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Jan. 18, 2022

It's About Being the Most Influential Supporter

It's About Being the Most Influential Supporter

#24. Today we feature David Annis who is the COO and co-founder of Parallax, a professional services automation software company helping digital agencies and tech consultancies grow profitably. David is responsible for various functional areas of the business, including marketing, HR, operations, and customer success. Before starting Parallax, David held leadership roles at creative agencies and consultancies. Most recently, he was a partner and managing director of Zeus Jones, a strategy, brand, and design agency. David started Parallax to help professional services organizations of any size grow their businesses with confidence in a way that supports their people and culture.

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Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 24 of The "I" in Win podcast.

David:

It's not about the accomplishment of getting that title. And then maybe the compensation that comes along with that title and things like that. It's really about being of service. That's what leadership is. It's not about being the one in charge. It's about being the most influential supporter.

Luke:

Hello everyone. And thanks for listening to The "I" in Win podcast. Our guest today is David Annis, who is COO and co-founder of Parallax, a professional services, automation software company. David believes in empowering people and he knows how powerful a people first culture can be for any organization. David, thanks so much for joining.

David:

Yeah, thanks for having me Luke and really an honor to be on your show, yours.

Luke:

Well, thank you for taking time away. I know you're really busy and we have talked before, but tell our audience a little bit about who you are and exactly what parallax.

David:

for sure. Yeah. So, um, yeah, they've uh, the COO and co-founder of Parallax. I kind of started my career in marketing and advertising. Actually at the university of Minnesota, you're in Minnesota and went onto some ad agencies and worked on the digital side of things. And through that process, um, ended up kind of evolving my career to become a leader at an agency of about 55 people or so. And, uh, as part of that process, I realized the challenges that come along with building. A professional services company. That's what marketing, advertising any, you know, companies like that, that are basically selling people's time and creativity and skills those are professional service companies and, uh, operating one of those can be very challenging. It's really hard to kind of know. The kinds of skills you should be developing in your people when to hire when not to hire. And so, uh, when an opportunity came along to build a product to help agencies, like the ones I ran on, my co-founder Tom ran. I jumped at it. And so, parallax. is a product that helps agencies. Like the one I ran know when to invest in their people and their team know basically what kind of work is coming, what kind of work are they doing? And how's that changing so that they can adjust the talent matrix to, to match the supply. So the supply demand. Um, and so I've been doing that for now, where we celebrate our third year in November. And, um, yeah, it's been a great journey and learned a ton about building, a product, building another company

Luke:

So here you are in a leadership role. And I had a previous guest on, Andy Hillig. Who's a leadership mindset coach. He talked about the fact that many leaders are thrust into leadership that you go to school, let's say for example, to study business or marketing or whatever it may be, but there really isn't necessarily a professional training on leadership where you just kind of thrust into that role as well. I mean, do you have any professional leadership?

David:

Yeah, no, I wish, um, no, I think it's the, it's that classic story. Lot of people here is that I think, for whatever reason, people learn to sort of trust that I could solve problems. Um, and that, uh, and I think mostly it's just because I was too naive to not, to not, to not know any better. So I would just kind of take on challenges. And I honestly, one of the things that we touted a lot at parallax is just the idea. And I learned this from my brother who coaches, you know, baseball that attitude and effort is what matters. And I think I brought the right attitude and effort enough that people. Decided that maybe I could lead in. So yeah, it was sort of thrust into a leadership position and have made a million mistakes along the way. I still making them I'm. Sure. But trying, trying to improve and try to understand the sort of, and not take it, I guess I should say not, take the opportunity to lead for granted and really sort of try to become a better leader as much as possible.

Luke:

Well, two things to expand upon. You just said, first of all, attitude and effort love it. I completely agree with it I mean, it's the only two things in my opinion, that we really can't control, right. Uh, our attitude and our effort and everything else, as much as we want to control, we really can't. And then you also talked about your brother who was a coach, and I do think there is so much that the corporate world. Can take away from coaches and there's so much that coaches can take away from the corporate world. You know, there's a lot of crossover in leadership because at the end of the day, we're all in the business of people. Right. So how would you define your leadership style?

David:

That's a good question. I think that, you know, I try to surround myself with people that I think are ultimately more talented and smarter than I am, and then try to create my, I think my job is to create opportunities for them To provide impact right. And grow themselves. And so I think my leadership style? is really, I try to be empowering as much as I can. I try to be the person that tries to leverage the fact that I might have a little bit of, you know, either more or different experience and help clear remove roadblocks or help provide a useful perspective. And, as much as possible, try to clarify what success looks like. So, that people that I'm leading feel like they have an opportunity to make that impact, to succeed and, and feel that they have the support and the. And sort of the runway to, to learn along the way.

Luke:

So, where does that style come from? I know you mentioned your brother previously. Where do you think he developed his leadership style?

David:

You know, I think it's, it's probably part with nature partner, teacher, you know, I've kind of been, uh, someone that had to solve a lot of challenges on my own and just sort of like navigate things by myself. And I think as part of that, when I did get some clear direction or clear perspective, I really, really valued it. So I recognize is that something that, I wanted to sort of pass on to others. Um, but I've also had leaders in my career that took a similar approach, right. That they believed in me and either resisted the sort of inclination to just give me the answers and let me find out myself, or didn't have the answers, but knew that if they provided the environment for me to do the exploration and find the answers by myself that I would. And so I think that it's just a combination of those two things. Those are the experiences that worked for me. And so, um, I continued to try to do that for others. Cause I, I think I actually just don't know any other way of doing.

Luke:

One thing you mentioned is you hire people smarter than you, which I know you said kind of tongue in cheek, but let's talk about that piece because. I think people are intimidated to hire someone who may, or she may be smarter than you. So why take that philosophy? Because some would say that might be a rest because this person may perform better than me and may take my job someday. So make the case for hiring people smarter than yourself.

David:

Yeah. Well, for me, it's really easy to do. No. Um, I think it really comes down to, yeah. And it may be again, being naive or being more mature or some combination of both, but I think it is because of the, my leadership sort of approach of allowing people to sort of succeed. And I see their success is my success as a leader. So if I'm doing my job well, they are succeed. They're growing, they're having impact, they're making good decisions. And if that's true, if that's how I'm going to judge my own success, the best chance I have of succeeding is putting people in there that I believe have the The ability to do it. And that doesn't mean the experience. It just means having the capacity to step up to challenges, to problem, solve, to do those things. So I look for people that I believe have shown that. And often I see people that have done it in ways that I would never have thought about, or that I'm really, really impressed by. And I want to, I want to surround myself with those people because selfish. It makes being a leader easier because they just have the inclination, but I'm also just not worried about, I'm just not worried about it. I think maybe again, it's naive, naive or overly optimistic, but I just trust that there's always stuff for, for people to do. Right. So if I were to hire some of the smarter than me and they ended up taking my job, that's probably the best outcome. Right. Because. I was maybe deficient in a way that they filled in a gap and that's probably going to be better for the organization, for the team, for the people. That doesn't mean that I'm now worthless. It just means that I'm going to focus my energy in a different way. And hopefully on something that's equally or a value, but maybe just the. You know, direction. So I think it's about being part of something bigger than yourself. The team needs to win, or the customer needs to win. And if that means someone could do my job better towards that end. So be it I'm, I'm very comfortable with that because I do believe, I think the thing that I am confident in is, is that I will provide value in some capacity. And I'm just, and I'm Okay. with the evolution of that. I'm Okay. with change. In fact, I embrace it because for me, sort of this isn't the goal. I don't want to just get to a perfect balance and be done. So I don't know if that answers your question,

Luke:

No. That's great. And what really came across in your answer first and foremost is clearly, you're a pretty selfless person that was very mature of you to say, oh, if I can't do the job and someone else can, then that's better for the team. also came across was again that crossover of sports and the corporate world, the business world. And it really exists because I was connected to you through Justin Bergeron, who I got to coach in high school. And let's give JB a shout out. He better be listening to this,

David:

Jamie's awesome.

Luke:

thing JB always talked about that made your company different. Is it very much was a team. And that really came across through your answer right there. Is that something that you learn from your past as being an athlete yourself, or just something you figured out through trial and error as a leader? Why make it about, you know, a team team first, rather than a lot of people make it just a business, because there is a difference between those things, in my opinion,

David:

Yeah, I think, um, what's funny is that I was never very, I was never very athletic or good, like, uh, uh, good at sports. And I think it's because as a kid I had sort of the wrong mindset. I think I looked. As more about the individual, like how do I, how does the individual show up and be the superstar and the team? And if I couldn't be, you know, a superstar, then I had no business being there. And even though the, you know, a lot of coaches and stuff talked about the value of team, like I just, it just didn't, it just didn't sink in, uh, when I was younger. And so, um, I just, it just. with me until I got into the business world. And then I realized the value of team. And I think it was because I had to, it was more of a, it felt more like survival when I got into a career. You know, cause when I was a younger and a team, it was, I was, I think I was doing it for others. I was doing it because there was an expectation and those things as a, in the, my career, it was a matter of survival. And I realized that for the companies, the organizations, the teams I was on, we all had that. It, it worked better when there was a sense of team instead of individualism. And I learned that from the leaders that my, you know, the leaders that I've been most influenced by like, as my career, I kind of grew up in an era in, um digital is called at the tower interactive. So like the internet and apps and websites and all that stuff is so common. And it's just, it's not something anyone thinks about. But when I started my career, that was sort of a new industry actually, We kind of our little group of people that were interested in this, uh, in the sort of digital world kind of felt like our own little, little crew. And we kind of had to have each other's back and we all kind of had to step up and play our role in order to make, to elevate the value of that. Um, that offering or that focus. And I saw that work and it became, you know, incredibly important, invaluable to the ad agency I was working at. And then from there I went to, um you know, as the people that I did that with, left to start their new company, it was called Zeus Jones. As they were leaving, I was like, please, you know, come, come back and give me guys, and they said, you know, hold tight, we'll come and get you in a bit. I, once they kinda got the, the, um, organizations. And again, this is when it really sunk in for me as they came and got me and said, you're going to be the producer, the project manager of this new agency. And they were like the creatives and the strategists and designers. But it was a collection of all those elements, strategy, design, creative, and you know, me producer that team allowed for success and each one, and, and the way that Zeus Jones, the company operated. All of those were equally valuable and they were all equally important and necessary for success. And the CEO at the time Rob white, he's probably one of the best leaders that Ellie is the best leader I've ever worked for. Uh, because I think he had, he fundamentally understood that there was, um, that it was. Building each other up and bringing in and celebrating the value and importance of everybody on the team that made us all lean in further. So when I started my, you know, this company with my founder, Tom, I believe he's shared the same values, same ideals. And so it just kind of naturally became part of how we run our business. It's like, there's no one person on the team that's going to make this a success. Um you know, as someone that maybe kind of felt a little bit as an outsider, as a human and growing up, being a part of something like that was incredibly, it, it, it, you know, you felt less alone, you felt like you were a part of something you had, you had a crew, you had, uh,, you know Yeah. Like a team, a family, and that felt really good. And so I just want to keep providing that. Cause I think it's, I think work is more than just a paycheck. It's, you know, if you can, if we're lucky enough to have a job, that's more than just a paycheck. That's a pretty incredible thing. That's what I'm trying to provide.

Luke:

Absolutely. Now I would argue that we owe it to ourselves to find something that is more than the paycheck, but I know that's maybe a little idealistic, but you pretty much defined the name of this podcast. The I, and when, I mean, that goes back to this idea that every body brings value. Everybody is needed for the whole to be successful. That's the I, and when. Here's the tough part of it. And I'm making the assumption again, I'm in the world of education. I can't speak for business. So you need to enlighten me because I have the impression that you probably have some pretty motivated people who want to be successful on an individual basis. And I'm not saying that they're doing at the expense of anyone else or your company, but how do you balance that internal motivation and that white fed individual be successful, but also keep them within the team concept because that's something that coaches who are a lot of our listeners struggle with.

David:

Yeah. I think that was a, that was a realization that I had with parallax and I actually relevant. And I think JB actually taught me a really important lesson. You know, someone like JB. They are motivated by knowing, I mean, there's more, I'm going to simplify JV down to this, but there's a lot more to him than that, but like knowing where the end zone is and, and knowing how to like, looking for the opportunity to score the touchdown, like that's the motivation, right? So imagine a football team or any of the team where the end zone is unknown. Like you just don't know. You're just out there playing. You're just gonna keep running plays, but you don't know where the end zone is. Um, eventually you're just. You're going to give up. There's not a lot of money. You, those, there's not a lot of motivation to do. That's unclear. It's uncomfortable. Right. And so for me, the way that you have allowed, as you recognize that these players, these highly motivated folks, they need to know what the end, where the end zone is. They need to know what success looks like. They need to know what good looks like, and that can vary from person to person, depending on sort of what part of the company they're in. Or not to like, you know, and so what we've been really trying to do is make it really clear through, um, it just make it really clear, like what success looks like, where the end zone is for people and then having a conversation with them to make sure that that goal, that end zone is interesting to them, right. That, that it aligns with their own personal ambition. And that's literally the point of parallax, our product is to align it. Like it's literally our purposes to create business success by aligning the ambitions of business and or of your people with. you have evolving business needs. But that's the idea of sort of like where's the, where's the end zone for JB and then help them get there. And if people are feel like they're winning especially people that are kind of motivated like that. They need to believe that they can win. That there's a path towards winning and they need to understand how their skills and talents will get them there, get the team there. And so that's the bit, one of the biggest lessons you can't, over-communicate where the end zone is. It needs to be really clear for people. And it reads to be really clear how they're helping you get. Because then they'll be motivated because then they'll know their role and their, and their position and what play to call and all those things. Right. So it's exactly the same as sports. Yeah, So,

Luke:

absolutely. I love your analogy of, the end zone. Again, that, that crossover that we've been harping on for the past couple of minutes. Third thing you talked about was mindset. What's a leadership mindset look like in your opinion.

David:

The leadership mindset. Uh, yeah, I think I'm, you know, I'm trying to learn that honestly to, uh, every day, but I think leaders, it's this weird combination of, um, of like certainty and confidence and combined with like the ability to be open to other people, learning along the way. I think as a leader, that's your job is again, to help people realize their full potential. Like that's the job of the leader I think .In order to do that, you have to let them fail a little bit here and there, you know, and you have to be okay with that. You need to be able to have those kinds of hard, hard conversations. And so it might be some weird combination of like humility and vulnerability that you're sort of okay. And comfortable with some of that in order to achieve a greater end, which is helping people realize their potential. Um, I think leaders are essentially in support roles. Like if I look at like Nordstrom, for example, the department store their leadership models, that's, that's referred to as the upside down pyramid where leaders are there to support everybody is built to support the frontline worker at the mall all the way to the CEO. And I think that that's the right attitude. Leadership is there to support your teams to help them succeed. And if you do that well, you'll succeed. So it's sort of symbiotic that way.

Luke:

Yeah, that upside down triangle that you mentioned, that's really big and coaching to transformational coaching is really big right now. And, and, and thankfully, so, especially as a parent who has kids going through the process right now and realizing how important it is to touch the whole person and not just worry about the outcome ultimately, right. So you mentioned, uh learning something from the Nordstrom piece. So I'm assuming. Business professionals, all coaches, really any professional, you have mentors. So what's the best piece of advice a mentor has given to you about how to lead.

David:

Yeah. I mean, I think that I was told to read a book a long time ago called uh, if it gets called first break, all the rules. And there's a bunch of lessons in there, but I think that the lesson that I took most from that was this idea that it, it's a kind of the point of your podcast again, but leadership isn't, it's not about achieving the title of leader right. Like president CEO, director, whatever. It's not about the accomplishment of getting that title. And then maybe the compensation that comes along with that title and things like that. It's really about being, I think, being of service. That's what leadership is. It's not about being the one in charge. It's about being the most influential supporter, I think that, you know, there are other leaders that are more on the sort of like visionary sort of like wa like more in charge, kind of role, more autocratic. Um, I'm, uh, I try to be a player coach, you know, and that's, for me, that's, what's worked best and that's probably the best sort of advice I got was to just be of service. That's your job.

Luke:

well, I really liked that phrase, influential support, right? That's that's a great definition of leadership. A lot of people define servant leadership in today's world. You mentioned the book let's go, let's kind of go further into that. Not that book necessarily in particular, but what are some of the most helpful resources that you have found that you could give to our audience? We'll help along the way of growing as this people. First leader.

David:

Yeah. Well, that's a good one. First break, all the rules and check that out. I also would, recommend having some sort of framework in place for, for establishing goals and measuring outcomes. So we use a thing at, at Zeus or not it's this parallax called okay. Ours, which are made famous by a bunch of people, including Google and Intel folks. And it's just stands for objectives and key results. It's a really simple framework but what's nice about it is it's actually built very similarly again. And I think that your audience would love this. Because they use a lot of sports analogies as an example. So like if the general managers, their objective is to have the most valuable franchise right. In, in the NFL and the key results are going to be, you know, X number of, uh, you know, championships. One key result would be X percent under salary cap or something like that. So those are the organizational objectives. Be the most valuable, which is qualitative and the key results. Like how are we going to know? We're stepping towards that objective. If that's the organizations and the coaches is like, be, you know, like you might have a defensive coach. It's like, you know, half the, you know, the most unstoppable defensive team or something, that's more of a qualitative. And then the key results are, number of interceptions least number of, you know, yards allowed, things like that. They're really simple, but that really clear in setting those objectives and how they're going to be metrics for people. And with that, again, you've established a goal lines and you've established the, you know, the down markers along the. And with those incremental sort of objectives and key results, people know how to win and then, and that's what we want to do. We want to win as a team. We want to feel good about the way we spend our time. So, and then I think lastly, you know, honestly, it's, it sounds silly, but get more comfortable with some of like the more, like, I'd say, like self-helpy kind of stuff like the Bernay Brown's of the world and things like that that are really about. Maybe tearing down some of the sort of cultural barriers that we have that culture set up that tell us we need to be a certain way or treat people a certain way as leaders. I think that the advice that I got in that book is just sort of like you know, break all the rules. It's about questioning the value via of, of some ideas you might have around people and leadership. So at least just exploring it.

Luke:

Well, let's get more into that culture piece. And you've talked about it earlier in the podcast, and I know it's something that you really pride. Your cell phone is creating this really special culture at parallax. So in my opinion, culture, Uh, buzzword, it's almost cliche and trite at this point. And I think a lot of people misunderstand it. So can we start with your definition of culture, like how you would define it and that way we're speaking the same language when we mentioned the word culture.

David:

Yeah, I completely agree at first of all, but I think culture. has gotten sort of, uh, co-opted into meaning perks and that's a different thing. Dogs in the office be around tap skateboards, unlimited PTO. Those are perks. That's not culture they're there. Maybe reflect them of your culture. I think what culture is about is the shared purpose and values. And it's that simple for me. That's the culture. Cause it should drive everything that your organization.

Luke:

So, how do you instill that?

David:

Um, so I can just kind of talk through how, how we did it and then parallax. So when Tom and I, my business partner started parallax. We had a clear purpose in mind, which is about unblocking, the potential of people and then aligning that potential with business needs. And then that would be, so that's what we want to do. We have a belief that the most successful businesses understand that engaged people are necessary to like sustain longterm success. So we had that belief in purpose at the outset and that's, and we use that. You know, and everything that we built, the company. the product and brand around, but after about a year of working together, that's when we decided to sort of establish our corporate values, I guess, if you will. And we, and we intentionally waited, because we didn't want our values to be aspiration only. We want them to be authentic and represent like how we actually acted. Right. So we waited a year and I ran through this whole process and would be happy to explain it to people in more detail. And I've also have a blog post on our website that I could send to folks. But essentially it was this idea of like, let's look at the, as a team we reflect on our lives, like the decisions we've made, the people we surround ourselves with the, you know, the jobs we've taken, you know? And then we tried to describe the values that those decisions or behaviors represented as individuals. And we set that up. And then we did a similar activity where we thought about the last year of our working together or the behaviors, rituals, things that we did, of those things, which ones had a positive impact. And then of the ones that were positive impact, what values did those represent? We kind of went through an exercise to finding that. And then we just simply looked at the overlap between our personal and demonstrated values as an organization. And I said, well, those seem to be our values as people. And the way we say it is, those are kind of like carved in wood, not chiseled in stone. I mean, they're pretty solid, but they're malleable and they might change and evolve slightly over time. But values are, you know, only valuable if, uh, if, if they're, um, you know, if we live them, if they're meaningful, if they're authentic. And so we ha we created a, uh, a system it's pretty, it's really cheesy, but we it works. I went and drew a bunch of like stickers that represent actions that represent values. So for example, like a Fred Rogers thicker like Mr. Rogers and the represents people like go out of the way to like, provide clarity and teach others and things. Anyway, we have about 40 of these stickers. And throughout the week, as people are working and things like that, they might kind of like give a shout out via slack or whatever to say, Hey, this, you know, I, JB did this amazing thing, shout out to JB. Cause it was awesome. Is that at the end of the week, we kind of like review of the, you know, we kind of look at the tape, right? We see who's had, who's sort of demonstrated our values. Who's lived them out loud and made them actionable. And then on Friday at the end of the week, during our core, it's called wins session. We give people, uh, an award and a sticker and say, this is JB wins. The, you know, um, chameleon award or the, you know, the chaos monkey award or like Mr. Rogers award. And here's why, and the whole point is to point at good. So people recognize. And do it regularly and over communicated because I think that that's what makes the organization healthy is a alignment around values and purpose. And those kinds of things, a team that is not burdened with like politics and just BS like that. But then the co they reinforce, clarify and reinforce what's important to the organization. Like often. If not, you know, weekly, if not daily. And so that's what we try to do with our wins. That's what we try to do. We have like a, a bunch of rituals like that, where it's not just about giving people a pat on the back for and gold stars for being there. It's gold stars and pats on the back for living our values and our purpose out loud in a demonstrable meaningful way. And that's again, I think the role of leadership is to ensure that those things are seen by everybody. So they can try to emulate them.

Luke:

And just to clarify the sticker, the shout-out comes from a peer, not from the leadership team.

David:

Yeah. So the shout outs and stuff comes from peers. And then leadership, like, uh, actually like JB and I, and some others. We not, we then do like a official nomination of like a sticker winner, because I do think like it's important for peers to influence. To call it out, you know, on the daily. But I think leadership has a responsibility to kind of look at all that and identify the ones that are going to have them. Meet, they're going to be the most meaningful for the organization. You get a time. So say we're trying to change some behavior or mindset. We'll try to point that the good, that is an opposition to, you know, whatever we think maybe negative or whatever, instead of just beating on the negative, like that stinks, like don't do that. That's bad behavior. You know, you get more flies with honey. Instead focus on highlighting the good and celebrating the good and eventually the battle. The battle is a sort of become less interesting to people because it's just not, No. one cares about it. Doesn't have any impact. Right.

Luke:

Right. You're providing positive feedback and. What you're describing is so relatable to coaches in particular are listening to this because football coaches give helmet stickers, basketball coaches will give, you know, a necklace for who took the most charges in a game track. Coaches would do something for who PR the most. So there is again that we keep beating on that crossover, but again, I think it's great and it's unbelievable the power of a 10 cent sticker. I just, I can't believe. You know the power behind that, but really it's because of the pride, that individual feels that he or she is being recognized for a job well done. And to your point on positive feedback, I know myself, when I would go into film session as a player, I dreaded it because it was an hour of us being told how bad we are and all that we have done wrong. And it was. Our coach's fault. Our coaches were second fathers to us. It's just, that's what you did. And now we're starting to understand that you want to motivate people to. Do better then show them what better looks like and take that film session and show them 10 great plays rather than 10 bad place, which is what you're describing right there. So I love it. And I love that crossover and I'm sure, especially your, uh, employees that are former athletes. I bet they really get a, get a kick out of those stickers. So kudos. That's a, that's an awesome idea.

David:

Yeah. thanks. Yeah, we definitely, we stole this too. I mean, just the sticker idea definitely came from like the football stickers on the helmet. That was the whole idea. Cause they stick them on their laptops instead.

Luke:

Yeah. It's, it's crazy. It's it's, it's a badge of honor, so, well, I know we're starting to wind down on time, so just two or three last quick questions wrapping up culture. How would you define parallax in being different than. Your competitors or others, like I'm talking about that culture piece, like in a sentence, what makes your culture uncommon?

David:

I think it's the realization that our belief in. The fact that we're still a people first company, even as a product. We all come from a services background, like service company background. And so I think that's how we're different. I know it's not a sense, but that's how we differentiate. It's a focus on ensuring that our people get our customers get personal value out of implementing our product, working with our team.

Luke:

And with that people first piece, and this will be my last question, a great way to wrap it up. How do leaders who are focused on people over resolved? Define success ultimately, then I know how we could do it in a coaching world. At least I think I do. But in a business sense, how do you define success? If you are a people first company?

David:

I think it's still pretty, it could be pretty similar. It's just, I think it's another layer. Like, are we achieving the business objectives while having engaged while maintaining high engagement with our team? I know this is a little bit longer, but there's a, there's a ma a matrix of business intelligence And business health, organizational smarts and organizational health. And you can be really smart. Like knowing this. How to succeed in business, like more of the pricing strategies and those kinds of things, and really unhealthy. And you'll be super dysfunctional and you're going to burn through really good people. You can be a really healthy meaning, you know, but, but not that smart. It'll probably be like a lifestyle brand and you'll probably not grow that much. And you'll probably fizzle out when the founders get tired of. The people that combine and understand the value of both, those are the unicorns. That's what we're trying to be. People that understand the business of business and the, um, the business of people. If you do those two things really well, you're unstoppable.

Luke:

Yeah. And same thing in the realm of athletics. If you could figure out what. To win, but also do so with always acknowledging every individual on that team and making sure that he or she understands that they bring value in that are important to that success, regardless of how much they play. There's the unicorn that you're talking about. So. David. Thanks so much. I appreciate you taking so much of your time and col you're a busy guy and you dropped a lot of great nuggets on us. So thank you very much. If someone wants to learn a little bit more about parallax or just talk with you, furthermore, about leadership, can you share some social media handles websites, whatever you'd like to give out to our audience?

David:

yep. You can get us at get parallax, P a R a L L a x.com. Online and across all the socials or email me directly@daveatgetparallax.com. Happy to talk about this stuff. Um, super important. So thanks Luke for thanks for having me.

Luke:

Yeah, David, thanks so much for being on good luck with that brutal Minnesota winter coming your way soon.

David:

Oh yeah. Appreciate it. Take care.

David Annis Profile Photo

David Annis

Founder / COO

David Annis is the COO and co-founder of Parallax, a professional services automation software company helping digital agencies and tech consultancies grow profitably. David is responsible for various functional areas of the business, including marketing, HR, operations, and customer success. Before starting Parallax, David held leadership roles at creative agencies and consultancies. Most recently, he was a partner and managing director of Zeus Jones, a strategy, brand, and design agency. David started Parallax to help professional services organizations of any size grow their businesses with confidence in a way that supports their people and culture.