Josh Ferry and Kate Huber are both life partners and business partners, working together to both build a life in the city of Buffalo and grow the company CloudInsyte. I love this conversation so much because we dive in to how to lead as partners; how to build a business as conscious, heart-centered leaders; as well as the importance of solving big problems and impacting your community.
But before we get into what they’re doing today, I want to tell you a little bit more about our guests and CloudInsyte, a company that’s trying to help solve problems for both technology vendors who are trying to sell in a crowded marketplace and tech companies that need to purchase from these vendors by creating a marketplace that uses data to ethically and accurately match vendors with opportunities that fit their business.
Kate Huber is the COO and co-founder, where she's responsible for the daily operations and the company's technical team and product. Kate is fueling her new venture with over six years experience in a healthcare tech startup, CipherHealth, overseeing their core product and developer operations. Kate also serves as the NYC Chapter Representative for the LWT Board of Directors, supporting career development program efforts for women in NYC, and as the Website Development Coordinator/Technology Co-Director for the Mama Mare Breast Cancer Foundation.
Joshua Ferry has been through two exits – including a startup he founded, PureEdge Technologies, and a more established company he was helping lead and helped sell for $1.4B named The Access Group – and built a deep well of expertise and connections in the tech world. He's applying that experience to CloudInsyte, but instead of his longtime home in New York City, he's taking the new business to his hometown of Buffalo, NY, where they are leveraging their platform to help support the Buffalo Smart City initiative.
Complimentary Zones of Genius
There’s something that I think all business leaders can learn from Kate and Josh: find a co-founder or a team with complimentary zones of genius.
A zone of genius is what I like to call the areas that we’re specialized in, or the roles that we are inherently drawn towards. When we are in our zone of genius, we just get all sorts of energized and we fell like we’re doing something that we’re good at.
Kate and Josh had the benefit of seeing each other’s zones of genius before they got into any kind of relationship, and that’s both why Josh wanted her to join his team and why Kate said yes.
Josh saw that exceptional when it comes to looking at a fundamental problem within an organization and then solving it. She can set aside the problem that the company is trying to solve and focus on the organizational changes that have to take place in any startup or fast-paced environment. She ensures everything is built properly, and that the company is taking the necessary steps to achieve long-term success and sustainability.
Josh, on the other hand, is always driving forward toward the business goal. He has a sales mindset, and he’s drawn towards big picture ideas, but she’s able to keep him focused with his feet on the ground when it’s necessary.
That big-picture perspective is also Josh’s zone of genius, though. Kate says Josh is willing to take risks that she wouldn’t consider, which ultimately gets them into doors that they never would have gone through otherwise. Being able to identify those opportunities, especially for a startup, is huge.
Kate also saw that Josh was a great leader. “His team just absolutely adored him... he found a way to have a very diverse team, and just have like absolute adoration from all of them. And it was really amazing to me because I know for a fact that's not easy to do.”
Strategies for Making Both Relationships Work
One piece of advice that Kate and Josh were given early on was that they needed a physical boundary in their home, and after they cross it, they’re not allowed to talk about work. It was a simple idea, but as soon as they heard it, they knew that needed to happen.
You have to be aware of how both your business and life partners process stress. When you know how people are presenting the stress, even if it's not very obvious to everyone else, you can modify your tone or set aside a difficult conversation for a better time.
In any relationship, you need to figure out communication. You need to understand what those trigger points are for each other and understand if what you're saying and how you're saying it is having an adverse effect.
I often ask my clients, "Are you truly aligned with who you are and what you're doing?"
So it's really beautiful to see how these two are integrating that alignment into their home life and their work life! I mean, that’s who you are. You spend the majority of our times working, so how exhausting would it be if you couldn't show up as your true self at home? When there’s conflict, stress, and doubts, what happens if you are not able to lean on each other for support?
So, I think all business leaders can take note of how these partners in business and life are communicating and collaborating – it’ll make you a better leader, across the board!
Learn more at https://www.cloudinsyte.com/
Josh on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshFerry
Josh on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuaferry/
Kate on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katelyn-huber/
Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani