Q&A With Tom Murphy, LiquidPlanner’s VP of Customer Success

Tatyana Sussex | December 5, 2014

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If you’re lucky enough to sit down at team lunch with Tom Murphy, you’re always in for a good story. Tom, our VP of Customer Success leads a team that focuses on making LiquidPlanner customers the happiest project management software-using professionals on the planet.

Read on to learn how Tom stays productive, a few of his favorite comics and more.

LP: Briefly describe an average work day for you at LiquidPlanner:

Tom: Every day has been different so far, and I love it. We have a tremendous product, a great team, and a group of investors that have said, “go do something special.” Everything is open for discussion, and I love brainstorming with whomever I’m meeting with at the time.

How did you know LiquidPlanner was the perfect fit for you?

In looking for this next challenge in my career, I put people—leadership and culture in particular—and what they wanted me to contribute at the top of my “fit list.” I felt a great connection with everyone I met in the interview process, and it has continued since I’ve come on board.

How do you stay productive and focused during the day?

In today’s multi-tasking, multi-digital channel world, that is a real challenge! I’m a big OneNote user, and I write down monthly/weekly/daily goals that I try to refer to as often as I can. We use LiquidPlanner to run our business, so that really helps me make sure I’m in sync with my team and the rest of the company. I also try to remember whatever I was thinking about in the shower that morning, as that is when I do my best and clearest thinking. (Is there an app for that?)

What do you appreciate the most in your co-workers?

Their passion, their willingness and desire to take ownership, to offer ideas, and to do the unexpected. And their baking skills.

Do you have a ritual or routine to the start of your work day?

I still really enjoy reading the physical local newspaper. I know I will be staring at video screens for much of the day, so it’s nice to put that off a bit. I read the entire paper (“The Seattle Times” is only about 30 pages these days), but if time is an issue, I make sure to read the comics. “Pearls Before Swine”, “Wumo,” and “Zits” are current favorites.

Your idea of happiness at work is:

Making a difference, enjoying the journey, and celebrating success with the team along the way. Having a team that understands and perhaps even enjoys my humor is a bonus. There must be laughter at work.

What book has most influenced your career?

There have been many, but two of the more recent are “The Phoenix Project” by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford; and “Those Guys Have all the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales. I feel like I’ve lived the roles of multiple characters in “The Phoenix Project,” which is a novel about working in IT that hits close to home. I started the ESPN book due to my love of sports, but found out it was really an amazing story about a technology startup. Of particular interest to me was the continuous reinvention required to survive and prosper through their various growth phases.

Interview tips for anyone looking for a job right now?

Be passionate, ask questions and have an opinion.

A few things you do outside the office?

Golf, dining out, kids’ soccer, college visits, TV nights with my wife.