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Leadership That Inspires People!

Today is the birthday of Steve Millidge, Payara’s CEO and Founder, Eclipse Foundation key committer, and the brains behind providing a supported replacement for GlassFish in 2014: the birth of Payara Platform!

However, being a leader means a lot more than just bright ideas, and his leadership style also sets the tone for Payara’s culture and values.

To celebrate his big day, we quizzed some Payara team members on Steve as a boss. Here are some of the answers – take note aspiring tech leaders!

Steve at the presentation of Payara’s Queen’s Award for International Trade

What do you appreciate most about Steve as a boss?

• I really appreciate how level-headed he is and good at seeing the larger picture, as well as enabling and trusting his team to perform.
• Is “macro-management” opposite to micro-management? There are always lot of options in how Steve’s directions can be implemented, so we can put our ideas on top of his ideas.
• He keeps it real in conversations!
• Steve trusts his team to get on with their work to the standard of excellence; he does not micro-manage because he believes in us, and that’s inspiring.
• His honesty, ability to explain complex technical ideas and concepts in simple, understandable words, his ability to learn from mistakes and transfer that knowledge and experience onto others.

Steve on the streets of Madeira, Portugal

Compare Steve to a boss from film, tv or history, and why.

• Gandalf – he is very wise, clever and always has a trick up his sleeve to solve problems.
• Nick Fury – He knows how to put a great team together with direction but also autonomy.

If Steve wasn’t the Founder of Payara, what do you think he would be doing?

• He would be the tech founder of some other business – no keeping him down and he has to be his own boss!
• Downing Poncha at a bar in Madeira with a packet of Jaffa Cakes while coding on anything but a Mac.
• He’d be a mad scientist inventing the time machine in his garage.
• Still doing IT Consultancy or on a beach somewhere!

Working with Steve summed up in 3 emojis?

• 💻🍸😂
• 😫💡😏
• 🧠💪🏆
• 🙄💻🥘
• 🥳😯😈

What is your favourite memory of working with Steve?

• One of my favourite memories working with Steve is my first memory: he took a lot of time during my first week to share Payara’s vision, history and organisation with me one-on-one, and he does this with every starter. It’s my first experience of a CEO taking this much time and attention to do that, and I think it says a lot about his leadership style.
• Hanging out drinking Poncha in Madeira (at Payara Week 2020)!
• Poncha during Payara Week 2020! Although that wasn’t strictly “work”!
• On the stand on JavaOne in San Francisco. I was in awe of the fact that he was a superhero/celebrity for other people (those in the field of middleware) when he’s just the guy who mows the lawn to me. (From his wife and Head of People Julia!)
• I have lots of nice memories from going to conferences together, meeting people from the industry – especially at my first JavaOne in 2015 he introduced me to most of the ‘influencers’ which kick started my career within Java community. One memory that stands out though was when we once went to an industry award fancy dinner party where Steve tried to convince me that red wine is good and teach me how to drink it… well I still hate red wine so that didn’t work!

Steve and members of the team at Payara Week 2020

Steve’s leadership style as a famous song lyric or movie title.

• Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster”
• Faith No More’s “Easy’

How would you describe Steve to an alien?

• VERY clever dude who can solve all tech problems – has his own ‘aura’ – but don’t ask him to mend the space ship!

Thank you Steve for steering the ship Payara!

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