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Episode 75 of 92

CMO Samsara, Sarah Patterson: What You Do vs. Why It Matters

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Sarah Patterson, CMO of Samsara, doesn’t believe in keeping your armor up around your coworkers: “You’ve got something else on your mind, it’s going to come through,” she says. While working at Salesforce, she worked with a career coach and discovered that opening up about her personal and professional struggles brought her team closer. And that has also held true in her current role at Samsara, a fast-growing fleet management company that went public in December. In this episode, Sarah and Joubin discuss the silver lining of the pandemic for her family’s cohesion; why catching up on work is a form of recharging; the benefits of journaling, even if it’s in an email thread; what Samsara does for a vital but un-digitized sector of the economy; the scary experience of living in the era of “smoke days”; hiring for sustainable rapid growth; Samsara’s IPO and earning the trust of the whole team; and how Sarah prepared to interview star skiier Lindsey Vonn.In this episode, we cover:
Making deliberate choices about how you spend your time (06:36)
Accepting imperfection and being vulnerable with your colleagues (11:18)
The practice that goes into looking polished onstage (17:17)
The year Sarah left Salesforce for BranchOut, and why she went back (23:15)
The rapid growth of Samsara, and what it does (27:35)
How a mandate for truckers in North America laid the groundwork for Samsara’s business (33:39)
How Sarah thinks about the challenge of hiring, and why “what you do” is not the most important thing (39:32)
“Trial by fire” - earning the trust of workers who were at Samsara before her (42:43)
Is it easier to be an interviewer or an interviewee? (52:55)
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