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Meet our Modern Manager Panel Moderator | Bryan Rusche

Join us on Wed. Sep. 27 for a lively conversation about how to motivate employees in the modern workplace. Learn more and RSVP here

Now that you’ve had a chance to meet some of our panelists, Ivayla Tzvetkova, Pansy Lee, and Sam Brennand, it’s time to meet our fearless moderator – Bryan Rusche!

Bryan is the Director of Marketing at SoapBox. 

Over the last fifteen years, Bryan has held positions in sales, business development and marketing within the technology industry. Prior to SoapBox, Bryan worked at Softchoice, Microsoft and Dell where he led several major campaigns and product launches.

Favourite one-on-one question: “What’s the thing that made you happiest this week and the thing that frustrated you the most this week?”

 

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How Bryan Learned from the Burn 🔥

Modern Managers learn by doing. And sometimes that means we get burned. I sat down with Bryan to hear about a time he got burned, what he learned and how he avoids making the same mistake again: 

Tell me about a time you were burned in the past. My mind goes to dealing with compensation challenges in my old job. It was just a messy situation that wouldn’t go away. It was a cluster because of corporate policies and the makeup of my team. Some came from sales and others from marketing, some from outside. So there was quite a big range of salaries. There were ceilings and policies on giving raises. Then there was a decision to move to a bonus structure on a metric no one liked. It was a lot of headaches and super demotivating for the team, but I was quite limited with what I could adjust. There was what I thought was fair, what the individuals on my team thought they deserved and then there was reality…

What did you take away from that experience? I learned that transparency and open, honest communication goes a long way. And the reality that old habits die really hard was reinforced. Sometimes smart people do dumb things just because that’s the way it was done before.

How do you avoid making the same mistake again? There’s not a lot I could have done differently to fix that situation. I think I learned that my approach to tackle problems head on with honest, open conversations does work. It builds trust and when people are frustrated, you need trust. I would say that if I owned my own company, I think one of the things I’d try to reinvent is compensation models and policies. Despite so many studies that variable comp. is not motivating, we still use it. I get that sometimes it’s needed to de-risk a P&L. But then call it out. Don’t call it performance based pay. There is no fair way to pay for performance and it causes more problems than benefits in my opinion. Pay people what they’re worth on the market and motivate them with purpose and growth, not with money and incentives.

 

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