Nick has been at the helm of Parachute’s team of digital and data engineers for the last ten months. They’re our builders, our problem solvers and as some of us might agree, our rescue line should anything go sideways. Certainly not any unsung heroes here! We sat down with Nick to ask him about how he leads this team, his management values and to get advice on what it’s like to be in a leadership role in this industry. We also threw in some of Parachute’s most divisive questions…
Tell us about where you grew up
I was born in LA but grew up in Orange County. This was way before Orange County was even on the map. It had a small-town feel, but yet we had the fair, the beach, and always had access to a wide variety of great food. I’ve had the opportunity to work and travel to many different countries, but always loved returning back to Orange County.
Tell us what your team is working on today
We’re working on a number of great initiatives that really deliver value for the company. On the data side, we’re deploying cutting edge tools and processes that deliver higher quality data, reliably and that empower our organization to make timely data driven decisions. On the digital side, we have a well-defined roadmap that increases our capabilities to deliver personalized customer experiences. We’re also deploying new tech that maintains and improves site performance, enhances SEO, improves our time to market, and adds more self-service and agility to our merchandising and operations teams.
What have you learned in the past 10 months at Parachute?
Quite a bit. We’re heavily focused on taking care of our people. Our people are truly what we value and continue to invest in. What differentiates us is not just our products or technology, but our approach to how we recognize and appreciate each and every person that make Parachute the amazing community that it is.
What’s your management style like?
This is easy. I’m people oriented, customer-obsessed (including my internal constituents). I like to inspire and innovate while pushing people to do and achieve their best. I appreciate the opportunity to mentor others and to over communicate and be transparent.
What are your most important values that you demonstrate as a leader?
Respect people. Setting expectations and over communicating helps others know where you stand at all times. Every person regardless of seniority and tenure, can always have good ideas and suggestions, which we should always be open to.
How do you keep your team motivated in this remote age?
Keeping people motivated is as simple as listening to them. What they want, what type of work interests them, where they want to grow personally and professionally are all types of feedback I solicit regularly. Getting the feedback is important, but acting on that feedback and ensuring people feel satisfied and challenged along the way is how they stay motivated.
How do you encourage creative thinking?
I try to promote divergent thinking. In our business we need to move and operate quickly with what little information we have. I encourage the teams to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions in an effort to find one that works and then pursue it.
What advice would you give someone applying to a leadership role?
Focus on developing people. The most fulfilling and successful roles that I have had in my career have led to growth, mentorship and success for others. This is completely rewarding but it also, not surprisingly, leads to success in the workplace and in your day-to-day life.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your industry?
Learn what it takes to be successful. Be honest with yourself as to whether you have what it takes and whether you want to put in that energy. If you are passionate and enjoy what you do, it will automatically be enjoyable and rewarding.
Cups in the cupboard, right side up or upside down?
Right Side up. Cups with handles were not meant to be picked up upside down.
Pineapple on Pizza?
Of course. The good thing about pizza is that you can experiment and put just about any topping you like or could think of!
How would your closest friend describe you?
They might start by saying I’m crazy. But they would then say that I’m fun-loving, energetic, with a passion to experiment and try new things. I love helping others and finding ways to give back, so I would hope they also recognize and say that! Lastly, I love doing things on the spur of the moment. Because of that, my closest friends would say I am intense yet whimsical.