Jason Liu of Zywave was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. Growing up in the midwestern college town, Jason developed a drive for adventure. Whether it be running with the bulls in Spain, fly fishing in New Zealand, or growing a company to new success levels.
While receiving his MBA from the Wharton School of Business, Jason served as the Chief Financial Officer at Ravisent Technologies. From 1994 to 1998, Ravisent was recognized as the ninth fastest-growing privately held company in the United States according to Forbes. The mark of leader means tethering your success to the success of those around you. Jason understands this better than most.
Jason recalls in 1999 when Ravisent went public. He, his coworkers, and their families celebrated with a large outdoor BBQ. Jason was moved to see the thousands of people positively impacted by their work. This feeling has been a driving factor in his work ever since.
Over the next two decades, Jason served as Chief Executive Officer at six different companies. In 2018 he embarked on his next adventure as CEO of Zywave. Running the largest provider of software to the independent insurance broker market was a new frontier for Jason. Not because he was unfamiliar with running large companies. But because this was his first experience running an insurance-focused company. However, Jason saw the insurance industry as an opportunity for another adventure.
He said, “What I like most about the insurance industry is the opportunity there is to have a significant impact. The fact that the industry is going through a massive transformation right now creates the opportunity for us to help transform people’s jobs, businesses, and lives is both rewarding and challenging.”
We share Jason’s goal of using innovation to better the insurance industry and help independent agents change more lives along the way and together, ITC and Zywave will continue to drive growth for their partners.
This is the way Jason Liu works.
Western suburbs of Chicago
- Current gig:
CEO of Zywave
- One word that describes how you like to work:
- Current mobile device:
- Current computer:
- Project(s) you’re currently working on:
I’ll share the biggest two: 1) As a company, we are working to integrate two substantial acquisitions, Advisen and ITC—a huge undertaking. 2) We’re also kicking off the new year with a new strategic vision and messaging for Zywave as we continue through a period of massive growth.
- Accomplishments you’re proud of:
Helping thousands of employees improve their lives and impacting millions of customers through the software I’ve had the opportunity to work on.
- What are your goals for the next 12 months?
I’m looking forward to leading the company out of COVID, while also continuing to accelerate growth, for both Zywave and our customers.
- What are your biggest professional challenges?
My biggest challenge right now is attracting and developing leaders. With growth, getting the right leaders in place is essential.
- What do you like most about your job?
Funny enough, my biggest challenge is also what I like most—developing leaders to help drive the company forward.
- Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My golf clubs—can those be considered a gadget?
- Describe your workspace.
Right now, I’m at my home office surrounded by a lot of books. When I’m in the office at Zywave I use my working table more than my desk because I’m often meeting with people throughout the day.
- How do you manage your to-do list?
I carry my black binder with me and write everything down. But when I don’t have that, I often send myself notes via texts and emails.
- What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
I start every morning with a long run—7 days a week. During those runs, I think about the day ahead, including all my meetings. By starting the morning off with a run, I’m able to clear my head and organize my day better, which leads to better decisions throughout the day.
- What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
Run… I consider my morning runs the start to my workday.
- What do you listen to while working?
Nothing. Most of my days are spent on calls or in meetings.
- What are you currently reading?
Radical Candor by Kim Scott.
- Coffee or tea?
Tea. My favorite is earl grey.
- Night owl or morning person?
I used to be a night owl, but now I’m a morning person.
- What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I don’t have time for a lot of TV, but I do enjoy a good documentary. One of my favorites is Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. Most recently I watched Unnatural Selection, which is about gene-editing.
- What’s your sleep routine like?
I try to sleep at least 8 hours a night.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
Lots of calls, back to back. Both internally and with customers.
- Who are your business idols and why?
Bill Gates is one. I love how successful he is in both business and in helping the world as a philanthropist. I also admire Elon Musk. While I may not agree with everything he says, I really respect his confidence and aspirations to change the world.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To surround myself with the best people with the highest character. People truly matter, both in business and in our personal lives.
- If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
I’d love to own professional sports club, either an NFL team or one in the English Premier League.
- Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Scott Rudy, Zywave’s new CRO. He has had an interesting career, including service in the U.S. Army Special Forces.