Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 5:43

Yeah, I mean, really, in in life and business, you change or you die, right. And the services, your services really, really evolved from, you know, the CD ROM graphics, and you mentioned, you know, Content Management ecommerce. And now it’s evolved to today, you know, will be an example of something that you like that technology roadmap now and what you’re really focused in on.

Michael LaVista 6:09

And so the one of the things we find is, and here’s comes like a blizzard of buzzwords, but digital transformation is something I keep trying to find a better phrase for. But it’s, that’s sort of the the milieu that we want to be in. And the idea is that, as much as we’re all aware of all these tools and things that we can do in business, I found that hardly anyone is implemented much of anything to speak of, from a digital transformation point of view. And so we love working with companies that see themselves as, you know, cash generating profitable, good companies that still run themselves on spreadsheets and things kind of tacked together and homegrown stuff that didn’t scale. Those are, those are the great fits for us. And there are, you know, I don’t know how many, there are 1000s of those companies out there, we only need a few to do really, really well. So I think that idea of transforming your company, or rethinking, if you think of digital transformation is just reengineering the business to take advantage of the technologies that are available to and creating a roadmap that doesn’t make them out of date, at least some kind of near time horizon three or five years or something like that, that’s kind of where we want to play.

Jeremy Weisz 7:12

Let’s talk about like, there was a company in Colorado very fast growing that ran into these issues, right? Because of scalability, what did you with them

Michael LaVista 7:22

so this is a one of the things we run into the most is the companies whose systems are designed around originally designed and how they work right now. And so this company is a pretty big flooring company. So they you know, they come in and stole your, you know, your tile or wooden floors or something, and but to the tune of, you know, 30 or $50 million kind of thing. And where where they ran into trouble is their systems were designed around the concept of like, a store and a, a location and that kind of thing. And so now what happens if we have multiple stores multiple locations, we want to go to different states that are different taxes on all that kind of stuff, their systems, like I don’t know how to do that. And then on top of it, their old system was sort of designed in sort of a hilariously on computer science friendly way where things were based on instead of like, being on them, we get in the weeds here, but like, you know, sort of being based on an idea they’re based on like a name or a thing that could easily go wrong. And so we re engineered a system for them, for starters, that helps them helps the business think about location, and how they might scale sort of in a way that you know, infinitely But practically, you know, infinitely and just allow that business to open up. Because without that, they were kind of the rivets were popping, They’re busting at the seams with you know, we can’t handle these new orders, and we can’t move to this new city because we don’t have a way to handle the business kind of thing. And those are, those are great opportunities for them. Because I feel like we we sort of unlocked, you know, three or 5x growth for them with a, you know, an investment that you know, would seem and this is what our goal is we want the investment with us to seem like oh my god, and any day, you know, if we can grow with 20 million and spend, you know, a 10th or 20th of that oh my god, where do we sign that’s the kind of deal that we want to make for someone

Jeremy Weisz 9:09

like that and a company like that is what’s the value proposition is it seems like Does that also save their their staff a lot of time like people who are we’re having to do things manually as well don’t have to do things manually. What does it look like after like project is done now? Before what is it before and after look like?

Michael LaVista 9:30

Sure you know on is one of the things I feel like what is like a like a prejudice people bring to consultants coming as they want to everyone always thinks that what’s going to happen as things are going to change, everyone’s gonna get fired. And in doing this, as you mentioned, and kind of dated me here, you know, 20 plus years, we’ve never done a project where the reaction was Okay, now let’s fire the people used to do that. I think most organizations get that. When people are doing sort of mundane like low value tasks. No one wants to pay for that. Like, you know if your customers found out that at, you know, 10% of the cost was recapping things in and out of Excel sheets, they’d be sort of like, why are we paying for this. So now when you solve that with the system, all these people that know the business know the customers know, what you guys do, can offer a higher level of service and something special that is unique and differentiated will, I think that’s typically where those people end up spending their time. Another sort of dirty secret that we’ve noticed is a lot of times that people who are doing those things end up being like the owners and executives, because they can’t stomach asking people to do this ridiculous stuff. So, you know, if you’re an owner listening, who is up at night editing, the, you know, the worklog, for things over the weekend, that’s the kind of problem we fix.

Jeremy Weisz 10:40

Let’s talk ideal client for a second, you get a lot of clients in those industries that can see how maybe, like a services based company like H back window flooring that have just they started off small, and now they’ve grown to 10s of millions of dollars. You know, is that, like, what does that ideal client look like for you?

Michael LaVista 11:02

Um, I think it’s kind of largely attitude and and kind of ability to pay, frankly. So I think the the most important thing we’re looking for right now is fit. And that, you know, we want you to, like, for example, I don’t, I don’t want to have part of the project, be us convincing you that you’re gonna have to change your systems, we can do it. I think most of the time people show up with like, listen, here’s a great customer, we know what we’re doing is crazy. We are open to change, we know change is the hardest thing, you know, of the three investments, you know, time money and change. And what are those things? Money is a hard one. Well, if you’re making if you’re a profitable company, money’s easy. Just writing the check is very straightforward. It’s the oh my god, now we got to relearn things we got to the warehouse is gonna have to learn new stuff. That’s the hard part. But if you’re open to it, and you can get your organization aligned around, like, Listen, everyone knows this isn’t working, we got to do better. We’re gonna bring in people to rethink our systems and processes, we’ll put something new in, you’ll be involved, you’ll get buy in. And we’re all excited to roll in the right direction. That’s, that’s the best fit line for us. The ones that the ones that honestly like to think about, like what we say no to, and to kind of define that edge. You know, people who really insist on, you know, that, that really like, you know, when you go to the doctor, and you self diagnose, and you know, you’ve been on WebMD, and you’re convinced you have whatever horrible thing. And the doctors, like, how can we just do the exam? You know, like, I think we’re looking for people that are open to the the input, I think is a long, that’s my short version of the super long answer I just gave you.

Jeremy Weisz 12:37

Yeah. I mean, you know, we all in business, we have an ideal fit client, and there’s then extreme red flags. And then there’s kind of subtle flags along the way. And we were talking before we hit record on having the courage to recognize those things. So what are some of the maybe subtle flags that and now maybe you don’t take those that have those subtle, you know, red flags, as opposed to maybe four years ago? They, this this one, this claim is probably different? Right?

Michael LaVista 13:11

Right. Right. You know, it’s funny, in some future life, I hope I can consult with companies like mine, I feel like I could have saved myself a decade if I learned that lesson a little quicker. And to be perfectly honest, still learning it. Because as the as the owner, and, you know, Chief salesperson, I am more likely, obviously, to go yeah, we can make that one work, or, you know, I can, and I think the reality is having the courage to be like, Listen, what are the outcomes for our clients, and for us, when it’s a great fit? Or that it’s fun, it’s profitable, things move faster, everyone’s excited, everyone wants to still work on it. And when we’re done classical, that was great. Let’s do that. Again. You know, if every dollar you spend with us, you make five, yes, let’s keep, let’s keep going. And so I feel like, you know, when we look at, you know, subtle red flags, a lot of it tends to be sort of structural, interpersonal. You know, one of the things that we do is and forgive buzzword, but like we do an iterative agile approach. And while that’s a well known phenomenon in the world, I don’t know if it’s well understood. And we even have people show up to us of asking and hoping for an Agile process, and then we tell them what it is, and it sounds terrible. Can you tell us exactly what’s going to happen from the start? And it’s sort of so that’s kind of a that’s a, you know, processes a flag. You know, being able to see your faults and being sort of like self deprecating as a business is a is a really good thing. But if the flip side is a red flag, so really, honestly, as simple as it sounds like we’re really looking for a gut feeling of like, you know, this is going to be great. As can be great. These are great people, it’s going to be fun to work with. They have the right kind of attitude, like a kind of a growth mindset. That’s something I’ve wrote a book last year and that sort of I think the key leadership trait that actually makes things happens thinking that this is possible we can get through it. And really, you know, as the as the organization and for me as the CEO, really sticking to those guns, what even when it seems like, you know, we’ve all been in those places where it’s kind of, you know, we we need to make another x this month to make our numbers I’ll take this in, how many times is that four months later become this like death Mars project that I got to finally I would happily have been, you know, 50k, short in March to not have to deal with this now. I think that’s that’s the courage really, I’m all the pointing fingers are pointing back at me and that one. So that’s the that’s the lesson that I kind of have to relearn every now and then.

Jeremy Weisz 15:41

So some of the subtle red flags would be a company maybe not wanting to change, right? Maybe they come in not seeing faults, like maybe they, you know, you need them to want. I mean, that’s part of wanting to change, like, if you don’t think anything’s wrong, so someone’s not seeing faults, and then they don’t have a growth mindset. Either. The, can you break down a little bit about the agile approach, because I picture, you know, again, you’re, you’re learning about their business, and then you’re having to fix problems as you learn how everything connects? How do you think about that agile approach when you go into a business?

Michael LaVista 16:22

So I’m gonna start with two quotes, I’m gonna butcher because I don’t know who exactly these are from. So someone in the comments can correct me. But I think there’s some famous general, let’s say, it’s Patton, just for fun, says something like, you know, battle plans are great until the battle starts. And I think there’s a better one that I’m going to say it’s George Foreman, maybe, who says, you know, everyone goes into the backroom with a plan until they get punched in the face. Yeah. So I think I don’t

Jeremy Weisz 16:44

know if it was George Foreman, Mike Tyson. But I’ve heard that same thing. Like everyone has a plan Z get punched?

Michael LaVista 16:49

Yeah. Right. So So I think with what we’ve learned about software, and again, forgive the self plug here, but I wrote about this in my book that the idea is that the I think, like the human mind is wired up to think like, well, if you’re an expert, surely you know exactly how this is gonna go step by step by step. And you’ll know exactly, you know, if we start today, at nine, we’ll be done June 17, at 346 in the afternoon, and we’ll release it. And the reality, like everything you’ve ever done anything big you’ve ever done, think about like, planning a wedding, or, you know, I don’t know, remodeling a room and a house, whatever. Anything that’s like a complex creative process, you’re going to run into things like, Oh, well, it turns out, you know, with the wedding, you know, the band we wanted isn’t available on that weekend, we have to change this, or, you know, those kinds of flowers aren’t in season, or whatever the thing is, you’re gonna have to adapt. And so with agile, what we do is we say, generally speaking, we want to accomplish these 10 things, and how they get accomplished, and in what form that’s going to change over time based on the reality of the situation. And so it’s all iterative. And I think what it does is it allows you to get exactly what you paid for in exactly the right priority. So if we start into something, and we realize, no, we prioritize things, we’re doing the most important thing first, we work on that. And, you know, things come up that are that are unusual, we present a new plan, as time goes on, that number 10 thing, it got pushed to the end, for some reason, right. And if we’re trying to, you know, move quicker, or you know, land on budget, or on time, that kind of thing, then probably number 10 is a pretty good candidate to kind of work on the changing or, you know, modifying, and it’s really, it’s a way to operate in reality, and in truth and transparency about what’s really actually happening. And not some fantasy about, you know, some waterfall Gantt chart where like, you know, at the end of next week at 5pm, we exactly cut off and exactly move to the next stage, which never anything you do in life ever actually happens. The the brain wants it to happen. And so getting to like that perfect fit client. There are people who just can’t abide by that. And they just they, they need a fixed thing. And we had a you know, we’ve had something happened in the last two years where it took us probably nine months to negotiate a contract, because they wanted to be they wanted it to be exactly what they wanted. And probably honestly, that’s a flag that we probably just said no to somewhere in the middle of that. And you know, the reality is we could have been done by now. And so, you know, what, what did you get by blowing a year of being in the market by trying to be exact about something when we could have been done? I think that’s sort of a lesson that is hard

Jeremy Weisz 19:33

learn your book. What’s the name? Where can people find it?

Michael LaVista 19:38

So you can find it on Amazon? Don’t I have one sitting right next to me? Am I Am I that good?

Jeremy Weisz 19:45

It’s got to be within arm’s reach somewhere.

Michael LaVista 19:48

And here we go. So it’s Superpowered, right? And it’s the seven leadership superpowers technology executives can use to grow a more engaged, tech driven and profitable organization. And it was actually actually written I wanted to write a book. And I, I thought I had when I brought it to an editor, and she looked at and she goes, Yeah, this isn’t a book. This is random essays crammed together. So we came up with this idea and ended up interviewing about 75 technology executives, to get like, kind of like lessons learned and best ideas, that kind of thing. And other seven year, so I think about 20, condensed into what we saw as seven core ideas, that seemed to be the breakthrough ideas for people as they because he knows as a technologist, you kind of get, it’s easy to get pushed into a corner, as you know, the person you know, who just does the things that the real executives want you to do. And to get this, to get a seat to kind of the big kids table and be a strategic value of the company. There’s some things you need to do and think about differently that kind of opened up on kind of your career and your company’s success, I think,

Jeremy Weisz 20:57

what tech exec stuck out and what they shared.

Michael LaVista 21:03

Um, let’s see. So some of my favorites. So, actually, so current client and a person in the book, Woody Ma, is the CTO over tasty trade. And his leadership is just so awesome and devoid of ego, really. And I think one of the one of the things about being a great leader is the ability to just define the right people and get out of the way. And he tells a story about, you know, they, their business spins off a new business every few months, it seems, and there was a new business that came up that in the past, and in theory, should have been his gig. And someone else sort of like was not necessarily vying for it, but like, seemed like maybe that’s the person who should do it. And just said, you know, wants you to do it, and they will want you the CTL. Like, yeah, but this should be yours. And so that person ended up becoming a did a great job became the CTO of that thing. And I think as a leader, really like elevated his, I know you got a couple extra Jedi points doing that. Because it really is, it’s, it’s difficult to do, because you want you want, you want the cool new thing for yourself. But the right thing to do is something else, just for the organization, that’s a really, that’s a tough call to make, I think for most people, and it’s the right one,

Jeremy Weisz 22:21

you mentioned tastytrade, there’s a great interview with tastytrade. And you by the way, he will just check out but what kind of work do you do at tastytrade. So, um,

Michael LaVista 22:31

you know, at a really high level where so if we serve two types of customers, the first is a company that is stuck, like we talked about with a company from Colorado, where they really don’t have technology as a core competency, and they need somebody to take it and run with it. The other kind which JC trays falls into is they have people who are great, and they’re busy with other stuff, and they’re growing. So they’re moving so fast, and trying to grow so fast, that on just the sheer, you know, the difficulty of finding people who know what they’re doing, and attacking them out and hiring them and getting trained up is hard. And so consulting firm, like ours is really good at plugging in kind of the, the noncore holes, so we’re, we work with them on a lot of their satellite stuff. So, you know, they’re, they’re busy working on platform and trading and all these other kinds of things. And so we might provide, you know, things that, you know, orbit around that, like, you know, a customer onboarding experience, or, you know, learning management platform, you know, we read that we read their, their video platform they do, you know, like, right now they have a show going on about, you know, the market and trading and futures and all this kind of stuff. And so we rebuilt their platform and how that all works. And so they’re just moving too fast. And you know, in some of our we have, you know, we can take on a weird expertise, like how to plug into something new, really quickly with them. And you know, we work for them, actually, I was I was thinking about it might go back, like maybe 17 years to their prior company like it’s we’ve been working together on and off for a long time.

Jeremy Weisz 23:59

Michael, you mentioned customer onboarding experience, you’ve probably seen 1000s of different customer onboarding experiences. I’m wondering, this is a big one. I mean, it’s a first impression. Yeah, make and what are some big mistakes you’ve seen with companies and how they’ve crafted and constructed their customer onboarding experience?

Michael LaVista 24:19

I love this question. So I think that the the main problem people make is that they make the onboard experience all about them all about like the company. And here’s all the things we want. And here are the hurdles we want you to jump through because we want this information. And you’re really thinking about it from a customer experience point of view. It has to be I mean, in a way like, at worst mutual, and at best, you know, something the customer really finds easy and seamless. So I think really like thinking about your onboarding from the customer’s point of view. And really, it’s sort of a what’s necessary to get them in and up and running is probably the So the best thing to do, and if you’ve got like a complicated thing, like, for example, at tastytrade, for example, you might have all kinds of crazy things that you have to, you know, sign and upload whatever else. But do you need those right away? I don’t know, maybe. And I think the other thing, you know, just zeroing in on like that initial, like, I’m in the, you know, the onboarding experience, I think thinking about the, the, the entire journey from, you know, first, you know, first raising your hand and thinking like, this might be something I’m interested in, you know, all the different touch points from, you know, maybe the you have a campaign around new users that, you know, sends them things about how to learn about the platform, and, you know, the hurdles they might have to overcome and where people get stuck and, you know, reaching out and you know, I just got a phone call from a company that I, that I’m a customer of, didn’t realize that a customer service person, did I need him today? Not really, but I’m delighted to know I have that and kind of really tracking that whole experience and understanding where customer pain points are, where they’re nervous about something where something goes slower than usual. And I think where they go wrong is, you know, it’s a one time gigantic form you have to fill out right now. You know, it’s funny, I think about I talked about this with someone the other day, whatever you think of, of cryptocurrency, I almost bought in, like years ago, but the platform I was on was asking for driver’s license and Social Security. And also I’m like, I don’t know, you. And it just made me nervous. I backed off. And if I had done it that day, I wouldn’t be on this podcast today. I’d be on a yacht somewhere in the Caribbean. And and it’s, you know, if they if they’d manage their onboarding experience a little better realizing that this is a weird ask, and that, you know, try to make me feel comfortable about it. Like that was a missed opportunity for both of us, sadly.

Jeremy Weisz 26:49

Shoot. Yes. Yeah. But I love what you said there about, you know, what are you really need right now? Right? You don’t need to just dump everything on to someone at the beginning. And I’m sure there’s stuff. Internally, we need to revamp based on this advice, like, okay, yeah, what do we really need to start? Right? You mentioned something, you know, what’s, what’s interesting is, you have a company that this is not their core competency, the technology and then you on the opposite of a company, like they’re all about technology and growing. And it goes into attracting talent. Yeah, for you. And so how do you attract great talent?

Michael LaVista 27:34

That is a great question. I think if there’s one thing we do more poorly than anything else, it’s that. And it’s because we’re so in the weeds in the work we’re doing that we don’t do enough to express to the world, what it is that we’re all about, and why it might be different here. We think we, like for example, I would say that our hardest hire is finding developers who really know what they’re doing and want to contribute in a great way. And it’s because our bias is that the really good guys and gals are out there, just doing great at their companies, and they love it, and they’re loved back. And so there’s really no reason to move. But the feedback we get from our own teams and from clients is like, Wow, you guys do this better than, than than most. We find that, you know, a lot of times we go in the internal teams have been working together for 10 years. And, you know, they don’t think we have really anything to offer. And by the time we’re done, they’re asking us to use our system. And how do we do that? And can we adopt your partner practices, whatever. So one of the ideas I’ve had about it is to do kind of more media like this. And we’re actually starting a taxi talk show, where we’re just going to get our developers on, and we’re going to talk about news of the day and hopefully kind of show you who you are. And I think I mentioned earlier, like, we’re really all in on fit. And we don’t want to hide who we are, we just want to like show whatever it is that we do. And hopefully there are a few perfect fits out there. And we want to be able to track them with our little you know, our little candle. And, you know, that’s that’s currently what we’re trying.

Jeremy Weisz 29:02

what comments do you get, Michael, when someone says, you know, what, I didn’t realize you do things so much differently. What what are some examples of that?

Michael LaVista 29:12

So I think that the, the one thing that we that we really kind of double triple down on is our project management communication process. The idea being that, you know, really, development is I mean, the table stakes are that you’re smart enough to do this, and that you you’re competent, and can and can and had built things, right? I mean, that’s just be like, if that’s not there, then what are we even doing? And so, you know, we really focused on developing is a really great process around communicating on a daily basis, exactly what’s happening, things we need to hear about, you know, things we need input on ideas that we have. And we have to develop some proprietary technology that allows us to sort of collect that all together. So you’re not paying for our project manager to run reports all day. And so we get back from people’s like, Wow, I’ve never had this much clearer. and transparent Kili. Kili is Keeley a word, I’ll say this.

Jeremy Weisz 30:05

I’m a biochemistry major Michael, you, you don’t want to be asking me for

Michael LaVista 30:08

let’s the dictionary. But you know, you know, a key point is like you were able to deliver all this information and you’re never in the dark, we never hide stuff. We’re really good at having a tough conversation. So like, we’d much rather upset you today, a little bit, then upset you a lot in a month. And so just the idea that we’re coming, you’re just like, we’re just laying it all out every day is unusual. I feel like most, most companies like ours, sort of, you know, rely on, you know, all nighters, and you know, kind of like, you know, anything for the client, and don’t tell them that, you know, kind of stuff. And we’re just like, you know, if something’s a bad idea, or like, you know, I think we told you, it can take three days, it’s really seven. So how will we don’t do that, here’s a different way to do it in three days, that might end because we want to give you options, and we’re going to be true isn’t such a cliche thing, we really want to be partners in the sense that like, we’re in this together to get a great outcome for both of us. And that’s possible 100% of the time.

Jeremy Weisz 31:04

Michael, someone’s listening to this. And they may be an ideal talent for you. What does that look like? What does that person that ideal talent look like? For you? Maybe background wise, maybe experience wise?

Michael LaVista 31:17

Sure. I mean, so in a way, similar stuff we talked about someone who’s, who’s open to change isn’t rigid, likes to learn and teach? Who like solving new kinds of problems. You know, so when we think about people that haven’t worked, like, you know, someone actually left us to go work for Amazon a while ago. And their job was to just go work on the you may also like section of, you know, the checkout page, which is super interesting. But that’s like a department and a job that you do for 10 years, like kind of the same thing. And I think for in consulting, where we really excel, our people are like, here’s this new thing, like their eyes go wide. Here’s this new thing that I have no idea how to do, and I’m excited to go figure it out and learn about it, where some people, there’s a fork in the road, there’s excited and motivated to learn about and there’s like terrified, like, what if I screw up. And it’s really just like that, go make that growth mindset, like I’m someone who likes to tackle new challenges. And we’ll get a little bit of room to go try and figure that out. I think that’s that’s one of them. I think the other one is like people who, you know, have owned building a part of the thing, not necessarily from scratch, but from scratch is a positive, because one of the things we found is that we actually kind of do pretty poorly with people who came from really big companies. Because we found it’s really easy to hide at a really big company like a Sears or even Accenture or something where maybe you weren’t there for seven years. But maybe it didn’t do anything and you don’t know it. And it’s not until you come to a small group. It’s like, okay, the three or four of us have to build this whole thing like, Oh, I’ve never done that before, what are you guys talking about? So that’s been a, that’s been a challenge, like really being able to own and, frankly, so the flip side of that is, you know, if you’re someone who wants to be on a great high achieving team, or learn how to do that, this is the place to go and consulting in general, really, because in consulting, in a way, you’re held accountable for every hour of what you do, because either you can bill for it, or you can’t, whereas it’s some big company, it just gets swept under the rug as my my experience. So it’s like it’s a place if you want to achieve and go fast and grow all that kind of stuff. That’s kind of what we do.

Jeremy Weisz 33:22

Like, I know, platforms change coding languages change, are there certain kind of like foundational things that they should, you know, be experienced with this first platforms? Or coding?

Michael LaVista 33:33

Yeah, I mean, I guess, we always say we would take someone who’s who’s really experienced and accomplished and something else who wants to learn the things we happen to be in, frankly, this year, and have them learn them as opposed to someone who’s not so you know, in the weeds, you know, comment would be, we’re in the JavaScript stack, like a lot of people are, you know, react and node as a focus. But we do some other things, too. I think, you know, someone who’s interested in that, or has something to bring to bear there, I think that’s always interesting. But in a way that was we tried it I mentioned, like what we’re doing this year, we try to be, we try to live at the intersection of what people are really excited about, generally, and what the market and the industry wants to buy. So you know, there’s a, there’s a thing from Google called Go, that seems like it might be pretty cool, but no one wants to pay for it. So we’re not really going to get into that. Whereas, you know, industry and you know, enterprises want to build react and node and, you know, Angular app, so great. That’s we’re gonna be on and also people are pretty excited about that.

Jeremy Weisz 34:37

Michael, I have a couple of last questions. But first of all, thank you for sharing your stories and knowledge. And I want to just take a moment and send people to your website, and they can check out Are there any other places online? We should point people towards

Michael LaVista 34:58

and I think that’s the place if you want Want to enjoy my, my podcast? It’s the Leadership: Superpowered podcast, it’s on YouTube and, you know, wherever podcasts are listened to now that kind of thing. So that’s always a, we’re blending those brands together. So they should be on the Caxy site as well.

Jeremy Weisz 35:17

Awesome. Yeah, check out Michael, you know, you didn’t start your career as a developer, right. But as a musician, so I want to hear what you’ve learned from, you know, your, your career in music, and, and then some of your favorite top songs that you’ve played.

Michael LaVista 35:37

Right. So, so great setup for me, I appreciate it. And I’m also I have a whole new podcast based on this question alone. So thank you for setting me up, because I actually don’t get to answer it myself on my own podcast, frankly. And this idea that, like, I’ve met a lot of musicians in business, including, by the way, who I mentioned already, what do you want from that tasty trades, great trumpet player and others that stuff. And I feel like that I always I always get along with, with musicians, there’s something about that experience. It’s really interesting. And I know for myself, I am I think, whenever, you know, I think of like, who I am, you know, showing up in business, I’m kind of naturally an introvert, you know. And being in music, especially being on stage, got me used to uncomfortable with like, being in crowds, and I’ve played for, you know, really big stuff, you know, our band played a Soldier Field a million years ago. And, you know, been in, you know, a couple of college football stadiums for some of those things. And it made so now now, I literally don’t care about getting in front of people and you know, a boardroom, a tall people’s, like, who cares? You know, I’ve seen I’ve seen Jessie’s Girl to a crowd of one, you know, kind of thing. And, or, or or 1000. And, so, so that, I think like that, that how to show up and just be in, you know, in front of a room is something I got for sure. And I also think the for anyone’s ever been in a band, the sort of the constant inter negotiations of the band figuring out, you know, what are we going to play? How are we going to play at Windsor and all that kind of stuff. That’s, there’s a leadership company element to that, that, that I think I learned a lot from. And I think just the and then the last one I was thinking about is like, just being comfortable with them, and improvising and, and being wrong and trying it again, that I think was a precursor to how I ended up thinking about agile.

Jeremy Weisz 37:36

Love it. You know, improvising, yeah. Getting in front of a crowd. Sure. That maybe that’s your next book, you know, maybe, yeah. Favorite Songs that you’ve played

Michael LaVista 37:51

on? It’s funny. So I am as a 80s, guitar person, Hair Metal falls right into my sweet spot. And I think I’ve only ever gotten to play this one once live. But I always want to play hot for teacher by Van Halen, which is not very a song you couldn’t do today. And I was really excited to do it. And we played it two years ago, maybe three years ago at a at a benefit. And I was so excited to do it. But as soon as the song see if you know that song, but it starts with a big drum intro and then the guitar comes in. And as soon as the guitar came in, the lighting person unbeknownst to me, started this crazy strobe thing happening. And it threw me off so much. I kind of like what’s happening right now. And I totally screwed up the intro on my one shot of ever to ever doing it. But I think we were so loud that no notice and they said it did a great job. But I remember being like, man, tell me if I’m gonna run, you’re gonna run those strobes in my face. Like to know. Yeah, we need to redo. I knew I love a replace you still do. Yeah. quick plug playing this Saturday in Libertyville, if anyone wants to show up. I don’t at least come out and probably be after. May was it may 7, may 9, but what’s called Rock City seven. So we still do a few shows a year also playing Libertyville days this year. And it’s a great it’s the best possible distraction from business because one of the things I talked about with people who are in music is unlike you know, how many of us have been watching a movie, while also somehow simultaneously reading your phone and eating a thing and like, when you’re doing music, music, you can’t not be 100% involved in it or you will screw it up. So the idea that it’s one of the few places that I can completely leave the business and all the stuff I’m thinking about behind and that’s a good that’s a good reset for

Jeremy Weisz 39:42

Caxy, Rock City Seven, Michael, thank you so much.

Michael LaVista 39:47

Thanks, for having me.