7 Questions with Josh Rucci
Name: Josh Rucci
Current title: Founder & Principal
Current organisation: JR Growth Advisory LLC
Recognized thought leader in the Content, Technology, and Business Intelligence industries, having led multinational teams at Dow Jones, Bloomberg, Getty Images, ESPN, and Thomson Reuters over the past 20+ years. Passionate about launching and growing businesses, through compelling content, elegant technology, and actionable data. Currently advises content and tech companies on growth strategies, customer acquisition, and strategic partnerships.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Accelerating new market opportunities. The biggest challenges I see for large enterprises is alignment and execution on customer/market gaps. This must be a prioritized and shared responsibility of leadership teams.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
As a US native, I was very fortunate to be transferred to a regional leadership role in Europe in my early 30s. The experience taught me how to align strategies and best practices for disparate markets, and how to motivate teams from very different backgrounds.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I set a daily priority list the evening prior, and do my best to 'turn off' by 9pm--work done after this time is usually of lesser quality. Up at 6a, work to get caught up via newsletters and usually make 1-2 calls with international markets before bringing daughter to school. From 8.30a onward it is game on, and I try to have at least one customer call or meeting per day along with staff meetings and 1:1s with direct reports. Regardless of seniority, I find I am driving the most value to the org either through client work or staff mentoring. I also think it important to set meeting agendas, and align on meeting goals, from the start--this brings people present and justifies the meeting time vis-a-vis other activities. And I think any meeting over a 45 min duration has diminishing returns.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Involve teams in future strategy. Setting a new strategy without buy-in risks confusion, resentment, and annoyed customers. Employees who contribute to strategy will own it.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
'Hit Refresh' by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has many lessons from his leading a remarkable transformation. One quote that stands out is 'Innovation and competition don't respect our silos and org boundaries'. Critical for large organizations to look outward, and have the balance, shared purpose, and trust within exec teams to win.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Dedicate time to people and functions outside your own. CFOs should understand the business priorities and challenges for CTOs. CROs and CMOs must understand one another and align strategies throughout their respective orgs. For CEOs, active communication and presence throughout the org validates direction, and informs future strategy. All of these expand capacity, and make for better leaders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
One CEO, in an address to senior leadership team, mentioned his goal was for each employee to believe this is the best place they have ever worked--whether they stay for 12 months or 12 years. This has stayed with me, and been a goal for my own teams as a leader. To quote Danny Meyer 'Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard'