My First Work (& Kite Boarding) Week as CMO of SiteGround

Last week was my first as CMO of SiteGround. Joining a new company, I had to learn a lot: its history, goals and challenges; business processes and everyday hacks. I wanted to become a real part of the organization and start contributing to its success as soon as possible. That said, I was expecting to spend my first week in meeting rooms and office tours. Oddly enough, I got to spend it on a Greek island instead, where my team-to-be was working remotely and learning to kiteboard. Ultimately, we all got back with a lot more than new surf skills and a suntan. Here is what my first week taught me about the company, and about working and managing a diverse team in a new field.

Utilize your passion to guide your career path

I grew up in England and soon after graduation I started working as a web developer. Although I was fascinated by the limitless possibilities of the web, I soon realized that I am not very good at coding. This led to a career move towards digital marketing, which turned out to be my true calling. For the last couple of years I was the General Manager of one of the leading digital agencies in Australia. The geographical location of my previous job was not chosen by chance. It was strongly influenced by another big passion of mine – watersports. Australia was a great place to work in my area of interest, and wakeboard all year long at the same time.

But why look for new challenges, as it seemed I had it all? In short, because I wanted to travel more. Being on the road and the culture of digital nomads deeply resonated with me so I decided to give it a try. SiteGround came up as a perfect fit for what I was looking for – a global leader in the web-related trade with a remote work friendly culture. Of course, I did not expect watersports to fit somewhere in there too.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got an email saying my first week at SiteGround will have to be on a Greek Island. The whole marketing team was going there to work remotely and learn to kiteboard and I was invited to join them! Double-checked the email and yes – that was correct. All the more proof that when you align your values and passions with your work, you will always find a way to end up in the right company. In the event with SiteGround, I could see this right from the start.

A change of scenery always boosts creativity

Over the week we had a very tight schedule – we worked full time and practised wind or kite surfing before and after work. However, the team was not exhausted. On the contrary, several people told me they never felt so inspired and productive before. For the creative type of professional, such as most of the marketing folks at SiteGround, escaping from the usual surroundings is a good way to refresh their minds and keep new ideas flowing. The new ‘atmosphere’ pushed the team to explore new solutions and work even more closely with each other. Also, coffee breaks are always better with views of a beautiful Greek Island.

Informal get-togethers bring the best out in a team

Spending the whole week with everyone also gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better. During our working hours, we had one-to-one meetings. I used them to learn more about the specifics of every team member’s work, and the team got to know more about me. We discussed what are the opportunities and the challenges each one is facing and how I can help reach our common goals. In the evening, we spent time exploring the island together and learning even more about each other’s hobbies and interests. I was greatly impressed by the dedication of the team and by their passion for what they do at SiteGround as a whole.

This unusual work/kiteboard week was the best way to get to know everyone. I also got to experience some of SiteGround’s most important values like curiosity, creativity, initiative, friendship, and fun first-hand. It made me feel part of the team and introduced me to their company culture much faster than I have ever imagined and it was also certainly the best first week I've ever had in a new organization.

WordPress Initiatives Manager

Enthusiastic about all Open Source applications you can think of, but mostly about WordPress. Add a pinch of love for web design, new technologies, search engine optimisation and you are pretty much there!


  1. Reply September 21, 2017 / 10:56 Jim MastersSiteGround Team

    Does Iain still wakeskate?

    • Reply September 26, 2017 / 06:52 Iain CalvertSiteGround Team

      I do indeed. Not sure if I've got any better then my days at Wake MK though!

  2. Reply September 21, 2017 / 13:00 CariSiteGround Team

    Awesome & inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Reply September 21, 2017 / 14:55 JasonSiteGround Team

    Wow - looks like you're living the dream!

  4. Reply September 21, 2017 / 16:12 Waleed BarakatSiteGround Team

    Welcome to the family Iain Calvert. We're happy too you joined the success ship 🙂

    • Reply September 26, 2017 / 06:49 Iain CalvertSiteGround Team

      It is a great team here. Looking forward to working with everyone.

  5. Reply September 22, 2017 / 01:52 TadSiteGround Team

    Really happy for you first start by chaging the look of the website its really old and discouraging.

    • Reply September 26, 2017 / 06:48 Iain CalvertSiteGround Team

      Thanks for your feedback Tad.

      • September 27, 2017 / 02:37 Phil CSiteGround Team

        Gotta say, I agree with this point (though I'd probably put it a little less bluntly). SiteGround's branding is in need of a refresh to keep in line with other hosts. It would really help when we refer people to you for hosting their site.

      • September 28, 2017 / 01:19 Iain CalvertSiteGround Team

        Thanks Phil. Appreciate the your thoughts on the subject.

  6. Reply September 22, 2017 / 04:55 BestiaSiteGround Team

    Thanks for this glimpse into your workplace culture! We are so happy to have just moved to SiteGround.
    Cheers and best wishes,

    • Reply September 26, 2017 / 06:48 Iain CalvertSiteGround Team

      Glad to have you onboard Anna.

  7. Reply September 22, 2017 / 08:57 RonSiteGround Team

    Welcome aboard. For us not in the know, what is Kite Board?

    • Reply September 26, 2017 / 06:47 Iain CalvertSiteGround Team

      Thanks Ron. Glad to be here. Kiteboarding is riding a snowboard type board in the ocean but being pulled by a kite!

  8. Reply September 26, 2017 / 18:40 BranndtSiteGround Team

    new client here, just started with sitegrounnd; loving it so far. Ya'll hiring? =D

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