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[00:00:00] Juan: Welcome to LFG with JJ, the podcast that helps you level up your CX game by navigating CX and AI technologies. I'm Juan Jaysingh, the CEO of Zingtree, the AI-powered Customer Experience platform, providing solutions that turn every human into an expert. 700 plus companies across 54 countries trust our solutions to boost their contact center proficiency, enable their customers to self-help improve their internal processes and more with Zingtree.
[00:00:31] Tom Lewis, great to see you here. Welcome to LFG with JJ. Thanks for taking the time. Excited to see you. You've got a very interesting background, so I'm excited to get this podcast started. Today, we'll start with talking a little bit about your background, your unique story. And then from there, we'll get into, what's happening in the CX world that we live in.
[00:00:53] And then how someone like you continues to stay relevant and keep up to date with all the great things that are happening with our, advancement in technology and CX space. And finally, we'll have some more fun questions around what you do when you're not working so hard.
[00:01:07] So I'm excited to get this started. So let's go jump right into it, Tom. Great to have you here. You're the partner at Newport. Tell us, who you are, what's your background, what's your story, and what do you do now?
[00:01:20] Tom: Yeah, thanks a bunch, Juan. Great to see you again. Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today.
[00:01:25] And I've spent a significant amount of my career focused on CX, and we can talk about that a little bit around that history. But you talked about Newport specifically, so let me tell you what I'm doing now, which is helping Largely mid market companies, but some enterprise companies around value acceleration and growth.
[00:01:42] Now, I realize that's a generic term, but having spent a decent amount of time as a CEO and also advising enterprise clients, I'm now spending my time advising companies on growth. A lot of that is helping with go to market strategy. Sometimes product roadmap, marketing, sales, et cetera.
[00:02:02] I confess I probably do about half the time as a CEO therapist, but that's a little bit of the recreation around it. I have clients in all sorts of industries and a decent amount in this, in the CX space. But that's sort of what I'm doing right now from a Newport perspective.
[00:02:19] Juan: That's great. Thanks for sharing, Tom. Good, great, very interesting background, right? We looked through your LinkedIn and from the conversations we've had in the past. You've been in consulting, then you became CEO of a fast growing SaaS company, and then you got back into, consulting, and you've done a lot in this space.
[00:02:38] So that's great, but let's get back to, the basics. Who is Tom Lewis? Who are you? You were, how did you get your... How did you transition from your personal career into your professional career? How did you get started? We'd love to hear a little bit more about, where you came from and, your college days and your early days in the professional work.
[00:02:55] We'd love to hear that background.
[00:02:57] Tom: So I'll try to keep it interesting. The short story is I think I was always a geek. Computer Geek. I worked on my first computer in 1978, so that was quite a while ago. And my degree is definitely in computer science, and in fact, while I was in college, I ran a process, or I don't know what you want to call it, a thing at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis called the Computer Discovery Center, to give you an idea of how early I was in the computer realm.
[00:03:23] But like I said, my degree is in computer science, but I spent a significant amount of my time as a part at Deloitte in the strategy practice. Uniquely, I think I have a high degree of technical skill. I still code recreationally, still a geek and spent a decent amount of time in the strategy practice.
[00:03:41] Strategically technical in the strategy practice at Deloitte, it was actually called the customer advisory practice. So it was helping enterprise clients of the firm, everybody from Walmart to T Mobile to Sprint to Marriott, just very cross industry. Helping them figure out how to interface with their end customers.
[00:03:59] And very often it was the strategy, people, process, technology, and strategy was the four different corners of that. But a lot of it, frankly, was strategy and process. And I was living in Cincinnati at the time, which was a fantastic place to raise a family. It was Delta's second largest hub.
[00:04:18] A lot of people don't know that, so I could fly anywhere in the country non stop, and as a consultant, I was on a plane every day of the week, and that was great. They merged with Northwest, they de hubbed Cincinnati, I approached my wife and I said, we need to move to a city with an airline hub, and she said, or we could upgrade the weather.
[00:04:32] So here I am in Los Angeles and I live the airport's that way two miles, so I still live close to the airport. But when I moved here
[00:04:40] Juan: Are you still on the road a lot? Are you still traveling a bunch?
[00:04:43] Tom: Not as much. Certainly Covid made a big difference relative to that, of course. And the most of the work that I'm doing is virtual.
[00:04:51] So that's the good news. But when I moved to Los Angeles, I was recruited as the CEO of a was a research company. It actually started in 2000 as an AI research company. The founder was I don't know. He was probably trying to create something similar to generative AI. And between the hardware limitations and maybe not quite having the right answer he never got there.
[00:05:12] He ended up raising some capital, pivoting, trying to create a commercial enterprise, struggled a little bit with that, and that's when they brought me in. And so it was, SmartAction was the name of the company, and it was essentially an IVR and chatbot company. But what was unique about it was, given its AI roots, it was using that to not only build the language models and the capabilities inside, but also improve the customer
[00:05:36] journey. That was a great experience. Was there a CEO for six years, sold it to private equity, had a successful exit from that perspective. And then the role at Accenture you described as consulting and obviously Accenture is a large enterprise consultancy, but the role was actually
[00:05:52] helping Accenture build the go to market around customer experience and the technology. So it was interfacing with Google and Amazon and everybody all the way down to the smart actions of the world building out the industry capabilities and the regional capabilities. And did that for about three years and now, like I said at the top am focused on Newport advising mid market companies.
[00:06:13] Juan: Got it. You're very unique. You're the first geek I know that went into consulting and you're the first consulting guy I know who ended up becoming a CEO. So I, for a, early stage startup. So pretty cool background. Thanks for sharing that.
[00:06:30] Tom: It's right though, it's interesting because
[00:06:33] most people think of consultants as they know how to advise, they don't know how to do. And so the opportunity I was given to be the CEO, I recognized the uniqueness of it, just as you pointed out. And that was part of the reason I took it. I figured I could go and do the next CEO gig or do, go back to consulting, go back to Deloitte, what have you.
[00:06:51] Yes you actually identified it. What is also unique
[00:06:55] Juan: is you're also, a consultant who can code. So I don't think a
[00:06:59] Tom: CEO can code, no,
[00:07:00] Juan: actually that happens. Yeah, well, at least in tech, you see that more. But yeah, a lot of great uniqueness here. So thanks for sharing that, Tom. I'd love to get into the CX space. You spent a lot of your time in the CX space. It's an interesting industry. It's a hot industry now with everything that's going on with generative AI and, Open AI, Chat GPT.
[00:07:23] I'm sure you're playing around with it. Knowing that you've got strong technical chops so what you know, we'd love to get your thoughts, what do you like about the industry the CX space? What's the state of the union now, what's working well? What challenges does the industry have?
[00:07:38] I would love to get your thoughts on the CX industry
[00:07:41] Tom: Yeah, I think the most compelling thing is really having a dialogue around disruption as it relates to customer service. Now, customer service to some degree, obviously, is a highly human intensive process, and a lot of things you and I have done over the years is trying to figure out how to automate pieces of that.
[00:08:01] I can hearken all the way back to the the effortless experience book by the Corporate Executive Board and Matt Dixon. The idea that customers choose the channel they choose based on which one they think is going to take the least amount of effort to get the task done.
[00:08:14] These are traditional norms that you and I have lived in for a while, but in the fall of last year when generative AI came out, I think both of us looked at that and said, this is a little bit different, and this is actually going to potentially materially change for the first time the way customer service works.
[00:08:31] And the question I have for the large enterprise customer service organizations is, how are they going to pivot from a from a operating model perspective? Because the. The growth rate or the reduction rate of live agent hours and minutes is excel. The reduction is accelerating. In other words, they're fewer and fewer minutes.
[00:08:54] Some of my prospects and clients today are call center companies and they talk about how, XYZ company didn't come back this year for their sort of seasonal renewal. And the reason is because they've introduced some technology and in, in some cases, it's pretty pragmatic technology. In other cases, it's a little more leading edge.
[00:09:10] I would say three things around the introduction of generative AI. There are some commoditized elements of it. I'm happy to dive deep into this, but just for the short story. Commoditized elements around it. There are things that will improve the ROI from an implementation perspective. And then there are things that are legitimately disruptive from a technology perspective.
[00:09:33] And those three things, I think, need to be in the corner office relative to anybody who's running a care organization.
[00:09:40] Juan: Well said. So let me ask you this. I, you're at the forefront of generative AI. You're seeing what's happening in the CX space. Who do you think are, your prediction on who will be winners?
[00:09:52] Are these incumbents who are, large, tech companies or are they, early stage startups that are coming in and disrupting it or are they, the three person startup, right? That is just, I, going hard now and shaking things up. Cool.
[00:10:07] You see all these different players and there's a lot of buzz, a lot of low hanging fruit in the CX space to build more automation. What is your assessment as, with your consulting hat on and the technology knowledge that you know, who do you think is, primed up to, do well in this space?
[00:10:24] Tom: know, I candidly, for me, it's a little too early to declare winners and losers, but I have looked at some investment and pitch decks and, and on page four is their AI strategy. And it's okay, so you stuck page four in there kind of thing. And that's probably not going to win the day necessarily.
[00:10:42] I think from a, let me talk about the commodity piece for a second. In other words, what's not going to win. And you're probably too young to remember this, but there was a point in time when word processors didn't have spellchecks, and you had to buy the plugin of spellcheck in addition to the word processor.
[00:11:00] And that's a lot
[00:11:01] Juan: What's that? I did not know that.
[00:11:04] Tom: Yeah it was a few days ago, but the idea that some of the commodity elements of generative AI, in care specifically or otherwise, the ability to summarize things to bring out insights relative to just using a tool that, that is a large language model and being able to prep an agent or summarize these documents or whatever, that's going to be pretty commoditized pretty quickly.
[00:11:29] And so if your value proposition is all around that, I think that's dangerous. And I think OpenAI really opened that world to everybody that says, all right, here it is free, go try it. And a lot of companies incorporated that. Good for them. I have one client who they had a a low code, no code solution that they used.
[00:11:47] They put a generative AI engine on the front end of it, and it reduced the average development time from six weeks to two weeks for average customer implementations. And bravo. Good. That's great kind of thing. But the question really is, do you have something that, particularly that still involves humans as opposed to fully automating something, that will change the way humans operate entirely?
[00:12:09] And a good example of that, I think, is training where you're gonna have agents, you're not gonna get rid of call centers 100%, but, you have service organizations, they could be like the Terminexes of the world or what have you, or they could be call centers. And can you use generative AI to do scenario creation for that training and create actually, humans don't really learn that well in a Proctor led setting.
[00:12:33] Instead, they learn by doing. And, a lot of times you put agents or whoever into the job and they're nesting and getting familiar with it. What if you could do a lot more of that during training? and actually be an active participant around that. That's one of a thousand different examples.
[00:12:49] I think you could deviate a lot in this question around other industries, but relative to CX, I think those are the, customer service broadly. I think those are the high notes. So I did not declare a winner or loser. Ask me again in a year. Great. I'll,
[00:13:02] Juan: I'll definitely ask you. The yes, so that, I see, where you're going with this. I'd love to get your thoughts then on, the, in this economic time, in this market that we live in there are challenges with the markets being tight, spend is less. So are you seeing certain trends where people are saying, Hey, I want to spend more on the latest and greatest and generative AI, and, or do I want to stay the course and, keep the spend less?
[00:13:35] Or do I think that there's going to be a huge enough impact with generative AI that will reduce my cost in customer service? I, are you seeing some of those trends
[00:13:45] Tom: happening? Yeah, I think you divide the question up into tactics and strategy. From the tactics perspective, there are some, like I said, spell checker capabilities that you put in your process.
[00:13:56] And tactful tactic tactically, you should go ahead and do some of those things. If you're a large enterprise who is really trying to completely re engineer the Customer Experience. And do so using generative AI and all of that sort of the tricks and tools. You have to recognize that the creation and the iteration and the training of all that for your particular business is not cheap.
[00:14:19] There's actually a McKinsey article that shows a couple of companies have gone down this path and you just have to, it's not that it can't be done, it's just that it's more intensive than you might realize. Another way to think about this, though, is in Customer Care, traditionally, it's always been about ROI.
[00:14:37] Is it cheaper to just throw bodies at the problem, or can I introduce technology and do so with an ROI or return in the next 18 months, let's say. Now, granted, there's another dimension to that, a third dimension, which is... around the Customer Experience. And I'm not naive of that. But I also understand budgets get approved based on ROI.
[00:14:57] And so traditionally automation got done at the level of, the highest volume, least complexity, what's my balance kind of simple questions and at the other end of the scale, you ended up with more complex, less frequent calls. And those typically were just cheaper to again, throw bodies at.
[00:15:14] What generative AI will allow you to do, both from a development side as well as potentially picking the right technology, is allow you to move that line down in terms of the ROI. And so let's say you've automated 20 different processes. You now have another 10 or another 20 at your disposal because the ROI means that instead of it taking five years to, return the cost of implementing it, it's now potentially, the cost of development is a lot cheaper.
[00:15:42] As you go down this path and you think about, okay, the ROI is cheaper. The software that I'm using is benefiting from this as well. There's a whole other discussion around how SaaS models broadly are going to get compressed by virtue of the value proposition that a SaaS business has is in its differentiated and proprietary technology.
[00:16:06] But if I can build these technologies quicker and cheaper and so forth, then that compresses that entire market. And it'll be interesting to see It actually has nothing to do with CX. It's a broad SAS constraint that I am also looking into. So I hit a couple of different things there. Sorry, I didn't for the siloquy, but hopefully that's more or less what you're looking for.
[00:16:29] Juan: Let's transition into your day to day job. You've probably talking to a lot of different types of companies you've got, your consulting hat on you're understanding what these companies are doing and you're advising them, you're, being a shrink to CEOs thanks for doing that, we all need it.
[00:16:47] What, what do you do, Tom, to continue being up to date the way you are, what do you do? What are a couple of things that you do to stay relevant and stay on top of things and what's happening in the market these days?
[00:17:01] Tom: Yeah I'm... I was gonna say I was a reader, but the fact of the matter is most of what I read is actually in two different categories.
[00:17:36] I will say that there's nothing like being put in a situation where you have to solve a problem and then that focuses what you're going to get expert at yourself, because there's just so much to learn about this, and I think everybody started a little flat footed. So I have two clients that I work with that are in two different directions.
[00:17:55] One is actually a BPO that has been largely no technology and is now trying to figure out an end to end strategy for, not just where do I insert technology, but how do I change my pricing model? How do I change my sales and go to market? And so that kind of end to end strategy and helping that organization means that not only do I use what I call my core skills around leadership and running a company, but more importantly, the tactics around which technology you might consider.
[00:18:23] They have a CTO, but not, not oriented in this particular arena. The, and so the other one of my other clients is actually a consultancy that has a software company as a client, and they're trying to build out. The software has nothing to do with AI, but they can, they understand how that software can be differentiated by using AI capabilities.
[00:18:47] And interesting enough, that one's actually in the recruiting space. And you may be aware that there's a lot of regulations that are being proposed around regulating AI. In the recruiting industry, New York actually had a law that went into place in July 1, New York City, and the EU is drafting similar legislation.
[00:19:05] And the idea, of course, is the traditional making sure that bias doesn't mark its way in. However, what's fascinating about it is, as you probably know, when you're prompting inside generative AI engine, you could very easily get a different answer using the same prompt twice. And so how are you going to audit that becomes a very interesting question as the regulators are trying to mandate audits, but yet in fact even the architects of the solution can't tell you exactly what, whether it had bias or not, or why except for the, the score of the overall outcome of things across a wide swath of candidates.
[00:19:40] I guess the two parts of that answer is keep reading and, some of the two different categories. And then the second is, nothing like solving a problem to get you educated.
[00:19:50] Juan: That's awesome. You hit on use cases and you're 100 percent right. When we talk to customers, we learn a ton about their use cases.
[00:20:01] Sometimes even how they deploy Zingtree. We have an idea, a vision for it, but the way they've deployed it. And then the best piece of when you understand that use case and the impact you make, you write those customer stories. You have those one pager customer stories and that's so does very well.
[00:20:17] I'd say I see you pointed that out when we talk to a prospect, I you know, the best thing is to have them talk to one of our customers Yeah, directly, but before we do that the second best thing you can do is give them a customer success story I give them a use case that resonates with them and this is you know, how much work so I. You know, I'm glad you brought that up.
[00:20:38] And that's a big piece of how Zingtree wins a lot of business
[00:20:43] Tom: And that is exactly the coaching and advice I'm giving to organizations that are trying to figure out the sales message. Sometimes it's, our solution can reduce this or that and do this for you. Okay. One, I'm not sure I believe you.
[00:20:58] And number two, I have to do some homework. You're actually giving me work to validate what you just said, but what doesn't need validating is when you can tell me a story that I can see myself in the movie. We had this client, they had this problem, sounds like the problem you've got we did this for them, they actually ran into this trouble, but then we did this, and look at what came out the other end.
[00:21:20] And I can say, ah, yeah, I can see how we would go. And so that's a much more effective sales messaging kind of thing. The other piece of that sales messaging is what did you teach them? And so teaching them something what you don't want is. Somebody says, Yeah, we agree. Because then you haven't really taught them something.
[00:21:37] The question is did you know that customers use our software this way instead of that way, which is very counterintuitive. It's oh, I never really thought of it that way. That actually could apply to us as well. And so you're causing them to think, not work. But think and coupled with the use cases around that, it's a very powerful way to sell.
[00:21:57] And you guys have had a tremendous amount of success and you're continuing to grow. And I think the use cases will serve you well, particularly from a cross industry perspective.
[00:22:10] Juan: Amen. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that. You've said, you stay relevant by reading, by learning, by listening and it helps you accomplish challenging roles.
[00:22:22] Tell us, what, a story or an instance of one of the most challenging things you've had to do in your career.
[00:22:29] Tom: Yeah, if you broaden the aperture to my career I think... But
[00:22:32] Juan: maybe in your most recent roles. Maybe most
[00:22:36] Tom: I the journey at Smart Action where I was CEO was an interesting journey because when I came in, I was a partner at Deloitte for 13 years and I came into smart action and had $1 million of revenue.
[00:22:48] So it was absolutely a smart, a startup. And when I left one of the things we did was we actually hired a consultant to come in and assess the business, sort of an outside in view of the business. And I was all for that, and I sent him on his way, came back about three days later, and he says, Tom, what exactly did you tell these people?
[00:23:09] about why I was here. And I said, I didn't tell him anything. I said, you were coming to assess the business. That's literally all I told him. And he said, I've been doing this a while. And this is the first time I can honestly say every senior executive in your organization told me exactly the same story about where the business is, what sort of the SWOT analysis, strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats,
[00:23:30] as well as an assessment of you. And to me, that was a prideful moment for me because I view my strength is again, back to a book, the classic Jim Collins, good to great, get the right people in the right seats on the right bus facing the right way. And so here was an organization that was very much a research organization, probably not quite the CX and whatnot leadership.
[00:23:51] And so over a six year period, completely reshaped that organization from clients you've never heard of to large enterprises like MGM Resorts and Royal Caribbean and Aldo Shoes and AAA and things like that. So that was a fun journey relative that. I will tell you the harsh the thing my wife told me never do again was go sell the business because that took a year out of my life.
[00:24:18] It was very painful a good success at the end, but quite a journey.
[00:24:23] Juan: It is, selling, raising money, all that good stuff. It's fun. I... Takes time, takes takes a certain type of a mindset. Cool. You went through that experience and that's a great outcome, right? Getting people to think, aligned with you as a CEO, extremely hard to execute.
[00:24:39] We all know we have to do it, but it's very hard to execute. So for you to be able to have your leadership team aligned with you, speaking the same language kudos to you. Great job. So let's transition into your, you're a very busy man, I'm assuming you're coding in your free time or maybe in your work time.
[00:24:57] What else do you do, right? What do what do you do when you're not taking meetings or not doing these types of podcasts? Have you tried pickleball? I'm a, I play a lot of pickleball, so I had to ask you that question. What do you do outside of your day to day work stuff?
[00:25:10] Tom: Yeah it's probably a smorgasbord would be the best way to describe it. I have not done pickleball. My wife did for the first time last couple of weeks, although I keep seeing these stories on the news about how neighborhoods are complaining about the noise, the pop, noise. And good news, bad news about your
[00:25:28] Juan: wife.
[00:25:29] Like pickleball. Does
[00:25:29] Tom: she like it? She is not the most athletic person in the world. So from that standpoint, neither were her friends and she's like, yeah, this is about my speed. From that standpoint, that, that was good. We live in Southern California. We live near San Pedro, which is near Long Beach, and there is a Marine Mammal Rescue Center down there that rehabilitates sea lions and elephant seals.
[00:25:54] And you may have seen in the national news that a bunch of them were showing up on the beach, you know, with domoic acid, they were going crazy and, and things like that. She's been volunteering there for about 10 years. And so has a huge passion around it. I occasionally help with some of the mechanical things, but one of my pet projects at the moment is actually writing the software to sort of manage the inflow and outflow of the animals and things.
[00:26:17] So when I say I code, that's the level of intensity, it's not, it's just recreational. That's
[00:26:23] Juan: awesome. So you're finding a way to get your work in your pet projects as well. That's great. And
[00:26:29] Tom: so the picture behind me too is from San Jacinto, which is the mountain that hovers over Palm Springs, and I spent most of the pandemic in Palm Springs, which was a great place to spend the pandemic.
[00:26:42] But what you can barely see right there is a Union Pacific train going through, believe it or not, that's the Amtrak station in Palm Springs, and that I didn't take this picture is probably a picture is probably 20 years old, but that's also where I fly my drone. When I'm out in the desert, and it's a good, it's a good place, I follow the train along and things like that.
[00:27:01] So that's, again, back to the smorgasbord, a number of different things.
[00:27:04] Juan: That's awesome. That's cool. If you got one of the latest, greatest drone, is it big, or do you, did you buy it, or do you hand make it, or? The drone?
[00:27:13] Tom: Oh no, it was just a nice, it was a nice drone with a nice camera and it actually, I had the controller, was all integrated.
[00:27:23] I didn't have to use my phone. I see some,
[00:27:25] Juan: some guys who are hardcore they, buy the stuff, basics, but then they build on it. And they make it really
[00:27:31] Tom: fancy. Yeah, I didn't do that. Although as a child, I had remote control airplanes. I lived in Indiana. And so we'd go out, to some farm fields and whatnot and fly.
[00:27:42] I, I built those and, So that was, that's, I'm never, I was never really a mechanical engineer, always a software engineer, but I have a mechanical engineering kind of mindset around things. I'm always the help desk, not just for the software, but for the hardware.
[00:27:58] Juan: That's awesome.
[00:27:59] Hence you're in the CX space. It's all about, providing the right level of help and service. As we're wrapping this up. You've had a very successful career. You've had a unique career. You've got a wide range of perspective and experiences. What, we've got a bunch of folks who are, the younger generation who love to listen to this podcast and get some pointers on what should they be doing to have a successful career like the one you are having and you've had.
[00:28:27] So what advice would you give to your younger, younger self? What advice would you give to the younger Tom Lewis?
[00:28:33] Tom: Yeah, I think we all mature over, over time and certainly when I think about my career early on and was a little, not necessarily highly directed. Once I made Partner I got a little more directed and so forth.
[00:28:46] But I think the, is this also Jim Collins? Culture eats strategy for breakfast is, I think that's also a Jim Collins expression. So the idea of understanding that the people around you are also the people that are going to make you successful. And in my world, you heard the story I told you about the management team.
[00:29:07] But there's so much around my management ethos that is around being a humble servant leader while also being a North star around guidance and things like that. When I sometimes when I would either mentor or interview people, I would tell this story about how, I have a decent amount of experience or I know the customers or what have you, and so I have some perspective.
[00:29:27] So as we decide what we're going to do, I'd love to be solicited for guidance. But what I don't do is what, as I affectionately refer to, is pulling out the CEO card, i. e. do it because I said so, kind of thing. I find myself far more successful in, in, in engaging the troops by virtue of agreement on objective, and then it's a team sport.
[00:29:50] But I use this analogy of, Imagine you're in a burning building and we decide as an objective is to get out of the building. And so you should, although time may be of the essence, you should come ask me what you should do. And I might say, I think you should take the stairs to get out of the building.
[00:30:03] You say I'm thinking about taking the elevator. And my reaction after that time, when I listened to somebody say that is, okay well, you have a plan, do as you see fit. I say do as you see fit many, many times, but don't be confused that I'm not going to judge and measure you on the success of getting out of the building.
[00:30:22] Now, you may decide to dive out a window and hit, a bunch of casualties along the way. That's not quite the success I'm talking about. And while it doesn't always need to be pretty, the idea of keeping an objective in mind and being clear that you own it and that you're measured by it, but that you're seeking assistance and collaboration around it as part of it.
[00:30:42] That'd be one example of probably 50 that I have in terms of a management ethos. But it really has to do with this notion of it's a team sport and that you surround yourself by extremely competent and high level people and success breeds success. In fact I used to tell the story and then somebody told me the story back, like it was an original topic, which is, and maybe it's because of the US Open, we were watching the US Open together.
[00:31:06] And he said, when I play tennis against somebody who's really good, I'm really good. And when I play tennis against somebody who's really bad, I'm really bad. And so effectively the management thesis is the same thing.
[00:31:18] Juan: That's a great analogy. I also watched, who did you have winning?
[00:31:20] Did you have a Novak or Medvedev?
[00:31:22] Tom: I, we were watching the women's.
[00:31:25] Juan: You had Coco? Coco, of
[00:31:27] Tom: course. Yeah, big
[00:31:28] Juan: fan. Amazing story. Great story. Great great for American tennis. And yeah, no, that's great analogy, you're 100 percent when you play with people who are better than you, you level up and it may not be the first time, first day, but if you play with them for, seven straight weeks, by the seventh week, your game has improved.
[00:31:46] So surround yourself with, better people and and the right types of people. So that's, that's great. That's great advice. Thanks for sharing that. Your management, ethos attitude is phenomenal. So thanks for sharing that as well. Excited to do this podcast with you.
[00:32:00] Excited to have it, go live soon and we'll keep you posted. Thank you, Tom. I appreciate you taking time for doing the LFG with JJ
[00:32:08] Tom: podcast. Outstanding, Juan.