From working in the software industry for the State Department and Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., coupled with sage advice from his father, Harris Clarke, COO at GUIDEcx, has incorporated those skills and life lessons into building best practices that have enabled the GUIDEcx team to deliver excellent customer service.
Those efforts were recently recognized when the company earned a coveted #1 ranking on the Relationship Index for G2.
QUESTION: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ANSWER: I wanted to be in the NBA. For a year, I carried a basketball with me everywhere I went. I sure got good that year…not sure what happened after that.
QUESTION: Where have you lived?
ANSWER: Washington, D.C., Milan, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Utah.
QUESTION: What is your favorite travel destination?
ANSWER: My wife is from Hawaii, which is hard to beat. I love returning to the east coast to D.C. or New York, where my parents and siblings live with their families. Anytime I travel to Italy (where my mother’s side of the family is from) is pretty special too.
QUESTION: What are your hobbies or passion projects outside of work?
ANSWER: I spend as much time as I can with my wife and children. We have four sons, so there is never a dull moment—from skateboarding, cooking as a family, hiking, skiing, playing basketball, football, golf, or a freeze-dancing game our two-year-old loves. We also recently moved, so there is no shortage of home improvement projects to do around the house.
QUESTION: Do you volunteer? If so, where?
ANSWER: I volunteer as a teacher with the youth in my neighborhood, but I think they teach me more than I teach them.
QUESTION: What is an interesting fact about you?
ANSWER: I walked into the White House with the World Series Champion New York Yankees in 1999. Not because I was part of the team…I was 12…but because a Secret Service agent was keeping an eye on me as a favor while my mother was working at this event, I wandered off with the team…whoops.
QUESTION: What was your very first job?
ANSWER: I worked as a caddie, carrying bags at a golf course. That experience taught me a lot about the importance of creating great experiences for your customers.
QUESTION: What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?
ANSWER: My late father told me never to take too much credit or too much blame for anything. Not taking too much credit helps you stay humble and thankful for the people and circumstances around you. Not taking too much blame is an important counterbalance. It helps you remain calm in difficult times, and it helps prevent you from assigning too much blame to others. The result is a balanced perspective to constantly look inward to find what you can improve while allowing for growth and mistakes without punishing yourself.
QUESTION: What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
ANSWER: No question about this one—the team here at GUIDEcx has created a new software category, received the award from G2 as #1 on the Relationship Index for all project management software companies, and constantly impresses me with their fearless creativity.
QUESTION: What makes you unique in your profession?
ANSWER: I have worked in organizations that were hundreds of years old and in hyper-growth tech startups—and in both, I have lived the problem our product solves, not only onboarding customers at software companies but working for the US Government in the State Department and the Department of Justice. The benefits of learning how to create and present a clear path, transparent dependencies, and provide constant communication have translated powerfully in an environment with significantly less bureaucracy and red tape.
QUESTION: If you could give a younger person some career advice, what would it be?
ANSWER: Find a bitcoin and an NFT and never let them go. Kidding aside, there is no secret to success, only hard work. You could build bicycles, perform on stages, work in an office, or cure diseases, but anything you choose to do will be more enjoyable and valuable to the world if you enjoy working hard at it. As Vince Lombardi said, “the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” There is so much learning and growth in hard work that should be celebrated—not endured. In those moments, you will forge great relationships, learn great lessons, and grow the most, so embrace those moments and don’t avoid them.
QUESTION: What is your favorite part about working for GUIDEcx?
ANSWER: The people.