The J. David Group

From Operator to Operating Partner, with Kevin McShane

In this episode I spoke with Kevin McShane, private equity Operating Partner and former linebacker of the 1988 National Champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who built a career in technology and a reputation as a CRO for creating enough value that would lead to multiple successful exits.   We covered everything from the leadership lessons he learned from Coach Lou Holtz,  his move in tech CRO roles, his advice for other CROs and operators who aspire to make the move into private equity, what makes a succeful private equity operating partner, and much more.

Kevin McShanes Linkedin Profile

Timestamps from the show: 

Lessons from Coach Holtz ([00:02:40]) Impact of Lou Holtz’s leadership on the Kevins career and the importance of caring for every individual.

Transition to Private Equity ([00:07:27]) Kevins journey from CRO to operating partner, including successful exits and leadership principles.

Difference Between Venture Capital and Private Equity ([00:13:03]) Explanation of the distinctions between venture capital and private equity in terms of investment and ownership.

From Operator to Operating Partner ([00:15:16]) The impetus for the guest’s transition to an operating partner role and the challenges and excitement of the new position.

Training and Leadership ([00:17:37]) The significance of ongoing training and leadership development in driving growth and success in organizations.

Measuring Performance and Impact ([00:22:54]) Discussion on the challenges of transitioning from day-to-day operations to a broader role and measuring impact in a new position.

Building Trust and Collaboration ([00:23:43]) Operating partner’s role, building trust with the CEO and leadership, low ego and collaboration.

Co-creating Playbooks ([00:26:19]) Collaborative approach to combining playbooks, aligning on KPIs, and co-creating game plans.

Measuring Success ([00:30:29]) Metrics for measuring success: annual revenue growth, EBITDA, hiring/training, sales productivity, and hold period.

Entering Private Equity ([00:34:46]) Steps for transitioning to an operating partner role in private equity, research, and targeted outreach.

Developing Talent and Leadership ([00:42:06]) Motivation, extreme ownership, developing talent, and checking ego for leadership success.

Favorite Character ([00:47:49]) Kevin’s admiration for Captain Miller from “Saving Private Ryan” and Tom Hanks’ portrayal.

Yoga Practice ([00:49:00]) Kevin discusses the importance of checking ego and the lessons learned from practicing yoga.

Discipline Equals Freedom ([00:51:53]) Kevin emphasizes discipline, early rising, and self-care for leadership and personal success.

Greatest Defeat ([00:54:28]) Kevin suggests asking the next guest about their greatest defeat and the lessons learned from it.

Reaching Out ([00:55:21]) Kevin invites people to connect with him on LinkedIn to continue the conversation and share experiences.

Passion for Leadership ([00:56:18]) Kevin shares his passion for developing great leadership and building a supportive community.

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