Insights From an Unconventional Business Leader
Smarter GTM 09.27.2022

Insights From an Unconventional Business Leader

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Maintaining a culture that inspires the team to grow and trust each other requires effective initiatives from business leaders. In this episode, we interview David Reid as he talks about his career in marketing and technology, and how his background shapes his approach to leadership. Tune in as he shares his story of how his unique experience with both sales and technology has helped his company thrive in today’s competitive market. He also tackles the challenges companies face during the growth cycle and how leaders can take the opportunity to build better company culture.

About the Guest

David’s life and career has focused on the development of people, business, technology, and culture. He has been a pioneer and champion of strategic growth in technology, business models, machine design, and industrial digitization. He is a global public speaker on innovation, change, and leadership, as well as an advocate for addressing modern slavery. David serves on the boards of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the University of Houston Energy Advisory Board, the National Ocean Industries Association, and Redeemed, a trauma-informed recovery program for sex trafficking

Survivors. David has written many published technical papers and magazine articles, with patents in drilling systems and automation. He has founded industry groups in technology, diversity, and inclusion, a startup village, and RedM, a pro-bono crowdsourcing organization. A winning team member of the first Rockets and Rigs hackathon with a NASA patent-based start-up company, Permittivity, also serving as an advisor to their board.

Connect with David Reid

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the ego and how people work can lead to unbeatable systems.
  • The key is to maintain a culture that inspires team growth and trust by providing opportunities for learning and collaboration.
  • The process of acquiring a company is a journey, and it can be messy if people are not taught to work together


“You need trained people…getting people to see something that’s outside of what they would expect or ask for and want to do… Being different and standing out takes some special skill.” – David Reid

Highlights from the Episode

Your background is very different from business leaders. How has that impacted the way you tackle challenges? 

David started in architecture and landed in marketing and technology. He worked with a small company that introduced him to the inventing process. From there, he developed the business through integrated systems. This led him to the corporate marketing space as the lead artist for both the marketing and machinery sides.

How do you maintain a culture that inspires the team to grow and trust each other?

Avoid the corporate thinking that everyone is the same because it is false. Companies should work on growing a culture of letting people be who they are while leading them in the desired direction. This is done by allowing for learning and growth opportunities and collaboration in the company. It is all about controlling less, appreciating people, and letting them adapt and grow naturally in their own time. 

What are some challenges when integrating multiple companies, significantly when you are growing inorganically at a rapid pace?

In the early days, people thought acquisitions were “We bought you, so we won.” which is now very different nowadays. Most companies buy other companies to come out unsuccessful without understanding why. When people start to think they are better than the rest of the company and act more independently without considering company values, it starts to get messy. With this, it is essential to teach people to be of service fundamentally and to train them to be skilled at seeing beyond what is expected of them.


David Batstone – Co-Founder & Senior Managing Partner, Just Business


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