Aspiring Ops with John Cozad, SVP of Operations at Gravy
February 15, 2021

Operations can feel like a complicated role, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about prioritizing and executing on what matters most. Easy right? Operations leaders play a key role in removing friction so people can do their jobs. A Sales team that doesn’t have to worry about the structure of their contracts can convert customers faster. A Marketing Team that has a strong foundation can spend more time getting your company’s name out there to prospective customers.

Like so many people who end up in the field of Operations, John never intended for this to be his career path. He started his career as a field rep for Nokia where he learned how a business works from end to end and is now the SVP of Operations at Gravy. What started as a meeting over coffee to talk about strategy at Gravy led to John making “the best decision of his life” to formally join their team. 

If you’re looking to stay flexible while also adding structure to your startup you’re not going to want to miss this one. Stay tuned to hear how John is removing friction and adding structure for the teams at Gravy, listen to the full episode below.


The role of Operations can still seem mysterious to some. It’s almost safe to say that if an Operations leader is doing their job correctly, you might not even notice. John explains that one of his key responsibilities is to remove any possible friction for the teams at Gravy so they can perform their tasks with ease and not have to worry about the process behind it. In this episode of Aspiring Ops, John shares how Operations can serve as a growth engine at scaling companies to make them grow efficiently.

John leaves our listeners with a simple yet important piece of advice. Talk to people you don’t know. Reach out to people outside of your network who are experts on the areas that you’re trying to improve or explore. More times than not, people are happy to share their experiences and thoughts on the areas they’ve built their entire careers. There is a wealth of information out there and sometimes all you have to do is ask! No one has the answers to everything, even though it can seem like Operations leaders do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!


If you’d like to replay your favorite moment, use the show notes below:


📞 0:00-4:50 From Nokia Field Rep to SVP of Operations at Gravy

☕ 4:50-7:05 How a Cup of Coffee and A Vision Turned Into the Best Decision 

🤹‍♀️ 7:05-7:56 Finding the Balance Between Flexibility and Structure

📈 7:56-9:17 “The Not Over Complicated Business Model”

📍 9:17-10:55 What is the Dot on the Wall?

😂 10:55-14:54 We Don’t Take Ourselves Too Seriously

💸 14:54-18:35 Budget Driven by A Mission 

❓ 18:35-23:12 Looking Forward to the Unknown of 2021

🌻 23:12-25:55 Operations is the Foundational Machine Let Allows A Company to Scale

🛠 25:55-28:00 Forget Your Blueprint 

👀 28:00-33:41 Look Outside for Inside Information

🎉 33:41-38:01 Build A Business That Can Run Itself and Scale


Interested in learning more about what Gravy has been up to this year? Check out their site here.
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