Meet Polar’s Growth Whisperer

December 4, 2017

This month we are recognizing Daniel Russo as our Growth MVP.

Growth MVP is an initiative where we highlight someone on our team who has personally shown initiative to seek new responsibilities, skills, and experiences that contribute to their own professional or personal growth. We are fostering a culture that promotes Growth & Development as a core value.

Daniel joined Polar many years ago when he was fresh out of Waterloo, after completing his Nanotech Engineering degree. Although his knowledge of nanotech may have been impressive, what was more impressive was his enthusiasm to solve new problems and take on challenges.

At the surface, Daniel comes across as a quiet, well-mannered and tempered software professional. He is someone we have come to rely on heavily over the years and I have seen him grow and develop in many ways. We are recognizing him as our Growth MVP now for his commitment to helping those around him grow. He does this every so quietly, as a horse whisperer might do, encouraging and challenging his peers to grow in new ways.

He is known by his peers as the toughest and most helpful reviewer when it comes to code reviews. He has turned day-to-day tasks and activities into learning opportunities, not only for himself but for those around him. His direct mentorship of junior team members and resourcefulness for all team members are reasons he has become a valued asset to all of us.

He is not shy to jump in to help troubleshoot new issues that may arise, respond to questions from non-engineering team members and help everyone understand how and why things work within our platform.

Over the years, I have also seen Daniel mature in his ability to understand the bigger picture and take that context into account when making day-to-day decisions. One example of this is that he focuses on getting the job done first, reserving feedback for the appropriate time. He has particularly shown leadership as of late taking ownership of our full stack, looking out for any unplanned issues or bugs, even on areas of the stack that are not his direct responsibility. In the rare emergency situations, he rises to the occasion (even on his birthday earlier this year!).

Thank you Daniel for helping us all continue to grow and for leading by example. Keep it up!

Kunal Gupta is the Founder & CEO of Polar. Follow his leadership blog at At Polar, Kunal leads a talented team transforming the media publishing industry with technology. He is passionate about leadership and finding focus in a modern era. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Medium or Twitter.



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