This interview with Joshua Reeves, C.E.O. and co-founder of Gusto, an online payroll, benefits and workers’ compensation firm, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. What were some early influences for you?
A. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but my mother is from Bolivia and my father’s from a small town outside Pittsburgh. His family grew up working in the steel mills, and I learned a lot from them about respect for an honest day’s work. They’re both teachers.
I have one brother, and both of us are Eagle Scouts, so that was a formative part of our childhood, too. In high school, I was a varsity athlete on the crew team, and that was a pretty big time commitment.
I’ve used crew as a metaphor for leadership. Everybody has to pull on their oar as hard as they can, but then it’s all about balance in the boat, and how the eight individuals connect and flow with each other. The coxswain isn’t telling anyone what to do, but they’re guiding and steering.
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