Pat Cullen is the VP of Engineering at Carrot Fertility, the leading global fertility healthcare and family-forming benefits provider for employers and health plans. Pat oversees and directs Carrot’s information security, data, and engineering teams. He has more than a decade of experience as a technologist & thought-leader who builds effective teams by driving engineering best practices, empowering developer productivity, and promoting deliverable alignment. Pat discusses leading through growth, how his business background helped him, and his specific approaches to leading tech teams.
Q: Tell us about your background and how getting an MBA helped you in the field of software development.
Pat says he had an MBA planned from the start, from when he was a junior in high school. He describes how participating in team sports and activities helped him see how important it was to learn to learn more about leading teams. Having a business background helped him as a software developer know more about the big picture and as a manager better understand where other functional teams were coming from.
Q: What leadership challenges have you faced as Carrot grew from a startup to a midsize company?
Pat explains how having managed growing departments at larger companies gave him experience with growth. He also describes how he had to learn how to let go of control and how to help others become more comfortable with change and uncertainty. Pat brings in specific tech and business examples to illustrate his points.
Q: What is good about slime mold?
Pat describes how focusing on outcomes as opposed to outputs can lead to more innovative solutions and how slime mold does that organically. It’s a great story of letting your team overcome barriers, make mistakes, and generate powerful solutions.
Listen to the episode to also hear Pat talk about his experience in larger companies, dealing with layoffs, building feedback loops, and more.
Words of Wisdom:
Come to every situation prepared with two to three possible outcomes.
Stop the meeting five minutes early and rate the meeting around the room.
Give little “f” feedback not big “F” feedback.
Contact Pat Cullen:
Happy to chat with whoever whenever, here’s my Calendly: https://calendly.com/pat-carrot/coffee-chat
The simplest way to connect with me is LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/%F0%9F%A5%95-pat-cullen-b3295b29