Currently CEO of Tagger Media, a SaaS based Influencer Marketing platform, Dave is an experienced executive having served in leadership positions at a wide range of media companies. He is a builder of businesses. It is in his DNA to build and scale, with a focus on hiring diverse talent to create value. With a commonsense approach, he has built a relationship driven business.
Tagger is a powerful, intuitive, end-to-end influencer SaaS marketing platform revolutionizing the social media marketing industry.
What are you most proud of professionally?
The accomplishment of building a team – like a sports team, I love the alchemy of bringing together a great group of people.
In the 1990’s I built Turner Broadcasting (CNN, Cartoon Network) in Asia Pacific. Initially, I moved to lead a tiny outpost of 20 people in Hong Kong. Over 4 years we achieved hypergrowth and became 90 people in 11 offices, spread India, China, Australia and across SE Asia. I loved the travel and the diversity, across the region. The contrasts in that team made it exciting, we were like the united nations. We were first in the market, launching Time Warner’s first general entertainment TV network, CETV, in mainland China. We built something special and I loved that experience. Having fun and enjoying business with humour.
What are the 4 most important things when hiring?
- Emotional intelligence. We want to hire likeable people, those with emotional intelligence, that we and our clients would want to work with. When hiring we like to meet people in a social situation. Anyone can interview well in a vacuum, but we look at how they treat the waiter, or if they can read a room. The way people behave socially tells you a lot about that person.
- Appoint those that bring expert insights and can offer value to our customers.
- Integrity- By that I mean, people who do what they say. That when they commit, they deliver on the promise.
- Fire in the belly or passion. An excitement for their business that makes them action orientated.
What is more important hiring or retaining talent?
Both, you owe it to your team to keep them happy and engaged. Your core group should be nurtured thoughtfully. When hiring and adding others, you need to consider the dynamic with the core team and protect it.
Tell us about a leader who influenced your early career
I share this story often, to demonstrate the value of driving for what you want and not taking “no” for an answer.
In the early 1990s I had wanted to work for CNN as they had a formal sales programme. I did not know anyone there, so I took a textbook approach, contacting their President, Barry Goodman.
I found his number and cold called him at 07:30 to pass the gatekeeper, and pitch myself: “you need to hire me and this is why..” He agreed to a meeting! I joined and he became a key influence in my career.
I believe that if you go for what you want, and display passion, people appreciate it and you can achieve anything.
A new employer needs to see your passion and excitement for their business and industry. Don’t take no for an answer… our world is so networked now, it makes it easier, if you put in the effort you can find a bridge to connect with anyone.
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Have more fun. Don’t stress the smaller things. At 21 I was focused on doing well and put pressure on myself to perform.
Now I realise that it is important to do your best then let it go. Good things will come back to you. When things are tough, rather than ask “why did that happen to me?” flip it and ask “what did that do for me?”. What can you learn?
What do you see as the biggest challenge for leaders today? (Outside the current pandemic!)
The need to balance remote working and effective relationships – within organisations and with clients.
We have learned that working more flexibly, both in terms of location and hours, can be positive in achieving a great work/life balance.
Yet, this must be balanced with the value of human connection. Virtual relationships can be a bit antiseptic. How do you build meaningful relationships without investing face to face time?
As many revaluate and reprioritise their lives, considering their relationship with work, this presents both an opportunity and challenge.