Manoj Leelanivas, Chief Operating Officer, Juniper Networks

Be Bold Podcast: The Importance of Mentorship - Episode 2

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The still image is from podcast video and shows a split screen of Manoj Leelanivas, COO Juniper Networks and Craig Conway, Industry Veteran and Board of Directors,

Mentors: How to pick a great one to advance your career.

If you’re looking for a career accelerator, listen to this episode of the Be Bold podcast, during which Juniper’s Manoj Leelanivas talks with industry veteran Craig Conway about the importance of mentorship for professional growth. Craig has been the CEO of three tech companies and served as an executive at Oracle. Here, he discusses his own career journey and the role mentors played in it. 

And don’t miss the first episode of the Be Bold podcast on the importance of diversity in the workplace. 

Show more

You’ll learn

  • Craig’s tips for picking a mentor and building trust

  • What it takes to establish successful mentor relationships

  • How to encourage employees, both new and seasoned, to take advantage of mentorship opportunities

Who is this for?

Business Leaders Network Professionals


Manoj Leelanivas Headshot
Manoj Leelanivas
Chief Operating Officer, Juniper Networks

Guest speakers

Craig Conway Headshot
Craig Conway
Industry Veteran and Board of Directors,


0:00 and she said Craig there is

0:05 four words that human beings can't resist

0:11 whether it's a taxi driver whether it's a customer whether it's a supplier

0:17 I said what are those four words she said will you help me

0:23 she said those words virtually universally trigger a response

0:30 in people to help you [Music]

0:38 thank you welcome to the b-ball podcast my name is

0:45 Manoj lilanibas Chief Operating Officer Juniper Networks today

0:51 I have the pleasure of speaking with industry veteran Craig Conway he's been the CEO of three tech companies

0:57 including PeopleSoft and before that served as an executive as some of the

1:02 most successful companies in the industry including Oracle Craig also serves on the board of

1:09 directors of an iconic Silicon Valley company Salesforce

1:14 on today's show we'll be talking about Craig's carrier journey and the role mentors had on it

1:20 we'll also discuss his own approach to mentoring others including how to pick a mentor and build

1:27 trust Craig it's a pleasure to have you on the show today thank you very much Manoj can

1:33 you walk us through your career trajectory starting from your Early College days and how the journey

1:39 unfolded you know for me all of our stories are like that book outliers remember Malcolm Gladwell wrote that

1:46 book outliers I do um it was a great book and he he went out and he interviewed people that

1:51 achieved some degree of success in their career it wasn't just wasn't just business people it was Sports people and

1:57 public service and Military and business people uh to find out what they had in

2:03 common and I think he started the book by saying he expected that he would find you know High Intelligence or drive or

2:10 passion and what and what he found that everybody that had achieved some

2:15 degree of of success had was three things being in the right place

2:21 at the right time with the right skill set and you know some of that is luck being

2:28 in the right place at the right time and I think that's really how I would characterize my whole career I started you know you asked by my college degree

2:35 I went to college at the State University of New York a state college in Rochester New York and

2:43 I chose that college because it was one of the only colleges in the country that

2:50 had a computer science degree and coming out of college in 1976 with a computer

2:58 science degree was um sort of the start of being in the

3:04 right place at the right time I came to Silicon Valley speaking of the right place right after

3:10 college and Silicon Valley with a computer science

3:15 degree was the place to be and manage over the course of my career I again was

3:23 just fortunate to work for some of the you know great Innovative

3:28 companies my first job was Atari Atari was a company that owned coin operated

3:35 video games that they they had an aspiration to bring them to homes and

3:41 started video games in the home they had an aspiration to compete with Apple

3:46 and developed a personal computer and became

3:52 two and a half billion dollar company in three years amazing amazing growth

3:57 my next job was digital research which was a company that preceded Microsoft as the

4:05 leader in operating systems for personal computers and back when personal

4:11 computers were 8-bit Microsoft developed a new one that was 16-bit and be in the rest is history

4:19 um Oracle you know oracle one of the first companies to get into relational databases you know back then databases

4:26 were hierarchical Oracle pioneered relational databases and and that was an

4:32 amazing amazing advantage and and and tenure

4:38 um tgv a company that pioneered TCP protocols which sounds like a very dry

4:45 term but it became the basis of the internet the internet runs on tcpip

4:50 e a second and last job was a company called One Touch systems which was into

4:57 high bandwidth high volume conferencing you know we all take for Advantage what

5:02 we're doing here to together uh prior to OneTouch systems and other high

5:10 bandwidth conferencing companies you could only have a teleconference and you could only have a teleconference with

5:16 about eight or nine people and so that was you know sort of a huge development

5:22 opening it up to literally thousands of people then finally PeopleSoft where I

5:27 was CEO so that's sort of a step-by-step through my career

5:34 Craig I do see a pattern emerging here first of its kind like you know almost

5:39 one of the first graduates of computer science from Rochester the first gaming company trying to bring

5:46 gaming into you know the broader homes the iconic company like Microsoft

5:53 uh pioneering company in you know tcpip the word first of its kind and

6:00 pioneering comes to my mind for each of those you know you have participated in so it's not just the right place at the

6:06 right time it's also the choice you made that's a little bit of a risk taking where I see right there so in those

6:13 earlier days what was your mindset it might be driving your passion for technology because the opportunity met

6:20 the person who was ready for it yeah my passion for it was for technology I

6:27 mean it was this fascination with technology because for for me

6:33 technology was synonymous with change whatever the world was

6:38 a new technology could change the world overnight I mean not literally overnight

6:44 but almost overnight and you see it today

6:49 you know you see it today you think about some of the things you mentioned we talk about in our careers

6:56 you see it today I mean when was the last time you had to pay toll to a toll taker you know in San

7:02 Francisco Bay Area there are no toll takers you oh wait a minute you get the thing in your car no you don't even have

7:09 to get that anymore you just drive through there's Optical recognition of your license plate

7:15 um remember the first time you went to Home Depot and you checked yourself out with the scanner

7:20 Albertsons today national chain of of supermarkets announced they're going to

7:26 be getting rid of their checkout Clerks people are you know when you have a a cart full of groceries you're going to

7:32 check yourself out so to me it's been a lifelong interest in

7:38 technology and because technology represented change change changed the

7:43 world and you know the the financial success that went along

7:48 with it for the companies that I worked for was just sort of a characteristic of the

7:54 success what came with success for them but the the passion for me was seeing

8:01 how quickly technology could change the world indeed Visionary people get associated

8:06 with pioneering companies in one b or the other you spend a good portion of your early career at Oracle which had a winning

8:14 reputation and was growing at you know rocket space take us back to the time frame you know

8:19 how you thrive in that environment how is that environment and what were some of those calculated measured risks you

8:26 took to help grow in your career you know oracle

8:32 um was one of three companies that was pioneering a new type of

8:39 database as I mentioned you know databases back then were hierarchical

8:44 you know they were hierarchical or what sometimes called networked databases

8:51 and uh IBM had come up with a white paper

8:58 about how databases could be relational in nature and

9:04 Oracle and you remember Ingress and informix all three of those companies

9:10 got started and they were all tiny they were startups Oracle was almost a startup when I joined it it was 13

9:16 million dollars 13 million pretty small company and Larry Ellison was CEO and

9:23 you know he was a blue jeans black T-shirt cowboy boot uh guy with passion

9:31 for changing the world in terms of databases and

9:36 um I learned so much there I was there seven and a half years

9:43 um you know manage what I learned at Oracle was success in the technology industry

9:50 is not necessarily having the best product or it's not only having the best

9:55 product what I learned was that you have to have arguably the best product arguably in

10:03 other words it has you you have to be able to fend why it's the best product it may not be the absolute best product

10:10 but why did Oracle win because from the beginning it was the

10:15 most competitive company it was it was the epitome of hyper-competitive

10:23 Larry Ellison hated to lose hated to lose so everything about the

10:30 company was about winning externally in the marketplace against informix and

10:35 Ingress but also internally he he liked picking people that would

10:42 compete against each other internally his attitude was whoever won was we were going to be better off for it so he

10:50 he really brought in my Consciousness you know an awareness for how important

10:57 it was to be the be the most hyper competitive in the industry uh because

11:03 frankly at the time informix had the best uh I'm sorry Ingress at the time had the had the best uh technically the

11:11 best database but Oracle one create learning indeed Craig you could

11:17 have a great product Market fit you could scale your go to market engine really well but if you don't have the

11:23 chops to be competitive you know really beat them on the street you're not going to be a successful company I think you

11:29 definitely portrayed that here yeah you quickly made a name for yourself by

11:34 moving up the ranks and achieving you know high-level positions you know your whole career was seven years in Oracle

11:40 but you just moved up the rank so fast in learning these ropes you certainly needed a mentor or two to help guide you

11:48 or navigate through his corporate structures uh who were your mentors during this life or did they have a role to play at

11:54 all during this time you know I I think we've all had mentors

11:59 whether whether they were called mentors or not I think everybody's first mentors

12:06 were their school teachers you know some teacher along the way and

12:12 you know manage um I think you know this but not everybody knows this about me I have a

12:18 personal interest in education and I've sat on the board of universities

12:23 and I'm very supportive of universities and schools

12:28 um because as I Rose in my career

12:34 what I noticed was regardless of whether it was in the

12:40 world of business or public sector government of any kind

12:46 or a military what I noticed was everybody's

12:53 track was influenced by a teacher now today we call them mentors but it

13:00 starts really in High School grade school and I you know

13:06 along my school years I I had teachers that encouraged me the first one that

13:13 qualified as what we would call a mentor today was the chairman of the computer science department at State University

13:20 of New York the chairman of that department and he was the one that

13:26 established a computer science major for the State University before

13:32 99 of the universities in the country he was a great mentor he took an interest

13:38 he he advised me

13:43 uh on everything from the type of major I should get computer science

13:50 but also math I have a computer science and math degree courtesy of his guidance

13:58 he used to advise me on my appearance what I should dress like

14:04 based on what I was going to um my behavior how to how to communicate in

14:14 a way that is a business like I remember even my senior year he sat me

14:21 down and he said now listen if you're going to be at a in a cocktail party what drink are you going to order and

14:27 I'm thinking what Matt what difference does it matter what difference does it make and he would he would say no you

14:33 should order this kind of drink um he was my first I guess official official mentor and since that time

14:42 and I'm sure it's the same with you manage and everybody listening you know

14:47 we've had these series of mentors and you know sometimes they're

14:53 senior to us there are bosses or they're in Senior Management sometimes they're

14:59 just colleagues that have more experience than we do and and I've and I've had

15:05 you know many many of those and to this day still stay in touch with with a lot

15:10 of them totally makes sense you got me go down a little bit on my memory lane

15:17 too you're 100 right that every almost every teacher you had had a role in your

15:24 career shaping right in arcade shipping and I do remember this phrase from one

15:29 of my teachers when I was to think that cost the least and does the most is to

15:34 smile so please smile it's it's so true you I mean your life

15:41 how many of these things that were stuck in your psyche became part of you

15:48 and they were planted there by somebody that just took an interest in you and they changed your life and I and I'm

15:57 so happy that you know I've been able to work with you and you've been a mentor to me and so many mentors and throughout

16:04 my life too right so it's great without dating ourselves too much you know how

16:10 has the workplace and Technology industry in general evolved since your

16:15 early days in how companies help mentor and grow people's careers you know all of us

16:20 found our mentors through different conversations and whatnot in the early days has things changed you know has

16:26 there been an evolution in the approach yeah I I think that um

16:34 you know certainly technology industry has grown a lot I think I think a lot of Industries have grown some are new

16:40 industries that didn't even exist when we were starting our careers um

16:46 but it but you know I think what hasn't changed is

16:53 sort of the core of what is a mentor you know what is

16:58 how did two people come come together is it a corporate program and and today

17:04 there's more and more companies formalizing Mentor programs they they know the value

17:12 of them they know the value of them to employees but they also know the value to the company and so they are founding

17:19 and establishing Mentor programs um

17:25 but for me I think whether it's a formal program or an informal Mentor I think it all comes

17:33 down to relationship you know a mentor is essentially somebody you have a relationship with that is synonymous to

17:39 me it's they're synonymous you have a relationship with some a professional relationship with somebody that you look

17:47 to for guidance and and they have taken an interest in you and

17:53 and I think that starts with an interaction you know some interaction uh

17:58 usually turning to somebody and asking a question asking their opinion uh asking

18:04 for guidance telling them you're not quite sure and and that person

18:12 is interested in helping you um why are they interested I mean this

18:17 is this this is a whole topic why do people become mentors I think it's because they see something in you they

18:24 they see that you're you're bright or you're very focused or you're very determined or you're very

18:30 eager um or you're very appreciative and I think another quality is sometimes

18:36 mentors seeing people something that reminds them of themselves and and so I

18:44 think whether you connect with your Mentor through a

18:50 corporate program and there are more and more of those or whether it's just one-on-one I think it it has to start

18:58 with the personal relationship um

19:04 that that would be my observation I mean otherwise you know it's just a seminar you know if

19:11 you you know corporations have come up with Mentor programs and they just have people

19:19 sort of talking well that's that's a that's a class you know that's an instructor that's a seminar that's not a

19:26 mentor relationship Mentor relationships are interactive and they're based on a relationship

19:32 I'm so glad you mentioned this because your contrasting a similar sort of you

19:37 know mentoring to a true mentorship and I think you nailed it it's all about that relationship you see a spark in

19:44 that person somebody you want to interact with both of you are going to benefit from it there's a relationship

19:49 that Buds and then eventually expands to something bigger right that's how you see the mentorship evolving you nailed

19:55 it I think I'm so glad you went into that because not everything can be super prescriptive we can help people out with

20:01 some prescriptions but eventually you're on your own to Charter your paths right

20:07 yeah I think uh you know talk about not dating ourselves there's a very old saying you can lead a horse to water but

20:13 you can't make a drink um these venues that companies provide are terrific opportunities but you still

20:21 have to respond to them you still have to take the initiative um I remember at Salesforce many years ago

20:28 I've been on that board a long time uh when Salesforce was first starting a mentorship program they asked me to come

20:36 in to a room and speak with uh I think five or six uh female Executives

20:44 that were coming together to start to be more proactive with gender diversity

20:52 and they asked me some I they asked me some questions that I responded but there was

20:59 no interaction they just kind of wrote down what I said um so I would consider that more

21:06 conveying content than a real Mentor program which I do think is interactive

21:13 and I and I think it goes on for for years maybe maybe the rest of your life

21:18 I want to ask you this I've been wanting to ask you this for the longest time you know when you eventually had the

21:23 opportunity to become the CEO of PeopleSoft at that time a Star Wars in the Erp space

21:29 you know get LED various executive management roles before but this was different you were succeeding Dave

21:37 default in the role a person you know whose shoes were you know to be filled

21:44 and how did you approach this what was your mindset at this point well

21:50 um PeopleSoft when I joined uh

21:56 was a company founded by Dave Duffield Dave Duffield in my mind is one of the Legends in the technology industry he

22:04 has a much lower profile public profile or public Persona than somebody like

22:10 Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Larry Ellison but he had a

22:17 career the same level of magnitude this is a man that that founded four

22:24 for technology companies all four of which were multi-billion dollar

22:29 companies I mean who does that Dave Dave Duffield

22:35 um and Dave Duffield was an amazing leader I I used to jokingly refer to

22:41 Dave as a wolf in Labrador clothing

22:46 um uh like a Labrador Retriever um because his appearance was

22:54 friendly ingratiating lovable huggable

23:01 but he was no less intense inside than Larry Ellison was

23:07 he was no less competitive but he just had a different Persona I I took over

23:12 the company after Dave founded it it was a turn turnaround you know it it had grown grown grown grown grown and then

23:20 it had flattened and then Revenue was starting to go down and it wasn't profitable anymore so I went in as CEO

23:27 and I had two guiding principles that people

23:32 saw one was retain

23:38 the strengths that had made the company successful retain those and for PeopleSoft it was customer support they

23:45 had the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any tech company their customers loved them and I was

23:52 determined not to lose that and the second was Employee culture employees

23:57 loved working there they had a very low turnover attrition rate and so I my I

24:03 was determined to retain that um but the second

24:09 sort of Guiding Light for me was to face reality

24:15 and the reality was why are we declining why are we losing Revenue why are we

24:20 losing money and I had this concept at the time which I think I've mentioned to

24:26 you before the knowledge called creative conflict I said to people from the first

24:31 day I started I am not uh I do not believe in Conflict avoidance or

24:38 reducing conflict I'm all about creative conflict having honest conversations if

24:44 we don't have the best products somebody tell us in a meeting we don't have the best products we can't do anything about

24:50 weaknesses until we have the courage to put them out on a table and if it hurts

24:57 people's feelings or people get upset about it that is not as bad as not

25:02 facing reality so that that was what I I did with people's side it was a great it was a phenomenal company in terms of its

25:09 initial growth it had reached a plateau I came in I had all the benefits that

25:15 Dave Duffield had in at its core instilled uh in

25:20 PeopleSoft and then we took it to the next level and developed the first HTML Erp system again getting back to my

25:27 earlier point that you you mentioned being the first we developed the first

25:33 HTML Erp system and then we took off again

25:39 it's amazing to hear this um first I got a new phrase I can use now

25:44 in the vocabulary wolf in a labrador clothing I never heard that before so

25:50 that's a new one and I couldn't agree with you more on the creative conflict thing I have a personal phrase I use

25:56 call a thing a thing in terms of you know having conversations where sometimes it's difficult to you know put

26:03 the thing out in the middle but you have to and uh I got to ask you this question

26:08 when you talk or think about PeopleSoft there was a difficult situation once

26:13 when Oracle wanted to acquire the company and I'm sure it was a very difficult time with lots of you know

26:18 options to consider and personally did you turn to anyone a mentor or a helping hand during this

26:26 time frame for advice you know I I didn't um

26:31 I didn't because I I mean I would have if I if I

26:37 knew of anybody that had been through what we were going through but what we were going through was pretty

26:43 unprecedented it was the longest hostile Takeover in American Business

26:48 history uh it was it was sort of unprecedented what do I

26:55 mean by that Oracle made a unsolicited offer for

27:01 PeopleSoft that was at a negative premium

27:08 a negative premium when when you're going to acquire a company

27:13 you offer them a premium you offer them more than their stock is trading for

27:19 our stock was trading for 18 Oracle offered in a hostile uh takeover an

27:25 unsolicited offer they offered 15 a share it was a little counter-intuitive

27:32 um that had never been done before they announced in the beginning that they reasonably were offering so little is

27:39 that they intended to buy the products and and shut them down which caused all kinds of doubt about the the viability

27:46 of the products long term so these were all things that had never happened in business uh there have been plenty of

27:52 case studies that Harvard and the Delaware court system that about this case because it was so

27:59 unique at the time and uh so so no I I didn't have

28:04 I didn't have necessarily a mentor I turned to um there were plenty of advisors you know

28:11 you have an army of attorneys you have an army of what are called crisis

28:17 management firms that you work with every day uh you're on TV all the time

28:24 you're in the newspaper all the time but I didn't have a mentor because there was

28:29 no one that had gone through something similar I would have I would have called them

28:35 makes sense another pioneering effort for you first of its guide

28:40 um now I'm going to flip things a bit you know we've been talking about your relationship with mentors during your

28:46 entire career um now as a c CEO then afterwards as a

28:52 member of the board for various companies I'm sure many people have

28:57 approached you for mentorship at this point did you start to Mentor others or

29:02 what was the approach you know based on your own experiences with mentorship

29:09 um I I'm not even sure I would call it mentoring it's just I've been trying to

29:14 help anybody that asked me for help all the way back to my you know early early career when I was a

29:22 first level vice president um

29:27 you know something once said to me I I wish I could remember her name

29:33 I was on my first business trip when I was very young I must have been in my late 20s there's certainly no no older

29:41 than 31 Maybe and I had made my first business trip

29:46 to Europe and I had landed in France and I was

29:52 nervous because at the time I

29:57 heard that the French didn't like Americans and I thought oh my gosh you know how

30:03 you know how am I going to deal with this I don't know what that's like and I met a woman an American woman who

30:12 was in business I she may have worked for IBM I I think and she had lived in France for I think

30:19 seven or eight years and so I immediately asked for advice I said Is it true that

30:26 you know Americans aren't really liked very much here and she said Craig

30:32 there is four words

30:37 that human beings can't resist even

30:43 people in France whether it's a taxi driver whether it's a customer whether

30:48 it's a supplier so what are those four words she said will you help me

30:56 she said those words virtually universally trigger a response

31:03 in people to help you and so for me as a mentor I you know when somebody it's hard to resist when

31:10 somebody comes to you and says will you help me I'm confused right I'm a little unsure

31:15 what I should do and from the time that I started to be approached by people asking for counsel

31:23 asking for whether they're viewing something properly if they're looking at

31:28 it correctly it triggered in me a desire to help and and I you know I've

31:36 been helping ever since and people have been helping me ever since so I think those are the that's

31:43 what people need to to realize and I think I think minosh it

31:49 the lesson in there is these Mentor relationships start

31:54 with the pers the men the mentee not the mentor you know if you want guidance go

32:02 to somebody that you respect that has more experience and asks for help you

32:08 know I think you have to take you know a mentor relationship the initiative is

32:14 taken by the person that wants the council take to take the initiative have a topic I'm confused I'm I'm responding

32:21 to a bid or my client is upset or uh we're developing this product and it's

32:27 behind schedule or whatever it is have a topic approach somebody that you

32:32 think can help and say will you help me and I and that starts a

32:38 what might be a lifelong relationship could I agree with you more a couple of

32:43 quick questions for you what's the most common question you got during these conversations and what is the hardest

32:49 question to answer during mentorship

32:54 um well you know it's hard to talk about the

33:01 hardest question because it's it's going to reveal uh something I'm

33:06 not myself sure about that's why it's a hardest question and [Music]

33:13 um let's give it a common I'm sorry let's go with the common question the most common question you

33:18 got I think um

33:25 I think the most common question is what advice do you what advice

33:32 do you give people starting their career uh

33:39 in general about mentoring about you know uh

33:46 high achievement success work life balance I mean this is a very tough

33:52 world we live in now it's it's a world that's been through um

33:58 past recessions followed by 10 years of growth 10 years of growth now

34:07 followed by a recession uh probably impacted by covid uh change of

34:16 of venue for people where they work a lot of people working from home

34:22 demographic shift demographic I mean

34:29 in for our career manage if you're in the tech industry you worked in Silicon Valley if you were in the financial

34:35 service industry you worked in New York City um if you didn't want a big career you

34:42 worked in little towns it's changed I mean today Austin Texas feels like

34:48 Silicon Valley uh Raleigh

34:54 um Nashville Salt Lake City people have for

35:00 Florida Florida is an enormous influx of people from New York city so you know

35:07 the demographics have changed work-life balance all these things so I think that

35:13 is a common question and it's also a hard question I think

35:18 um what I remind people is something

35:25 Sandy Robertson reminded me of Sandy Robertson's on the

35:30 board of Salesforce he's the lead director he has had an amazing career

35:36 he founded three of the most successful companies in the financial service

35:42 industry Montgomery Securities you'll remember them he founded that Robertson Stevens Investment Bank took most of the

35:50 tech companies of scale public he bounded that and Francisco Partners which is a private Equity Firm and I

35:57 remember talking to Sandy and he he I said Sandy and what a successful career

36:03 you've had what single thing do you attribute it to and he said the old saying the harder I worked the luckier I

36:09 got so I think in the end I think people it starts with this drive and this

36:18 uh determination and hard work you know

36:23 manage the first billionaire talk about work-life balance oh work-life balance

36:30 everybody's concerned about work-life balance everybody wants to have a full life great

36:35 but when I was at Oracle many many years ago I met my first billionaire

36:42 now billionaire there weren't very many billionaires back then so this was he totally on you know unique opportunity

36:49 for me I wasn't going to drive the meeting I was just going along matter of fact a mentor speaking of that friend of

36:55 mine so would you like to come along to a customer meeting meeting with a person the head of this company it's a

37:00 billionaire great so I didn't say I didn't say anything the entire meeting and at the

37:07 end of the meeting the conversation shifted to a revelation

37:13 that the my colleague had he used the word revelation so in a very

37:21 small in a very small voice coming from somebody that was maybe 31 or 32 years

37:26 old me I said could I ask you what your first

37:33 revelation was in business and this fellow turned to me and without

37:39 missing a Beat said you can only do two things well in

37:46 life and if one of them is going to be your family

37:52 and one of them is going to be your career don't expect to be a scratch golfer

37:58 or a 5.0 tennis player or have a myriad of hobbies

38:05 and so for people that say to me I want to have a you know

38:11 tremendous career then I would say you've you know pick one more thing because if you're going to have a

38:17 tremendous career uh you're gonna have to pick one more thing and most people will pick their family now I'm not I'm not saying

38:23 everybody has to make a career their top priority but when if you talk about guidance and the most common questions I

38:29 I get I often get questions about how do I what do I need to do to be super

38:35 successful in business or in a career I relate the story that you can only do

38:41 two things well that's really Sage advice you can do multiple things well right you know pick

38:46 the two things and really be good at those two I totally get that um I've got to ask you this one final

38:53 question you know part of the audience we're trying to reach with this podcast is you know young

38:58 aspiring you know new technologist early in their careers you know you had multiple roles including you know CEO

39:06 positions board positions and various companies and as you wrap up here what advice would you give to young people

39:11 today pursuing a career in Tech uh to be successful in Tech yeah yeah

39:20 um you know I've I don't I don't commonly say this uh so

39:28 and I'm not sure I've said this for many several years

39:33 um there is a tendency in the technology industry

39:39 to stay on a linear path if you start in telesales you then

39:45 become a field sales person and then you go and become a branch manager Branch

39:51 sales manager and then a regional sales manager a national sales manager the cro and you take that path and the same

39:58 thing if you're in finance you know you start in the you know accounts payable area and you know you

40:06 wake you make your way up I think that

40:15 broad experience is one of the most

40:20 valuable things you could bring to your career because if you're going to run a company someday or if you're going to run multiple divisions of a company

40:27 someday the more things that you have done the more unique you are and the

40:33 better prepared you are um I mean I I had this computer science degree I

40:40 became a systems engineer but then I've flipped over to become a sales

40:46 representative and a sales manager and then at Oracle I was in charge of sales Administration and and

40:53 um and infrastructure and legal and um you know the the breadth of your

41:01 experience I think is something that people

41:07 um don't really put as much thought into and I thought of weight

41:15 into there's the C the CFO of nutanix a

41:20 company that I'm on the board of public company very successful the CFO used to be a chro

41:26 and prior to that she was in development I mean what that seems like but that's

41:34 part of her magic she she knows a lot about the breadth of how to run a

41:41 company so I think that I think breath is the the thing that I would say to somebody uh don't be quite so determined

41:48 to stay on the linear path breath can give you a competitive advantage

41:54 great advice to end the show Craig it has been an absolute pressure to host

42:00 you in the be bold podcast thank you thank you for joining us thank you manage

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