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Episode 78 of 91

President at Confluent, Erica Schultz: Cashing in on Your Currency

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When Confluent’s President of Field Ops Erica Schultz was 23, she was working at Oracle and cold-emailed the manager of the Argentina office, asking to work for him. This experience would open the door to opportunities in Beunos Aires and Miami, a time in Erica’s life she does not take for granted. As a leader today, she hopes to pass on this sentiment, constantly looking for individuals worth taking a chance on: “As I look around my organization, I think, OK, who’s the undiscovered not-yet-fully-realized talent that we should think about for this role?”In this episode, Erica and Joubin talk about why Buenos Aires, Argentina is the best city in the world; the lessons she learned from her father and what changed for her after he died of a rare form of cancer at age 54; her stints at Oracle, LivePerson, and New Relic; the importance of earning responsibility as you advance in your career; staying both humble and paranoid; and the importance of what Confluent is doing in the ever-changing digital infrastructure business.In this episode, we cover:
The incredible influence of Erica’s namesake, her father, who passed away as her career was taking off (09:28)
“The impact we leave is the impact we have on people” (15:21)
How Erica became the captain of the Dartmouth rowing team after being cut from the swim team (18:03)
Developing leaders from within a high-growth organization, and earning responsibility (31:36)
Why Erica left a CRO role at LivePerson to work for the CRO of New Relic (37:03)
Why she had her team at New Relic read “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, and loves the story of runner Roger Bannister (41:34)
Being humbled by a changing competitive landscape, and the transformation of the digital infrastructure world (44:17)
Real-time data and why both businesses and consumers increasingly need companies like Confluent (49:19)
What Erica thought when she first met Confluent’s founder CEO Jay Kreps (56:03)
How to transition from operator to executive to board member (59:14)
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