* This post is by Arjay Navarro, Sales Team Lead from our Philippines office, who conducted the interview with Jed and wrote the piece // We’ve been delighted with the great reception to ‘10 Questions with...’ to date, as we strive to help put a face to the hard-working team behind the platform you use and love.
In yet another first for the series, meet Jed Cipriano - a man with stirring passion and ambition in both his personal and professional lives, and the steadying hand leading our fantastic Philippines operations day-in, day-out!
So Jed, what one word would best describe you as a person?
Determined. I’m a very determined guy. I think Jed is just a kid who’s determined to achieve his goals, to give his family the best future possible.
* Editor’s note: Yes, he referred to himself in the 3rd person
What did you do prior to this interview?
Oh, we tried a new joint - a Shawarma place! I tried their all beef shawarma and grilled pita with Jalapeno hummus plus a huge glass of Kiwi shake - absolutely loved it!
Tell me, how did you end up at Tradegecko?
Well… I was basically headhunted for the role.
TradeGecko’s VP of Sales, Patrick Barnes sent me a LinkedIn message which I initially ignored (laughs). So he sent me at least 2 more LinkedIn InMails, and I thought “This guy is really serious about his job!”.
By now, they had got my attention so I did my due diligence, researched about the company and decided to give it a shot.
We had an initial interview via Skype, and next thing I knew I was meeting with Patrick and Cameron (CEO) somewhere in Taguig (Manila, Philippines).
And the rest as they say, is history!
What made you decide to move to TG?
It was Cameron's beard, hahaha!
Seriously though, I really like the startup culture because there's a lot of opportunity for personal growth, and it allows you to think on your feet and have an impact in the company's growth.
I also really liked the conversations I had with Cameron in the interview, especially when he mentioned that he’s open to hiring awesome people who are into starting something up on their own.
When he mentioned that he wants his team to grow alongside him as they find riches and success themselves too - I thought to myself, “This is not something I’d normally hear from a CEO, that’s something different for me right here.”
How would your friends describe you?
How would you describe me? (laughs)
I guess they’d say - annoying. I think I could easily be labeled as annoying because I'm very persistent, and I tend to say most things that pop in my head, without a filter.
Also, I'm very competitive. I always want to do my best in everything I do.
How would an ideal weekend look like?
My ideal weekend is spent with my family - my wife and three kids.
I try to workout (read: try), and read articles/blogs mostly about Leadership. In particular, I really like Robin Sharma.
I also love listening to audiobooks - “Creativity, Inc” (great stuff about Pixar’s journey) and “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy are two of my favorites.
If time permits, you might even see me playing online first-person shooting games!
What would you say has been your biggest success in life up till now?
Hmm, let’s see.
Well, I got married at the age of 17, and I was still able to complete my bachelor’s degree while keeping my scholarship as a theatre actor.
I was then blessed to have been able to make a big impact to my previous employer, helping them grow from just five employees to almost 1,000 in five short years.
My biggest success has basically to have been to enjoy life - all it’s ups and downs with the best partner I could possibly ever ask for… my wife of 10 years.
Do you see yourself as a 'game-changer'?
I would like to think so!
One thing I do is to make it a point to share all my views.
I do also feel I have the passion to work with and inspire people, and to help them develop and grow both in their personal and professional lives.
What is the one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
There's a lot really, and a lot of thoughts are running through my head right now...
I'm thinking passion, but then again anyone can be passionate, but not everyone can be humble. A good leader needs to have the right amount of humility.
One needs to be able to listen to people, to understand them, to motivate them. You need to make them feel like they're not just a number.
Afterall, they are not machines - they are human beings.
And that to me, is what leadership is all about.
If you could be someone else for 24 hours, who would you be and why?
That’s a good question!
I think I’d like to be Nick Vujicic. Most people are never content with what they have, or even with the things that they already do have.
We always want more - and Nick is a huge inspiration in that sense. He’s the man!
Ponder this - life without limbs, or life without limits?
What inspires YOU? Drop Jed a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!