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Ep 9: Leading leaders feat Heather Foidart
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Episode · 2 years ago
Ep 9: Leading leaders feat Heather Foidart
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Ep 9: Leading leaders feat Heather Foidart
Book. What is going on? Everybody? Welcome to the revenue collective podcast. I am your launch host, Justin Welsh, member of the Los Angeles Chapter of revenue collective, and inside of these episodes we're going to feature ideas and conversations that are inspired by ongoing discussions within the revenue collective community across the globe, and I think one of the really interesting topics we've been talking and debating inside of the RC slack room is how to best lead other leaders. Managing and leading frontline employees is one thing, but there are extra challenges in different approaches to effectively managing other managers, directors, mvps, and we're going to cover that in a bit more inside of this episode with our guests Heather Foud are, a two time vp of sales and customer success leader, most recently at Schmoop. Before we dive in with Heather, a few quick notes. If you're out there listening and you want to join revenue collective, visit Revenue Collectivecom and click apply out. I also want to thank our amazing podcast sponsor for June, outreach, the number one sales engagement platform. Outreach revolutionizes customer engagement by moving away from siload conversations to a streamlined, in customer centric journey. Leveraging the next generation of artificial intelligence, the platform allows sales reps to deliver considers distant, relevant and responsible communication for each prospect every time, enabling personalization at scale that was previously unthinkable. I am pumped to jump in with Heather Foud Art, so let's get the episode started. Our guest today is Heather Foyd Dart. Heather has five years of executive leadership experience. She's a two time vp of sales and customer success and she recently joined replays as a sales coach. Replays is an on demand sales coaching service for inside sales teams and prior to that she was vp of sales and service at an Ed Tech Startup seex strategist at Oracle in leading the sales and customer success functions at share works through their acquisition by Morgan Stanley. Heather, welcome to the show. We were really happy to have you Austin to be here. Thanks so much. Justin you are welcome. So I just talked a bit about your recent background, but I always like to start out by learning a bit more about how our guests got into the leadership world. Can you give us the Heather Career Story? Yeah, I'd love to. And some originally from western Canada and I always like to, you know, get that out of the way at the beginning in case you can hear a slight bit of an accent in my voice. And so, you know, after our graduated high school, like most people, you know, I needed a job and so I was a surfer for all of eight weeks. Maybe the shortest career as stint that I had when I had a customer come in and she asked me if I'd cons that are, you know, joining her firm, potentially as an office administrator. She had an immediate need, asked me to come by at the end of my shift and that was that. You know, no interview. I went over there, she gave me a tour of the office and we start of hit it off right away to somebody I really respected. And so the business is a chired about a year in after I started by company called Canadian Western Bank and I eventually ended up staying on with the Bank for eight years. Really I leaned into, you know, every growth opportunity ran towards solving any problem I could going to college at night, you know, eating bags the chips for dinner. It was definitely not a glhammer as time, but I eventually worked my way from, you know, operations to account management, got my way into a leadership. Really loved that and then eventually just found my calling from a sales point of view. I loved working with our customers, I love solving problems and that was where I had my first stint as a director of sales. That is a really, really interesting path and you know, you don't often hear that type of story right, where someone starts as an office administrator and works their way up to director of sales and then becomes a VP of sales. You mentioned leaning in. I think being a problem solver is really important, but what other than sort of leaning...
...in and solving problems do you think it was about you that allowed you to navigate from sort of this office administrator path all the way through to the leadership team? Yeah, I think it was really just stepping in. I've noticed throw of my career a bit of a pattern that there's kind of two types of people. You know, a lot of people want to work on those projects that might be you know, glamorous, they have a lot of recognition, and then as the other kind, who are really just there to do, you know, excellent work. They have a growth mindset, they're there to learn, and I really think that those are the skills that I packed into you know, I was always willing to go and solve some of those problems at work on those projects that, you know, maybe weren't sexy, maybe they didn't have a lot of, would say, like recognition, and I think that's really was was the key there. You know, throughout that kind of eight year sin those just referencing, I did a little bit of compliance or reviewed contracts, I did some audit work, nothing terribly exciting, but they were problems that were important to the business and I was always there, you know, willing to put my hand up. That's awesome. I love that. I think having that, that sort of mindset is so crucial, especially in some of the earlier stage companies that I see leaders at. You know, when we get in, even regardless of what your title is, there are so many different opportunities to wear different hats that I love when I see people take advantage of that. So I know that when we were chatting in the revenue collective slack channel. There was a lot of conversation around today's topic, which is really leading leaders and before we dive into that topic and learn more about it, I'd love to understand why this, in particular, is something that you're really passionate about. Yeah, absolutely. So the SIS this concept of, you know, building a following or a follower leadership. I think some people talk about this as transformational leadership, and it's a topic that I'm really passionate about because I think, you know, there's been, you know, thousands of books written on the topic, and I mean there's no secret sauce really. I think that there's a lot of actionable things that anybody can do to build their following and, you know, to be perceived by the people that they're leading and managing as, you know, being confident and some at someone admirable and somebody worthy of, you know, encouraging and inspiring others to follow. And so it's a topic, you know, I spent a lot of time kind of thinking and, you know, writing about and talking with other leaders about. You know, I believe that transcend sales as well, and so, you know, any form of a leadership, but I love working with kind of that next generation of leaders and working through, you know, some actionable habits that they can master. You know, I think anybody, because you know, the ability, if they put the effort into it, you know, to build a following as a leader. That's awesome and I think you know most of us who have been VPS or even in the sea sweet level, or we've let me know, we've led people in leadership roles. What is follower leadership in and you mention actionable habits. So maybe you could tell us a little bit in your mind what follower leadership is, and then it would I would love to understand some of those actionable habits that you can, you know, develop to be perceived as competent or admirable and really encourage those others to follow you. Yeah, absolutely. So for me I think it's simple. So a follower leader is somebody that others perceived as being competent in their roles, some an admirable so somebody with integrity, you know, the respect and something that really encourages others to follow along. And so I think what really sects these leaders apart is that they've build their followership by inspiring others and by really making the people part of it the heart of their business. I think everybody's potentially worked with a leader or observed the leader whereas you know, they want to be a great leader, that they hate the people part of it right, and they like everything about leadership, ex o people said. So I think you know, there's really four things for actionable strategies I think that any anyone can master to build, you know, the way that you know the people that you're trying to inspire relate to you. And so, you know, let's dive into what those look like with the first one. And so the first one is really building credibility by being relentlessly reliable that you know, are you somebody who makes commitments and follows through as it, or are you somebody that you know, on unconsciously makes, you know, offers of you know, your time or...
...your resources, but you fail to follow through with action? So an example of that might be, you know, I know Justin loves drinking, you know IPAs. He tells me he's coming over to Scottsdale, where I'm located, and you know, I say, Oh, like there's a best brewery in town, like you have to make sure you go there and check out like these three IPAs. But yeah, I got to go check them and you and get back to you on that. And so, you know, being relentlessly reliable and me building credibility in your eyes would be me remembering to follow up and send you that recommendation, to send you that list of Kys, and doing so in a timely manner as well. Because really what that signals to people is when you fail to follow through on those really low stakes commitments, it's chipping away your credibility. You know, even though they seem inconsequential. The rest are recommendation. You know that kind of thing. It's critically important that they know that they can rely on you and the moments that matter. Heather, do you do? You might if I ask about reliability here, because to me that one just stands out right away. And one thing, one thing I often wonder in I struggle with it myself as a leader, is how do you strike a balance? So when folks who are you're leading, are coming to you on our consistent basis and in you're saying I'll do this or I'll do that, how do you make sure that you don't bite off more that you can chew so that the reliability doesn't go out the window. I love that you ask that question because I think it's so important. You know, it's being more conscious with the offers that you're making. You know, so it's you know, if you're offering to make time. It kind of leads into the the second bullet point I kind of wanted to talk about a little bit here. For your the team that you're leading, it's really being fully available and present in the moments that you scheduled, and that's really it sounds easy on the surface, but I think it's actually really difficult to do and it kind of builds on that concept of reliability. You know, I think for a lot of new leaders it's really understanding, you know, what is the difference between being available and being assossible? You know, so accessibilityy to me means that you can reach me, you know, send me a text, you know, shoot me, shoot me a message. You know I can get that. You know that this kind approvals done for you, but that doesn't mean that you have my full time and attention. I'm not committing that time to you. I'm just saying that I'm accessible. If you need me, I'll get it done. But being available means that you have zero distractions, that you're going to be fully present in that moment. And what becomes really difficult about that, and kind of to the point of your question, is that it requires you to run through your day with flawless execution. Being late also chips away a credibility, and so you know what I'm in a oneonone with one of my employees, for example, I've got thirty minute scheduled. It means, you know, being aware of the time, you know set an alarm if you have to, but at that twenty five minute mark it's saying, okay, we only have a couple minutes less. Is there anything else that you need for me? And if there is, maybe you have to schedule another time. To go into that point because most likely, as all leaders are, generally your back to back throughout your day, so that you know flawless execution and time management is really critical to this point of really being able to be fully present in the moment you've committed to. I agree, like I'm a guy who's on time, like I'm a I'm a time person. What do you do when you've got that flawless execution mindset. You've got that backtoback calendar. Your leader and someone who you're leading is in honoring your time. They're not honoring your availability. How do you wrecked that or how do you coach to that? Is it? Is it just stern? Is it just addressing it? How do you do that and you in your work? Yeah, I think it's not. Unlike, you know, when we're running a sale cycle with, you know, an important prospect, you know, we get into that meeting, you know, we confirm kind of the time of the onset at the beginning and we stick to it. I think it can be as simple as that. Right like, you know, if you agree to you know, an agenda sort of at the onset or you know the things that we absolutely need to cover in our time together, it's really just being forthcoming about the communication around it. So, you know, we have thirty minutes today. We have to get through these two things that you know and if we have any...
...time left, you know we can add anything else. So it's really just managing expectations at the onset. Got It. So building credibility by being relentlessly reliable, being fully available and present in the moments you've scheduled. I think you mentioned there were four things. What are number three is and four? Number three and four for you? Yeah, I think number three for me is not being above anything you ask others to do. And you know what I mean about that. It's not really about doing their job for them. It's about never really asking something of someone if you wouldn't do it yourself. A good example of that is, you know, you give one of your employee some coaching and you say, you know, you got to make sure that you're paying attention to the details, but then you missed the details yourself. So it's really just having a heightened awareness of that. You know, another example of you know how this this might look at a sales organization. I know for US cash flow is tight. You know, we had to freeze a lot of our budgets just, you know, as relates to the recent crisis, and so we didn't have any cash to be running any fists or competition. So one of the things that we did is we did a call B Lisz and the s fifth for the winner was that the person who booked the most number of qualified meetings would get their leaders time to make some calls on their behalf to their book, a business, and it was just a ton of fun, but it really was kind of living through to this value. Yeah, it's, you know, not being above anything asked others to do. You know what I think that's just a simple example of that. Then that's that's I got to ask because this just really, it really piqued my interest because I don't know, have you caught the the series that everyone's watching called the last the last dance on ESPN with Michael Jordan? No, I haven't, but I've heard a ton about it. Well, he's he says something during the documentary where he says, you know, I never ask my teammates to do something that they know that I wouldn't do, and so that stood out as as a really, really critical piece of leadership. But on the other hand, he's an Asshole, he's a complete tire, he's a complete tyrant, and I think what we're seeing is a lot of leaders look at this and watch this, I'm seeing it on twitter, talk about how great this leadership style is. How do you think of tyrants? How do you think of the folks that run their teams because they do it fear based? Is that something that you think can hold up in the business world the way it does, you know, in this special on the basketball corridor. Is that? Is that the complete opposite of what you think follower leadership is? For me that's the complete accident. Personally, I know it. Certainly I've experienced, unfortunately, my fair share of tarrent leader than it's something I definitely tried to evaluate. Whatever I'm looking at, you know, anything that I'm going to, you know, participate on. But for me it's sort of opposite of, you know, my personal leadership ethos, if you will. Yeah, that that fear based culture. I think the problem with having a fear based culture to me personally, is it discourages people to take any risks, YEP, or to make full decisions. And if you're not willing to make any risks, I can't see how you can have innovation. And so I think that's kind of fundamentally the the challenge with any type of fear based culture. I'm an agreement with you. I'm watching this special and I'm really enjoying it and it's really fun and it's great to see a great player, but you know, watching people talk about it online about how that's how you have to think and how that's the mind that you have to have. and Oh that's how I manage people. To me, is the opposite of leadership. So it's interesting to see how different folks in the technology or the startup world perceive leadership in different ways. I love the follower leadership mentality that you're talking about. That's how I think about leading my teams. So, you know, credibility by being relentless, real, reliable, being available and present, you know, doing things, you know, not asking anyone to do something that you wouldn't do. And you mentioned there was a fourthing. What does that last piece of follower leadership? Yeah, and so for me I think it's about holding others accountable privately, but really celebrating successes publicly. And so, you know, it's the cartner rule never to take credit from, you know, other people's ideas, but it's really important that you know, share and celebrate successes and learn and grow from failures. And...
...that's kind of what we were just talking about, right, not having that like fear based culture, but it's also being somebody, as a leader, who saves others. So never allowing someone to fail publicly like that is the worst feeling in the world I have. This happened to me one time. It was absolutely brutal. I was a pretty new employee and I was doing a really big presentation, was really big deal, and I had a training coming up. So I thought, Oh, you know what, I'll do a dry run of this presentation that I need to do in the context of this training, and so I stood up in front of a group of tears. You know, I again I was brand new, but it was really important to me that, you know, I did the bold thing and I kind of perfected my pitch right away and I had people absolutely just kind of rip it apart in a non kind of productive way. And my manager was in the room and I feel like, you know, I that was a definitely a chip on his credibility in my eyes. So just kind of allowing me to you know, what felt like a public failure, it really her right. It was something that they're kind of starred me. You know, I knew that he wasn't going to be somebody who would save me kind of publicly. You know, you need to be able to save your employees from embarrassment when you see it happening. You know, and this is the the behavior that's going to set the example culturally that it's a safe environment, you know, to innovate, like we just talked about, and you know make the size of action without fear and you know take bold risks and you know do that dry run, even though you might not be a hundred percent ready anyway. Now, that's that's that's great. And you know, you mentioned you mentioned something really interesting. You said holding people accountable privately. Now, I always believe that you should do that as well. One thing that I've struggled with is when I go to hold people accountable privately, ninety percent of the time it goes really well. Ten percent of the time, you know, I'm managing or coaching someone who doesn't want that tough feedback, who is, you know, insulted by that tough feedback, who doesn't take that feedback really well. What do you do in a scenario like that? Can people be coached out of that who are looking to further their leadership? Tu Yeah, I sure hope so. I think you know, for me, I think one of the most important attributes, you know, in any role, particularly in a sales or sales leadership role. You know, it's really to have that growth mindset, and so so I think as leaders, you know, really kind of setting the tone at the top of having a culture a feedback is critically important and I think, you know, sometimes you might have those individuals on your team who might not exhibit that openness to being able to receive and hear heart feedback, and I think that's always going to be a challenge. The strategies that I often use those situations is really folk using on the bigger picture of you know what it is that we're trying to accomplish, like bringing it back to the goals and you know how we're going to get there together and having kind of a joint, mutual, actionable plan, you know, to achieve that outcome that we're looking for. I love that. I love that. All right, Heather, we are nearing the end of our time together here, which means we will jump into one more segment that we do, and it's called our quick fire five, and it's pretty simple. It's just five questions where we get top of mind real answers from executive leaders like yourself. You Ready to rock? I love it. Yeah, it's awesome. Right, let's do it. Awesome. Let's do it cool. So what is a book that has had a major impact on your life? Yeah, so I'm an avigator. I love reading and one of the books that I love the most is a book called the monk who sold his Ferrari. If you see it, you have to pick it up. I know definitely that title stands out. And you know, sure thing that I really love about this book as you can read it several times and always take something new away from it. I think I've read it at least a dozen times. So you know, one of the quotes I love about it that's really standing out to me right now is he says everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality, and I love that quote. Cool. Have you ever read the alchemist? I have. I love the alchemist. I do as well. That's a book that I can read and pick up something unique each time that I read it. So I it's something that I just read again for the other day that I absolutely love. You have to check out this book. You'll love it too. I'll definitely check it out. The the title caught my eye. So that's really cool.
So you're getting amped up for the work day. It's, you know, Monday morning. And you're getting excited for the the upcoming work week. What are you listening to? So for me, I'm stuck in the S. I'm a s girl turn through and I love s hip hop. I Love S Ault music, but if I really need to get, you know, amped up, it's generally hiphop and it's in my headphones so the little guys can't hear it, because it's inevitably full of curse words, and so it's usually something like tribe called quest or dre or eminem or Nase, anything nines hip hop. I didn't, after speaking to you for twenty minutes, I didn't have you pegged as a Naz girl. That's that's pretty that's pretty cool. I'm my hip hop Guy Myself. I'm I'm a nipsy Hustle Fan. He's the entrepreeur wrap. So I listen. I listen to him. He gets me excited to to go build businesses. So awesome. I love to see the hip hop stuff. What has been your what has been your favorite experience to date so far being a member of the revenue collective? Yes, I've been a member for a year now and I would have to say it's actually just recently, within the past a couple of weeks, I was invited to a finalist presentation and I've quitted a flack message just on the on the bench group asking if you know there was any volunteers to sit through a dry run with me. I'm a big, you know, believer and kind of the practice makes perfect, but I would absolutely overwhelmed by just the responses offering to help me out. For those who couldn't help, they sent me a ton of words of encouragement. I got all kinds of reason sources. It honestly just truly move me. I felt so fortunate that I had this kind of tribe in my corner. It just made me feel like I could, you know, accomplish anything, you know, with the support of this group behind me. Awesome. What's something that Heather Foyd art has a superpower in that I have a super power, and you know this one is a tricky one to answer. I think how there is a work in progress and still figuring that out, but I think you know, one of my super powers, I would say, is probably being a connector. You know, I've been told lots of time. You know, it's just somebody to have an in network. I'm good at building bridges. I usually of that person who can, you know, put together. Oh Hey, you're looking to learn this, you should read this book, or Hey, you're looking to grow in this talent, you should meet this person. Generally on somebody who connects kind of ideas together. That's great. I'm a connector myself, so I'm glad to have you in my network now, as well as I'm glad that we're connected. Lastly, give the audience you're sort of like life motto or a guiding principle that they can take home with them today and use. Oh goodness, a life motto. I think it might be a little bit of what I just said. Actually. You know how there's a work in progress, and I'm a big believer and having a growth mindset. You know, learning is never done. It's probably the thing that I love the most about, you know, the sales profession is that, you know there's always work to be done, and so definitely just encourage others to adapt that, you know, same kind of mentality of just being a work in progress and, you know, absorb bring any kind of growther learning opportunities that presents themselves to you. Heard it from Heather, being a work in progress is a good thing and I feel the same way about myself and and so that's that's great to hear that. You know, the learning is never done and I think that being a leader in sales, I'm learning something or some things new every single day, not just about the profession but about myself as a leader. So I absolutely love that. This has been a ton of fun. Tell everyone how they can get in contact with you. Yeah, I'm probably the best way of finding me on Linkedin and so hew. Their fight are very unique. Glass, name, flies, Dart and happy to answer any questions. Or are connect with anyone offline? Cool, and your revenue collective slack handle and my flack Haft. I think is actually just my full name, heather foyd are. And your is it Phx, or at the end it is that's right, cool, heather foid art phx. Well, listen, Heather, it is been great having you on the show. Thank you for talking to us about follower leadership. I have a feeling at the audience is going to really enjoy listening to the four tips that you left there. I appreciate taking some time out of your morning to spend it with me and have a great, great sales week. Thank you so much. Justin what a...
...great conversation with Heather foyd are. Here are some things that I took away from our time spent talking around leading leaders. The first is to build credibility by being relentlessly reliable. I loved hearing that from Heather Foud Art. As a guy who is notoriously on time, I can relate to that. The second is to be fully available, in present in moments you've scheduled. This is something I struggle with and I see lots of other leaders struggling with being connected, being available, being present in those moments with your leadership team, not on your phone, not thinking about the next meeting. The third is to not be above anything that you ask others to do. I think we talked quickly about Michael Jordan during this. I think there's a great scene in the last dance where he says my teammates knew that I would never ask them to do anything that I wouldn't do. So I love hearing that from Heather. And the last is to hold others accountable privately and to celebrate their success publicly. For great tips on leading leaders from Heather Foud are. Okay. If you're out there listening and you want to apply to revenue collective, either to our executive or associate program simply head over to revenue collectivecom and click apply now. That is revenue collectivecom clicking apply now. Thanks again to our guest Heather Foud Art. She was amazing. Loved having her on. If you're wondering how to connect with me, you can find me on twitter at Justin Sass. That's just an Saas, or simply by visiting my website at the official Justincom. Let's connect there and talk shop. Cheers.
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