The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 2 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 Pavilionpodcast where revenue leaders come to learn the tips tricks and tactics thatthey need to be successful in their roles. I'm your host of, thank God it'smonday Tom Alaimo from Gang, Let's get after it today. Before we get to thisweek's episode, let's get a shout out to our sponsor. This episode is broughtto you by insight squared, advanced revenue analytics and forecasting fortoday's B two B organizations. Your revenue team wakes up every day withquestions, insights squared, gives you the data driven answers in real time.Get 350 out of the box reports and dashboards, self service, no code. Allright now let's get straight to our episode now linville, Good evening. Howyou 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'mactually not so jealous. Yeah, you, that's always like kind of a fun way tostart a podcast or sales calls for that matter in a pandemic because you neverknow where people are. You know, it's not necessarily where they're linked insays or anything like that. So it sounds like you've been kind of takingadvantage of the pandemic and being able to see family and you know, travelaround a little bit, yep, totally. I think it's been a mean, uniqueopportunity, certainly it's been a tough time for a lot of people, but thebest thing you can do is try to see the silver lining and things, so yeah, Imean it's been great, we had to Seattle in a few weeks so it'll be nice to beout there too, so just taken in the mountains and the scenery and thingslike that along the way. I love it, I love it. Well there's a lot of thingsthat I want to get into uh with you today and and you know, in a fairlyshort amount of time so I want to just get straight on into it. Um you have areally interesting career arc but really in the beginning of your careerI find to be really interesting, you know there's not a lot of sales execsthat I meet that started in the music industry um and I'm sure you stillprobably still have a strong passion for music. So you know, I see like youdid artist management at Runaway Grace, you were a founder and Ceo of BrickRoad music. Like could you tell me a little bit about the early days of yourcareer and what led you into, into the music world? Yeah, totally. I think forme when I left college I knew that I was interested in technology more sobecause I like this idea of building and building quickly and somethingabout tech was just super attractive for me in that. And I always had thisuh, like rosie eyeglasses of what it looked like to be an entrepreneur andthat was something that I was really interested in. And I'll be honest, Ifell into sales more so because I was just trying to do whatever it was toget into tech and naturally I think is their entry level. There's actually alot of opportunities for sales. So that's how I found myself first intosales. I think as I started doing sales, the most immediate thing that I wantedto 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 aday, three hours of talk time, you're not allowed to leave the office. So Iwas like, I need to figure this out so that, you know, I'm not getting 100 and50 knows a day I need one or two. Yes, is to be able to get me through it. Somy friend was actually in a band at the time and I said, hey, why don't you letme just start negotiating rates for you at different venues and basically justtreat 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 thinkwith the thing that actually gave me this really interesting light bulb wasyou looked at the local scene and it was just this really antiquated way ofmanaging reputations, both for venues and for artists. So like artists, theway 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? Andthen 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. AndI've heard horror stories from these guys saying like they'll share me thismixtape and then they come in and they literally play this mixtape and thenthey just like lip sync over that specific mixtape. So like is this likereally, really just like bad process in terms like how do you build thisreputation? And I think for me, I got into a situation where I think I was soexcited about this idea of being an entrepreneur that, you know, after Istarted building a little bit of demand, I said, hey, I want to, I want to goafter this and go after it full time. So I had actually gotten in touch withpeople are potential angel investors. They said I need to prove it in abigger market. That's what made me move from Denver out to Los Angeles andfocus on that for a year. Long story short, it unfortunately didn't work outtons of learnings along the way. But I mean to your point, I'm definitely verypassionate about the music industry, I do think that there's something tocrack there in terms of like where is their opportunity for a new businessmodel there, because it is definitely one where they're just so reliant onthis 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 kindof quit the entrepreneurial route? Was it just like, hey, we ran out of moneyor 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 umdefinitely ran out of money, got a round of funding, lost a round offunding and I think um I was at this point to where I learned a few thingsand one of the biggest things was it's especially when you think about yourcareer in your future, it's so important to surround yourself with thebest people and who you surround yourself with is the most importantthing where I fell short in the startup was how I selected uh my technical cofounder, uh and I honestly didn't know much about that at the time. The otherthing that it helped me understand was that I did want to be a leader and thatwas my long term goal and that was like my ultimate long term goal and Ibelieved after my experience in sales, that there are two things that I neededto do to be a really great leader. One was, how do you influence persuade, uharticulate 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 theother side it's uh you know, the basics of leadership, how do you recruitretain, lead top to your talent? So um I knew that sales is a reallyinteresting place for me to go and when I started thinking about myopportunities 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 bestleadership that I can find, so look for a great leadership, look for a placewhere I felt like I could be entrepreneurial because I knew that'swhat got me out of bed every single day and then I think this third piece waslike how do I accelerate a skill set of being a salesperson and being a greatsalesperson as quickly as possible. And I think Austin was this really uniqueopportunity because it was still this early stage scene, but a lot ofcompanies were starting to move out there and there's this unique timing atbox where I had the opportunity of being one of the first eighties outthere, I got to be a part of this founding team of the eighties and Iactually got to work the Austin territory as well too. So I got a lotof on site experience, I got a lot of opportunity to actually beentrepreneurial and learned from some of the best Aaron Levie is by far oneof 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 careerin terms of like, you know, amazing tech companies, you know, going frombox to Asana and and as I'm looking...

...through, right, like on your linked andit's like, all right, you've been, you know, you're doing things before, butyou've been in tech sales for, you know, 5.5, 6 years and are already um youknow, 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 likenow you're you're not even just a frontline manager anymore, you're, youknow, kind of that second or third tier. So like I'd love to hear more about how youwere able to develop your skill set and develop your career so quickly for forsome of the folks out there that uh you know know that they want to get intoleadership might not be there yet or are front line and and want toultimately get to a higher point? Yeah, there's a lot to unpack there, so letme try to be as like high level as possible as first and then you dig intowhere you think is most interesting, I want to say the first thing is uh youknow, my background looks like it's probably like uh this acceleratedjourney for me, but I think there are a lot of failures along the way and Ithink the most important thing that I can tell people is like what a realgrowth mindset is, the ability to take full accountability and ownership offailures and find what you can learn from those to make sure that thosetypes of failures don't happen again, like that's my opinion of where truegrowth comes from and you see so many sales people out there that everysingle 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 againversus 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 ofthe things that I learned from this was this idea of accountability andownership. The other thing that I actually learned that is not reallytaught at any place is like how do you number one? Like how do you think aboutselecting 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 youwant to go along this journey when you're at a company and how do you flexyour skill set? And I think um, one of the latter pieces, actually both ofthem, I think come from my learning and working my own startup becausebasically it's this idea of like you're working for an investor because it'sthis idea of when you go and join a company first, when you're vettingcompanies, think of yourself as the investor and you need to vet thiscompany is like, is this a place that I put my bed on because I'm spending alot of my life over a period of time, like just spending time purely at thatcompany 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 sixfigures my salary to go sell or go like prove that I can actually own thisbusiness. 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 someoneyou 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, Ithink is really interesting, but really like the key skills that you actuallylearn from, that's like, hey, how do you select the right companies? And thenumber two, it's almost this idea of like how do you manage up? And I thinkmanaging up is something that's not really taught by any, like any formaltraining in any way. And I actually think I actually really credit myfailures for that. Yeah. So tell me more about that. Let's talk about theart of managing up because to your point, I've had some privateconversations with folks, but I don't see it talked about or blogged aboutour podcast at about. So tell me how, because that makes sense. If someoneinvested money in your business, right? You're you are obligated and you wantto 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 yourboss'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 withinthe company, right? If if they don't give you the nod, then it's gonna bereally 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 themone by one and give you an example which one one is communicate early andoften like just over communicate. And that is something that a lot of peoplefail to do. And I think a lot of the reason is because people feel like theycrave autonomy and the way that they do that is to say, okay, I'm going to domy own thing and then I'll go into my one on one with my boss and then justassume that they know what to talk about. And I actually think a lot ofautonomy is bred by their confidence and knowing that you know what you'redoing. And a lot of that just comes from how do you actually just overcommunicate? The things you're focusing on, the things you're working on andthe updates along the way. It's, it's no different than these investorupdates that you actually see Ceo sent to their investors and you can justfind them online. You see this level of rigor and thought process that theythink of their business. And I think, um, you showing that you have thisability to take on that level of ownership is really important. So it'sjust 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 onelayer 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 thatthere's, there's, you know, I actually can't prospect, like I can't figure outhow to generate enough pipeline and that's all of it, that's like justleads so many different opportunities of where you can spend your time as amanager that like that person has to be like, okay, you're kind of asking me tohelp you solve that problem all on my own without like a leading process ofhow you thought through it yourself. If you actually go one layer deeper, youas a person will also get way more out of it, your skill development and theguidance from your manager is going to be a lot better from that of sayinglike, hey, I actually look at like not being able to prospect, and I actuallythink the biggest reason is I don't feel confident in these tools that I'musing, I don't know how to actually use outreach to its fullest. It is a prettycomplex tool, so it's very possible, but very powerful. Um so like beingable to do that gets you to this extra layer of a conversation that's so muchmore tactical and helps you grow so much more if you actually go this layerdeeper this root cause the problem, it's also this other idea for uh andI'll maybe talk about this in the next principle, but like, you know, a lot ofpeople when they think of being a leader, they say like, oh I just wantto go find problems and just go solve them right away and that's what ittakes to be a leader. And I think the the issue oftentimes when they'll go totheir boss and they say, hey, I'm ready for this leadership position and theleader will say like, hey, like I'm not seeing enough clear, like, you know, uhlike just clear like examples in terms of you being a leader and I think thatthat's as a result of like it's not thinking of the root cause of thatproblem 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 thinkit's uh taking that exact same scenario that I mentioned before and it's likepropose solutions, don't propose the problems and think through thosepotential solutions. Um and that will give you two things like one, it's thisautonomy idea, like a manager will look at that and be like, oh my God, thisperson actually really thought through exactly what they want to do and likehow they're trying to solve the problem is the most coachable person I canthink of. Uh the other thing is let's say that you're actually trying to gosolve a problem to try to prove yourself as a leader, You come up withthese solutions, you will immediately have the first right to go and try tosolve those problems. Like you'll immediately be the person that the bosswill start thinking of, of saying like I want to give this person moreresponsibility because they're actually thinking at that level deeper and theirsolution oriented, um that impacts the culture that impacts like how you'reactually able to go solve problems. Um I mean there's this level of criticalthinking that I think just up levels yourself as much as possible to Andthen my last one which I think is...

...really important and actually justladders into all these other ones, you should know your boss's priorities andtheir top three priorities specifically at any given time and you should knowhow you're contributing to those top three priorities. It's a reallyinteresting one because that also goes back to how do you communicate, whatare you communicating about? What are the problems that are actually going totry to tell And are you even focusing on the right things any time you'refocusing, you know, their top three priorities and how you're contributingto it? I promise you you will have the stories six months from now of likeyour 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 actuallyreally crucial and it's surprising how many people just have no idea whattheir bosses top three priorities are at any given time. Yeah, I think that is so good And itties to all those other things, right? Because all those other things, theextra communication, trying to solve the problems on your own things likethat 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 thatin order for you to progress, you want to clear the path for the people aheadof you or at least the person directly ahead of the right. And like the morethat you make that person look good, the more likely you know, they are tokind of bring you along with them, right? And, and and choose you as kindof the right hand person to do so with. So it just reminds me of that. Liketrying to know and maybe this is a dumb question, but how do you know, you justjust asking a one on one like, hey, um, not unlike, you know, I want to do mybest job. Um, and and keep in mind what you're focused on, Like what are thetop three things that you care about this quarter this year? Is it as simpleas that? I think it is. I think it's uh, sometimes it's, it's funny to just givethat 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 whattheir top three priorities are to their reps because ideally what a manager anda leader is trying to do is they're trying to set their goals andpriorities and they're trying to align their team to be able to execute onthose priorities as much as possible. So, um, maybe that's my leadershipphilosophy and maybe it depends on what leader from the next, but I would behonestly surprised if you ask, your boss is three priorities and they'renot willing to give it to you. Yeah. And do you, we're going back to thecommunication. Um let's say you get the priorities from your boss or yourboss'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 howyou're tracking towards some of those other goals and other things that mightbe outside of the obvious. Here's what I did for percentage of quota or someof the high level things you see in salesforce. Yeah. And I don't thinkthat this needs to be overly formal in terms of how this communication comesout, but I think um what's really helpful is understanding the otherpoint 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 aquarterly basis. The things that they need to know on a weekly basis are thedeals um like name the deals that matter, are you leveraging theresources and the team around you and then just what's changed in theprevious weekend? Why? Like, those are the simple things that you need on aweekly basis when you think about it on a monthly basis, you that's when youstart talking about like, hey, what's broken, like what needs fixing and likewhat are those problems that you want to help try to solve? Um This is alsowhere you start thinking of like this coaching plan, like are you actuallymaking progress on specific skills, like where you want to focus your timeand energy? And then I think when you think of Quarterly, that's when you getthis really good idea of performance? And I also think you get a really goodconversation around morale, um and like understanding like, hey what's theculture of the team, like what's the...

...sentiment of the team and like wheretheir 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 youhave different types of conversations. Um there is obviously, I think uh apoint to where maybe your incessant at some point of like having similar typesof conversations more important I think is the intent of those conversations uhthan like the contents and I think sometimes like the thing that you wantto be careful of is that the intent of your conversation is not only to beable to get the raise or to be able to get the promotion, the intent of theconversation is because you're curious, you actually want to get better and youwant to grow your skill set and you want to make sure that your bossbelieves that you are actually, you know, reaching your potential. Yeah, Ilove that. I think that's great advice for anyone that's listening, especiallyfolks that are, you know earlier in their career and trying to find thoseways 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 ofdifferent types of folks out there in the B two B and then the Saf's worldthat will be listening to this uh that have different types of founders anddifferent types of companies and different types of selling motions. Andasana is uh you know, pretty legendary uh for just having an amazing productbeing product lead, especially the first few years of the company and thenum kind of developing that sales motion over time. So I'd love to hear um, yourperspective 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 personhimself, 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'sreally interesting is that this product like growth model, I think it'srelatively new, but I actually think the journey for a lot of products likegrowth companies is actually pretty similar. So you know, Dropbox isprobably one of the earlier ones that come to mind at last season, certainlywas on that journey as well. And slack is one of the more recent ones whereyou see an acquisition of Salesforce is like a really successful outcome forthem. Um, and I think what generally happens is like your goal and thisshould be obvious goal is like, how do you be customer first and prove outthat you actually are providing real value to the customer and once you'reable to do that and like when you do that in mind, like a lot of this islike, how do you get the end users bought in and that they love it so muchthat it's actually something that goes viral in the organization um to wherethey want to share it with other people because it drives this obvious valueand at that point then the sales team can come in and they can actually tapinto 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 oftimes what you're doing is just directing people to answer thequestions that they need. And then over time it gradually increases to be alittle bit more complex. And realistically the goal is to movefurther upmarket, strategically close larger deals, you saw slack do thatreally, really well. Um last season's made a lot of progress on that as wellto. Um and certainly it's been interesting here too. So um I think uhI think it's a really interesting journey. I think some of the philosophyis a, from a sales perspective, when you look at it just makes a ton ofsense. It's like how do you actually build something that's really customerfirst and as a salesperson, it's so much more enjoyable because when youtalk to people, you know that they love it and it also opens up thisopportunity to help people actually try to prove out the value before they makethese massive purchases and investments, which is really not something that youcan do in a pure top down driven sales lead organization. Yeah, and I imaginethe flip of that is um that you know if it if it is more product lead thenthere might be a little bit of a delay in building out kind of like thatoutbound strategy because you can rely on the product going viral at a companyand you know end users really getting you know kind of attached to gettingsticky with them. So like how does one...

...um let's say if you know someonelistening 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? Isit different than doing it anywhere else? Like do you have any advice onnext? I know that you you were helped to spearhead that. Yeah um andcertainly it depends on the company that you're at and what is the profileof like who they work with, you know you can look at slack and you can see alot of the journey that they were on and the I'll even speak to slack ofspecific phases and talk to some specific examples of what they wentthrough um their their first phase and a lot of this as a salesperson is likewhat is the timing of when you're joining the first phase for slack waslike we just need to get the market coverage, we need enough salespeople tobe able to manage the leads that are coming in like that is the round numberone, the first phase of growth. It's a fun time for sure. Phase # two is likewhere do you start thinking of customer focus? That's really where thisconversation of I wouldn't even necessarily define it as outbound, Idefine it as being proactive. Uh that's really where that type of conversationcomes 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 thelong term results? I think every product lead company like you will lookat an enterprise C deal where you're getting the foot in the door as reallylong term beneficial for the company if you're able to prove adoption andgrowth. Um So I think those types of conversations are really important. Umand I'm not going to say it's one size fits all. You know, I think there'ssome companies that get so much growth that they don't necessarily even needto make this jump up market, but I think what's more more important is youunderstand your customer focus and where you want to go. Um and I thinkdropbox for example, there's a perfect example where, you know, they made atleast 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 thecase. So that conversation depends on a company basis slack and didn't want tomake that move. So a lot of that was like, hey, how do we startintentionally moving in that direction and that's an entire company decisionthat has to happen. Product development needs to move in that direction,marketing, uh the, you know, even the willingness to build a lot more crossfunctional teams, because moving further up market, it's much morerelationship oriented, it's much more coordination internally to actuallymake that happen. Um whereas on the, on the other side of the spectrum, it'swhat a lot less friction, it's much more transactional and it's very highvelocity, so there's a very fundamental difference and I think your goal is howdo you make that journey where then that's phase number three's then youstart thinking about how do we think about operational efficiency and that'swhere you start getting to this point of saying, okay, not only do I need tomake sure that we're focusing the right customers, we need to be reallyeffective and the narrative and the messaging and how we get in front ofthose people and that phase three is when you really start thinking aboutmaybe it's time to start building an SDR team, maybe a start at this timethat we start thinking about operational efficiency in terms of likeour sales execution specifically um perfect plug for gong if you wanted toshout out to going exactly now, we're not, we're not here to plug going, Butyeah, I appreciate the, appreciate the plug anytime. Call me people. Um, soyeah, I, I love that and I think there's some great examples like do youpersonally see this as kind of like the wave of the future? I mean there'sobviously named some huge names, whether we're talking about Asana orslack 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, 10years 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 thinkthat way, open view I think is the most popular one. If anyone who's listeningto 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 growththat they're experiencing, You look at a web flow for example and they're justgetting this massive traction and you know, starting to compete in a veryinteresting way and you know, I think both from, if you're a sales person andyou think of the companies that you're really interested in joining but thenalso as you think of how do you want to go attack a market and prove that youcan actually be hyper efficient once you start getting these large rounds ofinvestment, a lot of it just makes it just so much sense is just so much moreefficient versus, you know, you look at a lot of these sales lead companies andthere's so much percentage of revenue that is just going directly back intosales and marketing to be able to fuel this long term growth. So I think itmakes a lot of sense to be honest. Yeah. And can we, let's put it for a secondto um, you know, culture and leadership? Because again, you know, I think ifthere's a few things that stand out about Asana, um, you know, one is thegreat product and the product led growth and I think another one is theculture. Uh, it's a pretty legendary culture. Um, in terms of, you know, not only being somewherewhere people love to work, but really having an emphasis on the growthmindset that you mentioned earlier. Um, you know, investing in, you know, thecoaching and development and training of the employees. So I'd love you totalk about a little bit about that if people aren't familiar with, um, asaunas approach on that or even your personal approach on that. And like theemphasis of having a growth mindset and training and developing your employeestotally. I'll speak to a little bit of both. I've definitely been reallyfortunate to learn from some of the best leadership that I've gotten towork with and asana takes culture uh more seriously than I've seen at othercompanies. Um you know, Justin and Justin are co founders, the way thatthey frame culture is treating culture like a product and by that it means youhave to think about it very intentionally in terms of how youactually want to evolve the culture, it's not something that is just a byproduct and you see a lot of companies when they think of culture and greatGlassdoor reviews, that is something that is just a byproduct. Um and for usit's something that's very intentional in terms of the direction that we wantto go in, if I could think of the most important aspect of what creates a culture, Ithink it's hiring and I think hiring is by far the most important lever tounderstand what the future of the culture will look like. Uh that makesobvious sense in a lot of ways when you think about it, when, you know, ifyou'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 weapproach it in a lot of different ways. One of the biggest approaches for us, Ithink is this idea of diversity inclusion. Um certainly that's a reallybig pillar in a big focus for us to make sure that we think about a reallydiverse workforce. Um and that that means in many different ways, uh theway that I think about it as you know, even just our sales team specificallyone thing that I think is really interesting for us is like the way thatwe 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? AndI think that's actually a very important distinction and a shiftbecause for us we'll look at uh you know, people and instead of looking atyears of experience in terms of how the up level, like do they fit that profilespecifically? We'll be very competency focused, but we'll also have to leavethis conversation being are being able to articulate the skill that thisperson has that we think would up level the rest of the team. And I think ifyou actually surround yourself by those people and like that just exponentiallygrows to this point to where you join a mid market team, every single personaround you actually has a unique skill...

...set in terms of what they provide indifferent backgrounds. And uh it just naturally creates this reallycollaborative culture where it's very obvious that the sum is greater thanits parts, you know, like some person might be better at out bounding theother person might be much better at negotiations. So it just makes obvioussense that they'd want to collaborate because every single person wins inthat scenario. Um So so I think that's the piece of culture that I'd I'd talkabout that I think is really interesting. Um There's a ton ofthought leadership from Dustin and Justin that that I highly recommendpeople read because um they are, I don't know how to say it, they're justvery they think about it so critically in a way that that I continually learnevery time that they write about it and they put a lot of intention and they'rewriting about about culture. Um So the other piece about learning anddevelopment, I think that a lot of that, again it comes from front lineleadership. Um I actually think a lot of that is like hey how do youintentionally understand where you want people to grow and like what their owngoals are and how you're able to actually get people to those goals. UmCertainly we have a lot of company resources that I think are reallyunique. One thing that's really cool is we have executive coaching resourcesfor 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'samazing, it's worked out of pocket to because it just really helps youclarify and articulate your own goals and it helps you work on these softskills that you might not learn from your manager who's like very focused onthe sales side of things. So I think it's for blind spots, totally amazingfor 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 piecesis you know, how do you actually like think of the vision in terms of likewhat do you want this team to look like a few years from now? And I think mypersonal vision is like I think there are a few things I want this to be ateam that has a network that is as a result of Asana like Has a network forthe 10 future jobs after Asana that uh you know that they want and those areonly 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 umbut like I think that's one piece, but I think the other pieces, like if Ithink 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 careertrajectory and makes them think about their career in a different way thanthey came in. I love it and I could tell from the way that you're talkingabout, you know leadership and values and everything that you've mentionedthat you're in sas that you're also very well read. Um I'd love to justhere. 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 readrecently or uh in some way has has kind of shaped you. I'm curious if any cometo 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 ifyou read enough sales books you notice that like Chapter one and 2 are alwaysabout mindset and I've read enough sales books to where I feel like mynatural thing to do is to skip that section but it took me enough time onceI actually became a leader to what I actually realized mindset is the mostimportant thing that unlocked all of these other skills. Um so personallyI'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, Philosophyspeaking my language. Yeah. So I do love the obstacles. The way RyanHolliday is a really great writer, I love a lot of his work, Atomic habitsby 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 recommendingGreenLight's by Matthew McConaughey...

...just because I actually think it'sreally good about Philosophy and thinking about how to approach thebusiness. Um if I think about sales specific books I like the ones that aremuch more rooted in science and like neuroscience and a little bit more thanwhy I do. Don't get me wrong there's some great, so people have sold for 20years that have really great learnings but books that I usually recommend, thescience of selling by David Ha Field um You know leadership books that Irecommend are actually broader leadership books that I'd recommend ishigh output management by Andy Grove. Uh And then I also recommend um salesleadership by keith Rosen. That's a really great book about how to actuallybe a really great coach. Um So those are some high level ones. If I couldthink of ones that are more interesting that are in different categories alltogether that you can translate over 11 rings by Phil Jackson is awesome.Actually talks through how do you think about up leveling culture in differentstages and phases and that's a new insight that I actually learned thatthere are so many sports people that are really great about doing that andthere's a lot of translation into, into sports learnings that apply directlyinto sales. Um So that's a great book that I'd recommend. And then I actuallyum 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 complexityof organizations and how do you actually have to rethink through, likehow should you operate in different ways? That's great. That's a, that's a greatlist for folks, whether it's sales mindset, leadership related, I I am afirm believer as well, like if I took someone from scratch that had neversold anything before and was getting into that world, like I would read, youknow, some of the mindset but like atomic habits, Ryan Holliday, somethings 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 someof those kind of standard sales books. So I'm a firm agree with you there andthere'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 neverwork that way. It actually turns out so James clear and atomic habits or maybeit's even just in his personal blog, he talks through these like three levelsof mastery, so level number one is execution and that's where a lot ofpeople who are new to a field, they need to focus because that's where theyactually understand this, this second level, which is like the strategy pieceand that's where the second people level of people should start focusinguh and then this third level is actually mindset and that's what youcan actually start doing once you once you start to understand thefundamentals. Um so so it's actually apparently this natural progression ofmastery and I actually think that it's funny, it takes, takes reading througha lot of those books first actually realize, oh that mindset chapter andevery single one of those books is actually really valuable totally. AndJames Clear is is uh he's a genius. I'm like waiting for him to drop his nextbook 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 therevenue 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 tojust hear any tips tricks like how you use it and how you network, like um youknow, whether it's the slack community, whether it's a lot of one on oneengagement, using the resources, whatever it might be. I'd love to justhere, you know, how you, how you use the uh community. Yeah, I think theanswer 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 Iactually do take the time to engage in the community, it's been insanelyvaluable. I've met people like you. Of course, I think one of the best thingsis that it actually there is this, it's almost like this badge and it's kind ofhow people who are interviewing and maybe a little antiquated, but they'lllook at an MBA and it's like at least this baseline level if someone that hasa growth mindset hasn't fundamentals and I, I think that's true of therevenue collective. I've certainly met a lot of leaders, certainly have gottento interview a lot of people as well too. I am still hiring. So anyone inthe revenue collective confined me. Uh, but I um, you know, I the where I foundthe most values in two areas. One is definitely in the black community andkeeping an eye on where they're like, interesting questions to be able tohelp contribute. The other area where I found a lot of value is actually theair table directory and actually being a little bit more intentional about thepeople that I'm really interested in reaching out to and actually just goingout and doing that and trying to learn from them. Uh, and oftentimes I thinkeveryone's really receptive and I've actually gained some mentors throughoutthe process. So, um, you know, again, I I think it's just, it is how much youput in, like you get out of it, how much you put into it. Um, but if youput 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 toharness it. So, um, now and you've been, you've been generous with your time. Iappreciate you sharing uh, so many great tips for people really at allstages of their career, all different types of companies. Um, you mentionedat the end there that you're hiring, so I'd love to get, let you give a littleplug there for um where folks can connect with you if they want, if theywant 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 atgmail dot com. Whatever's easiest for you. Come find me. I'm very open totalk and talk about career pads. Where, where you know, wherever I can givesome 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 thatepisode. This was brought to you by Inside squared. Say goodbye tospreadsheet, forecasting and hello to Crm data, you can trust Inside Squaredelivers predictive deal scoring, unmatched visibility and inspection andadvanced goal management for your entire team. Everything You need totake back control of the revenue process. That's it for me. You can makesure to add me on linkedin. My name is Tom Alamo. I work over at going wayback next week with another episode. Till then get after it. Peace. Seesomething. Say something. Mhm.

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