We get the technology, we don't mind staying up late to figure out where it's going to go. Understanding when, where and why it resonates with different people, that's a different thing, and that's a tremendous challenge.
4. What is a good day at work like for you?
A good day is when I create something. That can be a lot of things. It might be that I write an article and I come away thinking that I really nailed it today, the article wrote itself and it flowed nicely and I'm happy with every part of that article, or I created a new presentation that I'm happy with. I give a lot of presentations at conferences and I don't use the same one.
The delivery of a presentation I think is also tremendously important. There's nothing like the moment you step off the stage at a conference and you know you've held the audience and you've connected with them in one way or another. Those are tremendous things and make for a good day.
Similarly, I do a lot of work with the R&D teams at Layer 7, and a good day is when I feel like I've been able to give the right guidance to the staff and they're figuring it out on their own, I'm really there to be the facilitator. They're the experts with the low-level detail. I love jumping into those low-level details, but I also love using my perspective to help someone who is struggling with the realization of what a new technology is -- you can see that in their eyes, that mixture of knowing and relief so that they pull that idea out and they know where they're going and what they need to do.
These are big wins that make for a good day. Very often, it's just one or two of these little things that energize and charge the whole day.
5. How would you characterize your management style?
I'm very collaborative. I'm the antithesis of being a micro-manager or dictatorial. I'm good at pulling in the right people at the right time and helping to create that kind of mix between people so it turns out to be more than the sum of its parts, where people feed off of each other's energy. My management style is very much about making those sorts of things happen, putting the right team together getting the right people in the same place and creating that synergy and guiding them to it.
In the end, I don't mind drawing lines in the sand. There's a time and a place where that's needed, where people really need an authoritative answer, for someone to come in and say, "That's it, here's how we're doing this." But it's always fairly obvious when that needs to happen. I'm content to sit back and facilitate and let the team get there naturally and help to remove roadblocks.
6. What strengths and qualities do you look for in job candidates?