2 Months at Daxko

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I’ve been at Daxko for a few months now, and it’s been a great experience so far. I came to the company from the hectic retail world, where I rarely got a full weekend or holiday off. Even though Daxko life is busy and we work hard, I’m grateful to now have much more stability in my life. In fact, my life is stable enough for a dog now! I’m the proud owner of a black lab puppy named Samson, and I spend most of my weekends hanging out with him and taking him to the park.

One of my favorite Daxko events that has happened so far was our Spring Impact Day back in May. My team helped clean up the Lakeshore Trail right outside the office, and it was a great bonding experience; I got to talk to people I don’t have the chance to talk to on a day to day basis. My team also had a fun get-together at Colby’s house when I was still very new in my role. This was a good opportunity to meet everyone on the team and just hang out outside of the office.

Have there been challenges in the first few months? Of course. The most difficult thing for me has been picking up everything that goes into the Customer Success Advocate role. It’s not just answering customer questions about our software – we have to learn the software first. Our customers hold us to high standards and expect all of Customer Success to know our stuff regardless of our tenure. Fortunately, everyone on my team is willing to help and answer questions. Along with challenges, there have already been opportunities for me to take ownership. I worked closely with our Solutions Analyst team on a sales tax project that was crucial to our Kentucky customers’ operations to ensure the Customer Success team was prepared. This was a great opportunity for me to take charge of a task, and I’m grateful to my team lead for entrusting me with it.

My job has been everything I thought it would be, and more. And Daxko as a company lives up to my expectations. I appreciate the transparency, how the company gives team members a voice, and how our culture is inclusive. It’s definitely unlike anything I’ve ever been part of before, and I am enjoying every minute.


Gerard Ramsey is a Customer Success Advocate who likes Spider-Man and cookies and cream ice cream.

I’ll Give You 180 Days

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New Daxko team members normally have these 60-day perspectives ready to share on the Daxko Culture Blog shortly after 60 days have passed from our Daxko start dates. Let’s just say that getting this after being 180 days in will give you, the reader, added perspective. Just go with it. Don’t @ me.

I was hired onto the team at the beginning of June 2017 to support a group of customers using our Daxko Spectrum product and based in our Houston office. It’s been a thrilling experience, and what have the first six months of Daxko looked like for me? Here’s a list of some unique highlights and cultural pieces that stuck out to me:

  • Day 4: user group in Atlanta
  • Friday Open Q&As
  • A week at Birmingham HQ
  • Impact Day @ Houston Food Bank
  • User group in Chicago
  • Hurricane Harvey and Reach Conference
  • Houston office move
  • Club Industry Show
  • Halloween
  • Star Wars!

Quite the variety of events, some of which you can infer their meaning and others are just Daxko lingo that likely means nothing to you or any other reader on this page, but the effect of what those lingo words represent means everything to some.

Things can move quickly around Daxko, so you have to stay on your toes and be ready to jump in or pivot at any moment. Take a look at that first bullet above: yes, on Day 4, they had me on a plane to Atlanta to attend a user group for some of our customers in that area. I thought it was fantastic that this new company I just accepted a position with would spend the time and resources to go to where their customers are to simply welcome them in and work with them on better using one of the products. Not only that, but my team lead called me before I even started my first day to extend this invitation to me and made all of the arrangements!

Skip down a couple of bullets to the next user group in Chicago. That kicked off a whirlwind of personal and professional overdrive that lasted several weeks. Our offices had Daxko solar eclipse viewing parties on that Monday, then a large group of us were off to Chicago the next day for another user group we had planned for our customers in and around that city.

While conducting a successful user group and connecting with our customers, our attention was being called to trouble rapidly brewing back home: Hurricane Harvey. I remember sitting in my hotel room between two of our events and getting the group text from my team lead: “All of you here from Houston, change your flights right now to go home tomorrow (Thursday) evening. We will pay whatever the cost.” How awesome for a company to make an early call on some last-minute plan changes for meetings and events to ensure a group of us got home before flights sold out and airports closed for a major hurricane?

Harvey was a nightmare that no Houstonian ever wanted to see again after Allison in 2001. Things began turning very serious the first night, and anxieties were validated when a local chief meteorologist tweeted, “Allison is officially no longer the benchmark flood event in Houston,” and the forecast continued to show that the Harvey event was just beginning. But it did happen again, and it will again at some point. We’ve just accepted it as part of living in a major metro prone to floods. Our Houston office was closed for more than a week after the storm, and we spent that time helping our neighbours and communities and working from home as power and internet service allowed.

Harvey did not just affect team members and customers in the Houston area and down the Texas coast. It affected a large percentage of our company and customers. Why? Our annual REACH customer conference was scheduled to take place in Houston two weeks after Harvey struck. Remember what I said earlier about always being ready to pivot when working for Daxko? The company and hundreds of our customers had spent months making plans, incurring expenses, and at that point were finally ready to come together for a week of learning opportunities and to hear about the future of our products that they rely on. Suddenly, the host city was crippled by the worst natural disaster in its modern history. Our solution? In a matter of days, we pivoted and were ready to conduct as much of the conference as we could virtually. We knew it would not be the same experience as an in-person conference, but it was important to us to still use the time we had planned to connect with all of these customers in any way that we could. We learned a lot from this experience, and I am excited for our next customer conference.

Nearly a month after Harvey, the Houston team moved offices! The last office was a dark and dreadful place. We try not to remember it. It did not sustain any damage during Harvey, and the move was originally planned for the week that Harvey happened. Needless to say, Harvey brought the move to a grinding halt for some time, but once again, we pivoted and made adjustments. Now our Birmingham and Houston offices both reside in Class A buildings constructed at the turn of the millennium! (I told you the last Houston office was a dreadful place).

If you ever visit our spaces, you’ll find it interesting that the interior design of these spaces is the signature of our CEO, Dave Gray. He does most of the design planning and selections himself for our workspaces. He even worked to have a portion of the ceiling removed between the two floors our Birmingham space occupies and had a large staircase built between the floors, because he wanted the spaces open and the Birmingham-based teams easily connected rather than separated. Crazy cool, right? Our new Houston space is still a work in progress, but after a few trips to Birmingham HQ this year, I am excited to see what Dave is putting together for our space.

Moving through the year, the season began to change, but first impressions of this new company culture I’d found myself immersed in did not. I’ve heard of other companies permitting costumes on Halloween or having a fun social during lunch, but never have I seen a company as enthusiastic about Halloween as Daxko. Of course, the ringleader of all the fun is once again our CEO. He is very passionate about Halloween, and strongly encourages team members to participate in the company-wide costume contest – a costume contest across three offices in three states and dozens of remote team members around the country. I’ve seen company leaders encourage participation in company events plenty of times before, but I never thought I would hear a CEO say in a company-wide meeting (with a laugh of course), “If you’re seriously not dressing up, don’t bother coming into the offices that day. Just work from home instead. I’m serious!” What a character, and it was only fitting that he showed up for work on Oct. 31 in a very elaborate Willy Wonka costume – complete with the top hat and cane!

Most recently, I learned that Daxko has adopted a different approach to a company holiday party. Rather than host a traditional, stuffy gathering (which I presume would not be stuffy at all based on how I’ve seen other things conducted around here), they have capitalized on Disney’s recent release schedule for the current awakening of The Force and purchased Star Wars movie tickets for each team member on the films’ opening nights. This has allowed team members to still get together for a fun event during the holiday time and take a different approach to an end-of-year celebration. And plus, it’s Star Wars!

Overall, the first 180 days here has been an experience that I would not trade away. I came here from a large corporation that was also breaking the mold with team member focus and culture, and seeing that same focus here at Daxko was a large influence in my decision to join the team. I am very excited for what the next 365 days will bring, and the 365 days after that.


Matt Glenn is a Strategic Relationship Manager who always visits the People Team pod when he comes to Birmingham.

Career Advice from a Longtime Daxko Pro

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent, Team Member Spotlight | One Comment

When I joined Daxko in 2009, it was my first “real job” out of college. Being a clueless-yet-confident twenty-something, I was terrified that at any moment, someone might discover I didn’t have it all figured out. Lucky for me, Daxko turned out to be fertile ground to grow my career and blossom. The fast-paced environment was just what I needed to expand my skillset, super-charge my confidence, and find the courage to be my (weird) self.

My first Daxko “wall” photo taken in 2009. Can you smell my eagerness?

As I prepare for my next adventure after nearly a decade-long career at Daxko, I can’t help but reflect on the relationships I’ve built and lessons I’ve learned along the way. So, here’s a bit of career advice from me to you. Whether you’re the new kid on the block, rocking your second decade with a company, or somewhere in between, I hope you’ll find advice here to move onward and upward in your career.

Enthusiasm is Everything
Life is short and tomorrow is not promised, which is why I aim to enjoy every moment, including my time at the office. This is why I’ve always fit into the company culture at Daxko. The entire company is teeming with fun folks who bring a high level of enthusiasm to their work. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people willingly follow passionate leaders. Think about it. Is there anything more inspiring than working alongside someone who’s fired up? It’s like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Running amok with teammates at our Kickoff 2012 event

Stretch, Reinvent, Repeat
Through my years at Daxko, I’ve held a few different positions. Each time, the change was scary, but I was always better for it in the end. Beginning your career in one role or department doesn’t mean you’re locked in for life. When it’s time for a little reinvention, channel your inner Bowie and figure out how specific skills you possess can translate into that next new job. If you’re qualified for 60% of the job, go for it and stretch, baby, stretch!

My final reinvention at Daxko was on the Marketing Team. We were…really into exploring our strengths.

Find Your Equilibrium
If you’re not intentional about setting boundaries and scheduling down time, work stress can suck the lifeblood out of you. Case in point? A good portion of my Daxko years were spent managing events, which is statistically one of the most stressful jobs, along with firefighters and airline pilots, so I’ve navigated my fair share of hair-on-fire work stress. Of course, every job has its stressors, and there will always be projects that call for longer hours and a little more hustle. The trick is to avoid burnout by finding your equilibrium – a pace you can sustain for the long haul.

Stress? What stress? We’re cool as cucumbers, baby!

Change is Inevitable. Adapt!
During my time at Daxko, I’ve seen so much change: new faces, new products, new leadership, new workspaces, new goals, new norms…the list goes on. It’s true what they say – nothing ever stays the same. That’s why it’s important to become adaptable. I find this is best accomplished with a good sense of humor and eyes wide open for new opportunities. The butterflies in your stomach are natural. Push through and embrace the change!

No desk? No problem! Adapt, plug in, and make some magic happen.

Organizational Health: The Last Untapped Advantage

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Late in August, the folks of Daxko joined together in our Garage to listen to Brian Jones present on why organizational health is the last competitive advantage that has remained underutilized. Brian Jones is a Principle Consultant of The Table Group, a company dedicated to helping other company’s teams work together more seamlessly. As Brian explained, they believe that the most important piece of technology at a company is the table at which they meet.

As Brian explained it, there are many requirements for organizational success, that can be split into two categories:

‘Smart’ requirements deal primarily with what many would consider more traditionally business aspects of an organization: strategy, marketing, the technology, finance. These are easier to quantify and harder to mess up, as, traditionally, this is what all companies will focus on.

‘Healthy’ requirements are, conversely, easier to mess up and harder to quantify. These include minimal politics, minimal confusion, having a high morale and high productivity in your team members, as well as having low turnover. Most organizations focus on the ‘business’ requirements while neglecting these health requirements, to the detriment of their company.

Brian went on to explain that there is a tough spot for employers to be in due to how employees can behave. Essentially, an employee either lives our core values (or not) and that same employee will either get results, or not. This creates four types of employees:

  1. Those who live our core values and get results
  2. Those who live our core values without getting results
  3. Those who do not live our values yet still get results
  4. Those who neither live our values nor get results

Three of these four team member types have clear courses of action concerning how the leadership should approach them. For those that live our values and get results, you obviously want to promote this behavior, so you recognize, reward, promote these team members. Likewise, those who have our values while not receiving results, you want to hold on to: you retrain or reassign these individuals to where their skills are more helpful. And of course, those team members who neither share our values nor perform well, they likely won’t be team members for long.

The last type Brian called the ‘Brilliant Jerk,’ someone who has bad behavior but is a high performer. What do you do with this team member? As was pointed out in the session, ‘the norm is defined by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.’ If core values are what an organization values to its core (tautology here to drive the point that the organization should value that above all else), then the Brilliant Jerk must be either coached to hold those values or, unfortunately, let go.

Brian’s talk covered a dozen more interesting talking points; if I were to attempt to write them here, I would not only do a disservice to his comical and engaging speaking style, this post would be transformed into a small novel…which they’ve already wrote! You can find many of The Table Group’s books online, such as The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Ideal Team Player; I’d highly recommend giving them a read. His overall point, though, remained constant throughout: an organization that holds fast to its core values and hires with those in mind will have a happier, more engaged workforce.