Today’s guest is Jim Lico, the CEO of Fortive Corporation, it’s the Fortune 500 company based in Washington that you probably haven’t heard of before, well, until now of course! Fortive has 18 subsidiaries including notable brands like Fluke and Tektronix. You’ll want to stick around for the entire episode to get a peek into what Jim’s childhood was like growing up in Detroit when General Motors was the biggest company in the world, you will hear Jim share some valuable experiences early in his career that he hadn’t shared before, and Jim shares with us that we should know if we aspire to be business leaders.
In 2016, while Jim was working at Danaher, the executives at Danaher made a strategic decision to spin off Fortive as a separate company, and the reasoning behind it was that Danaher’s business was focused on life sciences and innovation in the medical space, while Fortive’s business was focused on technologies for industrial applications. Since they had two distinct end consumers, they decided it was best to separate the entities. Now, when that happened, Jim was asked to be the CEO of Fortive, and he would now be running a billion-dollar publicly traded business with 25,000 employees, something he admits, he wasn’t necessarily prepared for. Today, Fortive has a market cap of almost 24 billion dollars!
Ash Faraj 00:02
Hey, it's ash. Today's guest is Jim lico, the CEO of fortive Corporation. It's the fortune 500 company based in Washington that you've probably never heard of before.Well, until now, of course, now you want to be sure to stick around for the entire episode today to get a peek into what Jim's childhood was like growing up in Detroit when General Motors was the biggest company in the world. You will hear Jim share some valuable experiences early in his career that he hadn't shared before. And Jim shares with us what we should know if we aspire to be business leaders one day. Jim was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan with a large extended family. And Jim's father always had high expectations for him growing up and he admits it, even though he would complain at times, and he was younger, he will never forget how high expectations were actually a gift from his father.
Jim Lico 00:56
Well, I grew up in the in, out in the Detroit area of Michigan, I always say I sort of won the family lottery. I'm great parents and great siblings, and I was a sports fanatic, and every way played lots of sports. And so probably most of my childhood is doing something with a football, baseball or basketball.
Ash Faraj 01:15
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Jim Lico 01:17
Probably Sunday dinners at my grandmother's I was I was lucky enough to have a big extended family and 30 people in a 900 square foot house every Sunday is something you never forget,
Ash Faraj 01:28
when you reflect on your life. If there was one person that really helped shape your life principles, who would that person be?
Jim Lico 01:35
It would have to be my dad. You know, he was he was he was a great guy, a wonderful human being a father, a great husband. And you know, he always did things the right way with integrity. He when he would maybe be pushing me to do something, he would always say, and I would complain that he would always say I will pay you the compliment of high expectations. And that, that has lived with me my whole life.
Ash Faraj 02:02
So like you learned early on that high expectations are in a way they're a gift not kind of like a burden.
Jim Lico 02:07
Yeah, exactly. And that and that it's a compliment, that that it's that when someone has belief in you, and someone really thinks there's nothing you can't do that there. And they have a responsibility. You know, obviously, as a parent, they're they're going to have high expectations. And that's not out of anything but love and as a compliment.
Ash Faraj 02:27
When I bring up your childhood, what come what emotion comes to mind, like what emotion Do you remember feeling most frequently?
Jim Lico 02:32
laughter. I, you know, I was I was incredibly fortunate to grow up in a house with a mother and a father and a sister and a brother who are incredibly funny. Sometimes the joke I was the youngest. So the jokes were often on my own expense. But especially in the early days, but I think at the end of the day, it was it was love and laughter and then that combination has been something that, you know, I've tried to create my own household. You know, over the last couple of decades
Ash Faraj 03:00
know, back when Jim was growing up, General Motors, the big car company, probably heard of it before, based in Detroit, was one of the biggest companies in the world. When he was a teenager, Jim worked a lot. He spent a couple summers with General Motors on the factory line. And he would also cut lawns for people around his neighborhood to make some money without realizing it. Jim's landscaping business as a teenager actually helped him build a great network, he actually got his first internship from someone he knew in his neighborhood from cutting lawns.
Jim Lico 03:26
You know, I lived in a neighborhood where a lot of people work for General Motors, and, you know, I had worked in a factory for a couple of summers, and I was looking for my sort of, you know, do something in my career. And friend said, Hey, we might have an opening and in a couple areas, you know, I know somebody and let's say, I know I had an interview
Ash Faraj 03:47
and was this a friend that you knew for a long time? Or was it
Jim Lico 03:50
now it was it was somebody in our neighborhood you know, I had I had a childhood business as a as a landscaping business as a child or not as a child as a teenager that was pretty prolific actually like a six day a week summer job. And so I was pretty well known through the neighborhood whenever you needed your lawn cut or something and so so I you know, somebody had said, Hey, you know, what are you doing now kind of thing right I after, you know, I wasn't doing that anymore and and I said, Well, I'm actually you know, thinking this I'm in college and I'm you know, I'm in I'm in this operations research degree and looking to do something and in in the automotive industry,
Ash Faraj 04:27
so what was your first corporate experience? Like I mean, what what do you remember it being like, like, the first few days like what were you?
Jim Lico 04:33
Yeah, as I remember, walking, sitting down and this was a my internship because I actually went to go work in the department I had worked in the previous summer so so my first day on the job was a lot I had a little bit of experience. But I remember my first day as an intern, and showing up in this desk in the sea of desks of, of a product team that I was on and engineers and purchasing people and all that and, and my my little I don't desk and just looking out at the sea of desks and sort of thinking, why I am certainly one of many here. And, you know, that's my first reaction to it.
Ash Faraj 05:10
Yeah. So you kind of felt like, was it like insignificance in a way? Cuz there's so many
Jim Lico 05:14
Yeah, yeah, you know, you, you sort of think like, Hey, I'm, you know, I probably had a briefcase and, and in those days, we wore a suit. So you'd wear it walk in with your, your brand new suit, and you go in and you think you're going to, you're going to make this huge difference in a world in the world. And all of a sudden, you realize you're just, you know, one of many and, and then you have to find a way to contribute and find a way to, you know, to sort of stand out, if you will, and I think that was a, that was a pretty good visual for what was needed.
Ash Faraj 05:43
So what was your initial role there
Jim Lico 05:45
I was, I was working with suppliers on what was then is now called continuous or continuous improvement, or lean manufacturing, helping suppliers who supply General Motors to do things in in a lower cost way. Of course, I had a little bit of manufacturing experience from my as, as an online main, you know, working on the line in a plant from a couple of years. But this was my first sort of industrial engineering experience. And of course, I was with some people who've been doing it for a little while. And, you know, I learned how to do that. And I did that job for, you know, a couple years,
Ash Faraj 06:18
your first experience, I was like, I just want some experience. But did you have in mind where you want it to be like, maybe five years? Or did you have kind of a plan? Or was it just like, kind of going with the flow? I'm just, I'm just kind of curious.
Jim Lico 06:29
Yeah, you know, I, I never had a real plan. Like, you know, I really never, I was always sort of loved what I was doing in the moment and kind of wandering when I was going to do next, but wasn't as much focused on the next thing. As I was, what I did know, is that I didn't even from the first day at General Motors, the company seemed too big. And so I was, I always thought that I probably wouldn't be there more than five years, I always, if I had a five year plan, it was probably only that, after five years, I would try to go and work in a company that might be a little smaller. And at the time, I think General Motors was the biggest company in the world. And I was trying to, you know, I thought I thought, you know, my skill set would maybe be in a place slightly smaller. And so I think maybe the only plan I had was that I didn't think I would be there my entire career.
Ash Faraj 07:26
Was there ever a moment? You know, during your time at GM, like, early on, when you felt like, oh, wow, I didn't realize this or like, kind of like a, like a moment where you had to stop and be like, wow, this is totally not realize this or look at the good, just a huge like moment.
Jim Lico 07:40
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think when you start your career, there's, there are so many moments, where you, you realize you don't know, anything, I mean, you're, you know, if you get if you're, if you're fortunate enough, and I would say when I was at General Motors, I was fortunate enough to get a variety of different assignments over the five or six years I was there. And what you realize is that particularly early in your career, you know, you're gonna get thrown into the deep end of the pool a few times, and you've got to realize like, okay, I don't know what I'm doing, I need to learn who's going to mentor me. I think I was fortunate, during my career to to have met, and had some some early in my career to have some people who were, who were very helpful to me, By the same token, I think I could have done a better job at networking. I think if I, if I think back to that time, there was certainly an opportunity to do a better job of it. And I think when I think about all the number of the opportunities that have come to me over my life, in my career, they've come from building relationships and building networks that were helpful to my learning, and also to helping me understand what maybe next opportunities were out there.
Ash Faraj 08:53
Did you find mentors early on than when you were a GM? Like within the company?
Jim Lico 08:57
Yeah, you know, I think I, I, Yes, I did. And I was fortunate, I think, to work for some great people. Early in my career, not always the person I was working for, it was maybe always someone who was maybe in the department, a different manager that maybe I built a relationship with. But yeah, I mean, I think I was, I was always I think one of the things about me is always, I always focus on learning, it's an important part of kind of how I enjoy my job is to learn is the learning that comes with it. And so I think I always tried to seek out people who could help me learn things I didn't know. When you're young, you, you know, you think you know more than you do, and very often and so that's maybe that was a little bit of an early skill that I was that I would jump into something new and would take stock of things and you know, that wow moment is when you're, when you're when maybe you've gotten some additional responsibility and you realize you need to learn a lot more in order to really, you know, really take advantage of the opportunity that you've just been given.
Ash Faraj 09:58
What do you feel like Somebody should know, like, let's say somebody just graduated college entering their first job. What do you feel like? What What should they know about their first experience? Like? How can they make maximize it to the fullest? If there's just some concise way to put it?
Jim Lico 10:13
Yeah, I always think about first jobs. You know, it's such an exciting time in people's lives. You in very in many respects, you you only have one first first job. I mean, really. So I think I think two things that I've always, when I talk to young people about how they should think about their careers, one is be open minded, there's learning and everything, sometimes, sometimes you can, sometimes you can look at something and say, Oh, I know how to do that. But there's there really is learning and everything if you're open minded. So that's the first thing. And the second thing is, is, is, like I said, build relationships, you know, you never, you never know who's going to have that next opportunity for you. And so be open to those relationships and networking, because I think ultimately, that that the, the wider the net you cast, the more opportunity will inevitably be caught. And I think that's a hard thing in this days of COVID. I think I think with, with us being virtual in so many ways, I worry about a lot of our early employees not getting as many of those opportunities, because of because we're so many of us are, are in a virtual environment, as opposed to it's a little bit I think it's a little bit more difficult. And certainly different than it is in a traditional sense, when you're, when you're in an office maybe more frequently,
Ash Faraj 11:27
how do you feel like somebody new in their career can like reach out to a potential mentor, maybe they're really busy, or maybe they have like a list of mentors, you want to reach out to what's like the best process of going about it.
Jim Lico 11:39
I think networking is hard, hopefully, you know, in our company, and in lots of other companies, there is there's often formal mentoring programs that can sometimes be around certainly take advantage of those. I think one of the ways just as a tricks of the trade is, is that if there are other, if there are, I think in my in my time, I found that it was very often through maybe a friend of a friend in the bit in the in the business that was within General Motors at the time, who could connect me with someone. So I think, again, as you have colleagues and maybe other colleagues might, you know, those colleagues might know other people, as you know, who's their network and who they found to be helpful or those I found that most people want to help two and three, you know, that person, maybe you started two or three years before you was in that same situation very, very often as a key person to being able to do that. I was, you know, funny, funny. A couple of my mentors came from, I used to run at lunch, when I was at started General Motors. And as some of the some of the people that ran at lunch ended up being, you know, more senior than me and just happen to be out running one day. And next thing, you know, they're asking me about what my career is. So I think, you know, when you can find those informal, you know, whether it's clubs or organizations, a lot of like our company, a lot we do charity work is, as an organization, you know, finding opportunities outside of just what you do in your daily life and your work is, is trying to find those opportunities as well. I think those are just some ideas of things that have worked for me in the past.
Ash Faraj 13:11
But that makes sense. It's almost like a human second, a natural human desire to want to give back.
Jim Lico 13:15
Yeah, I think that's right.
Ash Faraj 13:16
So after being at General Motors for five years, Jim decided it was time to make the leap to a smaller company where he could get an opportunity to have a more significant impact. What? Okay, so what made you realize that was time to move on from GM. So you were there five years, and then you decided you wanted to move on what made you realize you wanted to move on,
Jim Lico 13:34
I had an incredible range of opportunities early in my career, I learned a lot and couldn't be more complimentary of my experiences that I had. By the same token, I was realizing that, that the the there weren't as many future opportunities, as there would be in maybe other places. And so this was a tough time in the auto industry in those days. So, you know, the there, there were less opportunities, I think it was maybe a natural evolution, for me to go look somewhere else where, where there might be, there just might be more opportunities over time. And that's, so it was really, it was combination that in a big company, as I mentioned before, I'd always, I always thought I wanted to work for a smaller company. Now, compared to startups, I've always worked for big companies. But I think in general, I was I was seeking a business that was maybe a little bit smaller, where maybe I'd have, maybe what I was doing would have a little bit more impact.
Ash Faraj 14:30
So you were thinking that it's time to kind of you've kind of gathered like some skills and experience and the reason why you wanted to move on or the reason why you wanted to join a small company is because you wanted to have an impact. Is that why?
Jim Lico 14:42
I think you can have more impact. Yeah, I think I think that, you know, I was I was looking at it. I didn't join a small company. I just joined a smaller company, probably. But I think what at the end of the day it was, it was the combination of opportunity. There wasn't as many opportunities in the auto industry, at least in General Motors at that time, is There were some downsizing and things that were going on. At the same time I was seeing, seeing that some of the things that I had learned were becoming more important to other companies. And so there was an there was really sort of a maybe call it a mixture of things all happening at one time. That all led me to make the decision to say, hey, let's let's open the door to other companies.
Ash Faraj 15:21
That make sense. So where did you go next,
Jim Lico 15:24
I went to allied signal, which is now Honeywell. And Honeywell is a big company today. But allied was a small, much smaller company at the time. And I was working for a smaller division that was very independent. And, you know, I had an opportunity to do do some things there and jump into some big responsibilities pretty quickly that I don't think I would have ever had the opportunity to do in General Motors.
Ash Faraj 15:45
So what made you go back to graduate school? Because some people say, Oh, you don't need to go to school, you can be certainly be successful without going to school, you know, it's not worth you know, it's not worth the cost. I guess what, at that time, why did you make that decision?
Jim Lico 15:58
I really, you know, Ash, I really, at that point in my life, I was probably seven or eight years of experience, all in some form of manufacturing. Okay. And, and I knew that I wanted and this is I think, part of the decision may be whether or not you go, you know, maybe go to graduate school. For me, it was about, I wanted to inevitably run a company or run a business. I knew that that way, at that point in my life, I knew I wanted to do that. And I thought that if I went and went to graduate Business School, it would, you know, it will give me those skill sets that maybe I wasn't getting while, running, you know, being in manufacturing for a long period of time. And I thought, you know, and I thought, you know, that pivot was important to me. And I thought graduate school would accelerate that pivot to running a business. And I think that gets to the decision of why people might go back to school, they end up going back to graduate school as an individual decision for people. And I think in some cases, it's a great decision. And then other people, it's probably not relevant. And it has a lot to do with how much of a career change do you want? I can say that I I know very few that ever made the decision to go to graduate school regretted it. But I would. But that being said, I do think it has a lot to do with the first what are your aspirations? And what are the experiences you've had up to up to this point in your life? And do you believe that those experiences and those learnings can help you get to what what you aspire to do? And I think graduate school can be an accelerator to the learning in places where you have gaps. And it certainly is incredible in terms of building a network. But very often people will have already been accelerated in various experiences, where they don't necessarily need to, they don't need that kind of accelerator in graduate school. So I think I that's where the personal decision comes down. And the personal assessment. That's how I would think about it. It's that comes down to that capability assessment. And then you know, ultimately, what do you want to do? What are your long term carrer goals?
Ash Faraj 18:03
In 2005, Jim decided to join Danaher. Now the previous company had been working for was acquired by Honeywell, a large conglomerate you've probably heard of before Danaher is now today a publicly traded and globally recognized science and technology innovator, but back then Jim felt excited about the potential of joining a smaller company so we could have a greater impact. And it was the first time he'd been reporting to the president of a business. Jim would end up spending over 10 years of his career at Danner. So after you graduated, you were your next role was at Danaher.
Jim Lico 18:36
Ash Faraj 18:37
What was your initial role there? I guess first, how did you get that opportunity, the story of how you got that opportunity? And then what was your initial role there,
Jim Lico 18:43
Danaher was, again, it was another place of going to a smaller company. Again, allied was still a big company. And I was seeking a smaller company. And one of the interesting things about Danaher is that while it was a, you know, a company of some size, it was a lot of small companies. And so I was really excited about the idea of being part of a manner of a leadership team running a business. I reported to the president of the business. So the first time are reported to a president of a business.
Ash Faraj 19:16
I know you've spent like over a decade there, what do you feel like was it that kept you at Danaher? Was it the intellectual stimulation? Was it the the growth you were seeing? Was it like, what was it that kept you there?
Jim Lico 19:27
ash? I really think about my career decisions. I really base my career decisions my whole life on three criteria. am I learning? am I adding value? And can and am I am I working with people that I really think are outstanding? I worked for Danaher for two decades, and in never even considered leaving. Because those three things were always always the awesome meter on those three things was always pegged to the high level? And
Ash Faraj 20:01
are you learning? are you enjoying the people you work with? And what was the third one?
Jim Lico 20:05
And do you add value? Can you add value? Do you have an impact? Right? I think I think if, you know, what we try to talk to our other folks is, you know, we if you're not having an impact, if you're not making a difference, I think that's unfortunate. We were not fulfilling our obligation to people if we're not putting them in giving them opportunities where they can have impact, because I think we all want to, at the end of the day, we we spend a lot of time at work. We don't want to do that not thinking that we're, you know, we're not doing anything but having positive impact.
Ash Faraj 20:33
Was there ever a moment where you felt like you kind of struggled a little bit?
Jim Lico 20:36
I yeah, I think I think you have struggles all the time, I think that's part of everyone's career journey is is, is dealing with those struggles, and they can come in a lot of different ways. It could be a bad boss. It can be, it could be the business is having challenges, and that doesn't feel as good. So yeah, I mean, I think over over my whole career, but certainly, certainly Danaher at times where I had a major customer that wasn't very happy with us. And, you know, I had to go visit them pretty frequently. And, you know, it was a, it was a very tough, tough time, our we had some challenges with some of our technology that wasn't wasn't working the way we wanted it to work and the way they envsioned it to work. It was a tough balance of, of making them happy, even though they were probably being more demanding than what we had originally anticipated with the technology. So trying to find that balance and work towards a balanced solution. That was good for us, you know, what's good for them, and for us was was a real challenge. And that was my first president job. I was three months, I was literally three weeks into the job, when when I had to start dealing with that. So I think Yeah, you you, those are low points of your career when you when you when you have those tough challenges, and, and certainly have many of those over time, whether it be you know, a customer, you lose some business in a customer or, you know, you you have a product that you envision doesn't do Well, those are those are the challenges that you're going to have in life. And I certainly had, I've had all kinds of them. with the amount of time that I've now been working, you get a little bit of wisdom. Yeah. And what you learn from what, you know, there's some some pieces to that wisdom, but one of them is resiliency, and, you know, you know, you're going to get knocked down. So it's not a question of being knocked down. It's a question of how quickly you get up. And I think, you know, I think to me, that is something that I we try to instill on our team is that, you know, you're going to take, we want you to take risks we want you to we know that that's going to mean at times you fail. But we're you know, we're going to, we understand that. And we want to make sure that we were resilient in that failure so that we understand that we learned something, we don't have it, we don't make the same mistake twice. And and that we were resilient enough to deal with sometimes the setbacks that may come with a little bit of failure, but we know over the long period of time, we're going to be a much better place to that we celebrate some of those failures, at times,
Ash Faraj 23:01
you were able to have a great impact, what do you feel like enabled you to have a great impact, like if you could really distill it down to a few things
Jim Lico 23:09
I was I think there were two things. One is I was always willing to you know, I've always been a person that believed in a team. And and I was never really all that concerned about exactly what I was doing. And so I think one of the things that I sort of became one of the leaders who was always willing to go off and try to do new things. So when we were when we were starting to build our businesses around the world, in different markets, whether it be China or India, or the Middle East, I was one of the leaders who led some of those efforts, because I was always someone who didn't necessarily know a lot about those places at first, but I was willing to go spend a lot of time in those markets. So coming back to your question, I would say, number one, always wanting to do what it takes to make the team successful. And, and not if that meant doing something new that I was that I didn't you know that that maybe I wouldn't be successful at but was willing to take the risk. I think I was always one of those people. I think number two, I really believed in our culture. And I think I was one of those leaders that really tried to help build our culture for the company. And I was sort of seen as a little bit of the person who really, really was trying to build something that was that would be very sustainable beyond any one individual. And so I think the cultural aspects of things that I was trying to do, and that really got to the kind of talent we brought into the organization that ultimately could, you know, build a very big and growing enterprise. Yeah. And I think the third thing is, you know, I'm a very results driven person. You know, I was a I was a bad athlete in high school, but I was on a lot of winning teams, and I got used to that. And you know, and I think at the end of the day that the desire to want to win as a team never left me from the early days of my life and And I think I was always someone who was always trying to be part of a winning team and do whatever it took to be a part of the winning team. And I think, you know, I was I was successful in that. And I think I was, I was rewarded for being a valuable person on the team.
Ash Faraj 25:13
I'm just super curious, you say you, were you focused on the culture? What does it tangibly look like for you?
Jim Lico 25:19
We had a, we had a culture of humility and transparency and open and honest feedback. And I think, because we were really always trying to make the company better. And so I think it was exemplifying those key components of the culture, being honest with people being transparent about what was going on, not being political. And I think we try to always have a culture where, you know, you, if you wanted to send an email to the to the CEO, you could do that. And, and I get emails from employees all the time, even today, because you know, people have something on their mind. I want them to feel like they're, they can, they can talk to us, and they can tell us what's going on. And I think that culture of openness, openness and honesty has been so important that where we've been over the years and continues to be an important partner for him as well.
Ash Faraj 26:07
In 2016, the executives at Danaher made a strategic decision to spin off Fortive as a separate company. And the reasoning behind it was the Danaher business was focused on life sciences and innovation in the medical space. While Fortive is a business was focused on technologies for industrial applications. Since they have two distinct end consumers, they decided it was best to separate the entities. Now, when that happened, Jim was asked to be the CEO of Fortive, and he would now be running a publicly traded business with 25,000 employees, something he admits wasn't necessarily prepared for.
Jim Lico 26:37
Well, you know, I always told I always told my employees, I always tell our, employees, I never really wanted to be CEO. And I'm sure they ever felt they feel good about that. But the point was, I was I was part of a great team, I was enjoying what I was doing those core tenants that I talked about, were remaining, and I love the company, but but when I was offered the opportunity, I was excited about it, it was and it was a little bit like we used to call it our our $6 billion startup because, you know, we were starting a company from brand new and new public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Brand new, and we had to, we had to create everything right to be a public company. And we had about nine months to do it, or 10 months to do it. And we had to start and so yeah, there was a there were tons of feelings. You know, I talked about that, that feeling of, wow, I don't know everything of how to do this. And how am I going to do this? That was certainly there. And there were a lot of things I knew how to do. And I knew the businesses, but running a public company, setting up a board, all those things were all brand new.
Ash Faraj 27:43
I was telling my dad well my dad works for Boeing, I was telling like, you know, my friends are like, Hey, you know, we'll be talking to Jim Lico Have you guys heard of fortive? fortive Corporation? like Fortive? I'm like, they're a fortune 500? How do you not know Fortive?
Jim Lico 27:56
And in town, right. I mean, we Yeah, I mean, it's, it's but you know ash, maybe this is I mean, it's interesting for you. And maybe I don't know, if it's interesting to your listeners, we really want to make sure that that our stakeholders know who we are, you know, our investors are our customers, the communities in which we live, and, most importantly, our employees. But we're not a company that necessarily is going to advertise our Fortive brand. What we're going to advertise is the brands within our businesses that are so important to our customers. And so people will know us as fluke, they will know us as Tektronix will know us as advanced sterilization products, but they won't necessarily know that fortive owns that those companies, but but they know what we do, and the passion from our customers around our brands is second to none.
Ash Faraj 28:43
You know, your leadership style. Obviously, it emphasizes inspiration and optimism. And I think you've said you've mentioned somewhere, if I'm not mistaken, but you're you believe in being the chief optimist. If you you say that it's extremely important to inspire others. How do you inspire others? Like what are some of the mechanics that you can kind of give us to help maybe help us inspire others around us? Like how do you inspire others personally,
Jim Lico 29:07
you know, I get a chance to see everything going on in the company. And that's a that's a unique perspective. And I think the first thing I I have a real responsibility to do is to is to help everybody understand what's possible. I think very often when we get in our jobs day to day we we sometimes lose sight of the long term potential of what we're what we're doing. And so I think first and foremost is to constantly bring people back to why we're doing what we're doing. You know, we have a shared purpose of essential technology for the people who accelerate progress. And that really is about helping our organizations understand that our technologies matter in the world, that they they make a difference that they're we're changing people's lives in the work we do with customers. The world is progressing at a faster pace, because of the work we do. And that helps everybody understand that what they're doing every day matters and hopefully inspired them to consistently look at how we can make things better. So that we can make the world an even better place. So what I try to do is come back to that shared purpose, and draw on lots of things that we're doing, that are examples of of that every day so that people can can see it, they can touch it, and it becomes real. Because I think you have to be authentic, when you're an optimist, you can't just, you can't just run around saying things are great, you have to be authentic, you have to find your own style, you have to be able to put it into words that are comfortable for yourself. And then I would say the second piece of that is, we talked about our say-do ratio. And that is if we're going to say, you know, what is our ratio, the things we say, and do we go do it. And we want to high say-do ratio, you know, when you when you talk about optimism, you're talking about things we're going to go do. And when we actually go and do those things, then ultimately, I think the organization understands that this isn't just words, that there's actions behind those words. And I think that's a key part of authenticity.
Ash Faraj 31:01
So in a way you kind of you kind of you constantly remind people, why we're doing what we're why you're doing,
Jim Lico 31:09
right. And we do that with our leadership. So they, they know what they're working on, we everything we work on is around trying to trying to give people examples of how those things are meaningful.
Ash Faraj 31:20
It's, it's powerful. And it's something that you have to constantly do, I assume, as leaders just like you can't just tell them, you know, it's not inspiring, just like oh, you inspire somebody now, you have to continuously
Jim Lico 31:31
Yeah, and repetition is important, because, you know, we forget, right, we get busy we we have we have these, you know, we're we've got lots and particularly over the last this this past year, where, you know, our team members all over the world are are more challenged than ever before with things going on at home and the safety of their family and friends. And so it's even more important during challenging times to really keep reminding people that you know, what we're all about and what we're trying to achieve and, and why that's important in in the world at large.
Ash Faraj 32:12
So, Jim, if you were to meet the 25 year old Jim, what advice would you give to him?
Jim Lico 32:16
live abroad? Yeah, I never I never lived abroad. And I realized running global businesses for a long time. I wish I wish I lived overseas for a period of early in my career.
Ash Faraj 32:27
Interesting. I've never heard that one. So you're saying the reason is because you knew that you wanted to run a business or a global business. And in order to run a global business, you kind of need to understand the culture of different.
Jim Lico 32:37
Yeah, I think I think the ability you know, diversity of thought and diversity of thinking is so, so important, or being a part of running a global business and living in different I've spent a lot of time outside of the United States over the last 20 years. But, but but have I wish I would have had the opportunity to live abroad. And I think if if people get that opportunity to live in a different culture, I think the perspectives you got from that are incredibly helpful to your career.
Ash Faraj 33:06
What in your life do you feel like has given you the greatest sense of fulfillment?
Jim Lico 33:10
That's easy my family? I mean, it's it from it. That one's easy. In my professional life, I think it would say the opportunity to create a company that makes a difference in the world and is really just, you know, is just makes makes life just fun.
Ash Faraj 33:26
What's the story, by the way? just super curious. Did you did you meet your wife in college? Was it somebody just like what was what's your marriage story?
Jim Lico 33:33
I met I met Well, it's it's my happiest day of my life if you want to know it. So the happiest day is I met my wife at work. And the happiest day of my life is the day it is the same day. I asked my wife to marry me. And I took the job at Danaher, on the very same day. Same day in July, I accepted the job with Danaher, and I asked my wife to marry me. I became a father on the same day. So I became a father, and a changed company, and I got married. So those are
Ash Faraj 34:02
all on the same day!
Jim Lico 34:04
Yeah. And then and then we had to we had two more kids. So we have three kids now and they're we're all out of the house now.
Ash Faraj 34:15
So you just answered the next question is, if Jim lico could be remembered for if Jim Ashley could be remembered for just one thing? What would that be?
Jim Lico 34:25
Yeah, it's such a great question. Because I think as you get older, you think about that question. It's, it's not necessarily something that you think about early in your life, but as you get as you've been around a little bit, you do give that a little bit of thought. And well, I think, you know, certainly, it's easy to say in the sense of you want to be you know, you you want your family to think of you as a great husband and a great father. That's, that's, I think such an important part of my personal my personal makeup, but and I think more broadly, you know, is it having an opportunity to run businesses and be a part of 1000s of people's lives over a long period of time. I really think it's about, you know, people saying, you know, they, that I had a positive impact on their lives, whether it was their career, or what I did to help a business be successful, that ultimately led to, you know, more doing things better, and, and, and having more impact on the world. But I think at the end of the day, it comes down to people, we don't do this, you know, we love the technology, we love the products. Those are, those are the fun things about working in technology companies. But I think, I think at the end of the day, it comes down to people and the relationships you build, and the impact you can have on people's lives. And that can be seen as as a positive over a long period of time. I think you did, you did a pretty good job
Ash Faraj 35:47
I like that. In your opinion, what do you feel like the most important life skill
Jim Lico 35:52
is resiliency I think resiliency and determination, I think those two, I think the you can't predict in life, what things will happen to you. What you can predict is how you react to it. And I think, the more determined and the more resilient you can be the challenges, I think, at the end of the day, you're going to be well served to, to deal with the, you know, all the highs and lows that come in both a career and personal life. You know, and that's, that's what we talk about it at fortive, is the ability to deal with challenges. And as I said, before, you know, you might, we're all gonna get knocked down in our careers, it's how quickly we get up. It will be how we how we're judged.
Ash Faraj 36:38
What is the best advice somebody has ever given you?
Jim Lico 36:41
Well, I said that, so I talked about it too early. I said, was my dad's advice, you know, it said, I'll pay you the compliment of high expectations. That has been, that has been my mantra for pretty much my whole life.
Ash Faraj 36:54
I thought you were gonna say Lucy's advice to not use your hands.
Jim Lico 37:00
That would be the second thing. I have a lot of good advice that I get from my staff on a regular basis. But some of that can't be put in an audio file.
Ash Faraj 37:11
And the last one is, I feel like I have an idea of what this is. But if you were stranded on the island, and you had access to just one meal, what would that meal be for you?
Jim Lico 37:18
um my wife would want me to say something healthy. But I would say a hamburger a great hamburger and french fries.
Ash Faraj 37:25
Okay, I thought you're gonna say like lasagna or something itallian?
Jim Lico 37:28
Yeah, you know, I thought about putting my I put that but I think even I you know, I think sometimes I think about these dances like if my family heard it. Well, you know, would they call me on it?
Ash Faraj 37:39
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