CTO Think

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Would you hire Kanye West if he was a great programmer, despite his social media presence? This week, we talk about social media quality control, public personas, and the challenge of being inclusive while trying to maintain a steady team dynamic. We also somehow bring up Pink, Tim Tebow, and James Damore into the conversation.

Show Notes


Tim Tebow
Kanye West
Ta-Nehisi Coates
James Damore

Show Transcript

Megan Schemmel: Welcome to CTO Think, a podcast about leadership, product development, and tech decisions between two recovering chief technology officers. Here are your hosts, Don VanDemark and Randy Burgess. 

Don VanDemark: Good morning, Randy.  What's up this week? 

Randy Burgess: Let's see, on our other podcast This Old App we launched an episode that I think is anyone that's trying to quit procrastinating and get stuff done.

It's a story  with one of our previous guests Mark Thompson,  where he details that he gave himself a 30-day deadline for a project. It was a big challenge. He ultimately did not meet the deadline. He eventually did succeed with the goal. And I think it's just a great, um, listen for folks that want to hear someone's anguish,  and then ultimately success with getting something done and the only way I think the motivation was just to follow through. So that's on thisoldapp.online, Episode 5. 

Don VanDemark: Yeah, I listen. I listened to that one in the car the other day and uh, I, you know, the side projects that I've been doing and that includes a medium article that I wrote a couple months back um, yeah about cleaning out the closet of side project so similar, 

Randy Burgess: Yep, and I also started using a new app called Descript the founder of Groupon started at a new company called Detour that company did not really I don't think it became very profitable. He sold it off, but out of that came an application for um, editing audio and transcriptions and we try to do a   Patreon account related to getting routine transcriptions for our show, to help with accessibility to be more inclusive. Um, and you know, we didn't get the funding and it's pretty expensive for a non-sponsored show to drop $60 $70 an episode four transcription. But now using this new app Descript I can edit while I listen to the episode and pull out show notes and stuff.

And it's I think it will allow us to have transcriptions at least going forward. Um four our shows which is still a goal that I've been having for a while. So that's a nice addition. We've got transcription on two episodes of this old app. I hope to transcribe this one. Um, And it can also allow us to cut out some of the um's once you're once you're ready to transcription you realize, oh I say "so" at the beginning of my sentences a lot. I need to quit that, but um, that was that's one latest project. Other than that Ruby work, JavaScript work, React learning, Firebase learning. Um talking to founders of companies. I've been doing that a lot lately, um on the trying to consult with their CTO related needs, uh, pretty busy, but good stuff. What about you? 

Don VanDemark: So you took in a bit of culture, uh at the end of last week and went to see a Broadway show in Chicago. Um, Correct? 

Randy Burgess: Heathers the Musical, that's what you're talkin about now. Yes Hamilton. We saw Hamilton finally for the first time. 

Don VanDemark: Sure sure. So I didn't do anything quite as cultured. Um, but uh, but Tuesday we went to go see Pink  in concert  and I'll I will say the most controversial thing I think I've said on this show.  I think Pink  the artist who is on the cover of People magazine is one of the most underrated pop artists out there right now. 

Randy Burgess: My wife loves listen to her stuff and I mean lot more of the back in the day I'm just surprised there wasn't an age cap and you weren't allowed to go in.

Don VanDemark: Oh, no, trust me the section we were sitting in was our age because as you go up in price level they age goes up, right? Exactly and then you've got you've got the those who brought their kids along to but uh, but yeah, that was the second one we've been to and both times they were great shows. Um, and one of her album three albums ago, I think is one of the best pop album out there. So like I said most controversial thing I've ever said on the show, but uh, but no other than that just been working through stuff. We've got a project going on, right? Now we're fighting through and then uh on AspirEdu we're working through some minor performance things that we're trying to get rectified which scaling helps to some degree. But um at the end of the day you got to make your stuff uh more performant and code at times as well. So yeah, we've got a bigger project to handle that before the fall semesters kick in um, but in general working through that and then I've also got a 100 plus questions security survey I'm filling out for a client. So that's a interesting exercise. 

Randy Burgess: Wow, can I help? Oh actually don't answer that.

Don VanDemark: No, but I will gladly share the questionnaire for you to read for your uh, pleasure and enjoyment because there's nothing more gripping than a security questionnaire. Um, so this this week I wanted to talk a little bit about social media policies, email policies, um engagement of employees with the outside world.

Um, now I'm gonna preface this whole conversation and will probably say it two or three more times with the fact that this is an HR decision. This is not an IT decision. Um, but as as IT Executives and IT leaders, um, it's probably important to be at least a part of the conversation so you can provide um, your knowledge and your your uh expertise, uh to that conversation as well.

So what I'm talkin about in general is what is the policy when it comes to each employee's social media account and what restrictions if any uh, should there be placed on that? So an employee has a Twitter account and they say something controversial.

How does that affect their employment with your company if the Tweet itself said nothing about your company? Um, that's that's generally where we're talkin about and you see this probably on a weekly basis. There's some story about somebody saying something controversial at least to a group of people.

Um, and then employers have decisions to make about what to do about that. So, um, have you have you had to deal with this in any of your dealings and if if so or if not, what what your general thoughts on that?

Randy Burgess: I have not. I've never been asked by an HR department or a company to enforce any kind of social media. I've never been asked by a company to watch myself. Um, and maybe that's because like small, I've always the biggest company I've worked for was about four or five years ago and Twitter was still like a little trinket at that time, perhaps but. You know, I I guess my opinion is I can understand why a big company wants to control the risk of a an employee statements that may be misconstrued for representing views of the company like I get that.

Um, The problem I think you were into is that this is a country, the United States is built on the idea of freedom of speech. Now that doesn't I know that that doesn't necessarily pertain to come like how a person represents a company but the the idea is that people can say what they want and deal with the repercussions without corporate or government interference.

So, How do you balance the the goal of our ideals, um to allow for people to be freedom of expression with the responsibility they need to say things while they represent a company? You know, normally I think you see people on their profiles say "Views are my own" and I see a lot of Microsoft people and the industry kind of go down that route. They basically seemed like they can make controversial statements as long as they say I while I may work for Microsoft, I don't speak for Microsoft and that seems to work fine. Um, I think, but I guess where I would get more involved as as a company wants to automate it.


Don VanDemark: oh interesting. Okay. 

Randy Burgess: I mean, that's the only like, I don't know how else you could if you if you came to me as I was a CEO of a company in the company came to me and said "we need a social media policy." I would say well go find some legal talk and scare people like do your best to like enforce through policy, but if they came to me and said we need to know what our people are saying, we need to monitor the like what our folks are doing, then I would have to come and do the search for tools that actually scanned and watched what people did. Um, I don't know how you can block anybody. The only thing you can really do is like monitor and then respond to that monitoring and have a policy and enforcement in place that actually makes behavior a certain way but I can't say I'd care to work for a company that got that heavy-handed with it right myself.

So yeah, it's a I guess I understand the risk. I can think of some waysd I may approach it if asked to automate a monitoring or enforcement system, but I can't say if I want to if I want to um retweet a meme about Kanye West I want to do it with freedom, I'll pay for the consequences of it myself, but I want to do it on my own.

Um, right I don't want so I don't know if that answers your question or not. 

Don VanDemark: Yeah. I I think um, I think you covered a few of the points. I was I was thinking about as well which is um, it's going to be heavy-handed for any company to try and enforce a policy restricting, um what employees can say, but the companies are also going to suffer those consequences of what employees say, even if employees say things like put things in their profile like "this is my opinion, this does not reflect the opinion of of my company." Um, we've gotten to the point I'm currently where um, if someone says something and social media uh that depending on who that offends that block of people will then go and try and boycott the company.

Um, so that's it's a real sticky situation and and it's where the HR person on the lawyers really should get involved. Um, But I do think as as technology executives, we we can bring a a certain knowledge in a certain expertise to the situation. Um, and this social media is getting to where there's so many different things out there you can't, you talk about automating things. You can automate Twitter. That's pretty easy. You can automate Facebook. That's probably pretty easy. How do you automate Twitch?  How are you gonna automate the monitoring of Twitch and what an employee might say in a video on Twitch. 

Randy Burgess: Um, but is that is that a realistic goal to even control all that?

Don VanDemark: I'm not I'm not I'm not saying it's a realistic goal I'm saying it's where the world's moving. It's moving the video. Um, The social media World anyway, um videos becoming a bigger and bigger thing. So, um, you talked about automating. I haven't even thought of automated monitoring, um that when you're talkin about video and audio that certainly uh, certainly plays a part, as well. Um, as far as you're probably not going to be able to monitor that as easily or inexpensively. 

Randy Burgess: Well, I do know like let's go on to let's take it out on a different path public companies and their statements to the public are monitored are recorded by compliance rules. I think I could be wrong about this but there's a certain amount of if I if the CEO of a company goes out and makes a statement that is material to the business and the prospects of it and then they go and sell the stock or make a move. There is the definitely a enforcement um policy around statement was made, did it influence the market price and did you act upon that influence? Um, so I can like I remember so compliance and communications. What like the example that I have of doing that kind of stuff was as a part of our regulation when I worked for Horizon Cash Management for 10 years we had to record all in the incoming and outgoing emails and we built we purchased the service of a basically an email recorder and all it really did was capture every email that went through our servers and then indexed the contents so that if an audit needed to take place, it was really simple and it wouldn't waste a lot of time and money of the company and that was proactive for us to do that because talking to a friend of mine in law the amount of money that lawyers spend um on email searches and stuff is incredible. So this was us kind of saying like, let's get ahead of this and just you know Monitor and record all this I guess you could still say that any messaging on any platform for certain officers of a company is pretty much the same especially if it's done from the server's of the company offices and so I could see where if any request go out on Twitter from the company office you may want to record that um and majority like 99% of it will be crap that you're recording but maybe that's one of the type of reasons why you would do such a thing so I can see where a company that has to monitor their messages to the public and the subsequent trades and stuff that may be involved may have to do that by law and that's right, not that you can't get around that type of thing right 

Don VanDemark: that that's absolutely true when you're dealing with Securities Law that that matters. Um, And that that also applies to the audio and video as well. So yeah, that was an excellent point to bring up as well. What um, I've seen varying opinions on the footers that go on emails  legal basis.

Yeah, as far as a uh a by receipt of this email you acknowledge that you will use it only for business it probably not enforceable in any court of law.

Randy Burgess: Well, I just want to see a case that's gone to law where someone is suing because I sent you an email that explicitly said you couldn't do such and such and you went against that contract and I'm like, I don't know how you enforce something like just because you send me a contract doesn't mean I agree to it,

Don VanDemark: right? 

Randy Burgess: Even if you say in the bottom of the footer you agree to this. I'm like no I don't you sent it to me and I don't have a chance like I guess I got block all future emails, maybe that's the argument but that doesn't make for a very effective system. I mean the majority of contracts in life, in law are simply a means to structure a future dispute. Like they aren't really there to block you necessarily and they may not be enforced but it says like anything it says we agree on these guidelines and if we have a disagreement then this is how we'll deal with it. And that's really what most of those type of um guideline like there are guidelines for future arguments. I guess that's how I've always looked at them. Right? I don't know that. 

Don VanDemark: Yeah, I had to bring that up because that's one of those things where we're talkin about policies. And and that's where the lawyers got involved right some lawyer somewhere said, hey, let's uh, let's try and protect ourselves from having our own emails used against us. So we'll make somebody will make every way put this at the bottom of their email or we will have the server tack it on the bottom of every email that gets sent. Um, and then it just as bad ideas go, it spread like a weed um from there. W hat brought up this idea was was just seeing various  instances where  people  will make a statement or take a controversial photo in social media and then the companies come that they work for come under Fire. So wanted to work through as technology Executives what exactly that the thought process behind everything was um, go ahead. 

Randy Burgess: Well, I think step one, hire goodgood people. Um, like you can I have no problem looking up people for anything like what statements do they make if I if I am looking for a guest for our show, I definitely look them up on social media and in look at what do they? What do they say in public? Because I don't necessarily want like, I don't want like I guess let's put Kanye West back in the picture. Not that you'd ever talk on our show and not that I really follow him that much but he is big in the news yesterday for statements that are controversial to a group of people, and usually his statements are, by design there to gather attention.

I wouldn't hire him to represent my company.  I don't really listen to his music that much but um, and I don't have an opinion on his talent level. But I don't need that type of attention brought my way. The attention that he gathers is not the kind of attention I want for my business, so that goes for anybody I talk to um, and there are certain people, I'm definitely um personally more on the liberal side of politics. So I'm probably not going to bring on a very strong-minded, uh conservative person, necessarily. You know, if if if the majority of their tweets lean towards political discussion, I may not want them associated with a tech podcast. You know, I don't know, but I think that you do screening these days to see what does this person do online before they get into my company? 

Don VanDemark: Okay. 

Randy Burgess: And that's to me the first filter if you don't take the time to do that and then worry about the Social Media stuff? I don't think you're doing the ounce of prevention that's really necessary.

Don VanDemark: Okay, so let me let me pick it that a little make sure we were clarifying exactly what we're talkin about here. So it sounds like you're going down the Tim Tebow road of um, of locker room, unity of  not wanting necessarily to bring controversial  or outspoken people into your organization.

I don't think that's what you meant to say specifically, but that's what I heard.

Randy Burgess: It depends on what they're outspoken about, like Tim Tebow is outspoken about Christianity like it comes through on everything he talks about that doesn't bother me, um personally, um that he does that. So would I talk to Tim Tebow on our show? Sure if he has something to talk about technology, um, or he wants me to grade his NFL prospects again, I'd be happy to insult him.

But the when it comes to like do I want my company what I bring Kanye West on when I know he's going to tweet stuff that runs against the attention I want ,that type of attention, I want from my company? Then no I don't I don't want that. So it's not about that they are outspoken. It's about the fact that okay, what kind of attention to your does your social media presence garner you and is that something I want to have associated with like if someone were to go Kanye West, um who works for All Aboard Apps, says this about Trump. I don't, I just don't want that attention. I don't want to have to answer to that. Um, I don't think it would be good for the business that I am trying to present. But if it were to be like Tim Tebow devout Christian and minor league baseball player, middling minor league baseball player, then I'd be like, okay, as long as I mean if if he's gonna do something for the business, I don't see that as a negative attention type of thing. So that's the difference to me is what is your so what is what how do you represent yourself and social media before you get in the door?  Now, I might have a statement to anybody working at the company that says, "this is how you should portray yourself" or like we don't want attention around politics. We're staying out of it. We don't Lobby Congress. We don't Lobby the branches of legislature. We don't we don't get involved in that stuff. And so we ask that you refrain from getting into the middle of these things.

And that's just a matter of you know, how you want to represent your business. I work with a lot of people that are very outspoken about the NRA and gun control and I personally don't care. Um, it doesn't bother me that anyone I work with would represent themselves strongly in that area, but that's there's bias there.

I'm like, I'm ahead of my my company and they probably agree with me on some things. So it's kind of up to the you know, people that work for the Koch brothers? I bet they have a very strong policy about what you're allowed to say without getting fired there and I would not agree with half of it but um, or more than half of it, but that's what go like if you want to take the money from that company to work for them, they're going to put certain policies on you because the founders of the company are outspoken and shovel their money into certain, um, discussions and the political atmosphere. So it's not about the outspokenness. It's about what is said and I think it's important, very important for companies, and for leaders to know if you bring in a person, um to my company, what are you saying and does that affect the team, um the like how our team interacts with each other? That's what I would say is more important for someone at our level that's putting a team together not to is how what is allowed, what is disruptive and what represents the team um or not or does it matter? I guess there's I do have an example, but go ahead.

Don VanDemark: I was gonna add the last point you brought up. There is is really where I'm leaning more than anything is the locker room dynamic. Um the team dynamic. I while I don't necessarily want people out there, um, let me rephrase that. I understand the position that if someone makes a statement and that statement is accompanied by "employed by CTO Think" for example, um, then that's going to be something that as a Tech leaders we have to react to, um, I don't know that I necessarily will use it as a first filter, um to say does this person make controversial statements?

Uh, yes, they do therefore. I don't know that I want them in the company, um to to use the examples you've been using. Um, if Kanye was the perfect fit technically for the position I needed am I not going to hire him based on his his public statements. Yeah. It's a difficult decision. Um, he's a better JavaScript programmer than Tim Tebow is who while also controversial is is controversial in different way.

Um, I I don't know which direction to go as far as um, is it necessarily am I screening based on that because it's difficult. It is difficult to tell people you're not allowed to have opinions because they will come right back and say these are mine, they don't represent the company. As employee the company you never really get rid of that label that you an employee the company, so it's tough our example, 

Randy Burgess: maybe our examples kind of suck at the moment. Let's blame me. They're mine. I think I brought up every personality so far. So instead of Tim Tebow who never be talking about tech, and Kanye West who please don't talk about that. Let's go and talk about James Damore. Is a day more. I don't know. Um, the guy that Google okay made the statements about um, the point of the the plight of the whiney white man is all good.

That's not probably fair but it's that's what it sounded like to me. Um, I do know people that agree with him. Um, That that really felt that he got a bad deal and um, I disagree with them. I think he decided to tread into the political waters the social media waters with a statement that was you know, his opinion and and he suffered the consequences because he brought negative attention to a big company that is in a liberal landscape. Google is out in California, the their social media presence, their customer base is a good percentage liberal, based on how the company is represented itself. That doesn't mean that Google doesn't isn't it a source of usage for people on both sides. But anyway, Damore had an internal memo that head of a company that size that stuff is not staying private. Maybe he can maybe make the argument, well, I did it internally. I didn't expect it to go out. But then I'd be like well, then you're dumb as dirt because that you don't work at a big company make a controversial statement and think it's not going to leak to the press and that scenario, but the would you like I don't know how good an engineer he is but let's say he's really good. Would you hire him if he could solve a python problem that you needed for Aspiredu?

Don VanDemark: The answer there is no, more because of the team dynamic than the external controversy and I think that's where I'm trying starting to land is while I don't want a homogeneous team because that uh, that just breeds bubble thinking um, and and nobody being able to think outside and create different solutions.

If you have every day thinking the same way, um it the team dynamic is important to any company and if if a person's public stance is going to impact the team dynamic then that that's just gonna sink sink any company. Um, I think for the most part that I can deal with external pressures and I can deal with um, external statements more than I can deal with how does this person's public stance affect the rest of the team? I think that's where I'm landing on all this. Um, and that's that in and of itself is tough. How do you balance between homogeny and and people having different opinions and and and probably uh opposite opinions at times. Um, And that's that is also just very careful screening very careful discussion, um, and and we're going to use our magic word. I think we're going to rename our podcast um and just uh an expectation of empathy. Uh, I think we're gonna start calling our podcast empathy

Randy Burgess: Empathy Think! 

Don VanDemark: because we bring that up a lot. Um, I think that's that's the trait, right? Um, I can have a stance but I can also understand your stance. I don't have to agree with it, but I at least can can take a view of your experiences and and your your life history and go I see how you've got there. Um and then figure out the best path to to continue together as a team, um people that are empathetic while they may have opinions are are welcoming of other opinions. I guess it's the best way to put it. 

Randy Burgess: Well, that's where I was going to steer this because the there becomes an issue if your goal is to have, to help, let's say you you are a tech leader and you understand the lack of inclusiveness that our industry has. It's not unique to the tech industry, but we definitely know in the tech industry, we have problems with gender imbalance and ethnic background type of issues in terms of white men dominate the industry from an employment standpoint.

And so, if you filter on a social media, um level like based on this person's ideals are different from the team and I'm trying to maintain a stable team and you also tell me that you're trying to hire a more inclusive workforce, you're going to have issues I think because the most stable looking or stable sounding team is one where everybody agrees with each other and nobody says anything that would ever ruffle feathers and I think the best example would be when I started working for a particular firm and they hired an individual that I asked them like hey, what's your Twitter handle? And they said to me well, here it is, but you might not like what I have to say on there.

I was like, oh no, I definitely know I definitely and all they were doing was they would retweet um statements that talked about um, at the time it was a lot of Ta-Nehisi Coates related articles stuff that kind of bluntly said, "hey white guys. you're bad about this", or "you're wrong about this" or "white men suck about this" and honestly, I was like, wow, I've never worked with someone that would retweet things this bluntly that were in a way directed towards an ethnic group happened to be who I was apart of.

But what I found over time was I didn't necessarily disagree with the sentiments. So maybe that's the difference is I didn't I took offense at first because I was like that's bluntly against me, but then I realized you know what it's a statement of opinion. It's not necessarily directed at me personally, maybe I should read it and see if I do have any of these behaviors being knocked down. Um, and I decided to keep following and instead of getting mad, I started trying to learn more, but I guess what I'm getting back to is if that person's tweets had been monitored for "will it ruffle feathers?" and I know it did other people on the company. He that person never would have gotten hired if they had been hired based upon their out there little more outspoken social media presence, right? And in hindsight, that would have been a horrible thing not to have that person in the company because I know them and I knew that they are and I know the influence they have on teammates and I know how they represent that company and they represent it very well.

And so I think there's a big balance you're going to have to watch out for striking if you are going to say I want to help with the technology, um industry being more inclusive, but I'm going to smoosh/squash all like all communications that may ruffle the feathers of certain people on the team because I don't think we move forward with inclusiveness if everybody agrees with let's just all get along kind of thing, right? 

Don VanDemark: So yeah, that's where that's that's where it's tough. That's where I said, you don't want to homogeneous team, but there does have to be that there has to be something about team dynamics. So I I think we have successfully each stated a position and had the other completely debunk it. So so the title of this podcast should be "Will you hire Kanye?" 

Randy Burgess: Um, he I'm gonna I'm gonna write well, he's not his own manager based on what I've read. So I'm gonna send him a letter directly an email directly and say will you be on the show? Please just don't say anything controversial and see where that gets me. 

Don VanDemark: Well, you do. I think you have to send that note to Kim as well because immediately after he said I don't have a manager he had to say but my wife said to say this, 

Randy Burgess: he does have a manager. Let's just say she just doesn't carry a title.

Don VanDemark: So um, so yeah so know that that I knew I knew we were gonna try the some slightly controversial stuff here and and and I don't know that we ever came to anything conclusive because I don't think there's a right answer and that's that's part of this whole discussion as well is empathy and belief that it's not black and white.

Um, it's very gray when it comes to decisions like this. Yeah, um, so generally that that that's where I wanted to have the discussion and walk through our thought processes and I think we both I think we're generally on the same page but we both approached it in different ways. 

Randy Burgess: But here I guess the let me throw another, I know you're trying to end this but I'm gonna stop that process. If you are looking, if you're looking for a gig or you're looking for a leadership position,you have to make a choice on how you represent yourself outside the company and what that means to the company you work at or future companies you want to work at and I try I I really think about every retweet I make I try to think about what would this look like if I retweet this? What will this look like if if I quote it or reply to it or like it?

Um. There are some statements that I choose a time like I hope that someone knows I feel this way because I personally wouldn't want to work for them if they felt differently, but but you really if your goal is that you want to work for other people or represent yourself? You should be self filtering, self-monitoring, disciplined about your social media presence.

Because tweets are texts, tweets are indexed, and it will whatever you post is something that represents you one way or the other and it doesn't mean it's justified and how your how company you want to work for or do work for how they interpret your statements, but it's on you you have personal responsibility for how for what you post and that's what you need to think about before you do such things that has nothing that goes for anybody not just Tech but um, I think that like that's it's on you. It's on the person to make sure that what they push out there is what they want to represent them for the long term.

Don VanDemark: I should write and that's perfectly fair to say be aware of your public persona and be aware that everyone is going to treat that public persona in different ways. And as long as you're willing to be treated based on your public persona, then that's that's on you to make that decision and and I used to be a lot more reserved and in my public persona, um, but I decided that it was time to be a little less reserved a little bit more, um personal and a little bit more of who I was I'm still a fairly reserved person.

Let's not let's not talk about um me going out and partying and and posting stuff like that. But yeah, But that's that generally that's a good statement is just be aware of what your public persona is and that that you can and will probably be judged in different ways based on that persona. 

Randy Burgess: I mean I since you made the statement that you love Kanye West and everything that he represents. That's exactly how people will perceive you. 

Don VanDemark: That's not what I said.

Randy Burgess: That's the other problem right is that it's all a matter of perception like people in this representation. Yeah. And so that statement could be clipped out of our audio and played back and then you have to answer to why it was a statement made that you like Kanye West and you're like I didn't say that, the other person said it but you didn't see you didn't disagree enough and that's a whole matter of perception versus reality. 

Don VanDemark: And that's that's why to Circle back around. That's why I'm more willing to go engage and um talk about uh, people's tweets to the to the. To the external world and how that differs from a company stance versus team dynamics.

That's why team dynamics are a lot more important. It's hard. It's really hard for me to sit there and say to a team. Yeah that what that person tweeted doesn't represent this company, but wait they work for this company and they're working with you. Also that's going to that's going to be tough that that's a conversation.

It's a lot harder to have than it is to say. That person made that statement that is their statement as their stance has nothing to do with the company. I'm perfectly comfortable making that statement 99 out of hundred times probably. Um, it's the team dynamic part that I think is tough. Yep. I think that's uh, I think that's where we end up for today.

What uh, what controversial statements are you off to make uh, are you off to make this week?

Randy Burgess: I'm going to LA I'm going to LA next week. So I expect to be feeling more in the liberal enclave of thought 

Don VanDemark: I think you can drop in on Kanye and Kim while you're there.

Randy Burgess: I'm gonna say hello to Kanye and Kim.

I'm going to tell James Damore I would not hire him. Um when if Tim Tebow happens to be playing minor league ball out West I will drop in and watch him strike out. Uh, but really I just hope for better weather. That's really that's really the number one goal and

Don VanDemark: You live in Chicago. That's not hard.

Randy Burgess: I'm going to I see 70s and sun on the weather 10-day forecast and that's what I'm expecting. So don't disappoint me Los Angeles. What about you? What are you up to? 

Don VanDemark: Uh, just uh continue to work through, uh, some improvements were making to the uh to the project we're working on and then uh, I'm looking forward to finishing that security survey, um celebrating, uh, getting that complete.

That's what I'll be working through. That's uh, that's pretty much it for this week. So, uh, we will see you soon. 

Randy Burgess: All right later. 

Megan Schemmel: Thanks for listening to the CTO Think podcast. 

Show notes on previous episodes can be found on our website at ctothink.com.

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Email us at hello@ctothink.com

Show music is Dumpster Dive by Mark Wallach, licensed by PremiumBeat.com 

Voiceover work by MeganVoices.com

You'll hear from us next week!

What is CTO Think?

A pragmatic podcast about leadership, product dev, and tech decisions between two recovering Chief Technology Officers.