Tell me about your first job.
I had full responsibility for creating the lands and the waters and the heavens. And light. Actually, light came first. I should have said that. I’m sorry. I’m a little nervous. I really need this job.
The thing I’m most proud of from that work, though, was a project we called Eden. Some people called it a garden, but that isn’t really the right word. It was so much more. Think of it as a complete ecosystem and habitat designed to sustain its inhabitants in a flawless and happy state of being for eternity. It was the perfect consumer platform.
What happened with that project?
Oh, we had to take it offline after it ran into some problems caused by unanticipated user behavior. You know how it is, even when you give them the clearest instructions, they do the one thing that will crash the system. So, we ended up introducing sin into the world, along with suffering and labor pains for women, and we wrote off all the investment.
Describe a time you identified a problem and what you did to fix it.
Well, a bit later, after the Eden thing, I realized that the world was just filled with sin, so I impregnated a virgin and sent my deputy to turn things around.
So that fixed the issue? Sin was gone after that?
It’s a little more complicated than that. He brought about the Kingdom in people’s hearts and opened the way to salvation. Our market share went way up.
But you said sin was the problem. Did you see any measurable results on that issue, specifically?
It’s hard to quantify. There are multiple factors, don’t you see. Genocides are up in the last few centuries, but blaspheming is down. It’s a very complex situation. But, like I said, people’s hearts are saved. That was a big win. Everyone thought so.
Okay. Describe your communication style.
I’d say clear and direct but not heavy-handed. I try to give people all the information they need and then let them make their own decisions. I actually wrote a book—you might have seen that on my résumé. And I’d say it captured everything people in my organization needed to know. Some reviewers have called it “the only perfect book ever written.” I’m really proud of that.
But one thing I’ve learned is that no matter how clear you make something, people will find a way to misinterpret what you say. Then they love to blame you, “Oh, you told me to do this; look at chapter and verse whatever.” Like, the book says, Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Pretty clear, right? Admirably clear, I’d say. Well, somehow, this one division chief named Urban II still thought the book told him to launch a war and go massacre thousands and thousands of people. So, at his next review, I ask Urban, What were you thinking? And he says, What about all those stories you put in the book of your favorite project team razing cities and slaughtering the inhabitants? And I’m like, Those were just for fun—I was being silly. How could you not get it?
So, yeah, clear and direct. You have to trust people to understand. I really believe in people.
Describe a mistake you made and how you dealt with it.
One time I got furious at my project team. They were goofing off, drinking wine, and fornicating all the time instead of paying attention to the strategic goals I’d set. I decided I’d spare the employee of the month that month, his name was Noah, but I’d terminate everyone else. That was a mistake, because I didn’t think about how long it takes to rebuild an organization from scratch. It took decades before Noah could generate enough subordinates to get our productivity back to baseline. So, I made an utterly binding promise never to do that again. After that headache, I thought that maybe next time I’ll impregnate a virgin, that would be a much better approach. So something good came out of it.
Is there anything we don’t know about you that you want to tell us?
I like to laugh. There was this one time with one of my direct reports, Abraham, a good guy who later became a very successful founder, and he said it was all because of my mentoring. Anyway, one time, I told him he’d have to kill his first-born son. I told him it was an order from the very top. And he took the kid up to this spot on the mountain I told him about. And you should have seen his face when I jumped out and told him it was a joke. I mean… I guess you had to be there. But people really like little moments like that where you can laugh together. It’s team building.
One last question for you: Our culture is intense. We all want to be the best intermediator of B2B services for midsize rental agencies and insurance brokers working outside major metro areas in all of creation. How would you describe your work ethic?
Oh, yeah, I’m intense too. Grr. Right? Ha ha. I once worked six days straight. And then I rested after that. And only for one day.
Thanks. We’ll be in touch about next steps.