love that combination and delivering against our mission.

Jeff Hunt:

And to be a part of that, I'm sure. Before I shift you into some lightning round questions, you're recording this new season of The Era podcast, give us a sneak peek of what's coming.

Brad Rencher:

The idea that we're really trying to uncover Jeff and you were so enlightening when we talk there is this idea of what if we've had it backward this entire time? We spend so much focus on our sales and our marketing and how do we get more customers? And how do we retain them? And there's been this, this whole rallying cry as customer experience is king. What if we were wrong?

Tony Shea from Zappos was one of the first ones to try this, maybe we start with that first interaction with a candidate, and what experience we provide to them and what that onboarding experience is, what a manager-to-team member interaction is and what feedback they're getting and how they're growing and developing the totality of the employee experience. What if we start there? And then the customers get delighted.

And then revenue and business results flow. It's this hypothesis of maybe we've had it backward the entire time. And maybe we redesigned this to say, let's make what was last first, and what was first somewhere in the middle and see what those business outcomes would be. And my hypothesis is that that's where the future breakout companies are going to be, are the ones that have the courage to say, yes, I know all those KPIs matter, but I'm going to focus here because I'm confident that those things will be outcomes.

Jeff Hunt:

A great concept and it just reminds me of how so many organizations focus on a primary objective of profit. Let's say it's EBITDA or we have net profit, and their goal is to achieve that, but it's not the goal, it's actually the byproduct. So, if you do all those things that you just described really well, that's actually the end result usually, unless something derails that's usually the ending result.

Brad Rencher:

Unless you're in the wrong market, you got the wrong product, you got the wrong offering. There's all the table stakes stuff that you have to get but then once you get there, how you organize and how you align can be different.

Topic 7. Lighting round questions. (30:03)

Jeff Hunt:

Okay. Lightning round questions. What are you most grateful for?

Brad Rencher:

Relationships, relationships that matter, new ones, old ones, and the opportunity to benefit from those.

Jeff Hunt:

What's the most difficult leadership lesson you've learned over your career?

Brad Rencher:

Gosh, how would I characterize this? It is failure as a tough teacher. It just is tough. You're in it, and you're like, I'm so miserable, and then you come out and you're like, well, I'm really grateful for it. I think that's been a difficult leadership lesson. But now it's some of the sweetest most important lessons that I learned. But early it was hard.

Jeff Hunt:

It's really hard, too bad there's not an easier way.

Brad Rencher:

It is hard and as I said, I grade out at a solid B minus in most things so.

Jeff Hunt:

You're a humble guy so I don't know if I believe you but, who's one person you would interview if you could living or not?

Brad Rencher:

I think about as someone who is a Bridger of a divide, I don't know maybe like Abraham Lincoln. Think about some of the things that he had to gap and lead and do while he was battling with his own internal demons. What was that? Like? How did he build the perspective, the insight, and the conviction to go do things that were unpopular?

That would be a wonderful teacher. Living, I think it'd be kind of fun every time I see Denzel Washington, he seems like he has a secret. He's always smirking. I'm like, what is he thinking about? I've always wondered that. So that would be kind of a fun one for someone who's still out here doing some good things?

Jeff Hunt:

Are you reading any good books? Do you have any good book recommendations?

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, I mentioned a couple that has done that. I am going back and rereading a couple of books. One is the Marty Kagan product management principles. I'm going back to reading that and not doing it to like develop products, but to develop people. Are there things that we can learn about software development principles, and how we develop people?

Because I tell the executive team, I'm the product manager of this executive team, like you are my product, what am I discovering? How am I testing? How am I learning? What's my roadmap? And so I'm trying to turn product management principles on its head to try to do that with people. The other one I've gone back to reread is switch by the Heath brothers. And how do you create change in large organizations and do it with kind of culminating events, and so those are two that I'd mentioned.

Jeff Hunt:

Looking back on your career, and your life, what's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Brad Rencher:

I have a friend that's got a little sign over his door that his kids walk in and out of every day to go out into the world to go do their thing. And it's four letters, I N A Y, and it stands for, it's not about you. They want to teach their kids that it's like you go out there, it's not about you. It's about others, what can you do? And I think that advice and how I've looked to apply that is so many times where we're tempted to put ourselves as the protagonist of every story, and it's not about you.

Jeff Hunt:

Very good point, Brad, as we wrap up, what's the most important takeaway to leave our listeners with from our talk?

Brad Rencher:

Yeah, I would say the thing that I would challenge all of us to think about, and this is right back to me in the mirror is, there's something about us, we doubt ourselves, we're our harshest critic, we limit what's the art of the possible. I love this philosophy of why not me? Why not us? And the takeaway that I would give is, there's something that you know, you should be doing in your personal life, your professional life.

Why not? Why not us? What's the downside? Why should I see this market as a competitor? Well, we work hard too, we're smart too, why would we just say, oh, they're gonna be better at it. I'm trying to get myself to do this. Stop limiting what the art of the possible is, why not us, and use that as a philosophy and almost a rallying cry.

Jeff Hunt:

Super inspirational. Brad, thank you so much for coming to the show today. It was great to see you and I appreciate all your wisdom.

Brad Rencher:

Jeff, thanks really fun conversation, and best of luck in all your endeavors.


Outro(34:31)

Closing music jingle/sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

Thanks for listening to the show this week. We release new episodes every other Tuesday. Let me know what you thought of this episode by emailing humancapitalgoalspan.com. Human capital is produced by GoalSpan. Subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts. And please share this podcast with your colleagues, team, or friends. Thanks for being human kind.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, organization, business, leading, adobe, BambooHR, jeff, brad, CEO, employees, mission, culture, conversation, leader, running, investment banker, bamboo, team, podcast, authentically, experience

SPEAKERS

Brad Rencher, Jeff Hunt

Human Capital — 47. CEO, BambooHR
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