In an interview with CIO Look, Joshua Herbert discusses his impeccable journey, achievements and many milestones en-route to his success today. His unique ideologies and vision helped him take his company, Magellan Jets, and soar to new heights.
Joshua entered in aviation business in 2000, when he co-founded Jets International with his business partner, Nate, and thus paved the way to customer success and revenue in operations within the company. His expertise in business start-ups and transformations, combined with his extensive track record in growing businesses through creative new solutions, have culminated in a team that have increased sales at Magellan Jets by 35% a year for more than a decade.
CIO LOOK admires such leaders and appreciates their contribution in the transformative evolution of this respective sector: Aviation. We are pleased to feature Joshua Hebert in our special edition issue: “Revolutionary CEOs, 2019“.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a leader.
I went from the investment banking world to the advertising world, then created an aviation business in 2000, when I co-founded Jets International. I learned a tremendous amount through hands on experience with clients, and gained hands-on business skills working the day-to-day operations in the business.
I co-founded Magellan Jets with my business partner, Anthony Tivnan, in 2008. My expertise in business startups, transformations, search engine optimization, and marketing has enabled me to grow the company into the brand it is today.
As the Founder and CEO of Magellan Jets, I consider myself a visionary in the industry, and am extremely fortunate to work with an incredibly bright and talented team every day.
How do you describe your company’s purpose and entice your target audience to gain benefits from your organization’s offerings?
Here at Magellan Jets, we strive to develop long-lasting relationships with our customers (or clients?) What sounds better?. In doing so, we develop loyalty and trust with both current clients and prospects. We strive to position ourselves as experienced advisors and resources for all of our clients. Our highly experienced team made up of pilots, consultants and other top leaders in the industry provide value and credibility to our business. We stand out amongst our competitors because of the personal relationships we have developed with our clients over the last twenty years. Our goal is to provide top-notch service both when things are working, as well as when they are not. Our objective is to thoroughly educate our customers, through our website and other forms of communication. By doing so, once our clients reach us here at Magellan Jets headquarters, they have a solid understanding of the services we provide.
We entice our target audience to gain benefits from our organization’s offerings with in-bound marketing and content strategy, educating people as much as possible about our products. When searching for private jet providers, people usually find our content and come indirectly to us. Our customers already know what we do before we talk to them. Our ultimate goal is to provide a top notch experience, product, and experience to all of our clients, operators, etc. Safety, reliability, and clear communication are what we strive for on a daily basis.
What are the crucial traits which every CEO must possess?
Take risks, communicate with people both within your organization AND outside your organization, always have a vision, even if it changes often, be as much of a visionary as possible, and think two to five years down the road. I believe as a leader, and I think my friends and colleagues would agree, it is important to always learn from your mistakes. Believe in good, solid relationships; help others out, mentor. Keep quiet and listen sometimes, say “yes and….I have a couple other questions.”
CEOs need to understand their numbers (income, expenses, and gross profit but most importantly, net profit) – what they’ve done in the past and what they’re trying to achieve in the future. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t know their numbers. It is also extremely important for CEO’s and business leaders to understand the competitive landscape and be able to tweak their products according to this analysis.
Don’t be afraid to fail or it becomes more difficult to succeed. Your new job as CEO is “Decision-Maker”: You aren’t going to succeed all the time, and you have to be comfortable with that. Falling down but getting back up is the only way we grow.
CEO’s/Visionaries should not be involved in day-to-day operations as much as they should be making the big decisions within the organization. This allows them to spend time leading and growing the vision of the company. Two of the best pieces of advice I have ever received are: “Reputation takes years to build and only seconds to ruin”, and “If it swims like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck!”
The key to Magellan Jets’ success has been hiring great people but also understanding how different people with varied backgrounds and personalities add tremendous value to a company.
One of our core values is: Develop, cultivate, and share a Prosperity Mindset. This is only successful when we communicate well with each other, and treat each other like we would want to be treated. We value memorable experiences that build trust and loyalty. We truly strive to make this a reality for our employees. We are lucky to have a very cool office located in Quincy Center with a view of Boston, hold fun events and parties, volunteer as often as we can, and encourage open dialogue and communication within the company. Also, if you haven’t been educated on the importance of Generation Z, which makes up a large number of our company, you are doing yourself and your company a great disservice. Their generation is going to revoluntionize the workplace as we know it today.
Humility is key—CEOs need to easily read people’s emotions, be kind and warm, easy to approach, trustworthy and uplifting on a daily basis. I love to learn from mistakes and will work to turn a bad situation around.
What are your intakes on roles of a Revolutionary CEO with regards to make a difference in the customary system?
I am comfortable running a non-hierarchical organization, and am always looking to make improvements both incrementally, or drastically. I’m willing to stop projects that have huge momentum if it is brought to my attention that there is a technological solution that can do it more efficiently. Technology has opened the doors in aviation to more possibilities.
As per your opinion, what roadblocks or challenges are faced by CEOs whilst emerging as a leader? And what is your advice to overcome them?
A lot of people have problems within an organization, and the CEO needs to be the solution. It’s very easy to point out issues, but it’s much harder to solve them. Keep it simple, but also explain the “why” behind the task, giving someone a clean explanation of what is expected out of them will result in a drastically improved product. Think of every decision. First, think of how you would do something if you didn’t have a budget, then work through it with a budget. My advice to emerging leaders would be: “Have control over your destiny. You need to be comfortable continuing to educating yourself in order to improve. If you are somewhat flexible and are willing to take risks, be honest about that you do and don’t know, you will surely succeed. Turning your beliefs and passions in life into a business is the most gratifying thing a person can do.
How do you cope up with never-ending technological disruption to boost your personal growth?
Magellan may not be ready for the Jetsons’ “Rosie”, but it’s getting closer. Because the Magellan Jets model is purely private, and we must continue to understand how AI could affect the customers’ privacy. We have to spend a lot of time making sure our customers are protected. We are constantly aware of the dangers AI can pose, and are adamant about protecting our client’s personal data. We don’t ever intend to replace the human element of customer service, whereas a lot of our competitors are using apps and other technogical platforms as the only method of communicating with clients, Due to the early stages where AI and machine-learning currently reside, there are some risks involving the amount of data, data sources, and vulnerability of these systems. The thought of a “security second” mindset makes us pause, and remain vigiliant and cautious when unrolling these new technological platforms, ensuring they are secure and safe for our clients.
We are constantly seeking out top notch technology, and technological partners who acknowledge AI is the indeed the future. At the same time, we are cognizant not to expose our clients’ information to partners who don’t value security the same way we do. The value AI currently brings to both our company and our clients is minimal in comparison to the risk that is constantly growing in this world.
As technology develops and becomes more secure, we will continue to explore uses for it. Ensuring each and every one of our clients remain confident their personal data is safe and secure with us here at Magellan Jets is one of paramount to our organization, and our company values and practices. Magellan Jets is truly an all-inclusive travel solution that keeps private travel purely private.
In the future, I see us steering the vision of the urban air mobility evolution with e-VTOL, merging with traditional aviation. I’m able to integrate these two concepts. Because of our experience with clients, we are able to identify a technological solution to underserved clients. I feel there is more to be done, personalizing the experience, technology, and communication we provide on a daily basis.