Our guest today is Diligent Corporationâ€™s President & COO, Lisa Edwards.
Diligent Corporation is the largest governance, risk and compliance (â€œGRCâ€) SaaS provider serving over 23,000 organizations around the globe. Lisa is responsible for commercial growth and performance. Prior to joining Diligent, she served as EVP of Strategic Business Operations at Salesforce.
Lisa also held leadership positions at Visa, Inc., and KnowledgeX, and co-founded Valubond, prior to the companyâ€™s acquisition by Knight Capital. Lisa received a bachelorâ€™s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She serves on the Board of Directors of Colgate-Palmolive Company and is deeply involved in two non-profits where she previously served on the board, Playworks and the Presidio YMCA.
In This Conversation, We Discuss:
- Hiring based on candidates with education versus natural grit
- How to build trust and alignment with the CEO
- When to ask provocative questions to stir debates and resolve potential problems
- Diligent Corporationâ€™s flywheel
- The first 90 days of being a new COO at a fast-paced company during the start of COVID
- Connect with Lisa Edwards: LinkedIn
- Diligent Corporation â€“ https://www.diligent.com
- Connect with Cameron: Website | LinkedIn
- Get Cameronâ€™s latest book: The Second in Command â€“ Unleash the Power of Your COO
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel â€“ Second in Command Podcast on YouTube
- Get Cameronâ€™s online course â€“ Invest In Your Leaders
- The post Ep. 186 â€“ Diligent Corporation President & COO, Lisa Edwards appeared first on COO Alliance.
Before we jump into our episode, you need to know about two important ways that we can help you and your company grow. Number one, check out the COO Alliance. It is for COOs, Presidents, VP Ops, or whoever is your company’s second in command to the CEO. The COO Alliance is the world’s leading community for the second in command, and it gives COOs the tools and connections to grow themselves and the company. Head over to COOAlliance.com to learn more about our members, the results, the program, and our 10X guarantee. If you qualify for membership, you can set up a complimentary call with our team to discuss if it is right for you. I will tell you about number two in a bit, but first, let’s start our episode.
Our guest is Diligent Corporationâ€™s President and COO, Lisa Edwards. Diligent Corporation is the largest governance risk and compliance GRC SaaS provider, serving over 23,000 organizations around the globe. Lisa is responsible for commercial growth and performance. Before joining Diligent, she served as EVP of Strategic Business Operations at Salesforce. Lisa also held leadership positions at Visa, and KnowledgeX, and cofounded ValuBond.
Before the company’s acquisition by Knight Capital, Lisa received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She serves on the Board of Directors at Colgate-Palmolive Company and is deeply involved in two nonprofits where she previously served on the board, Playworks, and the Presidio YMCA. Lisa, welcome to the show.
Thanks so much. I’m thrilled to be here.
I remember the first business book I ever read was What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School. I read it for two reasons. One, I was enthralled with the whole idea of sports management and marketing, and Mark McCormack had written it. It was a fascinating read. The second reason was I knew I was never going to be smart enough to go to Harvard. I thought maybe I would get a glimpse. What was it like?
It was two of the best years of my life. It was great. These things are a little bit of what you put into it is what you get out of it. The value of Harvard Business School is some of the content but increasingly that content is available online and in your books. There is this interesting phenomenon of the network that is created with hundreds of people and knowing people in nearly every major city and corporation in the world that has risen to leadership. It creates an interesting feedback loop for one thing and a way to bounce ideas off of people, but it is a way to get stuff done.
When I’m asked these days, should I go to business school? I hesitate, which I never did. I would say, â€œYes, go to business school. It will open up options for you. It is a great stamp on the resume. Go do it.â€ Now, I say, â€œWhat do you want to get out of it? Do you think you can get into a top-ten school? Is it worth putting your career on hold for two years?â€ I ask a lot more of those qualifying questions. I still think it is a great experience for some people, but if it is to learn how to do a discounted cashflow analysis because you want to change careers, there are lots of ways to do that.
The ROI component of it is different now. I’m a little older than you. When I went to school, we had to be the smartest person in the room because there was no access to information. There was no Google. I had no computer at university. I had a typewriter. When I went to the library to grab that one book that I needed, it was always checked out. You had to be the smartest person. You had to be able to memorize it all. Your point now is that ROI might be different. Do you bias against the education system now? Do you hire people who don’t have it on purpose in any way?
I like a hustler. I love stories of first-generation Americans. I still love people who got themselves to Harvard, but did you get there by scrapping and hustling? Did it show some grit and different abilities than being smart? There are a lot of smart people in the world, but do you have street smarts? Can you adjust on the fly, and can you take a punch to the face and keep going? You need those people around.
I read an article about the Taj Hotel Group. They are over in India. They never hire anyone from the big cities. They only hire people from small towns and villages because they believe the core values are still intact. I saw something in your prep that you hire based on core values. Can you speak to that on how you look for it, how you interview for it, and when you make decisions not to hire because of them?
It is critical for culture to get people into your orbit who do not necessarily think the same as you. You don’t want that. You don’t want uniformity of thought, but you do want uniformity if there are basic ethical things that you want to look out for. For passion, people share goals and want to go to the same place. I might ask people not like, â€œWalk me through your resume.â€ I usually do that for 30 seconds, but I can read like everybody else and LinkedIn exists.
I might ask them, â€œWhat do you passionate about? What do you care about? What is something that if you had all the extra time in the world and you didn’t have the financial constraints of having a job, you would want to go try to solve?â€ What is a problem out there that would be interesting for you? You get back interesting questions. We have a guy on our team who asks a question that I like to hear the answer to. Not necessarily that there is a right answer, but do you love to win, or do you hate to lose? I don’t even know what the answer is for myself because I’m both.
I don’t think we are straddling on that one or hedging. Maybe it is more true. I’m not tilted in one direction or the other. I hate to lose but I drive to win. It is not all about winning. I want to ask you a little bit about Diligent, and I want to go back into what got you here. Go back into some of your careers and talk about some of your learning at Salesforce. Tell us what Diligent is in layman’s terms so everyone understands.
Every company in the world needs to manage themselves. What we do is we provide software in the cloud that allows companies to manage their board of directors, and hold board meetings that are secure to manage their entities in subsidiaries. Multinationals have entities around the world. If you have operations in a specific country, you have to have a structure there, and you have to manage that structure according to the rules and regulations of that country.
They need to do auditing, SaaS, and compliance and check their supplier base for third parties who they shouldn’t be working with. Our software does all of that. It is the underbelly of running a company. It is all the stuff about doing things right, following the process, working with your audit team internally and externally, and making that all happen seamlessly and easily.
Your clients would typically be larger organizations.
Larger organizations. We have something like 70% of the Fortune 1000, our customers, but also mid-market. Smaller companies use some of our tools like our cap table management, some of our secure messaging, secure file share, and things like that. For medium-sized companies, it applies to them to use some of the audit and compliance tools, some of the supplier third-party risk tools, and enterprise risk management.
If a company is prepping to go public, they want to think about, â€œDo I have a board of directors in place and a way to manage them? Have I complied with SaaS?â€ We have one on ESG. It used to be nice to have. It is increasingly becoming a must-have. If you look at some of the things that are coming down like if the SEC mandates reporting on climate, we will see many more companies get on board with needing to do this and having to have a third party. Their auditor does assurance on it and tests it. The cost of capital is increasingly being tied to diversity on your board and leadership team. It is becoming critical to manage that stuff, to watch it and measure it.
The cost of capital is tied to diversity.
There was a big announcement by Carlyle about some of the things that they are thinking about in that area. I encourage you to look it up. It is a great article.
Tell me a little bit about what you learned when you were at Salesforce. How long were you at Salesforce?
I was at Salesforce for several. I had a good solid run when I started. We were about 8,500 people and maybe $3 billion in revenue. When I left, we were calling $22 billion in revenue and 55,000 or so people. It was a crazy time. I feel incredibly grateful for having a seat on the rocket ship for that one.
My girlfriend worked there for a little bit. She led Salesforce inside Ticketmaster for a couple of years and all the engineering groups. She had some huge things to say about it. What do you think you pulled from there in terms of your leadership skills? What skills did you pull from there?
Part of leadership is you learn by example, and I worked for a couple of great people. The first CFO I worked for was Graham Smith. He is one of the smartest guys in the world out there as it relates to SaaS finance and a lovely person. The next CFO I worked for was Mark Hawkins. Mark’s gift was people. That guy could enter a room, there would be 100 hundred people, and he would know all of their names. He had this crazy ability to remember little details about people. It showed he cared about his team, and they remembered it.
I worked for Keith Block, who is one of the best leaders out there, being at the elbow of one of the greatest salespeople in the world and one of the best leaders on an absolute basis. People would step in front of a truck for him. Seeing that on a day-to-day basis was incredibly valuable for me in building out my personal style and the things that I wanted to take with me and like everything else. We talked about childhood earlier. There are things about the way your parents reared you that you say, â€œI want to make sure I do that.â€ There are things about the way your parents reared you to make sure you don’t do that. It was a great time to be exposed to some of those people.
With the large organizations working at Visa, Salesforce, and Diligent, how do you prevent politics from creeping into the business areas that you are working in?
It is easier when it is smaller. Part of it is making sure everyone understands their lane, what they are responsible for and what they are not responsible for. Sometimes politics come into play when there is uncertainty, or people aren’t sure if they are supposed to be doing something or not supposed to be doing something. Providing a certain level of clarity there, and there is a certain aspect to it. You got to quote Bill Belichick on this, â€œDo your job.â€ Leave out the f-bomb in the middle.
People need to do the right thing. That goes back to the hiring for values. There was this great guy at Salesforce. He was a nuclear submariner. He used to say in the meeting, â€œIt ship shipmate itself.â€ That is the order in which you take care of things. Drilling that into a team and telling them, â€œIf you take care of your ship and shipmate, you will take care of yourself. This will get taken care of.â€ You can’t constantly ask people to do the right thing in their own self-disinterest. Making sure that there is a cleanup crew to go back in and say, â€œI know you rolled over on a sales deal to give the sale to another region because it was being let out of there, even though it was originally your customer. I’m going to get you paid too.â€
There is stuff like that, and those stories go around. People know if she asks me to do something and it is the right thing for the company, I’m going to do it. I have to have confidence that it is not going to hit me in the pocketbook, hurt my career, or whatever it is. You got to make sure that you build trust and put chips into the trust machine. When you ask people to take one for the team, they are willing to do it.
How do you build trust and alignment with the CEO? I have always believed that the COO and CEO are to be that almost yin and yang partnership. How do you build trust with your CEO and stay aligned with them?
Part of it is it happens over time. It is not necessarily a day-one thing. It is a trust-building exercise and a friendship, but it is a funny friendship. When I was first going to work for Keith Block, one of his trusted groups came to me and said, â€œKeith is my friend. I would do anything for him, and I love him, but I never forget that he is my boss too.â€
There is that fine line. As a second in command, you have an obligation to dissent and not be a yes man or woman. I 100% play that role. I say, â€œWhat about this? What about that? I don’t agree.â€ When the door opens and two people walk out, you better be in agreement. There is a time and a place to dissent and to get in line. I don’t mistake those times and places.
I spoke about that in one of my books called Meetings Suck. I wrote about something in meetings that when you walk out of the discussion or debate, you have to have a consensus. You can’t go back to your team and say, â€œI disagreed.â€ It destroys the trust in the organization.
It is also cowardly. If it is something existential or moral, I should leave. If it is not, I need to get an agreement, but I can’t say, â€œI didn’t make this hard decision. That was somebody else. I’m great. It is that somebody else is making you do this thing.â€ Iâ€™m like, â€œNo, we are all on the same team. We are all making it happen.â€
It also makes the leader look bad too. They think they are somehow protecting themselves, but they are not. Will you dissent in front of the rest of the leadership team or the CEO? Do you do that more privately? You operate like mom and dad won’t argue in front of the kids. They argue privately or should.
A little bit of both. If it were something serious, that would be a private conversation. There is dissent, and then there is a conversation starter. If the CEO makes a big proclamation about something and everyone is sitting there, and they might be processing and spinning, I might ask a provocative question to start a debate. Even if the answer ends up being where we originally started, the debate is healthy, and understanding all the potential places where things could go awry is super healthy.
Can you give us an example of that? That is intriguing.
We do a lot of work with different size companies. We have a product that we want to get more penetration on. There is this lively debate about how we get more penetration. Do we give it away for free? Do we try to work with VC firms? There is a lot of passion around the product because there are many of us who love it and believe in it. For the development team, do we want to invest in that because we got all this other stuff going on?
When it is like, â€œOn this product, we need X, Y, and Z.â€ You can see the development team’s face fall because they are thinking, â€œNot enough people to do that. There are not enough warm bodies in the room to do this.â€ Understanding that is what the CEO wants, what does that do in front of the CEO and everyone? What does that do to your prioritization? Do we have to reprioritize something? Do we have to take something off your list? Would you need to hire someone to deliver everything that you already promised us and all this stuff that we asked you to do? How are you thinking about this in terms o where it falls and when you are able to do it? It is expanding the conversation to sausage making a little bit.
You are also being empathetic to the needs of that team and to the restraints the team has because we have all been through them. You know what they are. You are also being aware of the body language in using your emotional intelligence to continue it, which is good. This is probably more true of the entrepreneurial CEO than the professionally managed company CEO.
Entrepreneurial CEOs tend to be a little bit more ADD and bipolar. The professionally managed CEOs tend to be a little bit more strategic. Whereas the entrepreneur is like, â€œI heard this cool thing on a podcast. Let’s do this.â€ You don’t have the CEO of Diligent coming in saying, â€œI heard something on a podcast and want to go to market tomorrow morning.â€
The entrepreneurial organization was like, â€œYou got to reel them back in and go. It is a great idea, but that is in two quarters.â€ They go, â€œOkay, good.â€ You mentioned in your prep the Jim Collins concept, The Flywheel, that Diligent has got that flywheel happening now. Can you walk us through what your flywheel is?
First of all, it starts with a good product market fit. If you don’t have a good product, it is hard to get the flywheel going. There are also eras. There are times when things are right and times when things are not right. I will give you an example from earlier in my career. We built this amazing exchange for fixed-income securities in 2000. It was awesome, and 2001 happened.
Steve Ballmer stood up on March 15th, 2000, and said there was an internet bubble. We were like, â€œNo.â€
That was interesting from a leadership perspective. I was the Cofounder of the company. We got asked by our biggest customer to put another, at the time it was a lot of money. Now everyone would go like, â€œThat is pocket change for raising money, but put another $10 million on your balance sheet.â€ We were profitable and doing great. We said, â€œWe don’t need it. It wiped out the ownership of the leadership team. The preference hurdle on it became like, â€œIs there anything in this for us?â€
The point on that was there is a right time and a wrong time. That company, we sold it to Knight Capital. They resold it for 50 times what they paid us for it. That was the right time. The flywheel is about good product market fit starting to accelerate sales. If you can get the sales motion right and you can get the right level of salespeople in, for us, that was getting the enterprise sales motion and cross-sell upsell down because we have this amazing portfolio of stuff. Surprisingly we sell more new logos. It was like, â€œLet’s train everybody.â€ Part of that was a siloed way of going to market.
As we broke down those silos and said, â€œYou can carry everything in your bag.â€ If you have a customer who is interested in governance risk and compliance, you can sell them all of those products and ESG. That is something as simple as doing the enablement, creating the right compensation structure, and teaching the sales team what we wanted. That starts to accelerate sales.
Sales accelerate, and all of a sudden, you need more people. We have proven that if you put another body into the field, you can sell more. How do we get more bodies? We got more bodies. We can sell more. If we can sell more, we create more cashflow, and we can invest in the product more. We can do more new products and acquisitions. It all starts to build on itself. It becomes a lot of fun, honestly.
You joined in the middle of COVID. I would imagine that pre-COVID, they were more location-based. What happened? What did you walk into a completely virtual company? How many employees, ballpark?
It is 1,800.
Is it 1,800 remote employees?
Yes, it was weird. First of all, when I was being recruited, in terms of our earlier conversation about building trust and having to be a relationship, I have now known Brian, the CEO, for a number of years. I first met him at a conference. He had floated like, â€œI might be looking for this.â€ I said, â€œI love my job. I’m good.â€ He floated it again, and I said, â€œI might be interested in looking at some stuff that I’m not moving to New York.â€ He called me back again a couple of months after that and said, â€œCOVID has taught us that we might not need you to be in New York.â€
For me, COVID opened up an opportunity that I probably wouldn’t have considered prior to the pandemic. With that said, what a weird thing to do to start a new job during the pandemic. I was trying to be quite diligent with COVID because my husband has got some new stuff going on, but I said, â€œI’m willing to get on a plane and fly to DC if everyone else is willing to.â€ The bulk of the leadership team was in DC and New York. People are willing to get on trains or drive.
We met outside for several days, just 6 or 8 of us early when I was starting. That was super helpful to me to create a tiny bit of the non-video relationships and to build a little bit of that glue. Normally, by this time, I would have visited all of our major customers. I would have been to all of our sites. We opened a site that now has several hundred people in Galway. They are all brand new and mostly never seen each other or us. It is a strange world.
It also proves that thing that CFOs used to tell you for years like, â€œYou don’t need to do all this business travel.â€ They were partially right. I still think relationships matter and that there is a special chemistry that happens live that you do not get online. I do think that a lot of sales can and should be inside sales. We travel all day to get to a remote city, schlep to the hotel, deal with all the stuff, get there, get exhausted, go to a four-hour meeting, turn around and go home and blow two days of our life. I feel like those days are done.
There is an ROI component. If we only have three inputs into our business, people, time, and money, we need to get the highest return on investment. Some of that stuff is done. I like the in-person too, and the ability to hire people anywhere. Post-COVID, are you going back to an office? Are you staying as a hybrid organization?
We are staying as a hybrid organization. We told people, â€œYou don’t need to come in full-time.â€ We have taken a poll. The feedback that we have gotten is mixed. There are some people who are like, â€œI live in a tiny studio. I want to get out of my house and go somewhere. I want the social aspect, but maybe I don’t want it every day of the week.â€ We have other people who told us, â€œI moved. I’m now living in Florida. I’m not going back into the office.â€ We have said, â€œAs long as you make your numbers, that works for us.â€
What are they doing with the Salesforce Tower?
I have no idea. It’s big. First of all, never underestimate Mark in the office. He will come up with something. In the immediate term, in 2022, if people go into the office, they are going to want more space. Even if only half are coming in, if they are taking up twice as much space, the math says, â€œYou got the right amount.â€ I suspect that everyone, not Salesforce but everybody’s real estate strategy, will change, get more nimble and more flexible and think about flex spaces and conference spaces and how you can build team events. Everybody can go back to wherever it is that they get their job done.
Talk about the first 90 days for you coming in as a COO of a company that was already moving at 100 miles an hour. You jumped in and did it during COVID when you didn’t have the ability. You wander around the office and get to know people. What did you focus on in your first 90 days?
Iâ€™m building relationships with the executive team. It is incredibly important to learn the business. I did a lot of that homework before I started. I asked for a lot of data and stuff. I made an effort to walk in the door. I have a pretty good understanding of the business fundamentals of the product and all that stuff. You learn more over time, but that is table stakes. Iâ€™m getting to know the team, both the folks that report to me as well as lots of skip levels and doing group meetings where I couldn’t do one-on-ones.
The first thing on the agenda was in all hands to introduce myself, but it was table stakes. Getting to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly like what is working well and what is not working well, that I can potentially help with. Maybe this is more of a lesson for CEOs rather than COO. The CEO of the company, Brian, made it easy for me. He treated it as a partnership. Something came to him that probably should have come to me. He was good about retraining people. He was like, â€œInclude Lisa because this is her problem now.â€
That is important because if people are trained to go to a certain place, and there is no retraining, I don’t get the visibility I need to do my job, and he gets annoyed by the stuff that keeps coming inbound, that never gets redirected. There is a little bit of extra effort at the start to get people aligned on that. Any time you have a growth trajectory especially when you are bringing in new leadership, there can be people who change leaders.
If they went from a direct to the CEO to a direct to the COO, making sure that they view that as an additive to their career because I will have more time to spend with them. I will focus on it. The company is getting too big to have one person do all of this stuff. We need to be able to compartmentalize it a little bit more. Make sure people understand that this is good for them, their careers, and the company. That is important.
This was a new role. You weren’t replacing someone.
I was not. That was one of the things that were interesting to me about this job because, as you imagine, leaving Salesforce after several years, I got a lot of the calls like, â€œWe need a CEO for this and that.â€ It was a little bit of check your ego. Look in the mirror and think about what you like to do moment for me to say, â€œThis role and this company at the size trajectory is got to be one of the largest SaaS companies in the world that is not public and relatively unknown. There is a lot of brand-building to do here.
I felt like there was so much upside in the opportunity, and it made it all worthwhile, but there is a certain amount to check your ego and say, â€œI am a great number two. I can make the CEO better.â€ Somebody used to refer to me as Keith Block’s external CPU. He got the fastest processor out there, but he needs more storage. I said, â€œI will be the storage.â€ It is the role of a lifetime.
Interesting that you mentioned brand building. I was speaking to my girlfriend about this because she has been around enterprise for so long. I was intrigued by the Salesforce background, and she was like, â€œWho is Diligent?â€ I’m like, â€œThey are a $2 billion SaaS company. How do we not know of them?â€ What is the plan around brand building and marketing?
We are going to invest in it. It goes back to that flywheel. There are marketing inputs to that too, that can provide fuel for the fire. It is that much easier for SCR out there making cold calls if the recipients of that call have heard of the company. Part of the brand building is we have this amazing install base. We have 17,000 companies that use our board’s portal software. Those are some of the most influential people in the world. These are boards of directors of some of the largest companies in the world. Some of it is what is the appropriate way to run that land and expand play because you do want to be appropriate. You don’t want to be shilling stuff to people all the time.
You can’t go to the board members and ask for YouTube video testimonials.
They don’t buy anything. We are a trusted brand already, how do we use that to show the other things that we have in the portfolio? Showing what else we have in the portfolio because we are a trusted brand in the company helps. We haven’t invested in that side of the business as much. We did a big partnership with Fortune Magazine. We are holding our modern governance summit. We have lots of plans. We overhauled the website. There are lots of places like that. We will be investing to get the name out there a little bit more.
You mentioned that you had to do the gut check and decide whether you wanted to go after the CEO or the COO role. We have a group called the COO Alliance. We got 153 COOs from around the world in seventeen countries. Ninety-eight percent of them have no desire to ever be a CEO. There is nothing about that role that they want. A couple of them are $1 billion-dollar companies’ COOs. They are happy doing it. What is it that is different that keeps you in the COO role, or at least for now?
I’m a little bit of a grinder, for one thing. I like to get stuff done and to do stuff. That is a little bit of it. I have always been a little bipolar in that. I started my career as a strategy consultant. I was at Bain & Company doing big strategy work, and I still love that part of the business. It is a differentiator when you have an operator who can come in, pull up, see the big picture stuff, and set vision in where are we going and how are we going to get there. I would never say never for me on that. I probably have 1 or 2 more big jobs left in me, but I do think that I’m happy in the number two role. You don’t have to do quite as much of the care and feeding of the board and all that stuff. It is more the running of the business. That is where I love to be.
I used to work behind the scenes with the CEO of Sprint and his second-in-command for several months, and Marcello, who is the CEO, had a business lunch or a business dinner seven days a week. He said he’s only drinking on Fridays and Saturdays because he could drink fourteen meals a week. I want to go back to Lisa graduating from Harvard or Stanford, which still blows my mind. What advice would you give yourself back then that you know to be true now, but you wish you had known back then?
Early in my career, I didn’t keep them up as well as I do now. People matter and relationships matter, and make sure you are not always taking from, but you are depositing into those relationships. It can be important. When someone asked me how do you think about my career trajectory, my map, and what I did, there was no plan because you could not map going from Bain to a startup in Atlanta, selling that to IBM, starting a company, selling that to Knight Capital, going to Visa and going to Salesforce.
Every single one of those, except for Bain, which was an interview coming out of business school, was a relationship. I was at Bain somebody called me and said, â€œYou should look at this company. It is this guy I know, and he wants to put more money into the business, but he wants a CEO.â€ I was 27. I had no business running a company, but based on that relationship, I went and had that conversation.
When we started KnowledgeX, it was a business school buddy of mine was at a VC firm which introduced me to that partnership and raised the money for us. When I started at Visa, it was another buddy from business school who called me up and said, â€œYou did something like this at Bain. Visa needs a consultant who does this stuff?â€ I said, â€œSure.â€ Several years later, I was there.
When I left Visa to go to Salesforce, another guy who had worked with me at Visa had gone to Salesforce. They were looking for someone and said, â€œWe need somebody that does your skillset.â€ I said, â€œI don’t want to go back to it. It was the armpit of finance. It was finance operations. I don’t want to do that.â€ They said, â€œCome meet Graham Smith.â€ As I told you, Graham, I think the world of. I went and met Graham and went like, â€œThis guy is amazing. I will go work for him.â€ All of these things happened by accident, but it was all invitation-driven.
I forget who it was, but they said, â€œYou can’t plan your career in advance. You can only track it in reverse.â€ It might have been Steve Jobs. I don’t remember who it was. Lisa Edwards, President, and COO for Diligent Corporation. Thanks very much for sharing with us.
I can’t believe it’s over already. This is super fun. Thank you for having me.
I appreciate the time. Thank you.
- Diligent Corporation
- What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School
- Meetings Suck
- The Flywheel
- Fortune Magazine
- Bain & Company