Chief Executive Officer
Industry: Software/ People Connecting
Josh Freed believes that the greatest lesson he has learned in leadership is that you should always try to be present in business interactions. “There is no better replacement for an in-person,” he said. This lesson has proven to be tried and true in his work as the CEO of Proximity, a software and people-connecting firm that launched in 2015.
Freed’s entrepreneurial story doesn’t necessarily start with the opening of Proximity’s first co-working space. It was a few months later when he saw firsthand that this new and exciting industry was being built and managed on a foundation of digital duct tape and siloing software. This spark led to a merger of ideas pursued by other co-founders and would eventually be the start to the Proximity system that is seen today.
“I believe in the idea that collaboration and connection is what it will take to enable the shifting of a workplace,” said Freed. “The connection of people to places can’t be brought to scale through any one brand no matter the financial backing. It must be done as a network.”
According to his co-founders, Freed is a titan in the future of their work because he not only sees the path, but he is bringing the industry along to get to the future we are all after.
That future involves catapulting Proximity into the role of the largest network of connected on-demand assets in the world. “The workforce of today and tomorrow will use the Proximity network in multiple facets of their workday,” said Freed. “Whether it is the place you call your everyday work environment or just the cross-town meeting location you need for an hour, you will be using Proximity or its partners to access and reserve that location.”
The company has already seen steady growth in just five years. Proximity currently has more than 600 networked brands and will see 1,500 within the next four years. With Freed as CEO, Proximity was awarded the top co-working space by Forbes and Inc. Magazine and named a Top Company to Watch in Colorado.
Freed’s colleagues attribute this to his leadership abilities. Leading by example is how Freed manages to create success for the company and his staff. “Leading an industry is about doing the work and being available,” he said. “Leadership is earned every day.”
For his leadership and innovation in the industry, Freed has earned a spot as a Titan 100.
Greatest Leadership Lesson
You should always, always, always try to be in the room. There is no replacement for an in person interaction.
A good relationship will always serve you better than a good deal.
Josh paces when
he talks. A lot.
When on the phone
or in a 1-1 he paces.
He has been
known to end
a phone call, turn around, and realize
he is miles from
where he started.