#CultureFirst: Peter Haasz

The #CultureFirst series is a chance to showcase the team here at Culture Amp. We asked everyone a few questions which will give you an opportunity to get to know each of us a bit better.

Peter Haasz - VP, Business Development & Strategy - Melbourne

Peter earned his battle scars doing distribution deals with publishers for a global digital media distributor, and before that, as co-founder of a startup that over-ambitiously attempted to take on Amazon, Google and Apple all at once. He can laugh about it now. His job is to help Culture Amp grow, not just bigger but more awesome.

Culture Amp: What can you do as a CAmper that you haven’t been able to do elsewhere?
Peter Haasz:
I feel I am helping to solve a problem that matters deeply to me and which will make a massive difference to the world. I get to have amazing conversations and learn new things every day from incredible people, both in our team and among the who's who list of innovative organizations that work with us. I feel like I can bring my whole self to work. That what brings us together as a team genuinely transcends the roles, projects and tasks that occupy us day to day. It's pretty great, really.

CA: Best day you’ve ever had at work (here or anywhere else)?
PH:
One that springs to mind was when I found out that my team at a boutique IT consultancy had been successful in bidding for the largest customer project in my company's history. We had beaten six of the largest IT solution providers on the planet. It was then that I realized that almost nothing can stop a small team of smart people with a shared purpose they believe in, the resources they need to get the job done and the willingness to roll up their sleeves.

CA: What do you geek out about outside from work?
PH:
I don't know if it qualifies as geeking out, but for the last year and a half, my wife and I have been locked in a competition to find the least undrinkable sub-$7 bottle of red wine. We have to keep reminding ourselves that friends who invite us over for dinner do not necessarily always share this passion.

CA: What did you want to be when you grew up?
PH:
I think the sequence went something like bus driver, author, politician, teacher, lawyer, software engineer, professional negotiator, entrepreneur. Now I enjoy doing a combination of all of these things at different times. I love finding opportunities and solving problems with (and for) people.

CA: What is something about you not many people know? 
PH:
I struggled to come up with an answer for this one, so I asked my wife and she said, "You know what's interesting to me about you is, you like to consider yourself adventurous and spontaneous, but you plan more than anyone I know."

CA: What’s on your playlist this week?
PH:
Having decided to forgive Kanye - I'm really enjoying "Life of Pablo." I'm also re-discovering old favorites from Reggie and the Full Effect and Optiganally Yours.

CA: What does culture first mean to you?
PH:
For me, Culture First conjures up Aesop's fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs. Culture First organizations understand that their culture is what makes them special and is the foundation on which they build. They nurture and protect their culture at all costs, even when times are tough, and they are patient in realizing the dividends over time.

CA: Do you have any startup / culture idols?
PH:
Thinking about this question made me realize I have an aversion to idols. Idols often seem to offer easy answers, whereas I enjoy difficult questions.

CA: What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
PH:
My mother once told me that "not every dish has to contain every ingredient you like," and this is now a rule I carry through life. This might sound like a powerful parable, but she was being literal. As a five-year-old, I had just attempted to serve her breakfast in bed, consisting of sultanas and chocolate melted over a fried egg, all delivered in a smoking hot frypan.

CA: Would you take a one way trip to Mars and why/not?
PH:
This is a really tough question for me, because I suffer from a deep-seated fear of missing out. If I said no, I'd fear missing out on Mars. But if I said yes, I'd fear missing out on everything happening on Earth. In the end I'd likely say no, because I love my family and friends too much to ever willingly say goodbye.

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