Get to Know Applied CEO Taylor Rhodes | Applied Blog Skip to content

Life at Applied

3 Minute Read

Get to Know Applied CEO Taylor Rhodes

Date Published:

Life at Applied

3 Minute Read

Get to Know Applied CEO Taylor Rhodes

Date Published:


You may have seen Applied CEO Taylor Rhodes on stage at Applied Net talking about the latest tech, but did you know that his work ethic started as a kid working on a cattle ranch? There is much more to learn about Taylor as a person and a leader. Insurance Technology podcast host and Ivans CEO Reid Holzworth visited the Chicago office for a live discussion about Taylor’s life experiences and how they have shaped who he is today.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, it is definitely worth watching. The rapport between the two is highly entertaining. Let’s review some of the highlights.

A Work Ethic That Grew on the Ranch

Taylor grew up in a family filled with both cattle ranchers and lawyers. While he lived in the Phoenix area during the summer, he spent his summers working at his family’s ranch in Prescott, Arizona, which is where the work ethic really all started.

"Working on the ranch, growing up as a kid and having an agricultural family, there's always work to be done. It's hard work,” Taylor said. “You learn how to work hard and how to do the job the right way."

The hard work didn’t end on the cattle ranch. In high school, Taylor and his best friend both wanted to be Marines when they grew up, so that’s what they did. During his time in the Marines, Taylor really learned the “team over self” mentality that you see today. He gives the Marine Corps credit for helping him become a better leader and teaching him how to adapt, overcome, and look out for his team.

“We talk a lot about the team. What I learned in the Marine Corps, first of all, you as an individual can do way more than you think you can do,” he said. “And then the second is you can do way, way more if you've got a great team around you that's all in on the mission together and shares the same values.”

Creating Customer-Centric Cultures

One of Taylor’s first tech roles was at Rackspace, a cloud computing company in San Antonio. He wore a lot of different hats at Rackspace as they grew from a small company to a much larger company, and eventually became CEO at Rackspace. He described the experience as one that taught him so much about leading teams and creating a positive culture, but he knew when it was time to leave and create an opportunity for someone else to step in.

"Sometimes the last act of leading is knowing when it's time for you to step aside and make room for somebody who views this as their highest and best opportunity,” he said.

After Taylor’s 11-year tenure at Rackspace, he had the opportunity to Join Team Applied as the CEO. When Taylor joined Applied, he realized the need to foster a culture of innovation and focus on the customer. Through changes and challenges, he has led with the mindset of helping clients win and in the end, we all win.

“When your clients win, you win. And if you keep that north star and you really mean it, they will trust you as a partner, and you will benefit from them winning,” he said. “That’s the mindset I think I’ve strived hard to bring to this company. And it challenges us all the time to examine our decisions in a good way.”

Creating a Safe Harbor and Making the Industry Better

The world has seen uncertainty and change in recent years, but the industry continues to succeed, and we are proud to have good people on our team and as clients. Taylor said he sees his role as creating a safe space for Applied employees and clients where they can thrive.

“For Applied, we want to be a place in this crazy world that is a safe harbor for our folks where, if they’re willing to bring their smarts and a good attitude and hard work and determination to be a good teammate, they’re going to do great here in return, creating that cultural opportunity for them, it will convert to them wanting to serve our clients better,” Taylor said.

Take a Deep Dive into the Life of Taylor Rhodes

This article just scratches the surface of the interview. It is definitely worth the time to watch the full video. And if you’re multi-tasking and want to listen as you work, you can hear the interview on the Insurance Technology podcast Episode 66, Hard Work That Started on a Cattle Ranch, and Episode 67, Building a Culture That Breeds Innovation.

And don’t forget to join us at Applied Net to hear Taylor Rhodes live and in person for yourself (in addition to much more fun and learning in Nashville).

  • Courtney Rains

    Courtney Rains

    Chief Marketing Officer

    Courtney Rains, Chief Marketing Officer, is responsible for Applied’s global marketing strategy. Rains has held a number of leadership positions at Applied and led the Company’s brand transformation, helping to position Applied as the technology company revolutionizing the insurance industry. With more than 10 years of experience in technology marketing and crisis communications, her expertise and unrelenting commitment to growth ensure that she brings the best out of those around her for the success of the team and broader company. She has prior marketing experience at big tech companies like Qualcomm and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.

    LinkedIn logo

    All Posts by Courtney Rains