Co-Founder and CPO
Q: Share a little bit about Amplify and what motivated you to start a consulting firm?
A: “When Dave and I decided to start Amplify, we aligned around the idea of a purpose-connected firm where the principle focus would be to build and empower people. We believed that focusing on people would make us more competitive—and it has. We also believed that our team should be our first and most important stakeholder. Our decision to start Amplify with this focus wasn’t calculated or strategic. It was just acknowledged that the effort would only be worth it if we could be connected to purpose along the way. We’re just lucky that when you help your stakeholders achieve what is most important to them, profitability often follows.“
Q: As a company that focuses on leveraging technology, can you share how technology has impacted you and Amplify?
A: “Connection is one of the core values at Amplify. So, when Covid-19 forced us to begin social distancing, I was concerned about what it would do to connections at Amplify. At it’s best, technology helps recapture time, improve lives, and connect people. And that’s what it has done for us. Through collaboration technology like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Trello, our team could continue to feel efficient, productive, and cared for. It’s amazing to me that we can feel so connected on video calls even though we are unable to be in the same room. I also feel very blessed that technology has facilitated new ways for us to keep people on their growth paths, celebrate together, and continue an innovative events schedule..“
Q: How do you encourage creative thinking at Amplify?
A: “We create a space that is safe for people to bring their whole selves to work. We cultivate an environment where people feel seen, valued, and appreciated. We encourage people in the midst of failure and celebrate those same people when they achieve success. Motivation, innovation, and creativity can be very fragile. They need the right amount of safety, risk, encouragement, freedom, and pressure to thrive. Our job in leadership is to identify and maintain that balance.“
Q: What are the most important traits to look for when hiring a new Team Member?
A: “Before I respond to this question, I want to make a disclaimer: I have a bias that people experience success more often than they create it. Success thrives in an environment with the right amounts of structure/chaos, safety/risk, pressure/freedom, recognition/support. Success also thrives in scenarios that align to one’s passions, skills, and aptitudes. So when I look for traits, I don’t think people are good if they have them and bad if they don’t. I just think that given our mix of the aforementioned factors, there are people who will experience more success than others.
The people that I believe experience the most success at Amplify:
• Are principally aligned to our values, and the behaviors of those values
• Have a vision for themselves and where they want to grow
• Would describe themselves as thorough, driven, problem solvers
• Love chaotic environments and are comfortable with ambiguity”
Q: What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into joining a consulting firm?
A: “• Most important book to structure your thinking and communication: The Pyramid Principle
• Books to connect with people and navigate conversations: Crucial conversation and Crucial confrontations
• Book to learn how to capture and keep attention: Pitch Anything”
Q: How do you ensure continuous growth and development as a leader?
A: “We make growth and development a focus at Amplify. The leaders participate in the same growth activities as every other team member. This means that we create collaborative learning goals. We participate in 360 degree reviews. We solicit feedback from our team, clients, and partners. We also create an environment where people at any level of the firm can give us hard feedback without feeling like they are risking something themselves.”
Q: Did you have a summer job growing up? What was it? Hate it, enjoy it?
A: “Does it still count as a summer job if I worked year-round? As soon as I was old enough to work, I had a job. At 16, I worked at AMC movie theater. I loved interacting with all of the people coming to the concessions. Watching movies for free wasn’t a bad perk either. After AMC, I started working as a busser and then a server at various restaurants. I loved it. Building rapport with new people over and over was very rewarding. It also created a lot of tragically funny stories. Ask me about the time I accidentally spilled a bowl of ranch on a toddler’s head.”
Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?
A: “• Living for at least 6-months in at least three other countries
• Meeting my grandchildren
• Taking a company public”
Q: What one thing makes you most proud?
A: “Most proud? My kids, hands down. It’s possible I’m biased, but they are the most brilliant, determined, inspiring, and hilarious roommates a guy could have.
At work, I’m most proud of watching people thrive. Before Covid, and hopefully again once it abates, I loved watching people interact in the office. Dave and I have worked hard to create a place where people feel seen, valued, and appreciated; where they can bring their whole-selves to work; where they feel connected; and where they feel empowered. Watching our team thrive is the most rewarding element of my role. I feel very lucky.”