Meet John Latham, Managing Director
Perficient promises to challenge, champion, and celebrate our people. Our Growth for Everyone initiative is one of the ways we deliver on this promise by helping colleagues identify their individual career potential, share stories, and celebrate successes. John Latham is a colleague who has shown that by going the extra mile and having a strategic and collaborative mindset, he is able to make a difference for his teams, clients, and his own professional and personal growth.
In his role as a Managing Director and Houston market leader, John is focused on sales, delivery, and operations, as well as fostering a great culture and finding the best talent in the area. John has found that growth has been a major theme in both the Houston market and his personal career journey. We recently had the chance to speak with John to learn more about him and how he has built his career around three core pillars – growth, relationships, and influence.
John’s Career Journey
John has been in the digital space for more than 20 years and has held four Director roles at Perficient since joining in 2016. He primarily worked in sales leadership roles prior to starting at Perficient as an Oracle CX Practice Director.
“I worked for a fairly brief period in this role, but I learned how Perficient works, what to do and what not to do, had great triumphs and great challenges. I always aspired to support the team in the best ways that I could.”
John transitioned back over to the digital sales side as an individual contributor, then moved into a National Sales Director leadership role where he could further expound on his skills to grow his career and his team.
“In this role, I was given the opportunity to galvanize the team as our practices were still somewhat disparate. Over time, I was given more responsibilities, including leading a sales team, and I soon led other digital sellers and supported in leading the commerce sellers. During this time is when our team’s headcount grew significantly.”
Beyond his innate desire for success, John found he was able to go the extra mile knowing that he had the support of his team and leadership.
“I continually try to push myself outside of my comfort zone because I’ve been given support and comfort from my leaders and the organization. Whenever I take a leap of faith in my career, I’m never alone in it.”
Now, as the General Manager in Houston, John’s focus spans talent, sales, marketing, delivery, and operations. He is growing Perficient’s world-class team in Houston while increasing the strength of business relationships and overall visibility in the market.
Three Core Pillars to John’s Career Decisions
John has three core pillars he considers when making career decisions – growth, relationships, and influence. These themes developed organically in the early stages of his career. Through his mentors, he was given the guidance to create this concept.
“I had great mentors encouraging me to have purpose and not float through anything. They introduced me to the Japanese concept Kaizen, which is about finding one’s sense of purpose. This taught me that it’s important to have things you’re interested in, do what you love, know what your purpose is, seek to learn what the world needs, and discover how this can be turned into a career.”
John strives to embrace a Kaizen mindset by taking steps to improve processes and leaving things better than they were before. Through this mindset, he devised growth, relationships, and influence as guiding principles. Keep reading to learn more about how each concept aided John in his career journey.
John views growth through the lens of his career and personal life, as well considering the growth of the things around him, such as the business, sales, and other team members’ professional development.
“I see growth through being strategic and believing in the future. Beyond believing in yourself, believe in what you’re doing while also having an extreme sense of realism and optimism.”
Perficient Promises to Challenge, Champion, and Celebrate Our People
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John credits his career growth to the work ethic he inherited from his father, which he defines as being dedicated, demonstrating grit, and having the willingness to go above and beyond. His background as an athlete has also instilled an “all gas, no brakes” mentality focused on being goal-oriented and collaborative.
“My dad started a business and built it from the ground up, and that really inspired my work ethic. Also, I was a college athlete, and I had to push my mind and body past points of exhaustion. This taught me that humans are amazing and can do some incredible things. These influences have carried over into my work life as an adult. When you add all this up, plus a bunch of coffee, this is where my inspiration and drive for growth comes from.”
Perficient attracts many growth-oriented colleagues due to our entrepreneurial culture. Colleagues are given the opportunity to grow from within, with support and guidance provided along the way from peers and leaders.
“In my experience, Perficient colleagues are provided with growth-oriented guidance and encouragement to define their own career path. Many people along the way have supported me by believing in my leadership skills and my aptitude to use those skills to grow. While my path has been unusual and it has not always been intentional, certain steps were put in place for me to succeed and grow.”
Early on, John set a baseline of where he was in his career and where he wanted to go. This sense of direction and purpose allowed him to reach goals intentionally while still making room for flexibility to reach goals in different ways than he expected.
John’s success in building and maintaining relationships has made a significant impact on his career and has helped him get to where he is today. Relationships are a key component in John’s current role, and he seeks opportunities to create collaboration and build trust to deepen those relationships.
“You can’t grow your career or your practice without having meaningful relationships with people who are trusting in you, and sometimes this means you have to give trust to get it. Building trust and connecting on a personal and professional level is important.”
The presence of trust in Perficient leaders and colleagues creates a supportive and collaborative environment. The emphasis on relationships embodies our people-first culture at Perficient.
“There’s a Midwest-roots element to our culture that fosters a ‘roll-up-you-sleeves, get-it-done’ attitude, no matter what the title is next to your name. We all work together to get things done. There’s a sense of humility to our work ethic as a company.”
As Perficient continues to expand globally, the culture we have established hasn’t changed. In fact, our culture has contributed to our growth as a company.
“One of the things that keeps me excited about Perficient are the people and the relationships I have here. I can count on my colleagues to successfully deliver a project on time, but beyond that, they’re great people and fun to be around. They are intelligent and have great ideas. These relationships are so important as we spend so much time together.”
The last pillar John has outlined for approaching career decisions is influence, or the value of sharing your perspective and knowing that it is respected.
“I’ve always appreciated having a seat at the table and knowing that my voice is being heard. In my role now, I love knowing that I can let others contribute, and we can make our voices stronger together.”
John aims to make people feel recognized and valued for their ideas and accomplishments, and he keeps a keen eye for opportunities to recognize the contributions of his teams. One of his proudest moments at Perficient happened last year when he presented four of his team members with the highest distinction a Perficient colleague can receive for sales excellence.
“I was presented with the opportunity to give a speech to sellers on my team when they received a major award. I could showcase who they are as people and how and why they’re so successful in their roles. This was a major source of pride for me as they are amazing people and engaging sellers. I was proud to watch them accomplish their goals and share this amazing milestone with them.”
John uses influence to guide his team to reach their personal and professional goals on an individual level, as well as for the greater good of the team and company. He encourages healthy discussions filled with agreements and disagreements and listens before interjecting his own opinion. His philosophy is to first listen and understand, giving others the opportunity to feel heard.
“Advice I’ve received a lot, and what I advise to others, is always be a student of life. Have a beginner mindset and take this into everything you do. Approach situations like you may not have all, or any, of the answers, so be ready to ask questions, bring curiosity, and be comfortable being wrong.”
John sees the grace and support he’s received from his team as a source of his inspiration and guidance. With the help of his peers and colleagues, he can continue to encourage and challenge them along the way while expecting them to do the same for him.
John’s capacity for growth, relationships, and influence is demonstrated by his career trajectory and how far it has taken him at Perficient. He is always looking for ways to better serve his team, clients, community, and the business.
Perficient encourages colleagues to follow their passions and carve out their own path, and Perficient has tools and resources to help guide them on their journey. Our colleagues are difference makers who are empowered to pave a career journey that’s best for them and fulfils their personal and professional goals.
Perficient continually looks for ways to champion and challenge our workforce, encourage personal and professional growth, and celebrate the unique culture created by the ambitious, brilliant, people-oriented team we have cultivated. These are their stories.
Learn more about what it’s like to work at Perficient on our Careers page.