How Learning Helps Casey Hackett Be The Manager He Aspires To Be

November 5, 2018

Read how Casey Hackett became a better manager at ServiceTitan: a focus on learning.

As Casey Hackett puts it – his first year as a manager, he “did not know what he was doing.”

Hackett, a customer success manager at ServiceTitan, over-committed too often in his first year as a people manager. That put him on a treadmill: always working on the urgent, with little time for reflection and development, for both himself and the people he managed.

“On day one, I was getting requests from other managers, ‘Can you do this, can you do that’?” Hackett said. “And I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ Turns out, I couldn't.”

That changed his second year as a manager when he met his new manager, Brett Andersen. The first conversation they had, they didn’t talk through priorities or the urgent or anything directly related to Hackett's day-to-day work.

Instead, Anderson gave him a book on how to encourage radical candor among his team. It signaled something to Hackett – make learning a priority.

“That book was super helpful,” Hackett said. “But really, it just started the course of, oh, this guy is going to be a much different manager than I've had in the past. I've had managers who say they really want to push education, but he's the one that first took action with it and really supported me to say, 'Make the time for yourself’."

Since, Hackett has indeed made learning a priority, blocking off a half-hour three times a week on his calendar to watch LinkedIn Learning courses or develop in some way. That’s increased his skills, made him more strategic, more reflective – and ultimately more effective.

“Year two as a manager has been much more stable, for lack of a better word,” Hackett said. “It's been a much better experience for me because of that.”

It Hasn’t Just Been Himself Either – Hackett is Now Encouraging his Team to Prioritize Learning Too

Hackett hasn’t just made learning a priority for himself. He’s also encouraged his team to prioritize learning as well.

His goal – change the perception of learning from something you do in addition to work, to an integral part of the job that’ll have lasting impact.

“I know it's really easy to think 'work is work' and anything that you learn is to be done outside of working hours,” Hackett said. “The message I want to come across is – no, learning is part of work."

How does his team feel about this emphasis on learning?

It's really empowering,” said ServiceTitan Senior Customer Success Manager Maskura Hilmi, who works on Hackett’s team. “It's inspiring, and it makes me just want to come to work every day knowing that I have that support. That I have the ability to grow and if I make that effort and if I do my part, I know there are people here that will support me.”

ServiceTitan Customer Success Manager Brendon Norton agreed.

“It's great to have someone who is that invested in your own development,” Norton said. “And invested in not just how can I make you the best at your current role, but how can I make sure that I'm investing in you to take that next step."

Casey Hackett’s favorite LinkedIn Learning course is Developing Executive Presence by John Ullmen. Watch it today.

Other courses that’ll help you become a better manager are: