I joined Cumulus Networks in June 2015 as Vice President of Gross sales, a place I beforehand performed. for a number of years, and I used to be snug with it. Our founder, JR Rivers, was CEO after I joined the group. However over time, JR has moved to the CTO position and has given me the chance to guide as Cumulus's basic supervisor.
So, ten months after I arrived within the firm, I entered the workplace to occupy the primary day of a brand new position: that of basic supervisor.
It was an thrilling and thrilling alternative; One thing I’ll have been unwittingly getting ready since my childhood, and that I had positively positioned on the high of my record of targets.
Considering again to my first day as CEO, I notice that it was not so completely different from my ten-month earlier expertise as vice chairman of gross sales – I knew my workforce, I knew the workplace nicely, and I knew a little bit extra about what I used to be doing moderately than beginning a brand new position in a model new enterprise.
Nevertheless it was this introduction to Cumulus, which lasted ten months, in addition to a lifetime of getting ready for the place of CEO, which confirmed me that I used to be greater than able to assume this new chapter. I used to be 100% able to develop into CEO from my first day.
Making ready for the publish of CEO since childhood
My early reminiscences of the software program business have been these of a younger little one. My father had transformed one in all our rooms into an workplace and on the weekends he was there on the cellphone, in a store. It was the primary time I heard my father swear: "It's a bunch of bullshit!" he would say. Adopted quickly by "screw these guys."
It was a little bit stunning to listen to, however after the shock, I used to be merely fascinated by the braveness and tempo of the enterprise, and I watched my father "shut offers ".
My father is Mark Leslie. He was the CEO of Veritas Software program and had constructed the corporate nearly from the start. At its peak, Veritas was a Fortune 1000 firm with annual gross sales in extra of $ 1.5 billion.
My father was revered by Veritas staff and extensively revered in Silicon Valley. He left the corporate in 2001 to advise startups, make investments and train at Stanford. In brief, he is aware of nearly everybody about know-how and casts an extended shadow.
Once I was 9, I didn’t assume it could be following in his footsteps. I used to be not a kind of youngsters who began a tremendous enterprise at a younger age and I didn’t write any code. However I knew that I used to be very within the enterprise world.
As I grew up, I nonetheless listened to those cellphone calls, looking my dad's open emails when he was not there and was discussing about OEM license agreements , inventory buy choices and UNIX file methods.
I didn’t notice it at the moment, however trying again, I spotted I used to be coaching myself to develop into CEO. Form of. It was not like I used to be getting up at 6 within the morning to work on spreadsheets and dumb tables. However I used to be surrounded by my father's work.
Ultimately, I grew up, went to school and began my profession in gross sales. It was nonetheless the affect of my father. Sellers, he says, are those who know what's actually happening in a enterprise. Distributors know how you can remedy issues. Construct the product or promote it, he mentioned.
It solely took me a semester again on the college to be taught that I used to be not good sufficient to construct the product. I began my profession in gross sales.
Once I was 30, I advised my VMware supervisor that I wished to develop into CEO earlier than I turned 40 years previous. He laughed and mentioned that 50 years was a extra affordable objective, if no more.
Ultimately, I left VMware and I grew to become vice chairman of gross sales in a small startup of Sequence A. I labored tougher than ever, however the firm and the work didn’t succeed as I had hoped. I took one other place as vice chairman of gross sales at one other stage of startup.
After a couple of years at startup # 2 and on the age of about 40, CEO was not in sight and my profession gave the impression to be on a definite facet course.
I had an ideal household, an excellent profession, however after I measured myself in opposition to my father or my friends, I measured my "wins" (or lack thereof) and I used to be sad with the rating.
However I had an epiphany. I keep in mind that after I was a younger mother or father, I noticed one in all my youngsters show a shocking potential (or not less than I used to be impressed!). I assumed that maybe I’d bear in mind extra of myself than the mother or father of one in all my youngsters and never of my very own achievements.
It was an enormous change of perspective for me. For the primary time, I spotted: Perhaps I’d not be a CEO. Perhaps I can’t be a "serial entrepreneur with many current successes".
And perhaps that's alright.
This was the journey, not the vacation spot.
For the primary time in my profession, I started to give attention to the journey, not the vacation spot. I’ll merely be the very best gross sales VP I may be. I’ll deal with clients with care and staff with respect. I’ll dedicate my time to what I can do (construct belief with shoppers) and get assist the place I’m weak (course of).
In order that's all. I used to be going to develop into a wonderful vice chairman of gross sales and let the chips fall the place they may. I left the second firm and joined Cumulus Networks. For the primary time in my profession, I didn’t significantly negotiate my compensation, my title or my group.
Vice President of Gross sales? In fact, I assumed it labored for me. There have been numerous organizational property points, however I got here to know that each one of this stuff would finally be resolved correctly if we centered on the correct priorities and constructed belief with the workforce.
I had actually stopped desirous about the subsequent job, the scale of my workforce or the notion of my achievements. It was the primary time I led. Ten months later, I grew to become CEO.
Josh is an skilled know-how government and at the moment serves as CEO of Cumulus Networks. Previous to becoming a member of Cumulus, Josh labored at Instart Logic, VMware, and CommValut Methods, the place he held varied administration positions in gross sales and enterprise growth.
A local of Bay Space, Josh earned a BA from the College of California at Berkeley. and an MBA from Columbia Enterprise College. When he's not within the workplace, Josh enjoys spending time together with his spouse, two youngsters and poodle, Peggy.