PPB July 2022

Chr i s Ande r son But collaborating with talented teams is the real highlight. Anderson says, “My career has been nothing more than a series of very fortuitous relationships. I have worked and continue to work with a collection of incredibly talented and passionate individuals. For example, I’m nowhere near as good at corporate finance as Kim Hayes, our CFO. I’m nowhere near the product developer as Aaron Irvin, our head of product development. The list goes on. “But what I’ve become over time is someone who is reasonably conversant in each language of business, and can help facilitate effective dialogue between the various functions. I’ve found that to be a very effective catalyst for getting things done quickly. In the cockpit, just like in business, task saturation is a hurdle. To focus, Anderson trusts his instruments. “If you start to go off hunch, that’s when things go bad real quick,” he says. “I remember the first time I was tasked with flying an airplane with sole reference to instruments and no reference to the outside environment. You are wearing a mask over your eyes to where you can only see the instruments. “Within a few moments, what your gut tells you is up, you’re actually going down. When your gut tells you you’re straight and level, you’re actually in a steep bank. It’s quite a powerful analogy.” Anderson says it’s the same for running a business: Trust your instruments. “The instruments— or sources of valuable information—that I have in front of me are not only the data; but, more critically, the talented team and leaders surroundingme,” he says. Trusting your team is paramount. “I am going to take a signal from this proven, reliable and accurate source, and I am going to use that to steer my broader strategy. Then, I am going to move on to the next ‘indicator.’ Just like running a high-functioning cockpit, you have to have good sources of information, trust in those sources and empower them to steer the overall ship instead of a single pilot operating on gut feeling hunch.” Anderson began his fouryear term on the PPAI Board immediately after The PPAI Expo 2022 in January. He “My desire to servewas largely informed bywhat I sawaroundme— smart, capable committedpeople whohad the longtermmindset that a highpromo tide will raise all boats.” —Chris Anderson 52 | JULY 2022 | GROW