If you spend enough time with me, you’ll quickly learn I’m a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers football team. I have high hopes for the 2021/22 season, but as those who follow American professional football know, the glory days of the franchise occurred half a century ago under legendary coach Vince Lombardi. While his managerial style is open to controversy, it’s indisputable that Lombardi recognized greatness and how to achieve it. He famously stated, “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a teamwork, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
It’s a simple, maybe even mundane, idea. It’s implicit to the notion of governance; for instance, that people of a nation accept and adhere to a shared set of laws. But Lombardi’s quote can be read differently—what does he mean by 'work' and what is captured by the word 'commitment?' Knowing what he accomplished, I’ve never interpreted 'work' to mean 'function', instead of equating it to 'thrive'. Similarly, 'commitment' to me is not about 'obedience', but rather a singular, relentless drive.
It comes down to the people that compose the whole
I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of teams—whether athletic or professional—that have captured the spirit of Lombardi’s observation. When you’re in those environments, the energy is palpable, the collaboration effortless and the results both predictable and awesome. Individually, one’s contributions are magnified exponentially, as every output produces a ripple across the organization. The collective effort of the group becomes a massive wave, wind, or storm building strength. Never have I felt more alive and filled with purpose than in those moments.
And those moments may last for days or weeks, sometimes months or even years. But they are hard to maintain and even more difficult to scale. I’ve always spent a great deal of time thinking about the catalysts and foundations for those perfect times, but lately, I’ve focused on how I can help sustain that momentum. How does one foster those situations when any change or misstep could also be that first chink in the armor, the first hurdle that portends the end of a great run?
I think it comes down to the people that compose the whole. There is a symbiotic feedback loop between the success of a group and that of an individual; if an individual is not committed to the shared goal, the energy that unites the whole dissipates. Of course, no colleague or manager can institute purpose, drive, or enthusiasm for a team member. However, to the extent possible, I believe it’s critical to promote a culture that cares about individual fulfillment. If you feel you’re on the right path, the trials and tribulations that inevitably pop up in life are never insurmountable. In a team environment that translates to consistency and performance—and that, perhaps more than anything, allows the healthiest operations to continue to thrive.
Arkose Labs is an impressive company
As a sales leader, I know an effective sales motion and complementary activity are critical for success. But I also make it a priority to understand if my team members feel they are on the right path and what I can do to help maintain that course. For an organization clicking on all cylinders, this can be the basis of sustained success. Which brings us (and me) to Arkose Labs.
Arkose Labs is an impressive company. There are many amazing companies in the San Francisco Bay area filled with talented people, great technology, and high expectations. And when I spoke with Lance Jacobs, Ryan Trout, and Kevin Gosschalk about Arkose Labs, it was clear they were describing not just an outlier in a land of outliers, but an organization 'working' in the Vince Lombardi sense, operating as a single body, with each team member fueling its accomplishments.
I didn’t have to look far for validation—the accolades, customers, and investors immediately stood out. Arkose Labs had already achieved the recognition, backing, and market adoption of much larger industry stalwarts. The technology itself resonated: a principle—make fraud unprofitable for perpetrators—realized via an easily adoptable and impressively designed service.
However, it is the human element, the emphasis on and recognition of the people, contributing to its success that makes Arkose Labs such an exciting prospect. Here is an organization experiencing that special moment and an opportunity for me to help sustain that momentum. And, as I get to know my colleagues and the organization, it’s clear the reality surpasses any expectation I may have had prior to joining. With that nod to Vince Lombardi, Arkose Labs works... and I’m thrilled to be part of its future.