7 Questions with B. Pagels-Minor
Name: B. Pagels-Minor
Current title: Senior Data Product Manager
Current organisation: Netflix
B. loves product development and improving the processes of developing successful products. B. has worked with small (<50) and large technology (>100,000+) companies to increase product adoption, improve the product experience and design, and evolve the product vision. B. is a thought leader on product and culture development within technology companies. They are passionate about creating a culture of accountability and sustainable processes that allow teams to "just" do the work well.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
I have found that the larger the organization, the more you need to prepare to provide value to the organization. On boards of smaller organizations, it is much easier to skate by with far less pre work. With a larger organization, there are so many complexities around risk, growth, etc., that require you to continually learn and grow to tackle the sheer size of the work.
2. How did you become a board member of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I am very fortunate to have been a part of my organization for almost 15 years. I actually began as an intern in 2006. I moved on to an advisory board that focused on a sub-selection of key programs, and in 2015 I was recruited to join the organization's overall board of directors. In many ways, I truly grew up with them.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
This varies a bit from day today. However, I actually start my day the night before by reviewing each meeting that I need to attend, reviewing any agendas or other prework, and thinking through what I might need to do/ask to ensure a successful meeting. Each morning, I prefer to ease into my day with some time before diving into my meetings, so I generally try to never have meetings before 10. I am usually in meetings for most of the day where I am providing my opinion on various topics. Once my workday ends, I generally have dinner with my wife and sister. From there, my wife and I usually stream something. My wife generally goes to bed hours before me, so I often decompress with a terrible action or sci-fi movie or some video game of the week. I finish that up then spend time doing prep for my next workday.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
The most significant lesson I've learned is to trust my team. It is important to remember that an entire team often interviews a candidate and signs off on them before they are hired, so it makes no sense not to trust that they will be excellent at their job.
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a large enterprise?
The most important lesson is to ensure that by-laws, mission, and vision are well thought out and hold the organization accountable to those items. I have found that the organizations with most issues do not first ensure those 3 items are in place and actually permeate everything they do.
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a large enterprise?
The simplest way to think about this is that the board only manages the CEO. To that end, the board must hold the CEO accountable to the strategic vision and executing on that vision. The CEO manages all other team members and should use resources wisely to ensure the vision is accomplished.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member of a large enterprise so far?
My organization, Howard Brown Health, has had also 5x growth in my time on the board. With that growth, we have increased the number of patients we treat exponentially which means we have been able to have a meaningful impact that literally saves lives in our community. It is truly awesome what we have done!