The company with the best team wins.Keith Krach, Chairman of the Board at DocuSign
Keith Krach has served as chairman of the board of DocuSign since 2009. Krach started his career at General Motors, becoming the youngest vice-president at age 26. He later co-founded B2B commerce pioneer Ariba; took the firm public in 2000. By the end of his tenure, Ariba had reached $34 Billion in market capitalization.
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Key Insights from our Conversation
- Keith is most passionate about making an impact and making a meaningful difference. He is a student of transformational leadership, a disruptive innovator and has a passion for mentoring and building companies. He has jumped from one industry to another as he is always looking for the next adventure as he finds it scary fun. He got his inspiration, courage and work ethics from his dad who ran a machine shop. He taught him integrity and that ego is your enemy.
- He never thought of doing a CEO role again but being chairman for DocuSign has been an incredible journey. In the four companies he built, he had utilized a playbook which includes a mission, a vision, values, team rules, long term goals, and strategies to operationalize and execute it. The key is to get everyone to be aligned in these essential items. Find a big, unserved market; create a platform with a strong value proposition; scale that up. Be the leader in this space and create a category rather than merely naming it.
- Keith believes that the most important role of a CEO is building a high performance team as the company with the best team wins. You have to get everybody unified to focus on the external mission and work on seamless execution. He shares that it’s all about speed nowadays: speed in the decision-making process, speed of product development, speed in setting up distribution channels, etc.
- One of the key characteristics in building teams which can usher you to success is that your people has to have passion in building, whether it’s a product, an organization, a distribution, they should love to build. They should also have a mindset of challenging the status quo and should love change. You will want people with high IQ, people with high EQ but you would also want people with high AQ – adversity quotient. These are people who can take a bag of sour lemons and turn them into sweet lemonades.
- Keith believes that the most important thing in the business world is the breadth and depth of trust relationships that you built over time. If you have created a product, who will be your first customers? It’ll be your friends, basically people who trust you. This is the most important framework so trust is everything.
- In the business world, everything is divided by time. Probably the most important executive skill is how fast can you build a trusted relationship? The only way you can do this is to get inside somebody’s core and to do this, you have to get people to be vulnerable. To get them to be vulnerable, you have to be vulnerable first. Be willing to put it yourself there.