A Day In the Life of a CEO

Lynn Murphy is an accomplished CEO, Innovator, and Thought Leader with high growth companies. Everyone thinks they know what it’s like to lead a company and grow a business. Often the responsibility and commitment to your teams is not truly understood, Lynn shares her experience, insight, and thoughts on how she as a  C Suite Executive approaches the business, the importance of employees, and what life is like for a senior exec.

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One of Lynn’s favorite quotes is from a strategy professor Tony Dimnik, who said, “The only sustainable competitive advantage is from people and how they work together”. She believes, with the rise of stakeholder capitalism, this is truer than ever before.

Lynn Murphy

After 20+ years leading multi national P&L’s in the Tech industry ranging in size from $20M to $2.6B I realized there were some critical “must haves” to driving high growth results. The first step is to understand the problems you are solving for your target customer and then build a vision, strategy and execution plan around improving the customer experience. With that clearly defined you can drive your brand strategy and operational transformation plan (people, process, tools) and differentiate yourselves in the market. In order to drive sustained growth you need to pay attention to your culture.

In her last role as President and CEO, her team achieved over 50% growth and expanded beyond 23 countries, won employee engagement and growth awards while implementing an ERP system during my 3 years. It was during this role that Lynn joined Inc CEO Project as a member of an advanced peer advisory group. she was so impressed with the concept that she decided to join the firm as an advisor to help other CEO’s unlock their growth potential.

Learn More or work with Lynn

Transcript from “A Day in the Life of a CEO”

Tim Kubiak 0:05
Thanks for listening to bow ties and business. This is Tim Kubiak. As always, you can find us at bow ties and business on Facebook and Instagram and bow ties and bi z on Twitter. You can find me at Tim Kubiak just about everywhere. Today we’re joined by LYNN MURPHY, an old friend of mine who I had the fortune of working for him was a big part of my career. So after 20 years of leading multinational females in the tech industry, ranging in size from 20 million to 2.6 billion, and I still have the jacket she bought me when we got to the 2 billion market. By the way, Lynn realized there were some critical must haves to driving growth results. The first step is to understand the problems you’re solving for target the customer, then build a vision strategy and execution plan around improving customer experience. Only with that, only with that clearly defined, you can drive your brand strategy and operational transformation plan people processing tools and differentiate yourselves in the market. In order to drive sustained growth, you need to pay attention to your culture. And her role as president and CEO lyna achieved 50% growth expanded beyond 23 countries and one employee engagement and growth awards. while implementing an E RP system all in three years. I survived in the RP implementation, as well with Lyn. So we’ll talk a little bit about that. She’s now helps other CEOs unlock the growth potential. And you can find her on LinkedIn. And the link is in the show notes. But it’s Lynn Smurthwaite Murphy on LinkedIn as well, when thank you so much for being here and taking the time.

Lynn Murphy 1:32
Oh, thanks

for having me. I’m delighted and I still have my jacket too. That was a big milestone.

Tim Kubiak 1:37
That was a huge milestone. I remember rubbing it in Europe face, to be honest, pretty proud of being part I think

Lynn Murphy 1:42
I might have done the same.

Tim Kubiak 1:44
Yeah, Jeremy, you know, he still talks to me, though. It’s okay. So can you give us a little bit of your background, I know I did some in the bio, but you’ve had a really amazing career. And frankly, I got to be part of it. So it’s a lot of fun for me to have you on.

Lynn Murphy 1:59
Yeah, so I’m, I’ve spent the bulk of my career in and around the tech industry, I started out working for Fortune 500 service provider. And that was a great experience, and got into leadership there had a lot of training opportunity. And, and then I went into distribution where you and I work together. And that was a phenomenal ride. I joined when they were just past startup and founder owned and LED. And I was there for 18 years through the journey of high growth. Where we expanded globally, we were acquired, we were publicly traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. And, and then through to just before it was sold to cynics to the next company. So that was quite a that was an MBA in business really. And from there, I went to a manufacturer of peripherals and became the CEO. And now I’m actually working with a company that I was a member of while I was the CEO, which is, and they’re a boutique peer advisory firm. And they called Inc CEO project and we we work with CEOs to help them untap their potential and, and so it’s just been a great ride.

Tim Kubiak 3:28
In seeing that you’ve been there, and you’ve been there really in a lot of ways your North American role was really, you know, in many views of it, it was really a CEO role, because you had that $2 billion plus and you had all of it under you. So what was that step like from that size of organization? onto the manufacturing side? Because that’s one of the things that I have a lot of conversations with people about is the view from a distribution role and how things are managed is different than from a manufacturing side.

Lynn Murphy 3:59
Yeah. And I think, you know, it was interesting, because people get caught up in title, but you’re right, it was essentially a CEO role. And I had the entire PnL I think in distribution, we had a bird’s eye view of business. And I used to call it the Switzerland of the channel. So we had the opportunity to at one one day we would be talking to the large channel partners, maybe your at&t or your you know, service providers or large regionals. And owner operated, and we’d hear what their struggles were and what their goals were and what they what they were challenged with. And then you know, the next day we’d walk across the aisle and we’d go and we talked to the large vendors and large manufacturers and we’d hear what they were looking for. We saw companies that were just starting out that were new to distribution new to the channel. We saw what worked and what didn’t. And I have a saying that I forget where I got it from. But we learned how to feed the eagles and starve the turkeys in distribution, right? Because we were loaning money. And so you would get a really good sense on what was going to work and what wasn’t going to going from distribution to, to the manufacturing. First off, the margins are very different. I went from a very thin margin business where you couldn’t take your eye off any ball. Because the you know, you would be the impact on your business was outsized. And so you had to look at everything to going into manufacturing was the opportunity to take a breather and say, Alright, where do we grow? Where do we focus, I had a little bit more time to think about, where do we invest and a little bit more money to invest. And I was, having sat on both sides of the table, I think I had an empathy for what the channel that we were trying to work with was looking for.

Tim Kubiak 6:08
That’s actually a really interesting point. Because my view is you actually in the distribution role that I knew you from, you were always looking at what was next, and where to invest in, I’m thinking of some BYOD things that you did, and some other things like that, that really, were maybe three to five years ahead of the market. So it’s interesting that you saw different opportunities from the manufacturing side.

Lynn Murphy 6:35
Yeah, and I think that, because it was more focused on, you know, in in distribution, we had, I had First off, I had four divisions, and they were all had different business models, slightly different business models, different competitors. And, and so I think I was just I was running hard, trying to balance all of that, where I get into manufacturing, and I had really a more focused opportunity to really think about where we wanted to go. And, and so we can, at the end of the day, businesses business, but it was, was different that way.

Tim Kubiak 7:17
So one of the questions I really wanted to ask you was, if somebody is young, starting your journey, perhaps even a woman and we know that there’s a push to get more women in STEM in tech, you know, what advice would you give to them?

Lynn Murphy 7:31
I think the first thing is to understand that the biggest variable in your destiny is you, you have a choice. And you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, if you want to grow. It, nobody grows, it, growth does not happen easily. And anything that’s worth doing is hard. You’ve heard that before. But it absolutely is true, you’re going to step out of your comfort zone, feel uncomfortable. You’ve heard the saying dance like nobody’s watching. It’s kind of the same thing in business, you have to act like nobody’s watching to do you. And, and, and be comfortable with that, because there’s going to be naysayers. So I think that’s number one. The other thing is I have two daughters that have entered this, this space. And all growing up. They were Oh, it’s so boring. It just sounds boring. We need a marketer to market stem. Because they thought it was so boring. And they realize when they get into it, it’s absolutely fascinating. So think about everything that you do today is driven by stem. So how, you know you can get into a field and have choice. It’s like the world is your oyster, you can go anywhere with it. So you want to go somewhere that has staying power that gives you lots of opportunity. And then you want to figure out where you belong in that and know that you have that choice

Tim Kubiak 9:03
in part of your own evolution. And one of the things that’s always stood out to me is the role education is played for you. So you talk about being uncomfortable to me, you’ve always taken on new things and expanded your horizons, how much of it is a blend of what you’ve learned in the classroom and programs you’ve enrolled yourself in versus real world exposure?

Lynn Murphy 9:25
Oh, that’s a great question. It’s really a blend. And I think the education is like a safety blanket, right? It’s like, to me and in order and you help people with you know, in sales as well. I found the best salespeople were the ones that really knew their stuff. They took the time whether it was technical or not, they they knew enough to to build credibility. And, and so I have had a passion for learning and development my entire career. And it’s not just formal learning on the job learning. It’s reading Books, it’s, it’s listening to podcasts, like you’ve got a really eclectic group of speakers that you’ve pulled together that are really interesting topics. And, and so there’s all kinds of things you can you can listen to. But I would say, in my career, there was probably four standout moments for more formal education. When I was at a service provider, they invested huge in, in people. And the first course that really shaped me was I went to the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by covey. And the one that stood out the most for me was seek first to understand, then to be understood, right, and that plays out in life and sales and everything. And it’s about listening and learning. And then the other the next one, I would say is I went on a strategy course, it was part of an executive MBA program. And in that I learned about vision and strategy, and execution, and metrics. And this is what Cisco used to call the B sem model. But this was really it gave me all kinds of tools. But it also taught me that it’s a lot about people. And one of my favorite quotes is the most sustainable competitive advantage is people and how they work together. And so that really, for me, said, Okay, this is not just about strategy, but it’s about engaging all the people that are going to deliver it, and how do you measure success? So that was my big takeaway from there. Then I went on a board governance course. And, and this was a really memorable lesson. And what they taught us was, they said, there’s a chasm, if you’re going to be a board member, you are coming in to work with the management that on average, spend 3000 hours a year in the business, and you on average than 300. How are you going to add value? How are you going to close that chasm? And it was about questions. It was about you know, you’re there to provide hindsight oversight foresight. But you do that through really intuitive questions. And the timing for me to learn that lesson was huge, because I, at that point, I was shifting jobs from an 18 year company to a new one. And I only had that. And, and so it’s about being observant and listening and asking the right questions. I think, you know, a doctor would never diagnose a patient before they, you know, they asked a number of questions. And then the last one was, as I mentioned, I was a member of a peer advisory firm. And it was a small group CEO, advisory firm. And what I loved is we do case study approach. So I was new to my company and all these dueling priorities. And, and this was able to help me rise above the minutia, and write out a case study of what I thought was one of my biggest priorities and get feedback from my peers. And it’s done in a formal disciplined approach. And I for me, I love that. So that took me to what I’m doing now. And I would say that those are, those are the biggest, but it was always a blend. Those things made me look at what I was learning in my in my real job and say, oh, okay, I think I can add this to it. But that that was working. And this is why

Tim Kubiak 13:44
is part of that a lot of people hear the term CEO thrown around, and they have a perception of what that life is like, Can you share some first hand experience of what’s the CEOs day really like in what is the focus?

Lynn Murphy 13:58
You know, and for me, it was always a deep sense of responsibility on for the business and the people that make that business happen. And and they’re very intertwined. So on the business side, you’re responsible for the driving the strategy, communicating the strategy, marketing strategy, right? You’re responsible for making sure you’re like a conductor in an orchestra, making sure that everything is working, it’s got the level of attention and investment required, but a day in the life you’re constantly focusing on where the biggest impact is. And the gentleman who, who founded the business that I now work with, Inc, CEO project, Jim slept lecture, he wrote a book called The Great CEOs are lazy. And he talks about the five hats of a CEO and the first two hats are player and learner, and those are spent learning where the constraint is or the opportunity in the business because as a CEO, that’s what you’re there to do is to unlock any constraint that’s impeding you from getting to yours, your set goal. And then the other three hats, he’s got creative names for them, they’re basically your business model, and your talent and your process and systems. And so once you find out from the first two hats, where it is, the next three hats are, you know, you diving in and knowing when to come out to help those. And in his book, he talks about 40% of your time should be focused on what you know, to be the constraint, and then the rest of the time is spread. That’s the business side, the people side is really important as well. And you have to make sure that you’re setting the tone at the top. And for me, there’s a movement happening, and it’s called stakeholder capitalism. And this was the movement that happened. And you know, over the last couple of years, the Business Roundtable and around the world, they’ve changed it from the board is beholden to not just the shareholder now, but all the stakeholders. So they make very different or should be making very different based decisions. When you think about how is the community on in going to be impacted by this decision? How are my employees? How are my customers? How are my shareholders, and CEOs have an opportunity to play a role in that change? And it’s about setting the tone at the top about respect, about values, you know, how you develop the people. It’s about listening. And, you know, it’s, it’s really about that. And when you do that, right, the people feel important, and they feel a part of something, and they will join, if they’re in the right tribe, they’ll join into the strategy. And you you’ve got that magic. That’s where that magic happens, when the CEO has been able to orchestrate that.

Tim Kubiak 17:21
Is that part of what you do today, and unlocking what CEOs how they view their business and getting them to expand?

Lynn Murphy 17:29
Yes, they,

you know, the type of CEOs that are in that are members are also lifelong learners. You know, they’re humble, and they’re, they’re open, and they’ve realized that, that they are in a stretch position. Right now, everyone’s in a stretch position. This is unprecedented. And so those who reach out are open minded, and we encourage them to just help them walk through. Okay, so where it What’s your, what is your strategy? Number one? What’s your vision? What are you trying to do? What’s stopping you from doing what you’re trying to do? Do you and it’s really they know the answers. It’s just really asking a series of questions. So it’s no different than what you do as a leader, right? You remember being the VP of sales, and somebody comes to you, and maybe they’re trying to unlock their territory, and they’re struggling, and you just ask a series of questions and help them figure out the answer.

Tim Kubiak 18:23
Yeah, in listening, right? Yes. So one of the great things on your LinkedIn profile for anybody that goes and looks at it is you’ve written a nice series of articles that, frankly, I’ve been following since spring of this year, on digital transformation and sort of evolution in with the pandemic, the way it’s hit. It’s definitely accelerated how people do business online. So, you know, with that, how can a leader understand their customers needs and experiences through an online when maybe it was person to person, if you will, real world transaction prior to that?

Lynn Murphy 19:02
Yeah, there’s a lot of companies that were doing a very small percentage of their business online, and they were very legacy, right. And it takes a crisis to really drive what you knew was coming anyway. And I think that First off, I was listening to a Gartner webinar, and they were saying that if you haven’t done a journey map for your customers, and in the last six months, it’s outdated. And so number one, I would say that that leader should be encouraging a journey map. So a buyers journey map, and they should be having a small team in their organization, do that, but they should also be a customer themself. I was just doing some banking and reactivating an account, cross border and What a nightmare. And first off, it started with me listening To this horrible, repetitive, nonsensical music for, you know, 15 minutes before they came on, and I felt sorry for the agent, because I’m sure everyone’s agitated before they get on. And I can tell, you know, executive has gone through the process of being a customer, where they wouldn’t have had that. So be a customer, and walk through the steps, and you’ll find the most irritating things that you can prioritize and fix. And the other thing we did was I had I set up teams in the company, too. And we created a typical scenario. So you know, you’re, if you’re in business, what’s a typical client look like? Create a persona? And what are they looking for, and assign that to different ones to different groups and say, Go and search from ground zero, look for us, by us, and by the competitor? And boy, did we learn a lot? And it’s really just simple things like that, to just put yourself in the shoes of your customer?

Tim Kubiak 21:04
Have you seen, there’s been a lot published on the shift from b2c to b2b. And the expectations are really in even in a business to business world becoming consumer centric. Did that ring true when you did that research?

Lynn Murphy 21:21
Absolutely. I mean, it’s b2b to see right, we’re all customers. And so when we go to work, we behave the same way we do at home. And it’s really frustrating when we can’t, we can’t get the same level of experience at home that we get or at the office that we get at home. And I think that’s what you’re hearing called b2b to see. And absolutely, people are demanding that

Tim Kubiak 21:46
how can companies is part of digital transformation? Right? There’s a lot of overhead there. You know, and I’ve had some other conversations, and I’ve lived through some to how do you have a digital transformation that doesn’t create an adverse impact on staff, and customers? And not in the moment, but in the long term view? Well,

Lynn Murphy 22:07
when Well, you know, there’s a well quoted survey that was done by McKinsey that suggests that as many as 70% of these transformation efforts fail. And that’s why I started writing these because inadvertently, as you say, we went through an MRP. I ended up going through several of these and, and learning. If only I knew then what I know now, you know, and I think it’s really about that, what are you trying to do number one, setting it. And understanding that digital transformation is not a strategy in and of itself, it has to enable your strategy, so you have to tie it together. So if you’ve lost sight of that, right off the bat, you’re gonna impede people down the road. Right? So staying, Uber focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. And sometimes it’s a long journey, because you have to do, you have to fix some maintenance before you can even get to the meat of what you’re trying to do. But you’ve got a goal, you’ve got that Northstar. So I think it’s about staying really focused, and constantly communicating that to people as well, because you get scope creep all through the organization, like the game of telephone, right? If you don’t continually reinforce, and stay Uber focused, I have seen so many of these go off the rails, and you ended up making nobody happy. And you’ve blown balloons, your budget and your time and everything else.

Tim Kubiak 23:45
So I will openly admit that once upon a time, I didn’t take a sales leader job because of my feelings on a company’s transformation plans, I looked at it and said, this is going to kill and in my case, it was the channel, this is going to kill the channel, right, they’re not going to be able to get things out, and they’re going to lose competitive edge. And customers we know from some of the ones we’ve lived through, right, don’t necessarily come back or come back quickly if they’ve had a challenging experience. And we’ve taken advantage of it. But we’ve been on the downside to

absolutely we sure have. That’s how we learn. That’s how we learn. Right?

So you know, on the E RP side, is that really part of the digital transformation? Or is that just part of a company scaling when they’re pushed into a new e RP system? thoughts on that?

Lynn Murphy 24:38
You know, it’s almost like your phone and the operating system on your phone. Right? And it’s you have to have the basic plumbing. And the basic plumbing has to give you what you’re looking for. I mean, some people might choose the apple suite, and it’s because they love an app that is only available That. So starts with people figuring out, you know how they’re going to run their company. And if they can’t run their company, effectively and efficiently, in the back end, how are they going to do anything unique for the customer? I think there is some form of operating system, whether it’s, you know, SAP turns out to be maybe too big for some organizations, you have to pick the right one for you. But you do have to be able to scale and operate with efficiency, or whatever you’re trying to do becomes too much of a grind as you scale. Right? You got to be able to handle growth.

Tim Kubiak 25:46
Thoughts on the balance between balancing the business and the consultants drive in a transformation?

Lynn Murphy 25:54
Would you expand on the question?

Tim Kubiak 25:56
So so often, my experience has been when someone comes in, and they’re putting in whether it’s a digital transformation, a new e commerce site, in New York p system, right? There’s always an outside consulting firm there, that’s experts in deploying it. And often what I’ve seen is, you either try to retrofit your old processes into the new system, and the business doesn’t have enough insight or voice there to say, Wait, maybe there’s a way to do it better, or they have too much, and the consultants try and bend the system to their will. Any thoughts on striking that balance? Really?

Lynn Murphy 26:31
Yeah, that’s a good question. Because that’s exactly what I learned. How many people have had multiple transformations, that they’ve been able to learn the, you know, ins and outs of, like, like my first one, we’re going to start with your business. And that was the extent of my experience, really. And then it saying, well, it’s a business project. So I defer to you. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. But that has resonated with me. And that has rang true, I didn’t know how to take the bull by the horns with the very first one. But if if a business, even if you’ve hired a consultant, you’re there to listen to their advice, and distill it, and apply it to your business, you can’t defer it, you can’t, you know, give this project away to anybody. It has to be you, it has to be you clearly understanding what you’re trying to get out of this. And you’ve got to stay focused on bite sized chunks as well, these things get so big, they become kitchen sink projects. And you know, the very first thing you’re trying to do, you got to map it out, and then bite sized chunks. Okay, so what are we trying to do with this chunk? Let’s stay focused. And it’ll get scope creep, nope, bring it back. Now you have the flexibility as a business owner, if suddenly there’s a pandemic, and you need to move something ahead of that, then you have to do that. But you cannot leave the path that you’ve set for the business, you guys stay really focused on that. And don’t let a consultant consultants there to support you not drive the boat.

Tim Kubiak 28:25
So let’s talk about evolution of business and culture is certainly part of that. Right? So where does culture fit in the goals of corporate objective?

Lynn Murphy 28:38
Well, I was I was talking to a private equity firm. And shockingly, I actually told them I was I was surprised. They said, culture is a leading indicator of growth. I love that I love the fact that they recognize that because it truly is, if you don’t have the right culture for your business, and it’s going to be a challenge. Because people have choice. People have choice where they want to work. And there are still roles that are highly competitive a lot of the new roles the the new skills what you need today, you know, ai you need business intelligence, you need maybe digital marketing. And if you aren’t, think paying attention to culture, you will be able to attract or retain talent, you will have people growing with you.

Tim Kubiak 29:38
When does it become a gimmick?

Lynn Murphy 29:42
Um, you know, it’s funny, I think it’s really just, it’s it’s got to be genuine. But different cultures appeal to different people. I years ago, I was in Vegas at a conference and we were taken on tours and one of the tours I went on was that Bose. And I have to say it was fascinating. The whole time I was there, I thought, Oh, this is absolutely not for me. It felt gimmicky to be honest with you, you know, they everybody had stuff all over their desks and tchotchkes, and they were always yelling, and, you know, isms. And but it worked for the people that were there. And that tribe loved that culture. So what looked gimmicky to me, and what would have been a bad fit for me, worked for the people that were in it and worked, obviously, very successfully. I mean, they’ve written books on it. Yeah. So I think it’s really about where do you fit what’s, what’s your tribe? And, you know, a culture that’s gimmicky people will see through that.

Tim Kubiak 30:49
Yeah, I agree. So you mentioned something that I hadn’t put into prep questions, but you talked about AI and bi, right, in digital marketing. Any thoughts on how that’s changed the world in the last year? And things people really need to have an eye on as far as trends going forward? Oh, well, it’s

Lynn Murphy 31:07
a they say, we’ve gone What, 10 years and in, in a matter of months. Yeah. And, and so it’s, it’s about, you know, I was listening to Seth Godin talk. And Seth is a, you know, a master marketer. And he was talking about, you know, televisions a mass media. But the internet is not. And that was actually for me, I had to think about that. And it was like, how do you find the group that you focus on, and he gave the example of kind bars, and which, you know, they’re just on the edge of, they’re not, they know who their audiences and they made a massive business and sold for, I think it was over a billion dollar valuation, focusing on a very specific group of individuals, they knew who their audience was, I think what’s changed is, you can no longer throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks, you’ve really got to be focused, and know who you’re selling to? who’s buying from you and speak to them, search them out. And there’s a whole new way of reaching people. And I think that if you, if you don’t know how to do that, you’re at risk of falling behind.

Tim Kubiak 32:32
So one of the things I struggle with, right, and it’s CRM systems, because I work primarily with sales leaders, right? And sometimes business owners, but right, everyone has gotten to the point where they think it’s Google, right? If I have x numbers in the system, why is going to happen? So one of the challenges I have is teaching people that just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s really what it is, right? It’s not completely predictive, might be directionally correct. But maybe I had a bad day when I put something in write as a salesperson. And I didn’t represent where the deal was, or I represented it from my view, and I’m a cynic, which maybe I am. So, you know, that’s one of the things I wrestle with when I’m talking about metrics and numbers, and everybody wants to pull out, well, you know, here’s my, here’s my pipeline. Great. What do you really know about it? What’s really going on in the deal? Because ultimately, it’s not an algorithm. It’s a person with budget and business priorities that makes a decision.

Lynn Murphy 33:29
So absolutely. I mean, in my last job, I had the opportunity to spend a lot more time on getting to know Amazon. And Amazon does massive data machine hires. And they’re fantastic. They know their numbers, but they also hire a lot of behavioral scientists. And it’s about thinking about the data in terms of a person. And one of the best examples was from a store in my region, which is more of a hardware store. And they were setting up their big one, they were setting up a financing system, they were setting up an arm for credit cards. And so they had a disadvantage over the banks, because they didn’t have all the background. But when they looked at well, wait a minute, people come here and they buy those little soft things that go under your chairs under your furniture. And they said, okay, people who buy that have assets they care about, therefore, they’re a good risk for finance. You see marrying data with behavior. And it’s like you said it’s what do you have and what do you know? Because people are people,

Tim Kubiak 34:45
people are people. Yeah, and

numbers. Numbers are part of the story. They’re not the only story.

They’re not the only story. That’s that you know what that’s well said. Because I think people have gotten to the point where they’re trying to make numbers the story And that’s true. They’re only part of it. Mm hmm. So I want to have a little fun, right? So for those of you that, you know, know me, right, I always call back on past experiences. And I will tell you that because of when I’ve never gotten up from my PC without locking the screen to this day, all these years later, so here’s a mind sharing a little bit of your history there.

Lynn Murphy 35:27
Well, I, I guess I have a little bit of a, a naughty side. And actually, that was, that was funny, because we worked. We were we had the largest cybersecurity business in our portfolio, right. And so it was a bit tongue in cheek. But here we were trying to promote cybersecurity and our whole portfolio. And there were a lot of it starts with the people. And there were a lot of people leaving their their systems unlocked. And so I always had fun with it. And I, you know, I started I was, I was a little foolhardy. I went after the Chief Information Officer. And I didn’t intentionally It was an accident. He, I worked for my boss for 10 years at the time. And I pulled a trick on what I thought was his briefcase. And when I saw him leaving and waving goodbye, he had left his briefcase, I’m like, you left her, and it’s not mine. And the new CIO comes in, grabs a briefcase and runs off and I’m going up. Oh, so anyway, he, he inadvertently got me back by making my region the first to go live with eirp. So always choose your audience who you’re going to mess with.

Tim Kubiak 36:45
I never knew that part of the story.

Lynn Murphy 36:48
I’m sure that wasn’t why they picked but it was it was a joke.

Tim Kubiak 36:54
So as we kind of bring things to a close, you know, one of the things I want to know is, you know, strategically beyond economic conditions, you know, what are some top concerns that executives should have going into 2021?

Lynn Murphy 37:09
Yeah, I think going into 2021, you have to think about how the world has changed. And it is not going to go back to the old way. I mean, let go of that. Right. And, and there’s, there’s a quote that Winston Churchill said that never let a good crisis go to waste. And half of the Fortune 500 companies have come out of crisis. So this is an opportunity. Think about this as an opportunity. And whether you’re an individual or a business, or even a country. This is an opportunity to reflect and pivot. And that’s what we’ve been doing at Inc CEO project is working with companies that are pivoting. But if you’re, you and I are both the gig economy, we’re remaking ourselves, right? You have to take stock. And what do I do? What do I do? Well, why do I do that? Well, what do I like? Who’s going to benefit from that? And how can I double down on that? How can I learn more? How can I try something different? You’re doing podcasts I’m writing, it’s fun, it’s, but it may lead to something. And I think for businesses, they just need to think about a new, a new way. What do they do? Well, who do they do that? What who appreciates it? How can they get? How can we double down on that?

Tim Kubiak 38:40
What about the lifecycle of an employee? Right? Whether it’s an individual contributor, early stage or senior executive, you know, how do you know when the business has shifted enough that it’s no longer your tribe? You know,

Lynn Murphy 38:55
I think it’s, it’s about how often you’re getting up feeling no energy. And the last job I had sucked the energy out of me in the end, and it was like, it’s time for me to move on. And I think when you when you’re, you know, you Everyone has bad days. But for the most part throughout my career, I have been so excited to go to work. I have loved the people I’m engaging with, I have just loved it. And I think that’s partly why you succeed. And when you don’t feel that anymore, you know that it’s time for you to move on, and people are afraid. And they I’ve got, you know, 18 years invested here. I’ve got I realized I loved my job at the company, you and I work together. But I wasn’t doing that company any good anymore because I was afraid to take risk. I was I was bored. I had reached where I might be Pinnacle. For me and I loved the company. It was time for somebody else to take it to the next level. I think you have to realize that it was scary. And I left a lot of really great people. But it started out talking about advice for for people starting in their career, you had to get out of your, your comfort zone. If you’re bored, you’re not growing.

Tim Kubiak 40:18
It’s so true, right? In so many people. It’s interesting. I’ve watched a lot of people make big jumps in the pandemic, right. And I’ve watched an equal amount just kind of put their head down. And these are very capable, talented business people. You know, and it’s fascinating to watch who’s making the jump and who’s just kind of, you know, I’m gonna ride the storm.

Lynn Murphy 40:39
Yeah, but might today it might have something to do with their financial position too, though. That’s, that’s another thing. advice for people always tuck away for a rainy day so that you have options. You have choice.

Tim Kubiak 40:52
Yes. Yeah, very true. So I’ve got to ask, What are you reading these days?

Lynn Murphy 40:59
Ah, what am I reading these days? I, I’ve been doing a lot more listening than reading, which is, I used to read voraciously. But I’ve been listening to podcasts, and I just kind of going around looking for if I want to learn something more like I was just listening to your podcast, on the different financial options. For companies, you know, it just, and Seth Godin was, was phenomenal. Listen. Simon Sinek. So it’s, it’s a little bit everything.



What have you been reading?

Tim Kubiak 41:47
So I have actually, so I’m still heavily engrossed into economic policy and monetary policy from when, frankly, you put me in that global role years ago. I’ve gotten really good at it right and my joke still remains. If you’d have asked me about import law, export law and currency fluctuations. I never thought I would understand it or find it interesting. And I’m fascinated by it. And I’m fascinated by what cryptocurrency potentially does to that market in the next three to five years.

Lynn Murphy 42:17
Now. That’s interesting. And blockchain that’s quite interesting technology then, isn’t it?

Tim Kubiak 42:22
Yeah. And it is moving beyond ledger technology, like the US elections, the Associated Press put it up to the Etherum blockchain to certify the results, so they could show it wasn’t tampered with. And yet we still have all the noise and things like that. So yeah, we’re blockchains headed and part of what I’m doing with one of my other ventures is working around blockchain. And it’s fascinating how brilliant those people are. And in a way, how paranoid they are. With an IT security background. I found people more paranoid in blockchain than security can never be too paranoid. That’s right. So, any closing thoughts? Anything I should ask you that I didn’t?

Lynn Murphy 43:02
You know, my favorite quote, is by Dr. Seuss. And it’s Be who you are, say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter. And those who matter. Don’t mind.

Tim Kubiak 43:18
Lynn, thank you so much for taking the time.

Lynn Murphy 43:20
My pleasure. Thanks. Have a great day.

Tim Kubiak 43:22
You too.

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