Since joining TWC in January, Jain has kept customers foremost in mind while overseeing residential, business and media services. Whether he’s involved in product development, content acquisitions, news or local and regional sports, he always focuses on priorities. “Surprisingly, good ideas are a dime a dozen. Good execution is rare,” he says. “To execute well, you need to be able to focus. Doing less is the key to focus and good execution. But to do less, you must figure out how to prioritize, and that is easier said than done. Show me a company that knows how to prioritize well and I will show you a company poised to make things happen.”
What’s been your company’s biggest innovation this year?
Prioritization. Surprisingly, good ideas are a dime a dozen. Good execution is rare. To execute well, you need to be able to focus. Doing less is the key to focus and good execution. But to do less, you must figure out how to prioritize, and that is easier said than done. Show me a company that knows how to prioritize well and I will show you a company poised to make things happen.
Who has been your strongest mentor, and why?
I am the son of two professors who grew up in a college town full of people with things to teach. As a result, I learned to collect mentors at an early age. One of life’s greatest pleasures, to me, is to learn something new. In life, therefore, I could never narrow down my list to just one person, for I have had far too many mentors and such an act would not do justice to those I did not choose.
In business, similarly, I have always found great mentors. I am proud to be able to call people like Amos Hostetter or Michael Willner “mentors” in US Cable. Or a guy named Barclay Knapp when I worked in the UK. But some of my greatest learning has come from guys with whom I worked closely as peers or even from those who worked for me.
What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?
I live in fear of not seeing the full truth. But as an individual, there is no way to see the full truth without help from others. And the more different those other perspectives may be, the more clearly all those views can be pieced together to form the truth. That, in a nutshell, is why I think diversity is so important in our industry (or any industry). Otherwise, you may find yourself in a “bubble” with no clear sense of why you are not performing as you wish to be.
Therefore, when recruiting, I look for “truth-tellers” and people unafraid to stand up for what they believe even if— nay “especially if”— they disagree with me. I can be an opinionated sod, but I know that I am not omniscient. I value having people strong enough around me to help me see the truth. While it can be a pain to have strong minded team members who may not see eye to eye, when those differing viewpoints come together as a team, it is a pretty cool thing.