Software Executive Magazine

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Editorial Advisory Board ALESSANDRA LEZAMA CEO Abacus Data Systems MARNE MARTIN CEO ServicePower JOE MEYER Founder & CEO CentralBOS KATIE ROGERS VP Customer Success SalesLoft STU SJOUWERMAN CEO KnowBe4 JOHN TATA VP Partner Sales Toast DAVID WIBLE President & CEO Industry Weapon TOM BRONSON President & CEO Granbury Solutions DAN CHANDRE SVP Strategic Partnerships Booker Software JOHN GILES President & Co-Owner Future POS TIM GODDARD Senior VP of Marketing Courm Group BABAK HEDAYATI Co-Founder & CEO TapClicks SCOTT HOLDEN CMO ThoughtSpot KEVIN KOGLER Founder & President MicroBiz EAB Q What are the top two things you look for when hiring a member of your executive team? A IN MY TENURE AS CEO, some of my executive team hiring decisions have worked out splendidly and are still with me today, while others went the way of the dodo. When I am looking at characteristics of a person that I want to add to my executive team, two items consistently float to the top of that list. When I have hired in spite of those top two things, it has proven to be very costly. What are they? Attitude and a proven track record. Number one is attitude. Attitude is a complex trait with many sides: strong leadership, confidence in their skills and in themselves, ability to stand in and up to the fire, a can-do spirit willing to solve problems, and a constant yearning to move forward, continuously improving. Skills can be taught but attitude cannot, which is why it is at the top of my list. Number two is a proven track record. This is very simple and very straightforward — have they successfully demonstrated in the past what I need them to do for me now? For me, if either of those two things are not overwhelmingly evident in the person sitting across for me, they don't stand a chance. By the way, it also helps if I sense that they are smarter than me – particularly in their area of expertise! TOM BRONSON is the President & CEO of Granbury Solutions, which he helped grow from 20 employees in 2010 to over 200 employees today with more than 10,000 customers. He is also the former CEO of DiamondTouch, a pizzeria POS software company. A RELEVANT EXPERIENCE IS THE OBVIOUS ANSWER, but it's the minutia of one's experience that truly matters. Every software company is nuanced in its place in the industry, and when hiring an executive you need to ensure that their experience fits your company's unique position. It's important to ensure that the person's experience is transferable. The second factor, and the most important in my opinion, is organizational fit, specifically amongst the rest of the executive team. Executive teams need to be highly functional with the right mix of differing opinions, mutual respect, the ability to make difficult decisions, and then the ability to execute. I believe that a high-functioning executive team can be the difference between a very successful company that can adapt and change with the needs of the market and one that simply limps along, reacting too late and ultimately watching from the sidelines. DAN CHANDRE is the SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Booker Software. The cloud-based business management software for spas and salons is in 11,100 locations in 70 countries and processed $2.6 billion in transactions in 2015. A THERE ARE TWO QUALITIES I CONSIDER ESSENTIAL in anyone I would hire for an executive position. The first is that the person MUST have a positive outlook and sense of humor. I'm not talking about a comedian or entertainer. I want someone who can set a goal and attain it in a positive fashion and who enjoys what they do and the people they work with. I'm looking for positive, happy people who are a joy to work with. The second qualifier is a proven track record in the area they are being hired in or a closely related area. Length of time in a role isn't the same as a proven track record. Someone can work in a field for 20 years with one failure after another, while another can show up, figure it out quickly, and get results time and time again. STU SJOUWERMAN is the founder and CEO of the integrated security awareness training and simulated phishing platform KnowBe4, Inc. Sjouwerman's fifth startup, KnowBe4, debuted on the 2016 Inc. 500 list at #139, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 at #50 and #1 on the Tampa Bay Best Places to Work for 2017. Hiring is hard. Hiring a member of your executive team is even harder because the stakes are higher. We asked our editorial advisory board to share their opinions on what to look for when bringing on a new executive. ASK THE BOARD SoftEx SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 8 Have a response to our experts' answers? Send us an email to atb@SoftwareExecutiveMag.com .

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