The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep 134: How To Manage-Up In Your Career w/ Nalin Vahil

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Throwback to Ep 60: How To Manage-Up In Your Career w/ Nalin Vahil from Asana

Part of the TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

All right, welcome back to the Pavilion podcast where revenue leaders come to learn the tips tricks and tactics that they need to be successful in their roles. I'm your host of, thank God it's monday Tom Alaimo from Gang, Let's get after it today. Before we get to this week's episode, let's get a shout out to our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by insight squared, advanced revenue analytics and forecasting for today's B two B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day with questions, insights squared, gives you the data driven answers in real time. Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards, self service, no code. All right now let's get straight to our episode now linville, Good evening. How you doing? How's it going tom I'm doing well, how are you doing? I'm doing good, I'm doing good. You're calling in from the, from the great Rocky Mountains egg, that's right. It's actually much warmer here now than it is in san Francisco. So you'd be surprised, I think I'd be jealous if you guys right now, but I'm actually not so jealous. Yeah, you, that's always like kind of a fun way to start a podcast or sales calls for that matter in a pandemic because you never know where people are. You know, it's not necessarily where they're linked in says or anything like that. So it sounds like you've been kind of taking advantage of the pandemic and being able to see family and you know, travel around a little bit, yep, totally. I think it's been a mean, unique opportunity, certainly it's been a tough time for a lot of people, but the best thing you can do is try to see the silver lining and things, so yeah, I mean it's been great, we had to Seattle in a few weeks so it'll be nice to be out there too, so just taken in the mountains and the scenery and things like that along the way. I love it, I love it. Well there's a lot of things that I want to get into uh with you today and and you know, in a fairly short amount of time so I want to just get straight on into it. Um you have a really interesting career arc but really in the beginning of your career I find to be really interesting, you know there's not a lot of sales execs that I meet that started in the music industry um and I'm sure you still probably still have a strong passion for music. So you know, I see like you did artist management at Runaway Grace, you were a founder and Ceo of Brick Road music. Like could you tell me a little bit about the early days of your career and what led you into, into the music world? Yeah, totally. I think for me when I left college I knew that I was interested in technology more so because I like this idea of building and building quickly and something about tech was just super attractive for me in that. And I always had this uh, like rosie eyeglasses of what it looked like to be an entrepreneur and that was something that I was really interested in. And I'll be honest, I fell into sales more so because I was just trying to do whatever it was to get into tech and naturally I think is their entry level. There's actually a lot of opportunities for sales. So that's how I found myself first into sales. I think as I started doing sales, the most immediate thing that I wanted to figure out was like, how do I get good at this as quickly as possible? Because it was one of those roles where you were making 100 and 50 cold calls a day, three hours of talk time, you're not allowed to leave the office. So I was like, I need to figure this out so that, you know, I'm not getting 100 and 50 knows a day I need one or two. Yes, is to be able to get me through it. So my friend was actually in a band at the time and I said, hey, why don't you let me just start negotiating rates for you at different venues and basically just treat this like a sales cycle for you. And it was actually Really successful. I helped him raise some of his rates from like $200 up to $700. But I think with the thing that actually gave me this really interesting light bulb was you looked at the local scene and it was just this really antiquated way of managing reputations, both for venues and for artists. So like artists, the way that they actually would like try...

...to get gigs is like they just cold call, they'll cold call places, they'll email places, they say, hey can I play? And then if you're a venue, they have no idea if they're good, they just say, yeah, sure, come on in and they literally just rinse and repeat. And I've heard horror stories from these guys saying like they'll share me this mixtape and then they come in and they literally play this mixtape and then they just like lip sync over that specific mixtape. So like is this like really, really just like bad process in terms like how do you build this reputation? And I think for me, I got into a situation where I think I was so excited about this idea of being an entrepreneur that, you know, after I started building a little bit of demand, I said, hey, I want to, I want to go after this and go after it full time. So I had actually gotten in touch with people are potential angel investors. They said I need to prove it in a bigger market. That's what made me move from Denver out to Los Angeles and focus on that for a year. Long story short, it unfortunately didn't work out tons of learnings along the way. But I mean to your point, I'm definitely very passionate about the music industry, I do think that there's something to crack there in terms of like where is their opportunity for a new business model there, because it is definitely one where they're just so reliant on this live music to actually be able to grow at this point. So yeah, Anyways a little bit of a tangent, but yeah, and then what, what led you to get to bring yourself over to kind of quit the entrepreneurial route? Was it just like, hey, we ran out of money or we don't see this going, you know, the distance and let's get, you know, into a sales job, like it was, it was it as simple as that. Yeah, no, so um definitely ran out of money, got a round of funding, lost a round of funding and I think um I was at this point to where I learned a few things and one of the biggest things was it's especially when you think about your career in your future, it's so important to surround yourself with the best people and who you surround yourself with is the most important thing where I fell short in the startup was how I selected uh my technical co founder, uh and I honestly didn't know much about that at the time. The other thing that it helped me understand was that I did want to be a leader and that was my long term goal and that was like my ultimate long term goal and I believed after my experience in sales, that there are two things that I needed to do to be a really great leader. One was, how do you influence persuade, uh articulate these ideas and get people motivated and bought into these ideas? I think sales is a really great career to be able to do that. Then on the other side it's uh you know, the basics of leadership, how do you recruit retain, lead top to your talent? So um I knew that sales is a really interesting place for me to go and when I started thinking about my opportunities for the next company, One of the things that was important to me, it was like, hey, if I want to be a great leader, follow the best leadership that I can find, so look for a great leadership, look for a place where I felt like I could be entrepreneurial because I knew that's what got me out of bed every single day and then I think this third piece was like how do I accelerate a skill set of being a salesperson and being a great salesperson as quickly as possible. And I think Austin was this really unique opportunity because it was still this early stage scene, but a lot of companies were starting to move out there and there's this unique timing at box where I had the opportunity of being one of the first eighties out there, I got to be a part of this founding team of the eighties and I actually got to work the Austin territory as well too. So I got a lot of on site experience, I got a lot of opportunity to actually be entrepreneurial and learned from some of the best Aaron Levie is by far one of my favorite Ceos that I still followed today. He's just such a legend. Exactly, yeah, I love that. So uh you pick two for two so far in your career in terms of like, you know, amazing tech companies, you know, going from box to Asana and and as I'm looking...

...through, right, like on your linked and it's like, all right, you've been, you know, you're doing things before, but you've been in tech sales for, you know, 5.5, 6 years and are already um you know, have been in leadership for for quite some time and now are, you know, I think have, you know, half dozen or so managers under you. Right? So like now you're you're not even just a frontline manager anymore, you're, you know, kind of that second or third tier. So like I'd love to hear more about how you were able to develop your skill set and develop your career so quickly for for some of the folks out there that uh you know know that they want to get into leadership might not be there yet or are front line and and want to ultimately get to a higher point? Yeah, there's a lot to unpack there, so let me try to be as like high level as possible as first and then you dig into where you think is most interesting, I want to say the first thing is uh you know, my background looks like it's probably like uh this accelerated journey for me, but I think there are a lot of failures along the way and I think the most important thing that I can tell people is like what a real growth mindset is, the ability to take full accountability and ownership of failures and find what you can learn from those to make sure that those types of failures don't happen again, like that's my opinion of where true growth comes from and you see so many sales people out there that every single person fails, but it is this difference between the people that fail, chalk it up to bad luck and feel the exact same way over and over again versus the people that look at what they can learn from it. So, you know, one of my biggest failures by far was my own startup and I think like one of the things that I learned from this was this idea of accountability and ownership. The other thing that I actually learned that is not really taught at any place is like how do you number one? Like how do you think about selecting companies and how do you think about it? And then number two, how do you actually like show your skill set and portray like where you want to go along this journey when you're at a company and how do you flex your skill set? And I think um, one of the latter pieces, actually both of them, I think come from my learning and working my own startup because basically it's this idea of like you're working for an investor because it's this idea of when you go and join a company first, when you're vetting companies, think of yourself as the investor and you need to vet this company is like, is this a place that I put my bed on because I'm spending a lot of my life over a period of time, like just spending time purely at that company then once you're there, it's actually a flip side. It's like, hey, this boss of mine, he actually just invested in me. It's giving me six figures my salary to go sell or go like prove that I can actually own this business. So it's my duty to be able to actually like keep that person updated. Like you see that, I mean if you were someone that invested money and someone you want to know where that money is going and you want to know frequently. So I think actually one of these uh that's the framing that I that I say, I think is really interesting, but really like the key skills that you actually learn from, that's like, hey, how do you select the right companies? And the number two, it's almost this idea of like how do you manage up? And I think managing up is something that's not really taught by any, like any formal training in any way. And I actually think I actually really credit my failures for that. Yeah. So tell me more about that. Let's talk about the art of managing up because to your point, I've had some private conversations with folks, but I don't see it talked about or blogged about our podcast at about. So tell me how, because that makes sense. If someone invested money in your business, right? You're you are obligated and you want to update them on how the business is doing and um you know, that that's, that makes sense. And it's the same case for your boss or maybe even your boss's boss, right? Like they hired you, you know, they're keeping you on board. They are very much uh you know, the red tape for you to continue to grow within the company, right? If if they don't give you the nod, then it's gonna be really hard for you. So um tell me how...

...you may have managed up in your career. Yeah, I break it down into four really key principles and I'll talk about them one by one and give you an example which one one is communicate early and often like just over communicate. And that is something that a lot of people fail to do. And I think a lot of the reason is because people feel like they crave autonomy and the way that they do that is to say, okay, I'm going to do my own thing and then I'll go into my one on one with my boss and then just assume that they know what to talk about. And I actually think a lot of autonomy is bred by their confidence and knowing that you know what you're doing. And a lot of that just comes from how do you actually just over communicate? The things you're focusing on, the things you're working on and the updates along the way. It's, it's no different than these investor updates that you actually see Ceo sent to their investors and you can just find them online. You see this level of rigor and thought process that they think of their business. And I think, um, you showing that you have this ability to take on that level of ownership is really important. So it's just communicating as early and often as possible. So that's number one. Number two, is how do you think of explaining the root cause of problems. I actually think that there's a lot of opportunity for people to think one layer deeper when they think that they have a problem. Uh so for example, let's say that you go to your boss and you say that like, hey, I think that there's, there's, you know, I actually can't prospect, like I can't figure out how to generate enough pipeline and that's all of it, that's like just leads so many different opportunities of where you can spend your time as a manager that like that person has to be like, okay, you're kind of asking me to help you solve that problem all on my own without like a leading process of how you thought through it yourself. If you actually go one layer deeper, you as a person will also get way more out of it, your skill development and the guidance from your manager is going to be a lot better from that of saying like, hey, I actually look at like not being able to prospect, and I actually think the biggest reason is I don't feel confident in these tools that I'm using, I don't know how to actually use outreach to its fullest. It is a pretty complex tool, so it's very possible, but very powerful. Um so like being able to do that gets you to this extra layer of a conversation that's so much more tactical and helps you grow so much more if you actually go this layer deeper this root cause the problem, it's also this other idea for uh and I'll maybe talk about this in the next principle, but like, you know, a lot of people when they think of being a leader, they say like, oh I just want to go find problems and just go solve them right away and that's what it takes to be a leader. And I think the the issue oftentimes when they'll go to their boss and they say, hey, I'm ready for this leadership position and the leader will say like, hey, like I'm not seeing enough clear, like, you know, uh like just clear like examples in terms of you being a leader and I think that that's as a result of like it's not thinking of the root cause of that problem and not solving for the right things at the end of the day. Um # three is uh don't outsource your thinking to your boss. Uh and I think it's uh taking that exact same scenario that I mentioned before and it's like propose solutions, don't propose the problems and think through those potential solutions. Um and that will give you two things like one, it's this autonomy idea, like a manager will look at that and be like, oh my God, this person actually really thought through exactly what they want to do and like how they're trying to solve the problem is the most coachable person I can think of. Uh the other thing is let's say that you're actually trying to go solve a problem to try to prove yourself as a leader, You come up with these solutions, you will immediately have the first right to go and try to solve those problems. Like you'll immediately be the person that the boss will start thinking of, of saying like I want to give this person more responsibility because they're actually thinking at that level deeper and their solution oriented, um that impacts the culture that impacts like how you're actually able to go solve problems. Um I mean there's this level of critical thinking that I think just up levels yourself as much as possible to And then my last one which I think is...

...really important and actually just ladders into all these other ones, you should know your boss's priorities and their top three priorities specifically at any given time and you should know how you're contributing to those top three priorities. It's a really interesting one because that also goes back to how do you communicate, what are you communicating about? What are the problems that are actually going to try to tell And are you even focusing on the right things any time you're focusing, you know, their top three priorities and how you're contributing to it? I promise you you will have the stories six months from now of like your boss will actually come up with the stories for you. I'm staying here, all the things that you've done for me. So I think that that one's actually really crucial and it's surprising how many people just have no idea what their bosses top three priorities are at any given time. Yeah, I think that is so good And it ties to all those other things, right? Because all those other things, the extra communication, trying to solve the problems on your own things like that can help to, um, probably solve some of the problems of your leader. Um, have you ever heard of something called the canvas strategy? No, I haven't. So, um, Ryan Holiday uh, writes about it and I think it's the obstacles the way. Uh, and I love a lot of his books, but it's, it's essentially the thought that in order for you to progress, you want to clear the path for the people ahead of you or at least the person directly ahead of the right. And like the more that you make that person look good, the more likely you know, they are to kind of bring you along with them, right? And, and and choose you as kind of the right hand person to do so with. So it just reminds me of that. Like trying to know and maybe this is a dumb question, but how do you know, you just just asking a one on one like, hey, um, not unlike, you know, I want to do my best job. Um, and and keep in mind what you're focused on, Like what are the top three things that you care about this quarter this year? Is it as simple as that? I think it is. I think it's uh, sometimes it's, it's funny to just give that easy of an answer, but I think it's as simple as having that. I don't, I would be surprised if there's a leader that is that wants to guard what their top three priorities are to their reps because ideally what a manager and a leader is trying to do is they're trying to set their goals and priorities and they're trying to align their team to be able to execute on those priorities as much as possible. So, um, maybe that's my leadership philosophy and maybe it depends on what leader from the next, but I would be honestly surprised if you ask, your boss is three priorities and they're not willing to give it to you. Yeah. And do you, we're going back to the communication. Um let's say you get the priorities from your boss or your boss's boss. Um Do you do any sort of update for folks? Like a weekly update? A more deeply monthly quarterly update on not just your numbers, but how you're tracking towards some of those other goals and other things that might be outside of the obvious. Here's what I did for percentage of quota or some of the high level things you see in salesforce. Yeah. And I don't think that this needs to be overly formal in terms of how this communication comes out, but I think um what's really helpful is understanding the other point of view and a manager needs to know something's on a weekly basis. They need to know some things on a monthly basis and some things on a quarterly basis. The things that they need to know on a weekly basis are the deals um like name the deals that matter, are you leveraging the resources and the team around you and then just what's changed in the previous weekend? Why? Like, those are the simple things that you need on a weekly basis when you think about it on a monthly basis, you that's when you start talking about like, hey, what's broken, like what needs fixing and like what are those problems that you want to help try to solve? Um This is also where you start thinking of like this coaching plan, like are you actually making progress on specific skills, like where you want to focus your time and energy? And then I think when you think of Quarterly, that's when you get this really good idea of performance? And I also think you get a really good conversation around morale, um and like understanding like, hey what's the culture of the team, like what's the...

...sentiment of the team and like where their opportunities to grow? Um I think if you think about it in that framework, it kind of helps you think through like how often or how frequent should you have different types of conversations. Um there is obviously, I think uh a point to where maybe your incessant at some point of like having similar types of conversations more important I think is the intent of those conversations uh than like the contents and I think sometimes like the thing that you want to be careful of is that the intent of your conversation is not only to be able to get the raise or to be able to get the promotion, the intent of the conversation is because you're curious, you actually want to get better and you want to grow your skill set and you want to make sure that your boss believes that you are actually, you know, reaching your potential. Yeah, I love that. I think that's great advice for anyone that's listening, especially folks that are, you know earlier in their career and trying to find those ways to level up and add value to, you know, different folks across leadership. Um I'd love to pivot for a second because you know, there's a lot of different types of folks out there in the B two B and then the Saf's world that will be listening to this uh that have different types of founders and different types of companies and different types of selling motions. And asana is uh you know, pretty legendary uh for just having an amazing product being product lead, especially the first few years of the company and then um kind of developing that sales motion over time. So I'd love to hear um, your perspective on being a sales leader. Um, you know, at a product lead company at, you know, one of the founders is, you know, a legendary product person himself, but I'd love to just hear what that experience has been like. Yeah, and I have nothing but great things to say about Asana. I think I'd say what's really interesting is that this product like growth model, I think it's relatively new, but I actually think the journey for a lot of products like growth companies is actually pretty similar. So you know, Dropbox is probably one of the earlier ones that come to mind at last season, certainly was on that journey as well. And slack is one of the more recent ones where you see an acquisition of Salesforce is like a really successful outcome for them. Um, and I think what generally happens is like your goal and this should be obvious goal is like, how do you be customer first and prove out that you actually are providing real value to the customer and once you're able to do that and like when you do that in mind, like a lot of this is like, how do you get the end users bought in and that they love it so much that it's actually something that goes viral in the organization um to where they want to share it with other people because it drives this obvious value and at that point then the sales team can come in and they can actually tap into um the adoption, the success that people have already had. And actually, I mean it starts really at this like sales assist motion where like a lot of times what you're doing is just directing people to answer the questions that they need. And then over time it gradually increases to be a little bit more complex. And realistically the goal is to move further upmarket, strategically close larger deals, you saw slack do that really, really well. Um last season's made a lot of progress on that as well to. Um and certainly it's been interesting here too. So um I think uh I think it's a really interesting journey. I think some of the philosophy is a, from a sales perspective, when you look at it just makes a ton of sense. It's like how do you actually build something that's really customer first and as a salesperson, it's so much more enjoyable because when you talk to people, you know that they love it and it also opens up this opportunity to help people actually try to prove out the value before they make these massive purchases and investments, which is really not something that you can do in a pure top down driven sales lead organization. Yeah, and I imagine the flip of that is um that you know if it if it is more product lead then there might be a little bit of a delay in building out kind of like that outbound strategy because you can rely on the product going viral at a company and you know end users really getting you know kind of attached to getting sticky with them. So like how does one...

...um let's say if you know someone listening is new to a product lead company, maybe their director of V. P. Of sales. Like how do you start building out that outbound motion? Is it different than doing it anywhere else? Like do you have any advice on next? I know that you you were helped to spearhead that. Yeah um and certainly it depends on the company that you're at and what is the profile of like who they work with, you know you can look at slack and you can see a lot of the journey that they were on and the I'll even speak to slack of specific phases and talk to some specific examples of what they went through um their their first phase and a lot of this as a salesperson is like what is the timing of when you're joining the first phase for slack was like we just need to get the market coverage, we need enough salespeople to be able to manage the leads that are coming in like that is the round number one, the first phase of growth. It's a fun time for sure. Phase # two is like where do you start thinking of customer focus? That's really where this conversation of I wouldn't even necessarily define it as outbound, I define it as being proactive. Uh that's really where that type of conversation comes in. It's like, what are the segments that we really want to win in? How do we define what the true ideal customer profile is that will yield the long term results? I think every product lead company like you will look at an enterprise C deal where you're getting the foot in the door as really long term beneficial for the company if you're able to prove adoption and growth. Um So I think those types of conversations are really important. Um and I'm not going to say it's one size fits all. You know, I think there's some companies that get so much growth that they don't necessarily even need to make this jump up market, but I think what's more more important is you understand your customer focus and where you want to go. Um and I think dropbox for example, there's a perfect example where, you know, they made at least half a million dollars purely based off of their consumer base alone. So do they need to move further up market? The answer wasn't actually the case. So that conversation depends on a company basis slack and didn't want to make that move. So a lot of that was like, hey, how do we start intentionally moving in that direction and that's an entire company decision that has to happen. Product development needs to move in that direction, marketing, uh the, you know, even the willingness to build a lot more cross functional teams, because moving further up market, it's much more relationship oriented, it's much more coordination internally to actually make that happen. Um whereas on the, on the other side of the spectrum, it's what a lot less friction, it's much more transactional and it's very high velocity, so there's a very fundamental difference and I think your goal is how do you make that journey where then that's phase number three's then you start thinking about how do we think about operational efficiency and that's where you start getting to this point of saying, okay, not only do I need to make sure that we're focusing the right customers, we need to be really effective and the narrative and the messaging and how we get in front of those people and that phase three is when you really start thinking about maybe it's time to start building an SDR team, maybe a start at this time that we start thinking about operational efficiency in terms of like our sales execution specifically um perfect plug for gong if you wanted to shout out to going exactly now, we're not, we're not here to plug going, But yeah, I appreciate the, appreciate the plug anytime. Call me people. Um, so yeah, I, I love that and I think there's some great examples like do you personally see this as kind of like the wave of the future? I mean there's obviously named some huge names, whether we're talking about Asana or slack or at last and the list goes on, like do you see that as you know, product like growth is going to be a huge thing for the next like 5, 10 years and sas do you see that being like a really big wave moving forward? I think so um uh you certainly see a lot of venture capitalists even think that way, open view I think is the most popular one. If anyone who's listening to this wants to go read a lot more...

...about like how this trend is evolving, uh certainly go read them because they're very interesting. Um you know, I think you start seeing some of the younger upstarts in some of the growth that they're experiencing, You look at a web flow for example and they're just getting this massive traction and you know, starting to compete in a very interesting way and you know, I think both from, if you're a sales person and you think of the companies that you're really interested in joining but then also as you think of how do you want to go attack a market and prove that you can actually be hyper efficient once you start getting these large rounds of investment, a lot of it just makes it just so much sense is just so much more efficient versus, you know, you look at a lot of these sales lead companies and there's so much percentage of revenue that is just going directly back into sales and marketing to be able to fuel this long term growth. So I think it makes a lot of sense to be honest. Yeah. And can we, let's put it for a second to um, you know, culture and leadership? Because again, you know, I think if there's a few things that stand out about Asana, um, you know, one is the great product and the product led growth and I think another one is the culture. Uh, it's a pretty legendary culture. Um, in terms of, you know, not only being somewhere where people love to work, but really having an emphasis on the growth mindset that you mentioned earlier. Um, you know, investing in, you know, the coaching and development and training of the employees. So I'd love you to talk about a little bit about that if people aren't familiar with, um, a saunas approach on that or even your personal approach on that. And like the emphasis of having a growth mindset and training and developing your employees totally. I'll speak to a little bit of both. I've definitely been really fortunate to learn from some of the best leadership that I've gotten to work with and asana takes culture uh more seriously than I've seen at other companies. Um you know, Justin and Justin are co founders, the way that they frame culture is treating culture like a product and by that it means you have to think about it very intentionally in terms of how you actually want to evolve the culture, it's not something that is just a by product and you see a lot of companies when they think of culture and great Glassdoor reviews, that is something that is just a byproduct. Um and for us it's something that's very intentional in terms of the direction that we want to go in, if I could think of the most important aspect of what creates a culture, I think it's hiring and I think hiring is by far the most important lever to understand what the future of the culture will look like. Uh that makes obvious sense in a lot of ways when you think about it, when, you know, if you're going to grow two X or three X, all the people that become the company, you know, it's as a result of this hiring process and I think we we approach it in a lot of different ways. One of the biggest approaches for us, I think is this idea of diversity inclusion. Um certainly that's a really big pillar in a big focus for us to make sure that we think about a really diverse workforce. Um and that that means in many different ways, uh the way that I think about it as you know, even just our sales team specifically one thing that I think is really interesting for us is like the way that we think about hiring is not about how do we find people that fit our culture? We actually think about it as like how do you actually add to our culture? And I think that's actually a very important distinction and a shift because for us we'll look at uh you know, people and instead of looking at years of experience in terms of how the up level, like do they fit that profile specifically? We'll be very competency focused, but we'll also have to leave this conversation being are being able to articulate the skill that this person has that we think would up level the rest of the team. And I think if you actually surround yourself by those people and like that just exponentially grows to this point to where you join a mid market team, every single person around you actually has a unique skill...

...set in terms of what they provide in different backgrounds. And uh it just naturally creates this really collaborative culture where it's very obvious that the sum is greater than its parts, you know, like some person might be better at out bounding the other person might be much better at negotiations. So it just makes obvious sense that they'd want to collaborate because every single person wins in that scenario. Um So so I think that's the piece of culture that I'd I'd talk about that I think is really interesting. Um There's a ton of thought leadership from Dustin and Justin that that I highly recommend people read because um they are, I don't know how to say it, they're just very they think about it so critically in a way that that I continually learn every time that they write about it and they put a lot of intention and they're writing about about culture. Um So the other piece about learning and development, I think that a lot of that, again it comes from front line leadership. Um I actually think a lot of that is like hey how do you intentionally understand where you want people to grow and like what their own goals are and how you're able to actually get people to those goals. Um Certainly we have a lot of company resources that I think are really unique. One thing that's really cool is we have executive coaching resources for every single employee Arizona, have you ever worked with an executive coach? I actually just hired one uh this year coming out of my own pocket, it's amazing, it's worked out of pocket to because it just really helps you clarify and articulate your own goals and it helps you work on these soft skills that you might not learn from your manager who's like very focused on the sales side of things. So I think it's for blind spots, totally amazing for blind spots um and like just self awareness and developing self awareness. So that's like that's really cool that we have, but I think the other pieces is you know, how do you actually like think of the vision in terms of like what do you want this team to look like a few years from now? And I think my personal vision is like I think there are a few things I want this to be a team that has a network that is as a result of Asana like Has a network for the 10 future jobs after Asana that uh you know that they want and those are only because of the network that they built. Um and that definitely happens, you know, you look at the Paypal mafia is a perfect example old school but um but like I think that's one piece, but I think the other pieces, like if I think of the 1 to 2 years of time to when they're in a certain segment, we're working together, I want that to be a time where it unlocks their career trajectory and makes them think about their career in a different way than they came in. I love it and I could tell from the way that you're talking about, you know leadership and values and everything that you've mentioned that you're in sas that you're also very well read. Um I'd love to just here. If if there's any books that you recommend you recommend to your team, you give out as gifts that you have found yourself rereading or read recently or uh in some way has has kind of shaped you. I'm curious if any come to top of mind. Yeah well so I'll go down different themes and categories. Some are personal habits and mindset. My honest opinion and this is funny if you read enough sales books you notice that like Chapter one and 2 are always about mindset and I've read enough sales books to where I feel like my natural thing to do is to skip that section but it took me enough time once I actually became a leader to what I actually realized mindset is the most important thing that unlocked all of these other skills. Um so personally I'm really interested in these books that are like call it what you will, whether it's like self improvement or you know, mindset books, Philosophy speaking my language. Yeah. So I do love the obstacles. The way Ryan Holliday is a really great writer, I love a lot of his work, Atomic habits by James Clear is a fantastic book that I'd recommend for every single person. Um I actually uh as a more like high level book I've been recommending GreenLight's by Matthew McConaughey...

...just because I actually think it's really good about Philosophy and thinking about how to approach the business. Um if I think about sales specific books I like the ones that are much more rooted in science and like neuroscience and a little bit more than why I do. Don't get me wrong there's some great, so people have sold for 20 years that have really great learnings but books that I usually recommend, the science of selling by David Ha Field um You know leadership books that I recommend are actually broader leadership books that I'd recommend is high output management by Andy Grove. Uh And then I also recommend um sales leadership by keith Rosen. That's a really great book about how to actually be a really great coach. Um So those are some high level ones. If I could think of ones that are more interesting that are in different categories all together that you can translate over 11 rings by Phil Jackson is awesome. Actually talks through how do you think about up leveling culture in different stages and phases and that's a new insight that I actually learned that there are so many sports people that are really great about doing that and there's a lot of translation into, into sports learnings that apply directly into sales. Um So that's a great book that I'd recommend. And then I actually um I really like this book, it's called uh Team of Teams by Stanley McChrystal. I just recently finished that one and it talks much more about the complexity of organizations and how do you actually have to rethink through, like how should you operate in different ways? That's great. That's a, that's a great list for folks, whether it's sales mindset, leadership related, I I am a firm believer as well, like if I took someone from scratch that had never sold anything before and was getting into that world, like I would read, you know, some of the mindset but like atomic habits, Ryan Holliday, some things like that mindset by carol Dweck before I would touch um you know how to, you know, never split the difference or challenger sale or gap selling or some of those kind of standard sales books. So I'm a firm agree with you there and there's a few that I haven't read from your list to that I need to check out. So yeah, I appreciate that. Well, you know, it's funny because it will never work that way. It actually turns out so James clear and atomic habits or maybe it's even just in his personal blog, he talks through these like three levels of mastery, so level number one is execution and that's where a lot of people who are new to a field, they need to focus because that's where they actually understand this, this second level, which is like the strategy piece and that's where the second people level of people should start focusing uh and then this third level is actually mindset and that's what you can actually start doing once you once you start to understand the fundamentals. Um so so it's actually apparently this natural progression of mastery and I actually think that it's funny, it takes, takes reading through a lot of those books first actually realize, oh that mindset chapter and every single one of those books is actually really valuable totally. And James Clear is is uh he's a genius. I'm like waiting for him to drop his next book whenever like, dude, let's get on to the next one atomic, which was great, what's next in the bank? Totally. That's why it's so valuable though, totally, totally true. Um so I know we're running up on time a little bit. The last thing I want to get into with you is just obviously we're here on the revenue collected podcast um that's actually how we met roughly a year ago, um so shout out to revenue collected for hooking that up, but I'd love to just hear any tips tricks like how you use it and how you network, like um you know, whether it's the slack community, whether it's a lot of one on one engagement, using the resources, whatever it might be. I'd love to just here, you know, how you, how you use the uh community. Yeah, I think the answer is b intentional. Um certainly I get busy at times when I, you know, ease off a little bit and don't focus...

...as much on the community, but when I actually do take the time to engage in the community, it's been insanely valuable. I've met people like you. Of course, I think one of the best things is that it actually there is this, it's almost like this badge and it's kind of how people who are interviewing and maybe a little antiquated, but they'll look at an MBA and it's like at least this baseline level if someone that has a growth mindset hasn't fundamentals and I, I think that's true of the revenue collective. I've certainly met a lot of leaders, certainly have gotten to interview a lot of people as well too. I am still hiring. So anyone in the revenue collective confined me. Uh, but I um, you know, I the where I found the most values in two areas. One is definitely in the black community and keeping an eye on where they're like, interesting questions to be able to help contribute. The other area where I found a lot of value is actually the air table directory and actually being a little bit more intentional about the people that I'm really interested in reaching out to and actually just going out and doing that and trying to learn from them. Uh, and oftentimes I think everyone's really receptive and I've actually gained some mentors throughout the process. So, um, you know, again, I I think it's just, it is how much you put in, like you get out of it, how much you put into it. Um, but if you put something into it, I think they really, it's valuable community. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. The power is in your fingertips and you just need to harness it. So, um, now and you've been, you've been generous with your time. I appreciate you sharing uh, so many great tips for people really at all stages of their career, all different types of companies. Um, you mentioned at the end there that you're hiring, so I'd love to get, let you give a little plug there for um where folks can connect with you if they want, if they want a job, but to, they want to learn from you. If they want to meet you. What's the best place for folks to reach out? Yeah. Find me on linkedin. Uh, you can email me personal email, it's my first name dot last name at gmail dot com. Whatever's easiest for you. Come find me. I'm very open to talk and talk about career pads. Where, where you know, wherever I can give some advice. I'm happy to help, awesome man, I appreciate you coming on. Well, yeah, good, good, catching up. All right. Thanks for listening to that episode. This was brought to you by Inside squared. Say goodbye to spreadsheet, forecasting and hello to Crm data, you can trust Inside Square delivers predictive deal scoring, unmatched visibility and inspection and advanced goal management for your entire team. Everything You need to take back control of the revenue process. That's it for me. You can make sure to add me on linkedin. My name is Tom Alamo. I work over at going way back next week with another episode. Till then get after it. Peace. See something. Say something. Mhm.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (230)