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7 Questions with Patrick Tripp
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7 Questions with Patrick Tripp
Name: Patrick Tripp
Current title: Senior Vice President, Product Marketing
Current organisation: Cheetah Digital
Patrick is SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, focused on the go-to-market strategy and team for the Customer Engagement Suite. A frequent industry event speaker, Patrick has over 20 years of experience in the technology, consulting, and marketing industries. Prior to Cheetah Digital, Patrick was VP of Product Strategy at RedPoint Global, leading the product roadmap and go-to-market for the Customer Engagement Hub. Previously, Patrick was at Adobe through the acquisition of Neolane, focused on email and real-time decisioning. He has also spent time at Pegasystems, leading product marketing for the next-best-action decision engine, and spent many years at Forrester Research in the research and consulting organizations. He is a certified product manager and holds an MBA from Boston University.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
As SVP of Product Marketing at a large global organization like Cheetah Digital, I find it most challenging to ensure that all stakeholders across the company are tuned into and aware of our initiatives as they relate to messaging, positioning, market research, and enablement to be able to tell the story of our solutions and how we provide value.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I moved into the SVP role by moving from the ground level up over many years, with some luck along the way for good measure. I became the best at my specific function- which is marketing technology products, including taking multiple courses and certifications, and then applied the knowledge in a larger company setting, then a very small startup setting, where I would have exposure to all levels and functions of an organization. I networked with a large and diverse group of people across the industry, and tried to build upon my experiences progressively at each new company. After working at the VP-level at a smaller startup, I then applied my experience and knowledge in a much larger setting. Luck and timing always play a role, and staying in touch with former colleagues and acquaintances really solidifies the opportunities.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
COVID-19 has changed the way we all live and work. As a result of the remote work, I find myself starting the day later, but working later as well. This allows me some extra family time in the morning and sporadically throughout the afternoon, with some closing momentum in the evenings. I have actively tried to reduce the number of meetings on my calendar on any given day, blocking away time for research, thinking and just general time to get things done at work and home that I would not have otherwise been able to do.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I think the biggest lesson I've learned so far at my level is that my job is more of a supporter, enabler, and a motivator. I have actively rolled up my sleeves in smaller companies and done most of the work, and it's still in my DNA. I need to fight the urge on a daily basis to jump in and show what great is, and really let me team and leaders learn and grow from successes and mistakes to determine what great is. Ensuring employees know it's ok to fail really empowers them to do great things.
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?
I still go back to the old school books like Developing the Leader in You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell or Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. They really tap into how you need to serve people to generate trust and how you need to have a vision and be able to communicate it effectively, within your teams and outside of your teams. Being a great listener more than a talker is so crucial to effective leadership based on my experiences.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
You need to give people space and room to deliver on objectives in their own creative ways. You need to be specific enough about the goals and expectations, but let them fill in the details and approaches that best suit the projects and scenarios. Find the right people for the projects and teams. Some programs require more analytical mindsets, others more creative. Know your talent and how to best leverage them for ongoing growth and opportunities.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
How you treat other people in your org. really defines you as a leader and can either help you down the road or prevent your success. I had a senior level colleague who was very knowledgeable and capable, but also heavy handed in approach and dismissive of others' opinions. Over time, this led to an environment of fear and toxicity, leading many employees to me to gain support and feedback instead of the other leader. It ultimately helped me gain more influence and ownership, as the person was pushed out of the company by the collective feedback. Being the one that is empathetic, open, honest, and a good listener ultimately helps you succeed in the end.