Listen to the Podcast, here! Transcription provided, below.
Janelle (Host): Hello, and welcome to the Own Your career podcast. My name is Janelle Jordan, and I’m a Program Manager on our Talent, Performance and Engagement team, and I’m so excited to be here with you. Throughout this series, you’ll hear inspiring interviews with employees who have achieved career growth at GoDaddy through internal promotions and movement. In addition, you’ll hear tips, best practices and advice to support your career journey. Career management is necessary for a successful journey, and we hope that you’ll walk away ready to own your career. Thank you for spending time with us today. Now let’s jump into the career spotlight with our guest. I’m here today with Clement Carrington, who is the Director in Services at GoDaddy. Hey, Clement, welcome to the podcast.
Clement (Guest): Hey, Janelle, thanks for having me here.
Janelle: All right, so let’s get to know you quickly. Can you share with us a little about who you are?
Clement: I’m a Texan, been here almost all my life. Let’s call it 30 plus years. Don’t want to age myself to a T, but grew up here, did some work in school in the East Coast, and about ten years ago landed in Austin at a little startup called Main Street Hub. Who I am outside of work, I have a huge family, hundreds of cousins. I know all of them. I do a lot of traveling with my wife, Chloe, and our dog, Polly. We like spending time with our friends and family, like going hiking, like doing some hunting, outdoors activities. But it’s pretty hot here, so when it’s too hot outside, I like movies, video games, TV, the usual stuff. Go out with friends, go to the bar. Pretty normal stuff, I suppose.
Janelle: All I got out of that was big Texan, hundreds of cousins and a diverse array of hobbies.
Clement: That’s right.
Janelle: Awesome. Thank you for sharing. Can you give our listeners a quick overview of your career here at GoDaddy and kind of how you’ve jumped around and the different movement that you’ve made?
Clement: Of course. So I teased this earlier, but about ten years ago, October 2012, I applied for a job at a little tech startup in town called Main Street Hub, and it was a social media management for small businesses. So I joined the team in a role. It was a technical creative hybrid, which is quite unusual, and we worked directly with customers, setting up their service. The team was called Profile Management, and about a year and a half into that, an opportunity opened up at Main Street Hub for me to apply to be a team lead, which is like a supervisor. Honestly, Janelle, I had never thought about leadership as a path or a career beforehand. I played sports, but I was never a team captain. I hadn’t had any real defined leadership roles, but a little peer encouragement and it was kind of like, why not? That was a very pivotal decision for me. I earned the role team lead, and I have been in leadership for, I don’t know, eight plus years since. Different roles with Main Street Hub and senior manager, et cetera. The team I was on, as I kind of grew as a leader, we evolved into something called the Platform Operations Group, which is near and dear to my heart. I still work with them and they’re still key part of services today. We became more of a technical and customer facing organization and this is still pre GoDaddy, but that really amplified our impact for customers, working with them directly and a lot of growth for our team, literally size, scale and development. And then in 2018, we got acquired by GoDaddy and it was very exciting and we became part of the services organization, which I’m still in. I’ve been really lucky, Janelle, to have chances to expand my scope, to earn more responsibility and lead different groups beyond that kind of core platform. Working with teams that provide more general customer support, do a lot of customer onboarding photography work, and account management. In the years since and within GoDaddy, I’ve had few roles in that real manager, senior manager, and most recently director.
Janelle: Yeah, whirlwind of a decade. So you said, and I think some other listeners might relate to you here, when you talked about coming to GoDaddy for an acquisition, you said you were excited. So tell us what was that perspective that you had that you were able to be excited about the acquisition and the change?
Clement: Being part of a startup, I think there’s from a business standpoint, there’s always the what’s going to happen, will it become a big company, will it become a public company, will you get acquired type thing. Those are the questions and the excitement, and enthusiasm that everybody thinks about, especially in tech. And we had in all hands, I think most of us had no inkling that we were going to be part of another business and that it was going to be GoDaddy. It was just surreal kind of seeing them put it up on the big screen and being like, oh my gosh, we’re taking the next step and we’re evolving into this, and we’re going to be part of this huge company that we had all heard about, but admittedly, probably didn’t know as much, certainly as we would learn. People were pumped and excited and I don’t think we got any work done for the rest of the day.
Janelle: That’s so awesome. Thank you for sharing. That super unique for some of the folks here at GoDaddy. So you’ve been at GoDaddy for four years now. Who or what has been most impactful to your career growth at GoDaddy and can you tell us a little bit about why?
Clement: I’ll start with the who. I’ve had some tremendous managers who trusted me and empowered me over the years. While I’m speaking for Main Street Hub, having GoDaddy because a lot of these really talented folks are still around. So, it’s happened over the past ten years and they’re in different parts of the organization, now, but we’ve been working together very, very closely and sometimes from afar. And they’ve acted as leaders, peers, and friends for me. Just some names that come to mind are Jordan, Jessica, and Natalie. They know who they are, they listen to this. But I’ve learned from every manager I’ve had or tried to. And I’ve really strived to incorporate how they lead and what they do to augment my leadership style and mostly really fill in my blind spots, right. Try and become more well rounded and more versatile. So, the leaders who have been empowering and trusting and delegating, that has been critical. Another impactful thing to mention is the book, if I can make a little plug for it. It’s not a book I wrote, but it was a book recommended to me. I had a manager named Colin. He worked with me for about six months and I don’t know how much of a locking impression he had, but he gave me a book. “Turn the Ship Around” by David Marquet. It’s an incredible book about a U.S. Navy submarine and it was the worst performing one in the entire U.S. Naval fleet. A guy came in and basically the principle of the book is turning followers into leaders. And he started empowering and entrusting responsibility and delegating to everybody on that ship. And they literally went from worst to first. They became the best performing submarine in the Navy within a few years. And a lot of that was just trusting his people, giving them more responsibility, and then seeing them rise challenge. So that was super impactful in how I developed my approach to leading.
Janelle: Thank you for sharing that. You said a lot about trust. Trust was like the beginning of your answer, the middle of your answer and the end of your answer. So let’s back up a little bit. You said that these folks who are really impactful to your career, they trusted you to empower you. What did that look like?
Clement: So, I think transparency is a huge part of it. Showing how things are done and kind of giving me insight into decisions or strategy or bigger picture topics — things that would maybe be on the scope I would have as a frontline leader and kind of involving me in that and teaching me about that. That kind of transparency was key because then obviously they are being candid with me and open with me. That trust is two ways. My reciprocation was by performing well and doing what I could. When they gave me more, I would try and do my absolute best to do more. I think that’s what you got to do. Otherwise, you’re in the same lane, doing the same thing all the time. And if people will trust that you can do a good job, I mean, you’re on the team for a reason. We’re all working here for a reason. We got through the rigorous hiring. So, it’s the empowerment, it’s the transparency, it’s a responsibility. And then you reciprocate that by doing a good job of what you’re given.
Janelle: And then it just unlocks endless opportunities and possibilities there. This is clearly transitioned into a principle of leadership for you as you’ve been a people leader and have continued to lead more people and more teams.
Clement: Absolutely. I think empower your people, if I can give a piece of advice, give them more, challenge them, trust them with responsibility, and delegate the empowerment from a leadership standpoint is probably what paved the way for most of my growth and my people’s growth and my organization’s growth over the past ten years. Like, truly new roles, new levels, new tiers, everything.
Janelle: I’m going to go off script and ask you a question real quick that I think might be on the might be top of mind for some of the folks listening. What advice would you give to somebody who says, “okay, cool, I want to be empowered? How do I ask for that?”
Clement: That’s a good question. And that is off the script.
Janelle: How do I get that chance. Right? Because you’re not just going to throw additional scope and responsibilities at somebody. Let’s say you’ve got somebody who’s like, “well, my boss isn’t going to give it to me, but I want it.”
Clement: It’s a two way street. And sometimes I would say time and knowledge and comfort. Working with people gives you an insight and idea into their strengths and what they’re like and what you can go to them for, what they can come to you for. But let’s talk about that, given that that may not be the case for everybody, and it’s often not just going to the manager and saying, “hey, I would like to see what else I can do. I want to stretch. I want to push myself a little bit. Is there anything that I can help with? Is there work that you can think of?” And maybe it’s about learning. Maybe it’s about actually doing some work, but it starts with going and asking. They’re not just going to intuit, “oh, you know what, Janelle wants to do more. Here’s a stretch opportunity.” You need to speak up. Go to your leader and ask for it. You’d be surprised at what they say.
Janelle: That’s good advice. Okay, next question. What’s the most important or key career lesson that you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Clement: So one, when you’re leading a team, provide clear targets, and even accountability to those goals is critical. It’s maybe the foundation. Two, as a leader, you should be adaptable. And then three, you’ve heard it already, but empower your people. Do you want me to double click on any of those?
Janelle: Number one!
Clement: Number one. Okay. And this is a lesson learned early on. I won’t go into all my embarrassing mistakes and missteps as a first time manager, but suffice to say, people have them all the time. But a really clear lesson that I learned was about clarity of goals and accountability to those across the board. There’s people that you’ll work with that you like more. There’s people you’ll work with that it just comes naturally. It’s easier. There’s those who are going to struggle. There’s those who are easy, those who are hard. Right? Everybody’s different. People work differently, and there’s different paths to arrive at an outcome. But it’s a leader’s job to help everybody deliver and achieve on those goals however they can get there. It’s your job to help them. So, you can vary the way you support them. Janelle, you might be a pro. Need no hands on guidance at all, and you’re just nailing it. Somebody else may need more coaching, more time, more call coaching, and listening. Vary the support. Right? Everybody needs something different, and that sounds redundant, but don’t compromise the goal for the folks in the same role. Never. It’s got to be the same bar. Make it a high bar, but it’s got to be a bar of the team. You got to help them get there. Right? If they’re not getting there, change it. There’s not just one way to do it, and everybody needs something different.
Janelle: It’s a good message, especially for the perspective of leaders. It’ll resonate well with leaders, and I think it’s unique. Okay, last question, Clement. So tell us what is a common myth about your job, your department, or the field of work that you do here at GoDaddy?
Clement: Okay, great question. I don’t know if it’s a common myth, but there’s no such thing as a perfect leader anywhere for anything. But there is such a thing as the right leader for certain people, for places, for time, for the environment. Leadership can never be mastered. There’s so many styles and so many approaches, just that I see on display at GoDaddy all the time and that I’ve seen in my years before that. And then you go beyond GoDaddy to the field, the classroom, the courtroom, the work site. I mean, leadership is like a philosophy, right? I think a myth is that sometimes, we look at our most prominent leaders or our highest levels, like they’ve got it all down. I don’t think any leader ever really has it down perfectly or knows it all right, despite what we might observe in the audience, no matter how polished and perfect they come across. And I’m envious of that, and I watch that. I want to do it. And the reality is, the most successful leaders are doing two things. They’re always learning and they recognize that you can never perfect it, and they really care about helping others be successful, and they’re driven to do that. If you’re excited about that and you care about that, and that can mean making the business succeed. It can mean making a guide succeed on the phone. It can mean making a customer successful or your customer successful. So always learning and being driven to succeed. But yeah, no such thing as a perfect leader. Got to keep growing. There’s no such thing as a perfect leader, but there is such thing as the right leader for you, your job, your role, your career, your development.
Janelle: There’s no such thing as a perfect leader, but there is such thing as the right leader for you, your job, your role, your career, your development. That’s awesome. That is a great takeaway. And with that, Clement, we’re going to say thank you so much for spending time with us today and sharing your career story with our listeners. Can you share with us how someone would connect with you offline if they wanted to hear more? Or for mentoring or networking? Or just learn maybe a little bit more about what you do here?
Clement: Of course. Thank you, Janelle, for having me. Please reach out to me. I’m on LinkedIn too. But you mentioned mentoring. I would love to work with anybody and talk to you about any of this stuff about leadership. If I had a side hustle, it might be leadership mentoring. I don’t have one yet, but maybe I’ll think about that.
Janelle: You may have just started one. You may have kicked one off.
Clement: Thank you for having me. This is fun.
Janelle: Well, thank you for listening to the Own Your Career podcast. We aim to inspire, motivate, and empower our employees to meet and achieve their professional goals. If you’re interested in being a guest on a future episode of this podcast, please visit the My Career Portal, Career Spotlight page and complete the interest form. While you’re there, check out the resources and articles available and reach out to us with feedback, questions, and ideas. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks, everyone.
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