Jackie Ferguson: Thanks for listening to this episode of Diversity Beyond the Checkbox. Today's guest is Everett Harper. Everett is the CEO and co-founder of Truss, which builds software and infrastructure to help companies scale and modernize. Everett has written for Forbes, Fortune, and Tech Crunch, and has been a featured speaker at Dent, Techstars, Dreamforce, and Women 2.0. Everett, thank you for being here today.
Everett Harper: Yeah, thank you. I've been looking forward to this as good to see you again.
Jackie: Yes. So Everett, let's jump into your background, your family, a little about your identity, whatever you'd like to share.
Everett: Yeah. So, I was born in the Hudson valley of New York. to IBM parents. And they came from, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in particular, a neighborhood called Homewood, which has a big legacy. And we have a connection there. and they came up in the early sixties, in order to start working at IBM.
And my mom was a secretary at first, in those days, when she became pregnant with me, she was not able to. continue working. IBM didn't want pregnant women in the office. So she decided, well, that's more important to do a family that for 10 years came back and then, worked her way up from being a receptionist or secretary in those days to actually passing the test to become programmer and wound up having a 30-year career as a programmer.
From the end of mainframes all the way through the Dawn of PCs and pretty amazing given she did not have a college degree, neither of my parents did. So that was definitely part of what was going on at home.
Jackie: Love that and just, you know, for our listeners Everett, and we discovered this in our pre interview, you and I are both from the Hudson valley. I think we went to the same high school, John Jay High School. Is that right?
Everett: that's correct.
Jackie: And then our parents, well, my mother specifically, both of my parents are from Pittsburgh, but my mother specifically is from Homewood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So ever from here forth, we are officially cousins.
Everett: That's right. That's right. You went to Westinghouse right?.
Jackie: Yes, that's right. That's right.
Everett: Exactly. So we went, legacy of high schools across multiple states.
Jackie: I know, I love that, you know, it's such a small world. And then of course, you know, in the Hudson valley, my parents also worked at IBM. So, it's so amazing, like how connected we are and, and this is our, our first meeting. It's the funniest thing, but I love that. What a small world.
Everett: It is that, it's one of those, it's one of those things about being connected as well. That there's always often places where people can be connected if they kind of take a little bit of time to dig in a little bit further. So, I appreciate being asked the question about background, cause we never would have discovered that.
Jackie: That's right. And, and, you know, I love your point just now, because if people take the time to talk, right, and they'll find that they have more connections than they think. And I love just extending my family to new cousins.
Everett: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Cause we don't have enough clearly.
Jackie: That's right. All right. So let's talk about how you got started in your career. What did you think you'd be doing? And I love to ask this question because so many times young folks coming right out of college, they think they need to have it all figured out, but I'm interested in learning a little bit about your story and what you thought you'd be doing. And then just tell us about the tr the journey that you took leading up to Truss.
Everett: Sure. Let me take two steps back and then go forward. So I grew up Hudson valley. Played soccer from age 6, wound up going to Duke university as a biomedical and electrical engineer, won a national championship at soccer, first in Duke's history. And I bring that up because it had a pretty big effect on how I think about leadership and teams and high performance.
So we'll probably talk about that later. I also learned that as a biomedical engineer, while I finished the degree, I didn't have that extra spark, that extra gift, that really amazing engineers have. So that was point 1, where I thought I was going to do one thing and it didn't make sense. I wound up going to Benin company, which is a management consulting firm, to work on strategy consulting.
I did two years there and really had a reckoning there because while it was a prestigious job, it wasn't something that really spoke to me in many ways. I learned a lot. And so I really kind of said, I realized I was on the treadmill and did all the things I was supposed to do, and then wound up feeling like, nah, this isn't really working.
So I tried a variety of things, but really what I was doing was trying to figure out how I could align purpose and talent and curiosity and impact altogether. And I went through multiple iterations. Some of the highlights I think, are I worked for a company called Self-help, which is now one of the largest and most impactful community development finance institutions.
We helped create the CDFI fund, which enabled, we focused on creating opportunities for low- and moderate-income home buyers to buy their first home so now means that people have access to homes and from a DEI perspective. That's really important because if you notice the difference between net worth from African-Americans in the US and white American in the US, it is basically the amount of a mortgage or sort of your asset of your first home.
And obviously that's the way that a lot of people send their kids to college for the first time. Increasing access to that was really important. So that was the first taste I had. Then I started a diversity consulting business, went to grad school at Stanford to kind of pursue that at a higher level, realized that I didn't really want to be a professor. So again, another reckoning. Went to the MBA program and finished that with an MBA and a master's in education, around learning design technology, right when the dot com boom hit. So that's sort of, that's sort of the first chapter of trying to find out what was it that kind of met my curiosity, interest, and talent, and figure out where the impact could be and what I could think about doing at that point.
Jackie: That's so interesting. And I, I love that you talked about purpose, talent, curiosity, and impact. Very often we're, we're trying to figure it out, right? We'll figure out what, what we want to do, what we're passionate about, what we're meant to do. And if we think about those four points, purpose, talent, curiosity, and impact, that's a great way to get started in determining what the right path is for you. So I love that you shared that.
Everett: Yeah. You had mentioned younger people. I know I felt the pressure of needing to figure it out at 23.
Everett: And I definitely learned that it's sort of iterative. I can't think my way into it. So for example, in the CDFI job or in the diversity inclusion job, purpose was really high. We were doing really amazing things, impact really high.
Uh, I had a skill for it, but I lost some of the curiosity along the way. And I knew that I learned that my day-to-day work had to be kind of interesting and helping me grow and helping me learn. And it had slowed down. And so I learned from that, that it wasn't simply purpose that would determine the best job I had to have another piece to it, which was the, which was the curiosity and learning piece, a challenge in many ways.
Jackie: And Everett, you know, even the best of us has ups and downs in our career with successes and failures. Over your journey, can you share a couple of the lessons that you learned, through the highs and lows of all of the experiences that you've had?
Everett: Sure. So I'll start back with soccer and then work my way up to sort of current times. High performance is a combination of hard work and recovery. Where we would work our butts off to be the best team in the country at the end of the game, when your mind is like, I just want to stop my body's tired, we had practiced so that we had the discipline when it got hardest to continue doing our job and at the same time.
And I think LeBron James, for example, sleeps 12 hours a night. There's lots of study around this, that recovery is just as important. You can't just keep grinding and the grinding has sort of a cachet right now. I think it's actually the wrong. High-performance is a combination of that hard work and recovery. And if you're just as thoughtful about recovery, then you can be even better performing when you need to. And I think the pandemic and the current state we're in is really pointing that out, how important recovery is, cause otherwise we spend our time with Adam Grant calls languishing.
Jackie: I want to stop there because that is so valuable in our society today because you're right. We do focus on, you know, oh, I'm working 60 hours a week every week. Like, it's like, it's a badge of honor. And you know, in some cases we do have those weeks where we're really pushing it, but understanding that recovery, especially for those that are, have their own business entrepreneurs, especially.
And so, but the recovery piece is so important and that's one of the things that we miss. And then we get to this breakdown. Then we've got to stop, right, but how do we intentionally look at high performance from the hard work perspective and the recovery perspective in what we're doing? That is, that is really, really impactful because, you know, if, if we did that better, right. If we made that a practice, we'd be able to perform higher at a higher standard for longer. What we're doing now, you know, we're thinking a little bit more about, you know, mental wellness and emotional wellness and, and that's great, but to really make this important and an important part of how you work.
That's so impactful. So, you know, just for folks that are listening, I'm taking my notes. Cause this is part of, I mean, that is, that really, really matters. And we've got to think about that too, to be, to sustain our high performance. We've got to think about that. So I'm going to let you, Everett, move on to the next one. I definitely have my pen ready. That was awesome.
Everett: Yeah, I just wanted to, to, to, to, to build on that. You said it was a practice. I completely agree with that. If it becomes a practice, it becomes a habit, then we have it ready when you do those 60-hour weeks. And you have a practice to saying, I'm not going to keep going. I'm going to take some time, recover. And I'm being just as intentional about my recovery instead of just like. It'd be easy to take a day off, but how do you spend the day up for you just as intentional about your recovery as you are about your work? And I think this is a, this is a question that is absolutely front of mind for me at my company, because, just to say a word on this. Truss, the CEO and founder of trust is Human Standard Software Development company. We do a custom software to solve really complex problems for our clients. Clients are fortune 200 clients, they're also some public agencies like the Department of Defense TRANSCOM, as well as a center for Medicaid services.
So we do really hard things, and as my co-founder Mark says, we run not away from the trash fire, we would run towards the trash fire, and so people hire us to solve really hard things. so recovery and hard work is part of what we have to do. In here we've, we've had sort of what a lot of other folks have had with people, how do we make sure to get that done?
Jackie: Absolutely. All right. So Everett, that was such great advice. Can you tell us another lesson that you've learned over your career?
Everett: So when I started the company, Truss, the first four months of 2012, I got divorced, I had to find a new home, become a co-parenting single dad, my father died, and my national champion ship ring got stolen, all at the same time that we launched our first product.
So that was obviously a low, and what I had to learn was resilience and lot of humility because it isn't resilience as in sort of, yes, I'm going to be resilient. It was that resilience where, okay. I woke up, I'm breathing. I'm just going to make it through this day. And that's it.
The other lesson for me was with trusting co-founders. So it's so important to have partners, co-founders, a squad around not only who you're aligned with, but there's a high level of integrity and a high level of trust. And so the story I'll tell is that when I got the call from my sister saying, hey, if you want to see dad while he's still lucid, you need to come home.
called my co-founders. And it was one of those moments where certainly you've heard, one has heard stories in Silicon Valley where people start to do shenanigans behind the scenes. And I said, hey, I need to go home. Here's why. And they said, bye, take as much time as you need. We'll be here. We got you.
And that was it. And that simplicity and high integrity, I am very thankful for. And so at least for me, the lesson is not only kind of resilience personally, but in taking your time to choose the right people to work with and to co-found a company with. I, for a long time before I settled on, on Mark and Jen. And I'm really glad I did because now it's a decade later and we're still highly aligned and have gone through all our ups and downs together.
Jackie: That's such good advice Everett, know, understanding resilience and understanding that not everything's going to go your way. And sometimes you've got hard things to deal with and then really picking the right team because they make a difference in, in those moments where you need to rely on them, but in your every day, like how much more can you get accomplished? If you've got a team that's running as hard as you are, that cares about each other. I think that's amazing.
So let's talk about Truss. How did it come to be tell us more about what the company does and some of the customers that you support?
Everett: So a little bit about Truss is that we are a human centered software development company. That sounds like a lot of jargon. Let me break that down. What that means is we really focus the experience of our clients and customers. And we do that with not surveys, but by actually talking to them. one of the things I really enjoy personally, and our team is very good at is using different interviewing techniques to not understand what do you like, or what would you love, but actually, what are the challenges facing you?
What are the things that get in the way for you doing what you need to do? What are the opportunities that you see that may be something could help with? Not as solution, but trying to understand where they are and what emotions are present with the person when they use the software. All those really paint a much better picture of what the user needs.
Second, and this is pretty distinctive, we interview the operators of the system. So what is it that they need to manage the software on a day-to-day basis? So we've all, many of us, as I should say, have been at companies where there's an announcement. Hey, we have a new email service or a new benefit service. And now you're like, well, great. You've just broken all the workarounds that I figured out from the last time that you changed the software, instead of the asking me what I actually needed and what the issues were.
That is what human centered is, human centered around what is it the end customers would like? And then what do the people operating the systems need. When you combine those two that is what makes a really powerful opportunity to build stuff that's sustainable and scalable, and really meets the end-users and the end customer's needs. And custom software is essentially trying to solve really complex problems, problems that for example, how do you move almost half a million service members around the world using software?
We're working on a project with DOD TRANSCOM to do just that. And it was rated as the second most stressful thing after combat by the service members. Now, instead of five months, anybody's been in military family knows that this has been a problem cause you all move all the time. What was previously five months and lots of paperwork, we've done prototypes where it's 10 minutes on a mobile phone. And so we're building that out to production as we speak. yeah, so that's been fun. So a lot of what we work with are leaders who have sort of vision and authority for transforming their software systems into something modern and able to meet the needs of today's customers.
Jackie: That's really fantastic. And Everett, you know, Asking the right questions is so important back to your first point, right? Because we've all done the surveys where, you know, are you happy with this? Yes or no. How happy, one through five. But not asking really intuitive questions and to get to really how you can better support the people that are taking these surveys.
I think that is so important, love that the work that Truss does as you think about, you know, first of all, you're doing really hard stuff. Really complex things. But to really understand also how people are interacting with what you're doing and, and how the experience changes for them. You know, user experience changes, you're getting good information for your, the companies you're supporting, for yourself and your company. That that is so important, and it's important for business leaders to know how to ask those intuitive questions of their employees, of their clients and customers. that's so important.
Everett: Yeah. I would build on that and say that I think the insight to ask questions gets back to the curiosity part I was talking about.
Everett: It also takes a certain level of humility. Like, are you willing to be wrong on your hypothesis of what customers need? I think asking questions enables that. I think today in many ways we've all been trained to have the right answer, know what we're doing, especially if you're a leader. You're expected to know, many places you're expected to know the answer.
I actually think that the new skill for the next decade is being able to say I don't know, how can we find out. What questions can we ask? What hypotheses can we create? Who do I need at the table who are asking different questions, who have different answers than the ones I may have access to, because I know I have blind spots.
Jackie: You're so right on that, you know, because the right answer is not necessarily our answer. It's the answer that you can come up with collectively. And from, you know, using these different perspectives and different experiences that are bringing information to the table. That's right, so right.
Everett: And that's why a lot of the studies around diversity talk about there are much better products, much better services, much better strategies that come out of having diverse product teams, diverse boards, diverse leadership, because they can bring those different perspectives. And the data is really clear about this at this point.
Jackie: Absolutely. So Everett in one of your Forbes articles, you wrote a piece called Hidden Figures Unsung, One Woman's Fight to be an IBM Programmer in the 1970s. And we talked a little bit about your mom, I want to talk about this article and you know, I know that your mom is one of the people who inspired you most, and I I'd like to talk about that a little bit.
Everett: Yeah. It feels like an honor in many ways to be able to just write about your mom and capture a story that often isn't told. So that was really, for me, the most fun. The second is you said that she was inspiring, she wasn't inspiring at that time. She didn't share that. We didn't know that. Mom was an IBMer, that's all we knew. We didn't know what the story was, we didn't know, and she deliberately didn't tell us. And, you know, there's so many IBM errors. I mean, you, you understand as being an IBMer family. It's just, you know, punch cards and tapes and the IBM family day and like go into, you know, all that stuff.
IMB family day was the best
it was amazing, it was amazing. This all came out when my mom, when my dad was dying, and we had lots of time. I was at home and she told the story of she nearly failed, I mean, she actually wanted to do this. So he had an insight, I should say, she had an insight as a receptionist that wait a second, there isn't just universities and military coming through the door.
There are lots of different industries. This software thing, this computer stuff might have a life. This is back in like 1974. So she's like, I want to be part of that, which if you think about it as a black woman in a mostly white area, without a college degree, working as a receptionist, is a pretty brilliant and courageous insight.
And then to follow it up while raising three kids. So she went and, and her boss was very generous in supporting her. She went and took the classes, but was not able to study afterwards because she was raising three kids. So it was racing back from class to pick us up from daycare and do all the things.
and it was an era where dads didn't really help with childcare all that much. Some might say that it's still happening, but back then, it definitely was the case. So she, basically, the day before the test, the instructor came up to her and said, Mrs. Harper. You're a really nice lady. Why don't you go home and take care of your kids?
Essentially, don't take the test because you're going to fail. That was pretty devastating, but she didn't know she had a job the next day because she put all her eggs in this basket. Her boss basically said, Jackie, I know you've been working really hard. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to give you some extra time, some buffer time. You take as many classes you can take and you go pass that test. So six months, she then passed the test after working her butt off, taking all these different classes, and then went on to have a 25, 30-year career as an IBM programmer. Did assembly language like hard, hard stuff.
I'll close the story by saying my she came to visit the company and she was telling you stories to all these engineers, younger engineers about what assembly language was like and how she had to do debugging on paper and all that stuff, and they were just like, whoa, this person, and she would say that it felt like each language had a different personality. And so if you understood the personality, you could program differently. So I was just like, wow, and literally I had no idea growing up.
Jackie: Wow. that is so inspiring, you know, as a, as a Black woman, right, just to be able to say, I'm going to do this anyway. I, I love that. And another lesson Everett that I want to make sure that I'm pointing out from this story is that manager, right. Be that manager that, that can pour into someone else and help them achieve their goals. Like, are you doing that work as a manager? Right. That's so important. I love that.
Everett: Yeah. Even, even the subtlety. I'm glad you brought that up. He didn't have anything to gain by her becoming a programmer. He managed the receptionist pool. He was simply helping someone who showed the initiative, the courage and the drive to do something that she was curious about and really wanted to get good at.
And creating space for others to really shine is just such an incredible leadership skill that I aspire to and try my best to do. But I think it is important part of that story, absolutely.
Jackie: So you have experience as a DEI leader, let's talk about creating the best cultures and organizations. What is your advice for business leaders to do that?
Everett: First, there's no perfect culture. I haven't heard of a perfect culture from a DEI perspective or even just a business perspective. So first of all, let's throw that out, which means you get to be intentional about what your culture is the mistake I see, saw, not as much anymore, but the mistake I saw was people just said, oh, I don't have time to think about culture. Well, culture is going to get created, whether you are intentional or not.
The second, I think I talked about earlier. If you're in a business, you want high performance, but it's hard work and recovery. So for example, a trust, we have a thing called search policy. So as you said earlier, there are times you got to work, you know, the 50 and the 60. Try and minimize that you try not to make a habit of it and you try and design systems to make sure that that doesn't happen at an overall, as a leader.
But then you say we have a policy that says if you've done that, take surge time, take a half a day and put it down and we have a surge policy. I am taking surge time for this reason. Ideally you can know that this is going to come in advance. So now that becomes part of the culture. And the thing is, to be honest, it's a hard sell even now because our culture has ingrained in us so deeply.
Keep grinding, keep grinding. If you don't keep grinding, maybe it's your job. Okay, so you can say over and over, and it's one of those things with leaders. You have to repeat certain messages until it really sinks in to the culture and so forth. So we're trained, we're trying to get better at that. And I think the other thing I would say about kind of setting culture, especially from a DEI perspective is the inclusion, the psychological safety that one has to create. There's no formula for it, but it's often things that don't make the headlines. Subtle things, its certain policy, its certain things are actually, I'll give you example.
So we welcomed several of our first trans folks a couple of years ago. Awesome. They instigated sort of the pronouns, and making sure that we all sort of have our pronouns as part of our work and on our systems. Awesome.
Everett: But one of the things that's important is health benefits, health benefits for our trans brothers and sisters are different, and they're often not well established. They're not well covered, and so finding policies and insurance companies that make that easy takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work, our people team has done a tremendous amount of work to try and do that in partnering with our trans folks, our gender fluid folks to find the right plans.
It's not over, but it's one of those things that is necessary. If you're going to create a diverse environment and knowing that's never going to be in the headlines, but that kind of commitment is what's required. If you're really going to try and build a diverse team and an inclusive environment.
Jackie: You know, it's so important to think about those things that we don't think about. And, and if you're not dialed in and right. And asking those right questions, like you were saying earlier about what people need. You don't have the information to know that you need to make sure that you're asking those questions of your healthcare provider for your teams so that your benefits are equitable across the board.
Everett: That's right. That, that equity piece comes in and you're exactly right.
Jackie: So let's talk about being an underrepresented, professional in What were some of the challenges of navigating that? And what advice do you have for those that are also represented in tech specifically and advice for those who are managing those, you know, only one or one of a few?
Everett: Yeah. Well, you, you hit on the first point I was going to say is if you're good, you're going to be the only one in the room at some point. You probably already have been the only one in the room at many points, and that's hard. It's hard to know whether is that a thing or am I just having a bad day? You know what I mean?
And I think, that was, that was definitely a big challenge. getting to the idea of being a sponsor slash min, with the IBM story. One of the things that happened to me early in my career at bean was I sat down and I'm the youngest person in the room, only black person in the room. We had a meeting. Sounds really good, it looks like there was an agreement. The manager, my manager took me aside and said, what'd you think of the meeting? I said, it looked like it was good. Like it was, everybody came to agreement said, Nope, we're never going to get that deal. I was like, whoa. And he said, here's what actually happened.
And he broke down the language, he broke down the things that weren't said, the responses that I wasn't picking up cause I wasn't experienced yet. And he, so he translated the meeting. I keep that in mind when I think about diversity inclusion, because there's a lot of rooms that we haven't been invited to, or we haven't had a lot of experience in where there's language and references and so forth that aren't available.
Are you spending the time to translate what's going on? Even better, are you preparing people in advance to say here's what my objective is and here's the nuance behind, and here's the reason I'm doing the things I'm doing so that you understand and contract what's going on even if it's not That's really, really important if you're managing somebody who hasn't necessarily been in the room before from a diversity perspective.
Um, I think the second thing that I did to combat the sort of only one in the room is you spend more time out there networking. And I don't mean the networking of glad-handing and business cards and so forth. It's really developing relationships. It's about showing up in places. I wasn't an engineer eventually, you know, it was undergrad, but we'd go to engineering meetups because I wanted to A recruit, but B I wanted to sort of understand what was going on and people were really welcoming.
Is it wasn't just, what can we kind of transactionally do for each other? It was more about, hey, how's it going? What things are going on? Are there people I can introduce you to, can we have lunch together? Can we just get to know each other? So explicitly, there's a group of us that started a thing called the nod.
Basically a group of Black men who were tired of being the only one in the room. So we met after work one day and there were six of us. We came from banking and technology and legal and so forth, and we just hung out. Next month, a couple of more people showed up a couple more people showed up. So for the next two years, it then got to be 20, 30, 40 people. Some of which I had never met before.
I was like, well, what's happening. Right? And it was intentional Black men because unlike Black women, frankly, we say we're going to get together, but Black women actually do get together. We'd sort of talk about it and don't do anything. That the point of that is as an underrepresented person, not just to talk to people within the company that you're at, but to really spend that extra time and develop those relationships over time, careers are long. Relationships can be long. You never know when something's three years, four years past comes up and then because you treated somebody well, something gets returned.
And that includes the folks who are, who are at the receptionist. My mother is a great example. They hold a lot of information that the higher ups do not about what's going on. So, it's like treating those folks with as much respect for what they bring to the table as anybody else.
Jackie: Everett, you have a book coming out soon. That is very exciting. Tell us about that and what we'll learn from it.
Everett: Yeah. So it's called Move to the Edge, Declare it Center. And it's about making decisions in situations with high complexity and high uncertainty. And for me, the relevance is we are in a world where high complexity and high uncertainty should be really evident. I started writing on the topic a couple of years ago, but decided to write the book in the height of the pandemic, In, I live in Oakland, California.
So what was really evident was we had forest fires, complex situations, high uncertainty. We had the pandemic still going on, but at that time, lots and lots of uncertainty, complexity, and third kind of this work from home. How do we work from home, how do we do remote work? Our company has been remote since 2012, so it was normal for us, but it wasn't for a lot of others. And then climate change, which was driving the forest fires.
As we said earlier, none of those issues have one right answer yet. We were trained to have one right answer. And so we need to sort of develop strategies, practices for that. So move to the edge is about how to lean into and discover things you don't know to uncover the blind spots, to bring diverse teams together and to do it systematically.
So I share a lot of the practices and systems we'll use at Truss and with our clients to uncover the new, the novel, the unknown, to make what you discover part of normal operations, so that it's no longer a side thing or special initiative, it's part of what you do.
So for example, diversity, like you might say, let's do a diversity initiative. That might be an unknown, but you're successful it just becomes recruiting, it just becomes hiring.
Jackie: Absolutely. Well, I can't wait to read it. I'm very excited. I think it's going to have so many. Opportunities to just push us right. A little bit further and challenge us to move outside of that comfort zone. So I'm very excited about it. Everett, tell us something about you that not a lot of people know, this is my favorite question to ask every guest.
Everett: God let's see. I'll give you two. one as I've been meditating, since 2003, I'm sorry, 1993. and that practice I've talked about it in the book, but the simple act of washing dishes can unlock an incredible practice of daily dropping into a place of calm and clarity.
The second one that probably not a lot of people know is I tear up really easily from moments of joy. So Hamilton, I just watched In the Heights, and like Lin Manuel Miranda, that's not fair, you know, cause you've just done the opening number and I already feel it in my, in my eye ducts. So, yeah. So I don't think that's something many people know at all.
Jackie: I love that. Thank you Everett for sharing that. And, and I'm the same way. Like when I see something amazing or extreme talent, it, I tear up. Thanks for sharing that. So ever as we close out and I wanted to say, thank you so much for spending this time with us, I've learned so much and I've enjoyed the conversation. What's the message that you want to leave our listeners with?
Everett: So the message I'd like to leave listeners with today is we are going through unprecedented times. It's hard. Some people call it the great awakening, some people call it the great resignation. It's it is absolutely something that's on everyone's mind. And it's an experience that is challenging for a lot of people in different ways. I think it's also an opportunity, and it's an opportunity to address complex issues, uncertainty in a different way. And learnings can be really hard, but you get better. So make it a practice.
Everett: then build the systems to sustain the practice so you don't burn out. So well before you burn it out, take the time, create the space, set the boundaries, and then keep going. It's what getting 1% better, it can make an incredible amount of progress over time. So, and I'm excited to, to sort of figure it out because no one has the answer, but collectively we have enough answers that we might be able to see into a new direction. So that's what I would leave people with today.
Jackie: That's it, you know, we all need to hear that sometimes. Everett, how can people connect with you?
Everett: I'm Everett Harper on Twitter. You can find me on LinkedIn. Those are the two best places. I'll be creating a website with my name, everettharper.com, coming soon. And then Everett Harper at Truss. You can look me up truss.works, And particularly if you're interested in joining the grand experiment of trying to do really great impactful software, come join us. we are absolutely excited and open for new people.
Jackie: Love it. Everett thank you again for taking the time to speak with me today. I enjoyed every single moment of this conversation. Took so many notes. Thank you again.
Everett: thank you. Appreciate it. Have a great day.
According to Everett Harper, “there’s no perfect culture…from a DEI perspective or even just a business perspective.” So if it can’t be perfect, how do you start to build a strong and inclusive corporate culture that lasts? For individuals, it includes hard work, intentional recovery, and finding a purpose. For companies, it’s about supporting all of that and more. Learn more by tuning into this week’s episode.
Listen to this episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.