LogicMonitor CEO Kevin McGibben on the trap leaders fall into

LogicMonitor CEO Kevin McGibben is a leader who knows the importance of valuing the team around him. While delegation didn’t come naturally, it’s something he has learned to harness to drive business success forward at LogicMonitor. Ladders spoke with McGibben on how he continuously inspires a culture of innovation, what it means to be in the middle of an “information revolution”, and the one most important thing to create a breakout success.

How would you describe your management style? How did you learn to delegate throughout your career?

“Every single employee at LogicMonitor plays a key role in driving business success. We provide a great IT infrastructure monitoring and analytics solution for the digital enterprise, but the reality is that our phenomenal growth is the result of the personal contribution of everyone in the company. Our success comes down to passionate people who give it their all every day, and who believe and understand that we are building one of the world’s leading software companies.

In any fast-growing business there are many priorities and many opportunities–but my role as CEO is to ensure that my direct team and all employees understand clearly our goals and long-term market vision, along with the plans to tackle the exciting opportunity in front of us. As a CEO you have to be a great storyteller, and you also have to be a great delegator. Delegation is something that I have learned over time and out of necessity. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of trying to own everything. If you do, it will hamper growth. If you trust your people, hire for the right skills and values, and make sure everyone understands what needs to be done, then delegation results in success.”

During your time as CEO, has LogicMonitor tried something that ended up failing? What did you learn from that?

“At LogicMonitor we have a culture of curiosity, experimentation and openness. Many ideas are experiments, and as with all experiments, they sometimes do fail. I don’t like the word failure, because any idea, whether good or bad, leads to experience. Experience is the foundation for future success. Unless you try something new, you’re not going to learn. In any business, in order to innovate and break away from the status quo, you have to try new things. Creating a culture of ‘test, prove, then resource means that LogicMonitor provides employees with every opportunity to look at innovative ways to solve new problems. I’ve learned to avoid the trap of a ‘we’ve always done it this way’ mentality. A test-and-learn approach is especially relevant at LogicMonitor because we are a data-driven business and use data to make decisions. This means that if an idea isn’t going as planned, we’re able to detect issues early and change our approach in order to avoid an even more widespread issue.”

What’s the most surprising aspect of being CEO of LogicMonitor?

“There’s an old adage in the software industry that you need three things to create a breakout success: market, product and team. It turns out the most important variable is team. Assembling the right team of people with a shared purpose who can continue to excel in their performance as the company grows is critical. I truly believe that the people we hire and the culture we create are effectively the determining factor of our success. I am a people-person, so when I visit our offices around the world in the US, UK, Singapore, India and Australia, I always make sure that I make time to walk around the office and talk to people. You learn so many things this way. Everyone is different and everyone can teach you something – from the latest news to the hottest new Spotify playlist! We believe that if employees are choosing to spend part of their career with LogicMonitor, it’s our responsibility to make it as fun and rewarding as possible. Importantly, we also provide the opportunities and coaching to help employees develop their careers.”

LogicMonitor’s website states that we are “in the midst of an information revolution.” What does an information revolution mean to you? Why is monitoring important in this?

“All business-critical interactions with customers and employees today – across every industry – are digital. This means lots of data. If you can turn this data into factual information and insights and then respond quickly, you can create better customer experiences. This is what it means when we say we’re in the “midst of an information revolution” – it’s how easily you can monitor data, how quickly you can turn that data into factual information or insights, and then how intelligently you can act based on what you find.

LogicMonitor provides an industry-leading enterprise IT infrastructure intelligence platform. We help leading brands in retail, finance, telecommunications, technology and the IT service provision market move from asking “what happened?” to predicting what’s coming. Ultimately, we’re helping our customers solve problems before they start and using factual data to unlock opportunities, all made possible through a strategic approach to IT monitoring.

Our platform meets the monitoring and analytics needs of the modern enterprise. Being a SaaS-based solution means it’s easy to set up, and our secure, agentless approach means that within minutes tech professionals are able to visualise what’s happening in their environment in real time. Through innovative use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, we also provide insights into areas such as capacity management, issue prevention and how IT services are driving business outcomes. With LogicMonitor, our customers can move faster, automate responses and use information to make decisions on fact, rather than gut feel alone.”

One of LogicMonitor’s purposes is to help companies move from focusing on optimization to focusing on innovation. How does LogicMonitor continue to excel at this in 2020?

“The ingredients that make a good monitoring and analytics solution have changed a lot in the last decade. Monitoring is not just about spotting issues and resolving them, but rather about how you unlock the value in data. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are making it possible to automatically spot trends in data based on business and technical context, identify anomalies, and then create factual insights to make better-informed decisions. We’re committed to helping our customers go beyond the basics of monitoring by providing real-time intelligence about their IT infrastructure, whether on-premises, in the cloud or in hybrid cloud architectures.

This year, we will continue to bring new capabilities into our platform to provide more unified visibility into the enterprise IT stack, and we will continue to innovate in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence to ensure that we support our customers in making the best possible decisions with regards to their IT infrastructure strategy.”

How do you aim to inspire innovation at LogicMonitor?

“Everyone at LogicMonitor understands and believes that we’re not just a monitoring software vendor. Through our platform, we are helping our customers improve their digital services, creating better customer experiences and ultimately driving business success. Our customer success stories go beyond technical monitoring to helping leading brands like Ted Baker streamline and optimize their business operations. Seeing how our platform is currently helping companies is inspiring, but we also encourage all employees to come forward with new ideas to support our mission – whether that’s a new feature or a new way to run a process. Again, I firmly believe that our success comes down to our people. My leadership team and I fully support new ways of thinking and new ideas. At LogicMonitor, we reward innovation.”

How would you describe the company culture at LogicMonitor?

“The culture at LogicMonitor is transparent, fun, and collaborative with a ‘get things done’ attitude. Our offices are vibrant places, and I’m inspired when I visit as the hunger, passion and friendliness of all LogicMonitor employees across the globe is always motivating! From the team-building activities to the great social calendar, we make sure that everyone feels welcome. At the end of the day we work hard, but hard work should also be fun. We hire intelligent professionals who have a desire to succeed and are open to coaching in order to be the best they can be – but everyone must leave their egos at the door!”

What advice would you give to someone interviewing at LogicMonitor?

“At LogicMonitor we are building a special company, so I encourage all candidates to think about what makes them special. What skills and experiences can they bring to help further our mission? This also means candidates should do their research before any interview with us, so they can understand our stories and our customers, and also be able to articulate what we do.”