How transformations changed me as a leader
What was a crucible moment for you as a leader?
Mickey McManus

What was a crucible moment for you as a leader? It's something that forced you to change or forced you to look at things differently as a leader.

Bradley Strock

When we, when we separated from eBay, that announcement caused a lot of change with people leaving, and it gave me an opportunity to be asked, to be CIO, which, sounded great and it was best job I ever had. But after I said yes, my boss, who is the CFO said, well, that's great! You've got nine months to split the company. And, I said, well, did anybody, sit down and figure out how long it should take? And, no, no. Uh, that's just how long we have.

Mickey McManus

Wow.

Bradley Strock

It was pretty obvious it should take at least twice that long. And, while I had done a lot of, mergers, I hadn't done a large split. And what I quickly realized is that we were on the critical path to the IPO which is not a comfortable place to be, can't do a tax-free spin unless you've demonstrated that you've actually split the company.

No one can tell you at what point is enough, is enough to demonstrate that. So you're very much in the crucible of events, and so figuring out how to accomplish some sort of the impossible task. And, how to do that while mitigating risks was, an incredible learning opportunity that I don't want to do again. But I learned a lot about that.

Crucible moments: how did it change you?
Mickey McManus

How did it change you as a leader?

Bradley Strock

Well, in a lot of ways, the importance of thinking about outcomes, which we just talked about, which even if they're very seemingly mundane. You've got 25,000 mailboxes to move. How many do you have to do per day to get there and be done? And also the importance of, providing air cover for your team. So I went around to all the senior leaders and said, this is what we're up against. We gotta build new corporate network, we gotta move these data centers. Once they recognized the reality of that and a little bit scared, everyone asked, well, how can we help? And my answer was, there will thing be things that go wrong that go bump in the night. We'll fix them quickly. But I need you to show grace and not beat up the team because we're up against this impossible task. And so at the time I didn't realize how important that was. It had turned out in hindsight to be very important in terms of the level of support that we got. And then I'd say the third one is just, giving people opportunities that they wouldn't normally have sort of those battlefield promotions how you give someone that responsibility that maybe is in normal times you would say they're not ready for and how you then support them so that they're successful with that, so that they don't, they don't fail. So those were, those were some of that's important.

Yeah. And always, always have a retreat path. That was one of our principles too, that, you're doing a conversion a big thing. You always want to have a way to come to walk back if something goes wrong.