Name: Steve Johnson

Learnings 2 with Steve Johnson

Learnings 2 with Steve Johnson

Tweetables

The ABC’s of Life = “Always Be Curious” #Insights [Click to Tweet]

“If there’s something you’re doing and it’s not working, go deep quick, and pull the plug quick.” – @steve1johnson [Click to Tweet]

Be curious, ask questions, learn & don’t act like you know it all cause there’s no need to. #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: I would be much more aware that you don’t have to know it all. And that is completely fine to ask lots and lots of questions and get advice early. I didn’t do that early enough.

Steve Johnson: Going back to the mentor question, I wish I had gotten mentors really earlier and I wish I’ve asked a lot more questions. And I felt that I was expected to know everything.  I’m hired for this role. Act like you know it.

Steve Johnson: Well, the reality is most people don’t know exactly everything about that role. If I could go back in time tell my 10-year old self, I’m like, “Just constantly be looking.”

Steve Johnson: One of the things I tell my daughter, “The ABCs of life were ‘always be curious’. Just be curious. Ask questions. Learn and don’t act like you know it all because there’s no need for it.”

Steve Johnson: Some of the best people, I mentioned Dave Goldberg earlier, I mean, he was always asking questions. And some of the best execs that I have worked with and found are similar. They are the most humble of people and are always interested in finding out a different way; learning a different way and understanding how some things are changing; what’s going on. So that would be my advice.

Steve Johnson: Everyone has failures and I always say, “Fail fast.” Over the years, there are tons of things that you look back, “Oh, man! That didn’t work.” I’m trying to give a very specific one.

Steve Johnson: I probably don’t want to do something from my most recent company but I know one in the past. We had a partner program. It was a different software company targeting a specific group of partners and we went at it, went at it and went too long, we should have shut it down quicker.

Steve Johnson: It’s not really very specific example. But the learning I took away from it was if there’s something you’re doing and it’s not working, you really should go deep on it quick and pull the plug quick because we went and spent a couple of years just – I don’t want to say wasting time. But fail fast, get through it.

Steve Johnson: In some cases, you don’t know. Some things take a long time to incubate. I understand that. So if you know that it’s something that takes more time, that’s different. That’s probably my biggest learning from that particular failure, and there are others that I have different lessons, but that was really… Don’t spend more time on it than it’s worth. Tried it, failed, move on, get to the next opportunity or try something else out.

Leadership 2 with Steve Johnson

Leadership 2 with Steve Johnson

Tweetables

“You have to move with speed, you have to be strategic, and you have to be open to new things” – @steve1johnson #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Purpose drives passion #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Companies get so caught up in numbers that they end up with employees that don’t align with their values #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Choose attitude over aptitude when hiring to get the most passionate people on your team #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: So for hiring the right people I look at, this is not new but we look at the four quadrant; values on one quadrant and results on another. So your top right is high values high results.  And making sure as you’re hiring somebody, do they have the values that align with your company? And would you hire them on that?

Steve Johnson: And also conversely, if somebody was in the bottom left quadrant, low results low values, would you fire them? But they also then lead you to the next question. Do you have your values? Are they clear enough that you could hire and fire based on them?

Steve Johnson: And I think that’s what I see a lot of times in companies that you get so caught up in just trying to make the day to day payroll numbers survive that you forget that then you end up with people that don’t really align with what you want the company to be about. I was looking, life is too short to spend time with people that don’t have the right – if you’re not lined up in the same way and have the same values.

Steve Johnson: Then, that’s the other thing I would say – one of the biggest things I’ve seen with companies that don’t make it or have challenges is that they’re just not open. They think they know it all. They’re not open.

Steve Johnson: I mean, I’m constantly listening to people and learning. It’s just there’s always a different way and the world is changing. What used to be right 10 years ago is not right.

Steve Johnson: Enterprise software in the field is more into online sales and revenue that’s driven in a different way; constantly asking questions, constantly digging in, learning what’s new. It’s like, call it the SSO. You have to move with speed; you have to be strategic and you got to be open constantly to new things. Anyway, that’s what I look in hiring talent. 

Steve Johnson: The other thing aside on talent, I would say, is I choose aptitude, sorry, I had to choose attitude over aptitude. Ideally you want both but I found over and over and over some of the best people we had, the people in the early days that were super passionate about social, they have a much better chance of success than somebody that maybe had been this greater broader experience but they don’t really care about social, if it’s a Hootsuite world or pick the space, have someone that aligns that’s really, really passionate about you’re doing.

Steve Johnson: I think again, going back, I think purpose will help drive that passion.  If it’s a really clear purpose and what you guys are doing and what everybody is doing makes a difference. But yeah, can’t say enough about that.

Success with Steve Johnson

Success with Steve Johnson

Tweetables

0 to 56,000{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} revenue growth at Hootsuite in the first 5 years #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Success can go hand in hand with great company culture #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Hootsuite went from 27 to 900 employees in 5 years with 55{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} revenue outside the US #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: Hi, my name is Steve Johnson and up until December of this year, I was the CRO of Hootsuite. I had a super ride with them for almost five years so it was an awesome time.

Steve Johnson: So essentially, there was no revenue when I started. I was employed 27. I had a team of six when we started and really, it was not pre-revenue. We just started monetizing and we grew 56,000 percent revenue over a period of five years.

Steve Johnson: And it’s so private so I can’t say what those numbers are but it went from 27 employees to just over 900 by the end of December. It’s around the world with 55{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} of the revenue from outside the US.

Steve Johnson: You can have success, really good success and not have it be a culture that’s just awful. We really achieved that.

Steve Johnson: Hootsuite was a great place to work, great balance, all of that. I think that’s probably from a professional perspective. It’s what I’m most proud of.

Leadership 1 with Steve Johnson

Leadership 1 with Steve Johnson

Tweetables

Are you learning? Are you having fun? #Insights on making the right career choice from @steve1johnson [Click to Tweet]

#Disruptive businesses keep changing and make things interesting #Insights [Click to Tweet]

The secret to doing so much in a short time is getting a great #leadership team #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: I really like three things personally. Am I making an impact? It’s something that I’m doing. Well, I usually ask my team like, “What are you doing if you want a beautiful and perfect life? You have a limited time, one run through this. Is it doing something where you really making an impact? Are you learning? Are you having fun?”

Steve Johnson: The second is, for me personally, I like something that has global scope. I don’t know why but I think it’s just more interesting and makes me feel like I’m doing something with impact. And the third, sometimes it’s overused but I like something that’s disruptive where it’s something that’s really changing and doing something different.

Steve Johnson: Hootsuite, I thought was super fascinating because we were helping organizations all around the world manage social media which was blowing up. An organization simply could not keep up with it. They couldn’t do what they needed to do on social media without a solution like Hootsuite.

Steve Johnson: So that to me was disruptive. It’s changing. You’re moving from one communication media or type to another to do it. It’s driven by the customers. So those are the things that really give me real purpose and I want to make sure that what I’m doing is having an impact, as large of an impact as I possibly can have. Right or wrong, this is what motivates me.

Steve Johnson: It’s super interesting. I’ve had experience in time to be with a lot of other companies before this in lower levels. What I learned over that time was that leadership is really finding leaders. So I couldn’t have done it without a bunch of leaders to help me out. Leaders hire leaders.

Steve Johnson: Managers sometimes don’t hire anybody or they don’t want to do that or change. But if you have a great leader, they know it’s going to take a lot of other people that are going to help them along the way and I think that was our secret in how we were able to do so much in such a short amount of time. It’s really just getting a great leadership team.

Learnings 1 with Steve Johnson

Learnings 1 with Steve Johnson

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Tweetables

#Purpose #drives #passion, drives #productivity, drives #success @steve1johnson #Insights [Click to Tweet]

#Companies with #purpose #outsell their #peers by 45{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} @LisaEarleMcLeod #LeadingWithAGlobalPurpose #Insights [Click to Tweet]

#Experiential #Learning is More #Important Than #Titles @steve1johnson #Insights [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: I was chasing comp as lots of people do when you first start. My mentor pulled me back and said, “If you’re doing that, there’s always more money somewhere else. You can’t move for comp. That’s just the craziest thing. You should take a step back and start thinking about what is it that you want to do. What do you want to learn?” That was really a big one.

Steve Johnson: The second one was focus on experience. It’s better than titles. People would ask me, “How did you end up as the CRO of Hootsuite?” And most of it was just simply because I had enterprise sales, partners, business dev, marketing, online revenue, volume sales experience.

Steve Johnson: I’d learned and looked for roles that built up my experience and that I can really credit to my mentors. I would never have thought of them on my own. Those are a couple of really, really big ones.

Steve Johnson: And the third really is just purpose, looking at the mission or purpose, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know if you know Lisa MacLeod but she wrote a book Noble Sales Purpose and there’s I think, another book coming out, Noble Leadership Purpose. Companies that have a noble purpose outsell their peers by 45{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4}. It’s just huge and I find it really makes a difference.

Steve Johnson: And I boiled it down – actually my last talk to Hootsuite, I thought about it and purpose drives passion. Passion drives productivity. Productivity drives success. It almost seems to flow that way. If you have a really big purpose, you’re really helping out this company.

Steve Johnson: It’s not just a sales quote. It’s not just a support ticket. You’re making their life better. There’s a purpose for what you’re doing. So I think those are I can credit to the mentors that I’ve had.

Steve Johnson: I’m a massive fan of mentorship. And over the years I had really three people that were mentors for years. One of them was a CTO and I was a venture capitalist. He mentored me on the tech side so anytime I was looking at a new venture, he would give me some great advice.

Steve Johnson: Another one was a former CEO. He gave me some great advice as I looked at just broad leadership and growing up. And another one is currently an executive at Intuit and it was more scope-scale, how do you do things on a big, broad level?  I would ping them all the time.

Steve Johnson: And then broader than that, I would really inform a group of mentors that I would talk to in the tech space from companies like HubSpot, Marketo, SurveyMonkey, Zendesk, go down the list. Any company I thought was super interesting and they were doing something potentially different, I want to know. So those became mentors in a micro way. So those three were my micro mentors, if you will.

Steve Johnson: And then I had bunch of these other people that online revenue, enterprise sales, marketing, those are the ones I would just routinely reach out to but I can’t say enough about it. I’ve also been a mentor for a number of people now that come and ask. I can’t do ton of it but I think it’s huge.

Disruption, Impact & Global Scale with Steve Johnson

Disruption, Impact & Global Scale with Steve Johnson

Video Highlights

00:38 -- The 3 Important Aspects Of Leadership

02:03 -- The Importance Of Questions

Tweetables

#Making an #Impact on a #global #scale @steve1johnson [Click to Tweet]

#Giving #purpose with #Impact on a #globalscale @steve1johnson [Click to Tweet]

Being the right #Leader, be #humble and ask the #right #questions from your #team @steve1johnson @davegoldberg [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: Besides the family, obviously I want to take care of my family and also give them an example. I really like three things personally. Am I making an impact? It’s something that I’m doing.

Steve Johnson: Well, I usually ask my team like, “What are you doing with your one beautiful and perfect life? You have a limited time, one run through this. Is it doing something where you are really making an impact? Are you learning? Are you having fun?”

Steve Johnson: The second is, for me personally, I like something that has global scope. I don’t know why but I think it’s just more interesting and makes me feel like I’m doing something with impact. And the third, sometimes it’s overused but I like something that’s disruptive where it’s something that’s really changing and doing something different.

Steve Johnson: Hootsuite, I thought was super fascinating because we were helping organizations all around the world manage social media which was blowing up. An organization simply could not keep up with it. They couldn’t do what they needed to do on social media without a solution like Hootsuite.

Steve Johnson: So that to me was disruptive. It’s changing. You’re moving from one communication media or type to another to do it. It’s driven by the customers. So those are the things that really give me real purpose and I want to make sure that what I’m doing is having an impact, as large of an impact as I possibly can have. Right or wrong, this is what motivates me.

Steve Johnson: I would be much more aware that you don’t have to know it all. And that is completely fine to ask lots and lots of questions and get advice early. I didn’t do that early enough.

Steve Johnson: Going back to the mentor question, I wish I had gotten mentors really earlier and I wish I’ve asked a lot more questions. And I felt that I was expected to know everything. I’m hired for this role. Act like you know it.

Steve Johnson: Well, the reality is most people don’t know exactly everything about that role. If I could go back in time tell my 10-year old self, I’m like, “Just constantly be looking.”

Steve Johnson: One of the things I tell my daughter, “The ABCs of life were ‘always be curious’. Just be curious. Ask questions. Learn and don’t act like you know it all because there’s no need for it.”

Steve Johnson: Some of the best people, I mentioned Dave Goldberg earlier, I mean, he was always asking questions. And some of the best execs that I have worked with and found are similar. They are the most humble of people and are always interested in finding out a different way; learning a different way and understanding how some things are changing; what’s going on. So that would be my advice.

On Mentors & Mission with Steve Johnson

On Mentors & Mission with Steve Johnson

Video Highlights

00:30 -- Lessons on Leadership

00:44 -- First lesson: Lessons > Compensation

00:58 -- Second lesson: Experience > Title

01:29 -- Third lesson: Purpose

01:41 -- The value of purpose

02:29 -- The value of mentorship

02:35 -- A tale of three mentors

03:03 -- “Macro” vs “Micro” mentorship

03:39 -- Paying it forward

Tweetables

#Experiential #Learning is More #Important Than #Titles @steve1johnson [Click to Tweet]

#Companies with #purpose #outsell their #peers by 45{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} @LisaEarleMcLeod #LeadingWithAGlobalPurpose [Click to Tweet]

#Purpose #drives #passion, drives #productivity, drives #success @steve1johnson [Click to Tweet]

Steve Johnson: I was chasing comp as lots of people do when you first start. My mentor pulled me back and said, “If you’re doing that, there’s always more money somewhere else. You can’t move for comp. That’s just the craziest thing. You should take a step back and start thinking about what is it that you want to do. What do you want to learn?” That was really a big one.

Steve Johnson: The second one was focus on experience. It’s better than titles. People would ask me, “How did you end up as the CRO of Hootsuite?” And most of it was just simply because I had enterprise sales, partners, business dev, marketing, online revenue, volume sales experience.

Steve Johnson: I’d learned and looked for roles that built up my experience and that I can really credit to my mentors. I would never have thought of them on my own. Those are a couple of really, really big ones.

Steve Johnson: And the third really is just purpose, looking at the mission or purpose, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know if you know Lisa MacLeod but she wrote a book Noble Sales Purpose and there’s I think, another book coming out, Noble Leadership Purpose. Companies that have a noble purpose outsell their peers by 45{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4}. It’s just huge and I find it really makes a difference.

Steve Johnson: And I boiled it down – actually my last talk to Hootsuite, I thought about it and purpose drives passion. Passion drives productivity. Productivity drives success. It almost seems to flow that way. If you have a really big purpose, you’re really helping out this company.

Steve Johnson: It’s not just a sales quote. It’s not just a support ticket. You’re making their life better. There’s a purpose for what you’re doing. So I think those are I can credit to the mentors that I’ve had.

Steve Johnson: I’m a massive fan of mentorship. And over the years I had really three people that were mentors for years. One of them was a CTO and I was a venture capitalist. He mentored me on the tech side so anytime I was looking at a new venture, he would give me some great advice.

Steve Johnson: Another one was a former CEO. He gave me some great advice as I looked at just broad leadership and growing up. And another one is currently an executive at Intuit and it was more scope-scale, how do you do things on a big, broad level? I would ping them all the time.

Steve Johnson: And then broader than that, I would really inform a group of mentors that I would talk to in the tech space from companies like HubSpot, Marketo, SurveyMonkey, Zendesk, go down the list. Any company I thought was super interesting and they were doing something potentially different, I want to know. So those became mentors in a micro way. So those three were my micro mentors, if you will.

Steve Johnson: And then I had bunch of these other people that online revenue, enterprise sales, marketing, those are the ones I would just routinely reach out to but I can’t say enough about it. I’ve also been a mentor for a number of people now that come and ask. I can’t do ton of it but I think it’s huge.