40 Under 40: Dan Watkins

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Dan Watkins
Forethought | President | Lehi
DataBased | Chairman of the Board | Lehi | AGE 36

Employee #15. That’s when Dan Watkins joined Ryan Smith and the founding team at Qualtrics. He built the first corporate sales team, helped grow the company across the globe, created a business model that values and invests in employee career progression, and ended his Qualtrics stint 13 years later as VP of Sales. In April 2020, Watkins took a leap and left to become president of Forethought, whose mission is to “enable everyone to be a genius at their job.” Something Watkins is clearly familiar with.

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT The past 18 months have been nothing short of incredible. While living one successful dream at Qualtrics, I left to pursue the dream of running another company. Jumping into the unknown when I could’ve taken the easier road came with great responsibility, giving me the opportunity to do more and be part of the most successful tech story in Utah. LEADERSHIP STYLE Of the 16Personalities, I’m an Architect. I stay curious while intensely driving strategy. WOULDA-COULDA-SHOULDA I would adopt a structured interview process earlier in my career. Interviewing by gut instinct came at the cost of success. MAIN MOTIVATION Three things: 1. Intellectual Stimulation. I get bored too easily. I need to spend my time working on high risk challenges that I could fail at. 2. Surrounding myself with genuine authentic individuals with a shared passion to help each other and the company win. 3. Financial Opportunity. Money alone is not an end. It’s freedom to pursue any passion I have. ULTIMATE CAREER DREAM My big dream is four-fold: 1. Serve as President, Founder, Advisor, or Board Member across four companies that reach a $1B valuation or more. 2. See each member I’ve recruited have as much fun, joy, trials, and progression as they would like to have in their careers. 3. I’ve sacrificed time with my family to get to this point in my career. In two years my children will enter their teenage years, at which point I agreed with my wife that I would scale back and be there for my children as they make some of the most important decisions of their childhood. 4. Self fund a postpartum research and service clinic, alongside my lovely wife Kim, helping women receive the best treatment when bringing life into this world.

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