159: Leaders with Heart Put Their Hearts into Their Work and Find Joy

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In this episode, Heather interviews Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, The Customer Success Company. Nick shares about his values and the values of his company. Values such as putting people first, beginner’s mind, childlike joy, and more. These qualities shine in Nick’s character throughout the episode, as his passion for leadership and doing good becomes more and more apparent. 

Key Takeaways:

  • No matter what stage of life you are in, you are always a beginner. 
  • First rule of business is putting humans first. 
  • Bring the kid in you to work each day. 
  • If you have values, then you will have times you didn’t live up to them. 
  • A leader’s emotions are amplified, we must be self-aware.
  • In your corner of the world, think “I can be pretty good”
  • Get to know yourself (coaching, therapy, personality tests, peer groups, etc.).
  • Find joy in the work and in yourself, other things will come and go you have to love yourself and what you do. 
  • A great way to expand influence is by volunteering to help people, help as many people as you can.

Nick Mehta’s FULL BIO

Nick Mehta is the CEO of Gainsight, The Customer Success Company—a five time Forbes Cloud 100 recipient. He works with a team of nearly 700 people who together have created the customer success category that’s currently taking over the SaaS business model worldwide. 

Nick has been named one of the Top SaaS CEOs by the Software Report three years in a row, one of the Top CEOs of 2018 by Comparably, and was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 Northern California Award winner. On top of all that, he was recently rated the #1 CEO in the world (the award committee was just his mom, but the details are irrelevant). 

He is a member of the Board of Directors at F5 and has also co-authored two books on the customer success field, Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, and The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift. 

He is passionate about family, football, philosophy, physics, fashion, feminism, and SaaS customer success. People told him it’s impossible to combine all of those interests, but Nick has made it his life’s mission to try.

Always a Beginner

One of our values at Gainsight is “soshin,” which means beginner’s mind. I would say I’m a beginner and will always be a beginner. But I’ve learned more about myself over time. I feel like I can always learn more on how to be a better leader from other people. But also, over 43 years, I’ve got to know myself a little better, which helps. I’m no different than everyone else we all have a very short amount of time on this earth. I’m just more privileged than most people but have the similar aspirations and desires.

You can win in business while being human first. - @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Passion and Achievement

There are three different levels of where my personal passion comes from. One of them is that I love what I do—literally the day-to-day. Two is I am like a lot of people. I admit that I am obsessed with trying to be successful and to achieve. A lot of that goes back to my parents and my childhood and upbringing. Three, you define yourself based on your achievement. It’s just overwhelming how much stuff is thrown at you in the universe about how much you’re not achieving no matter what you’ve achieved. But eventually you know yourself and you can laugh at yourself a little bit in a loving way. I accepted that we’re never going to be the biggest company in the world, but we can be somewhat successful. What we can do is to actually like the way we run our company, carrying a lot about our values and our people and trying to be our authentic selves. We defined our purpose statement, our company, and we want to be the living proof that you can win in business while being human first. There’s always somebody better no matter who you are. But we’re hoping to be a small example where maybe it can work.

When you're a leader, whatever you feel like amplified on everyone else. - @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet You can want to be somebody else but you are who you are, so you can't be somebody else. - @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Values, Emotions, and Empathy

If you have values, you have got to have times when you didn’t live up to them. There’s a lot of situations where I feel I could have done better. When you’re a leader, whatever you feel like amplified on everyone else. Some people intentionally might be upset at the team because they want them to feel it. How important my emotions are, how they make people feel, and being empathetic was one big learning I’ve really tried to practice over time.

If you don't love yourself in this process, then I don't think it's going to work long term. You're on your own journey. - @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet Help people anytime you can. - @nrmehta #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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