The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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, everybody T g. I am. Thank God it's Monday. Welcome back to the revenue collective podcast. I'm Tom Alaimo. This is the show where we help revenue leaders to up level their skills and find the strategies to take the next step in their career. I am happy to be with you today and excited to get into the podcast before we get into all the great content. I want to give a quick shout out to our sponsor. This month Sponsor is six cents six cents. The number one account engagement platform helps you identify accounts that are in market career solution. Prioritize your efforts, engage buyers the right way with highly relevant messaging and measure what actually matters. But the six cents platform. You're able to get into more deals. Improved win rates increase overall pipeline and optimized budget. Spend to learn more. Visit six cents dot com slash revenue. Collective for today's guest. Really excited. I got stolen vehicle. He is the head of commercial mid market sales at Asana. You've probably heard of them. They have had a meteoric rise in the last few years. Was that box before that and kicked off his correction in the record industry has got some great stories. And the main topic for today is how to up level and manage up in your career, whether you're reporting to a manager to the board, to the CEO or someone else. Uh, it's a really great soft skill that you need to learn in order to accelerate your career. So I had a great time chatting with knowledge, actually met him through the revenue collected last year. So, please, without further ado, I'm gonna get you straight into my conversation with knowledge. Enjoy. Uh, all right. Welcome to the revenue collective podcast. 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. A. That's right. It's actually much warmer here now than it is in San Francisco. So you'd be surprised. I think I would be jealous if you guys right now, but I'm actually not so jealous. Yeah, you 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. Totally. I think it's been a 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 with you today and and, you know, in a fairly short amount of time. So I want to just get straight on into it. You have a really interesting career art, 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, 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 like artists. The way that they actually would 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 it was just 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 around the funding, lost a round of funding, and I think I was at this point to where I learned a few things and one of the biggest things was, 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 my technical co founder, 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, 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 the basics of leadership. How do you recruit Retain lead top to your talent? So 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 of box where I had the opportunity of being one of the first aid is 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 you pick two for two so far in your career in terms of, like, 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 5.5 6 years and are already been in leadership for for quite some time. And now are, 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 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 is first, and then you dig into where you think is most interesting. I want to say the first thing is you know, my my background looks like it's probably like 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 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 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 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. 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...

...you know, 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 that makes sense. And it's the same case for your boss or maybe even your boss's boss, right? Like they they hired you, You know, they're keeping you on board. They are very much the red tape for you to continue to grow within the company, right? If they don't give you the nod, then it's gonna be really hard for you. So 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 failed 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 CEOs sent to their investors and you can just find them online. And you see this level of rigor and thought process that they think of their business. And I think 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. So, for example, let's say that you go to your boss and you say that like, Hey, I think that there's this, 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. 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 and or maybe talk about this in the next principle. But like 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 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 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. Number three is, uh, don't outsource your thinking to your boss and I think it's 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, and that will give you two things like one is 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 how they're trying to solve. The problem is the most coachable person I can think of. 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. 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 there's solution oriented that impacts the culture that impacts, like how you're actually able to go solve problems. 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 also goes back to How do you communicate? What are you communicating about? What are the problems that are actually going to try to solve, and are you even focusing on the right things? Any time you are 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. Have you ever heard of something called the canvas Strategy? No, I haven't. So, um, Ryan Holliday writes about it, and I think it's the obstacles the way, 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, not like I want to do my best job 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 maybe that's my leadership philosophy, and maybe it depends on one 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 going back to the communication? Let's say you get the priorities from your boss or your boss's boss. 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 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 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? It's also where you start thinking of like, this coaching plan. 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 and understanding like, Hey, what's the culture of the team, like, what's the sentiment of the team and where there are opportunities to grow? 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, 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 than 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 are 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 earlier in their career and trying to find those ways to level up and add value to, you know, different folks across leadership. 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 Sox world that will be listening to this that have different types of founders and different types of companies and different types of selling motions, and asana is pretty legendary for just having an amazing product being product lead, especially the first few years of the company, and then kind of developing that sales motion over time. So I'd love to hear your perspective on being a sales leader at a product lead company at you know who. One of the founders is 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 us on A 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 product like growth companies is actually pretty similar. So 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, 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 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, 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 the adoption the success that people have already had. And actually, I mean, it starts, really, if 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. The last season's made a lot of progress on that as well, too. And certainly it's been interesting here too. So 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 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 were helped to spearhead that. Yeah, 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 I'll even speak to slack of specific phases and talk to some specific examples of what they went through. 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 to 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 number 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. 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. So I think those types of conversations are really important, 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 as you understand your customer focus and where you want to go. And I think Dropbox, for example. There's a perfect example where 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 did want to make that move, so a lot of that was like, Hey, how do we start intentionally moving in that direction? 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, whereas on the on the other side of the spectrum, it's 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 perfect plug for Gong if you wanted to shout out to going. No, we're not. We're not here to plug on, 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 in 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. 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, Certainly go read them because they're very interesting. 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...

...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 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, let's put it for a second to culture and leadership, because again, you know, I think if there's a few things that stand out about asana, 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 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 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 Cassano's 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 the sauna takes culture more seriously than I've seen at other companies. You know Dustin 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 by product, 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. 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, 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. Certainly that's a really big pillar in a big focus for us to make sure that we think about a really diverse workforce and that that means in many different ways the way that I think about it as 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 people. And instead of looking at years of experience in terms of how the up level 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 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 in negotiations, so it just makes obvious sense that they'd want to collaborate because every single person wins. In that scenario, So I think that's the piece of culture that I talk about. That I think is really interesting. There's a ton of thought leadership...

...from Dustin and Justin that I'd highly recommend people read because there I don't know how to say that. 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. So the other piece about learning and development, I think that a lot of that again it comes from front line leadership. 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? 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 at Asana. Have you ever worked with an executive coach? I actually just hired one this year coming out of my own pocket. It's worth 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 very focused on the sales side of things. So I think it's for blind spots. I totally amazing for blind spots and like just self awareness and developing self awareness. That's like That's really cool that we have. But I think the other piece is, is 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 you know that they want and those are only because of the network that they built and that definitely happens. You know, you look at the PayPal Mafia is a perfect but 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. 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 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 two 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. 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 I actually 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. 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 leadership books that I recommend are actually broader leadership books that I'd recommend is high Output Management by Andy Grove. And then I also recommend sales Leadership By Keith Rosen. That's a really great book about how to actually be a really great coach. 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. So that's a great book that I recommend. And then I actually, I really like this book. It's called 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 like, that's a great list for folks. Whether it's sales mindset, leadership related. 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 some of the mindset, but like atomic habits. Ryan Holliday Some things like that mindset by Carol Dweck. Before I would touch, Never split the difference or Challenger sale or gaps 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 I appreciate that. Well, you know, it's funny because it will never work that way. It actually turns out. So, James clear an 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 second level, which is like the strategy piece. And that's where the second people level of people should start focusing. 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. 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 was 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 Like, Dude, let's get on to the next one. And Tom McAdams was great. What's next in the bank? Totally so valuable, though Totally, totally true. 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 collective podcast. That's actually how we met roughly a year ago, 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 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 hear how you how you use the, uh, community? Yeah, I think the answer is B intentional. 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 M B A. And it's like at least this baseline level if someone that has a growth mindset that has the fundamentals. And 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 confining, Uh, but, uh, 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, trying to learn from them and often times I think everyone's really receptive. And I've actually gained...

...some mentors throughout the process. So, you know, again, I I think it's just it is how much you put it like you get out of it, how much you put into it. But if you put something into it, I think valuable community. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. The power is in your fingertips, and you just need to harness it. So now and you've been you've been generous with your time. I appreciate you sharing 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 if 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. You can email me personal email. It's my first name dot Last name at gmail dot com or whatever is easiest for you. Come find me. I'm very open to talk and talk about career pads. You know, wherever I can give some advice, I'm happy to help. Awesome. And I appreciate you coming on. Yeah. Good catching up. All right. Thank you for checking out that episode. If you saw any value, please head over to Apple. Subscribe. Leave a five star review. That's what helps us to grow this show. If you'd like to connect with me, I'm Tom. A limo and linked in the work over It gone. And obviously record this podcast every Monday for you One last shout out to our sponsor. This episode was brought to you by six cents powered by AI and Predictive Analytics. Six cents helps you unite your entire revenue team with a shared set of data to achieve predictable revenue growth without further do. Are we back to you next Monday? Thank you for listening. Yet after this week, say something Mhm.

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