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.