John McCauley is the first finance leader to tell us that his path to the CFO office began in a pool.
Back in high school, McCauley relates, he was a rebellious student with less than impressive grades when a stubborn and no-excuses-allowed water polo coach knocked him from his wayward track.Read More
According to McCauley, the coach’s philosophy was rooted not so much in winning or losing but in whether the team had done everything in its power to succeed.
Recalls McCauley: “This meant 4:30 a.m. practices before school began and 3-hour practices after class, 300 days a year—and if you were sick, you were allowed to skip practice, but you still had to sit on the pool deck and watch.”
These experiences wed McCauley to a lifetime mantra that has forever filled his tank with the power of preparation.
Another pivotal moment for McCauley arrived a decade deep into his finance career, when he joined one-time start-up ServiceNow in 2011—the same year that saw the dynamic tech duo of Frank Slootman and Michael Scarpelli take up residence as CEO and CFO, respectively, in the ServiceNow C-suite.
“I found my people,” comments McCauley, who notes that the two business leaders ultimately provided him and others with a “new framework” within which to advance and complete their work.
“It’s all about not simply just raising a problem when you see it, but going ahead and fixing it,” explains McCauley, who adds that fixing problems had always been a natural inclination for him, despite the fact that a string of earlier experiences at different companies hadn’t always supported this approach.
In light of his high regard for ServiceNow’s veteran leadership team, it’s perhaps no surprise that when asked for a book selection, McCauley recommends Amp It Up, Slootman’s 2022 text that argues that the best way for leaders to improve company performance is to raise expectations.
Slootman and a certain high school coach may have something in common.
Says McCauley: “At the last four Olympics, there’s been someone from my high school on our team.” –Jack Sweeney
“Become a key corporate storyteller. It’s your job to make the complicated and boring approachable and interesting. Master dissent and commit: Have a well-reasoned take, then get behind the final decision. Balance the serious with the fun and have a passion for what you do.” –John McCauley, CFO, Calendly
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Calendly … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
McCauley: Let’s start with the problem, which I think will resonate with just about everybody. You need to get a meeting scheduled. Let’s say that there are going to be two or three or maybe four people in this meeting. We’ve all done the email jockeying for things such as this where we end up emailing each other four or five times with messages like “Oh, Jack can meet at 4 o’clock, but Sarah can meet only at 2 o’clock.” It all ends up being like this giant vortex of emails.
Calendly provides a very simple tool for horizontal external meeting scheduling, with which you can provide different ways of setting up a meeting.Read More
It can be as easy as a link. It can be, “Hey, Jack, here are the times when I’m available—you schedule the time that works best for you.” We even have round-robin technology, or poll technology, which you could use if you were thinking “Hey, I don’t know what time works for these four people but let me send out a poll and find out which one everybody can meet at.” And then it automatically books the meeting for you.
We take the pain out of booking meetings, which I think is a very horizontal problem that resonates with everybody. We have well over 10 million people on our software today in more than 150 countries. We have tremendous brand equity, in that a lot of people have either been sent a Calendly link or are actually on the platform already. The business has a beautiful viral coefficient. Given that we provide so much value to our customers, each customer leads to more customers, which leads to more customers. So, Calendly has really great unit economics when it comes to how we expand over time.
As we move into the future and look at what’s next on the horizon for Calendly, we see ourselves getting involved in more complex scheduling use cases. For example, we recently acquired a company called Prelude, which has solutions very specific to HR departments that are going through recruiting and scheduling in more complex scenarios. Once somebody gets past the first interview, how do we get this panel interview set up with these five different individuals? This can be a very complex thing. You can imagine the back-and-forths and meeting cancellations that recruiting coordinators often face. Prelude is specifically built for that use case.
In the future, you’ll see Calendly launching additional products that support areas like sales, marketing, and customer support by really helping our end customers schedule meetings more quickly. The benefit of scheduling meetings more quickly is interesting in and of itself, but to me, it’s the benefit of benefits, which you see when you drill down. If you’re a seller, it’s closing more deals. If you’re a recruiter, it’s getting more people through the funnel and into positions. The benefits of Calendly are everywhere.
When you drill down into it, we’re all about creating better success and more efficiency in individuals’ careers.
Calendly | www.calendly.com | Atlanta, GA