In this episode, Heather speaks with Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight about his leadership style in the context of his company’s values, a time when he was not the best leader he could be, and his share of some great words of wisdom.
- Commit to learning every day and realize that we all start at the beginning in our leadership.
- Create environments of psychological safety.
- Treat others as they would want to be treated.
- Bring your inner kid to work everyday.
- Remember all of the different frames or “customers” you need to serve. Don’t just be single-minded.
- Be transparent and vulnerable.
- Learn from other leaders, but do YOU, the best you can.
- Do things now despite your ability to scale them later. This might be your only chance.
You will really enjoy this one! Listen and learn!
Nick Mehta is a big believer of the Golden Rule and he is passionate in applying it everywhere he goes as well as bringing in more compassion towards others. That’s why Nick’s leadership as CEO of Gainsight brought the company to heights of growth and success for all of its stakeholders. As Nick likes to say (a little too fast and a little too often), that’s awesome.
Previously, Nick worked with different technology companies to develop opportunities in the enterprise applications and infrastructure markets. Also, don’t get him started on theoretical physics or Steelers football—he’ll talk your ear off!
One of our company values is ‘shoshin’ which means, in English, ‘beginner’s mind’ and really approaching every day like you’re a beginner. In my leadership journey, I’m at the beginning. It’s a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but I’ve been running teams and companies for 20 years now and in some ways, I really mean that.
First, you are a new person every day. You’ll learn new things you can do and you’ll also learn about your own personal ability to lead. Especially, working in technology where we see so many young companies that are run by people who are first-timers in business, I learn new approaches they are taking. So, I would say I’m still at the beginning.
For all beginners, we could all learn. As a leader, you are encouraging everyone to speak up. It doesn’t matter if someone isn’t an expert on sales. He or She may have value to add in how to think about sales.
Leadership is about how you show up not only for your teammates but also for your customers, for your partners, and for your investors. – @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
Thirst is a desire that doesn’t come from somebody else. It comes from within. – @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
If you have values that you’re passionate about, if you have a culture that you’re passionate about, you’re never done. We’re constantly trying to get better.
One of the values that underpin our company is the golden rule—treat people the way you’d want to be treated.
As leaders, when we think about how we treat people, whether it’s in the good times like things have been going well and you’re celebrating, or in the tough times when you have somebody who just had a loss in the family or you’re letting somebody go from the company, how you actually treat that person in those different times, and the way you would like to be treated—there are no good answers to these questions.
But, forcing yourself to think about it when you are about to let somebody go, or you have to call them after something bad has happened to them, or you’re about to congratulate them, that principle is really helpful—forcing yourself in their shoes.
Your True Style
I try to be very much myself, not sort of a different business person, in front of my people. I’m a pretty cheesy, ridiculous, silly, awkward person and I bring that to work every day. It’s letting your guard down so everyone could be themselves.
I think, naturally, our culture does try to create trust. What do we do to reinforce more trust and safety? What do we need to do to make that even more real at our company?
For me, I have a style that I have learned over the years. In reading business books or listening to podcasts, you have got to really figure out what fits for you. Taking somebody else’s approach and putting it on yourself may or may not always work.
There are other people who have very different cores than yours, but that doesn’t mean you cannot pick up good skills from them.
Bring the kid in you to work every day. – @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
We are naturally ambitious people. – @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
How do we always think about decisions in a way that balances the needs of all our stakeholders? – @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
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