Business Tip Image by Pete Linforth from PixabayThis is the 73rd in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has spoken to. Enterprise Times recently interviewed Grant Halloran CEO of Planful. During the interview, Halloran talked about the progress that Planful has made since he was appointed CEO in 2019. He spoke about the upcoming news at Planful Perform. He talked about the future, including taking a look at the Planful approach to Gen AI and Quantum computing.

Grant Halloran, CEO, Planful (image credit - LinkedIn/Grant Halloran)
Grant Halloran, CEO, Planful

I also asked Halloran what he had learned as CEO over the last five years. And what advice he would give himself in 2019 if he could go back in time.

“I think the advice I would give is that it’s very easy to become consumed with the volume of stuff you have to deal with as a CEO. It can feel overwhelming at times. The best use of your time is to be outwardly focused on your people and your customers as a counterforce to the natural inward pressure that is very easy to fall into, making a lot of things about yourself in your own company.

“That’s the biggest learning that I’ve had in recent years, in this phase of my career. I’m best as a leader when I’m really outwardly focused, especially on my people. How they perform in their careers and what we can do to help them. Also, at a personal level, they’re human beings trying to do good jobs and just really having that level of focus. I’ve found it makes me a better leader and makes them more effective too.”

Other stakeholders

You mentioned customers and your workforce. What about other external stakeholders? How do you balance their needs?

“I spend a lot of informal time with my investors, I don’t rely upon the formality of board meetings and things, board packages and information sharing. I think I’m a little unusual in that I like to talk with my investor stakeholders quite regularly and informally. That’s something that I’ve found useful.

“Another big stakeholder for us as partners. For me, I’m always thinking about and talking with them about how I can help. What can we do to make them more successful as a company and help them achieve their goals. As they want to continue to grow and, obviously, be profitable? I’m very focused on what we can do to help them. With the idea that the more where we’re working for their benefit as a partner, the more they’re going to help us scale our company and reach more customers and create a better customer outcome.

“That’s a simple approach. I don’t think all software companies do that, they get focused on the spreadsheets and get greedy at times. I just don’t think that’s a long-term winning formula.”

Customer obsession is alpha and omega for market fit


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