Jason Andrew, CRO of BMC Software, on Hard Work, Disruption, and Culture
Picture the Chief Revenue Officer of an iconic software brand leading 2,000 people, and you probably don’t envision someone who got his start working on family farms. But that is where Jason Andrew, CRO of BMC Software, first learned the importance of a hard-earned dollar and pride in his work. “My father made me and my siblings negotiate our hourly rate every year, and my grandfather always said a job isn’t worth doing if it’s not worth doing well,” Jason recalls.
Those weren’t the only meaningful experiences that shaped Jason as he grew up in New Zealand. When his $75 farm earnings weren’t enough for a coveted cassette player, the 13-year-old tapped into his entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic. After buying and planting 300 watermelon plants, Jason sold his entire harvest at school. The principal shut down his operation, but not before Jason netted $380. “For the first three years of high school, everyone called me Watermelon Boy.”
We’ve created a culture. It’s not just a company. It’s a place you want to come to build your career, set down roots, and look at the art of the possible.
Jason also played the national sport of rugby for years, earning the captain position at a young age, which paved the way for his big-league leadership role in technology. “People talk about developing and building versus being natural leaders. I think you develop and become a leader, but you have to want to do it, and there needs to be something about you that makes people want to listen and follow you.”
Always on the lookout for a new opportunity and challenge, Jason boldly pursued an apprenticeship as a high school senior. After pitching the company secretary of an organization employing 35,000 people, Jason was offered a job – though the company wasn’t hiring. “I literally landed my first job with a cold call.”
After working there for seven years, Jason soon found himself at BMC and never looked back. Early during his tenure, he made a big mark when he helped grow an acquisition from $2 million to over $250 million in annual revenue within four years. Now 24 years at the software giant, Jason feels strongly about what it means to work for BMC. “We’ve created a culture. It’s not just a company. It’s a place you want to come to build your career, set down roots, and look at the art of the possible.”
Some of Jason’s other keys to success:
- Understanding the difference between leaders and managers. Jason believes leaders create the vision, set the standard, talk the talk and walk the walk.
- Establishing an operating rhythm.
- According to Jason, owning and measuring against a plan should be the core for every front-line leader.
- Valuing the indirect motion. Jason knows when to call upon partnerships and what it takes to make them work effectively.