I would've used this 10 times over in each of my last two companies if I'd known if this had existed. This is brilliant.
—AMY VILLENEUVE, FORMER PRESIDENT AND COO OF KIVA SYSTEMS, A DIVISION OF AMAZON, ADVISOR, CATALANT TECHNOLOGIES
It was sunny. Pat remembers that about the day. It was mid‐afternoon, and he was at a café near the office, having an iced coffee with a junior member of the sales force who had requested the meeting. The day was so nice that the two decided to sit at an outside table. The year was 2015, and we were growing at a ferocious pace. The idea of the casual coffee with the boss was something that we encouraged. We tended to attract the aggressive types to our ranks, and we'd grown accustomed to this reverse interview dialectic. This would be her opportunity to pump one of us for information.
“Five years from now,” she asked Pat, “where do you see the company?”
The truth of the matter is none of us would have known how to answer that question. Anything we might have said back then would have been suspect. But leave it to Pat to respond by winging an answer that we're still talking about years later. Our young salesperson had asked about the company's future, but he responded as if she had asked the proverbial “where‐do‐you‐see‐yourself‐in‐five‐years” interview question.
“I think this whole idea of career dictating your life is messed up,” he began in classic Pat style. “It should be flipped ...