The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 42: People-First Leadership with Stephanie Valenti

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

People-First Leadership with Stephanie Valenti

...away, right? Welcome to another episode of the revenue Collective podcast. This is your host, Tom. A lame O T G. I am. Thank God it's Monday. Really excited to have you all listening. Appreciate you tuning in. Got a great episode today with Stephanie Valenti, who is the CEO of Loft Wall. We had a great conversation, and a lot of it stems from people first leadership, right? That's something that Stephanie embraces, something that she approaches in her day to day and has really used to help her excel in her career. So we get deep. I mean, we talk about the story of Stephanie starting off her career in sales. She had some interesting, unexpected life. Circumstances will call it that at 19 or 20 years old, I got her into sales that got her hustling and working hard. She's worked up the ranks she spent, you know, a few decades in sales and being successful there, newly minted in the C suite as a CEO at Loft Wall as of last year. So we have a great perspective of her on. You know what it means to get into the C suite? What it means to get more into the operations role from sales and and driving revenue on then obviously, leading folks for about leading during a very challenging times. I think you're gonna love this episode. Her personality breaks through. She's very uplifting, positive, inspiring. We get tactical in it. So I think you're really going to enjoy this episode. Or at least I hope you will before we get into it. Wanted to a quick word from our sponsor this month. Sponsor six cents. Six cents is the number one account engagement platform, which helps you identify accounts that are in market for your solution. Prioritize your efforts. Engage buyers the right way with highly relevant messaging and measure what actually matters. With six cents platform, you're able to get into deals improve when rates increase overall pipeline and optimize budget. Spend toe. Learn more. You can visit six cents dot com slash revenue collected. You could also support this podcast by heading over to Apple Apple podcast and subscribing and just leaving a quick review. It'll take you about 60 seconds. You leave a five star review. That's what helps us grow. This show helps us get better. Guess it helps us to provide really a better service for all of you while we're getting after it and, uh, trying to provide as much value as possible. So I would really appreciate it if you support our sponsors, support us on the podcast, and make sure to hit me up. If you have any questions. Thoughts I'd love to hear from you. I'm Tom Alaimo unlinked in Feel free to reach out without further ado, Let me get into my conversation with Stephanie Valenti. All right. Stephanie Valenti, CEO of lock. Well, welcome to the revenue collective podcast. Thank you. Thank you so much. Glad to be here. Yeah. How's how's It's a Friday morning. How's your Friday morning going down in Dallas. Friday morning is off to a good start. Got my January, uh, run in. So I've been trying to do that. So off with a good run this morning and here in the office, uh, in Grand Prairie, Texas. Nice. How do you have, like, a running goal that you have for 2021 or you're trying to get into it a little bit more? What? Yeah, yeah. You know, I've put my, um, my career in my kiddos in my family, I generally put everything before myself. And so this was the year. I'm gonna be 40 next year. And so I'm like, I'm going to get in shape this year. So I have a Palestine treadmill, and I'm making sure that I do that at least four times a week and pushing it for the morning. So I have no excuses. Hell, yeah. I love that. I love that. You gotta You gotta Teoh. You gotta put yourself first, right, Philip? Your own cup so you can fill up others. I love it. Absolutely. So you hit in the four weeks so far not to put you on the spot, but yeah. Yeah. So I'm...

I've hit. I've hit every week. So far, I haven't made made any concessions. I I actually, you know, I got a apple watch for Christmas and my boss I made the really bad idea of, like, you know, it says, Hey, you wanna compete against this person? And I'm like, all right, You know, I'm competitive and competed, and I realized that he's sneaky, right? So there was a while when we were I was doing two a days and then I go to bed and I'm like I totally one. And he'd get up at, like, 11. 30 and make sure that he beat my points, so I will. I will not do that again. That was miserable for both of us, but yeah, yeah, I'm still on track, which has got 30 days and e love it. I love it. That's great. That's great. So you're coming into, you know, 2021 Just, you know, in looking at some of your background. And I know that your c 00 Today, but coming in with, you know, 15 or so years of sales experience, and that's the space I'm in. That's where I'm comfortable. That's you know where I'm focusing my career right now. So I'd love to hear you talk a little bit about, you know, the earlier days of your career and what brought you into sales coming out of college. If it was something that you knew you wanted to do, like maybe the minority of people or maybe more likely, that it was something that you just kind of got into for one reason or another and stuck with it and enjoyed it and and were successful with it. Yeah, so I've got a little bit of a crazy story. Had a crazy story. Yeah, it's a little bit of a crazy story. So, um, you know, had planned Thio go to school to be a doctor. I wanted to be a pediatrician. I wanted Thio specialize in Children with autism and down's syndrome and decided that having a baby was a better idea. So I got pregnant really early, and, um, you know, So at 19, I I had a baby and I worked three jobs and went to school and and earned myself, you know, some badges of grit and got into restaurant because it was the easiest thing for me to get into, right? I could work at night, go to school during the day. And so what started to happen in that early point of my career is, um I was every little job that I took. I'm like, I want to get to the next thing and found I was really competitive and really wanted to succeed, get rewarded for that success, and then move on to the next thing. Right? So in restaurant, I did that. I was a server, and then I'm like, Okay, I want to be elite, And then I want to be a bartender. And then I was a manager, and then I was an area general manager, And then they moved me to a corporate office. And so, like, I realized that the age of 25 when I was at the corporate office and I had already been, you know, a general manager of a 10,000 square foot restaurant. Someone looked at me and they're like, stuff like, You gotta go. Just being sales. Like you've got too much drive, you've got, you know, too much passion for success. And and you work hard. So just go give it a try. And so, you know, I started to try to sell these, like, you know, do the more be to see, like, I'm going to try to scale like skincare stuff. Didn't have a large passion for that. I got sucked into the car sales thing for a second and did it for a month. Bond. Um, I don't I don't necessarily recommend it for for myself, but But I did really, really well like because I realized Oh, well, if I just work a couple extra hours or get there early on, get the people that are coming in the front door. Well, then I'm gonna win. And so that's what gave me my bug. And I posted my resume and Staples business advantage picked me up. So and if people don't know what that is, it's more of that B two b division of Staples. So actually, not all that different from SAS. It's very much like you have inside sales outside sales. There's business development, account management, lots of your own legion. So and not very much technology to help...

...you along the way back then. But that was my journey into sales for the first time. Dang. So let me take that a step back, because that is a That's a crazy story. So, um so at 19, when that happened, I mean, you must have been you must have been scared first, right? Or, like Oh, yeah, yeah. I was a complete goody goody like great grades, cheerleading student council, like, super good girl with all the plans in the world. And yeah, I mean, you I I had a fork in the road and I have decisions to make. And, um and yeah, I decided You know what? I could do this. And and so I went for it. Hm. So all at the same time, you have your first child and you're in school, and you're doing all those jobs. Is that all happened? Happening simultaneously? Is that what I just got? Yeah. Eso That's just the That's just I mean, that's insane. Hustle and passionate and just ambition to make it work, no matter what's in front of you. Absolutely. Yeah. And I didn't mention this is like the icing on the cake. I don't know how I couldn't have said that. I was also a karaoke deejay at night. Really? Karaoke deejay at night. What was that like? It's exactly what you think. It's like, right, Like U s. So I I get up at seven, and I'd, you know, work and then go to school and then work again and go to bed at, like, three in the morning and then do it again. Damn. And you just that was just That was the life. The day in the life of Ah, Stephanie Valenti. Back in the day, that was a day in the life of a Stephanie Valenti here, man. And I mean nowadays, it's like, whatever you're doing, whenever you're confronted with a problem or a big project or whatever it might be, I mean, do you just think back to those days and you're like, Oh, this is nothing like parents for that. I mean, absolutely, Yeah. I mean, you know, I learned to juggle and balance Ah, whole lot really early on. And so nothing hard work isn't scary, right? If I want something, I'm going to go get it. And I think, you know, I mentioned on the annual kickoff. It's for me. It was all about just not having fear and constantly taking risk and jumping in and saying, You know what? I may not know how to do this today, but I'm gonna jump in. I'm gonna work harder, thin the people around me, and I'm gonna figure it out so that I can perfect it. And I tried to maintain that mentality from that, you know, distress that I had early on throughout my career. Now, with when you're thinking about the early days of of your sales career, the first you know the first few jobs that you had. And then as you get into staples, like was it that you just made more calls and mawr emails? And maybe at that time, you know, knocked on more doors or however you are generating business and you just outworked people? Or do you think there was a particular characteristic that helped you to stand out? Because I think there's so many great. There's so many things that can make a salesperson great. Everyone has their own unique style. Some curious What? What? That was for you. Yeah, that's a good question. And I haven't had the opportunity to talk about this in a really long time. I would say that you nailed it on the first one, right. You have to have good work ethic. You have to be hungry. And you have to want to be successful, right? You can't teach that one that was there from my from my early time. And so, yes, I think that that was important. I think the other pieces you can probably tell just being on this podcast with me. I have high energy, right? So very animated. Lots of personality and just sincerely love people like I enjoy getting to know people. And so that curiosity comes out as well. And I think that's also a piece of what makes any salesperson successful is having the ability to be really curious and...

...truly care about what people are thinking across from you. I'd say the other piece is I had a great first time sales manager like a really, really good first time sales manager. He was super hard on me at the time. I was very frustrated with him often. But when I look back, I like there is no way I would have been ableto have the success that I did if it wasn't for that person. Yeah. How crucial is that? Because so many sales managers, maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Ah, lot of sales manager Steel. And, um, I was a bad sales manager like I had my first foray into sales management, you know, two years ago and there was no training, and so I'm thinking like, Hey, we're just gonna go out here and we're just I'm just gonna coach these people had to sell deals, and we're gonna be closing deals all the time. And that's just not That's just not it. Like there's so many other things that you have to dio the interpersonal relationships and, you know, trying to work with people and trying toe focus on what each individual wants and their goals and their personalities and all these different things that it's It's a hard job and people don't really get trained. So I think having a good versus a terrible sales manager can totally change the experience of you as a salesperson and whether or not you're successful or whether or not you even stick with it or don't yeah, absolutely. And I It's crucial, You know, I've had I've managed a good amount of sales managers throughout my career at this point. And if you do not dedicate the time and the not only just the skill like the actual I call it art and science, right, So in sales you have your art, which is your your cadence and your flow and your ability to learn how to close and overcome objections and make sure you're controlling the meeting and asking really insightful questions, right? That's the art. The science side of it is your will. It's the metrics, right? It's your how many calls are you making? And if the sales manager doesn't know how to educate the sales reps on the balance of both, then it doesn't work right. And usually what happens is they get pretty good at their art and they don't have the will or they suck it the art. And they have all the will in the world, and the sales manager has too many heads underneath them. And they don't know how to get everybody on that same playing field and customize their coaching message to fit what is needed in front of them. And so you know, it's a hard gig, and there's not a great program out there for sales management like to go through if you're not in a big organization. And today, in the world of start ups and tons of sass, and you know new companies coming out of everywhere, they don't have the money to invest. And so you have first time sales managers managing first time sales people, and it's a recipe for just just disaster, right, whereas with Staples and I feel lucky for this is they were very established back then. They were like, Ah, Fortune 100. It was a B two B machine. And so you went away to sales training, right? You call away on your first corporate trip, they put you through a week full of class and role playing in process training and like, scripts and you name it like it was in front of you and then you get back in your manager at a checklist. So it was just It was a lot of structure and a lot of process that helped us get toe where we needed to be. Yeah, I'm grateful for my first sales experience with similar. We had six weeks of just dedicated training, like all day long, like in a classroom about how to sell. And, you know, the market that we were in and all the basics, all the fundamentals. And, um, yeah, I learned some that even when I was doing cut coast sales where they teach at a cold call in that type of stuff too. So I think again, having that that that baseline is fundamental on the topic of leadership, you know, in your headline on linked in you call out people first...

...leadership. So I'd love to hear your take on that. And, you know, kind of what your philosophy is as a leader. Yeah. You know, the tagline is is difficult because it's so broad, right? People first. What does that mean? I think people first leadership means something. Ah, little different in every role that you're in, which makes it so unique to have the ability to actually execute upon it. And so, you know, I think back Thio Ah, leader that I had that taught me just the importance of people and how they feel and leading the person and not the head count. And today I think I implement the majority of what that person who shared with me. And it was just like at the end of the day, if you strip a step away the title and you strip away the job duties, you're talking to a person across from you, a person that has struggles in life, a person that has individual goals that don't relate back toe work. Ah, person that's maybe taking care of their mom at home. Ah, person that had a really difficult upbringing. And so when you think about your message across the table? Always think about and take. Don't take for granted like what is sitting across from you and so like when I lead today and I have my one on ones and I train people on how to make sure that we're leading with empathy, empathy and now the words sympathies running around and authenticity and like being riel, it's about just getting to know that person and understanding and taking a deep breath, especially if there's something frustrating going on at work that, hey, you don't know what's going on with this person's life. Always ask questions, going back to always being curious and making sure that you truly understand the person and the motivation behind the actions before you jump into assumptions. And so long way to explain that. But and it's a hard thing to explain, I think right, like it z just focusing its just focusing on the people and who they are and leading them and the way that they need to be led. It's that, yeah, How does vulnerability play into that, if at all? Yeah. Oh, gosh. I mean, it's I think when we talk about you know, managing people. It's also the person that's delivering. You know, the one on one. It's the manager. And if the manager can't show their own vulnerabilities, why the heck is the person sitting across from you going to show it? You know, I It's funny, I think of one on ones and sales sales, leadership in sales management, as as almost the way that you're trained to be in your first sales call, right? You're trained to build report and then you're trained. Thio break down a wall, right? So ask easy questions, get people comfortable, be invested in them, and then then you get to the meat of the conversation. And so, from a vulnerability standpoint, like if I'm not going to sit across the way and say, Hey, guess what? I was a really crappy sales manager the first time I was a sales manager. It's okay to fail. I'm here to help you. I'm showing now vulnerability, and they feel like they could do the same back. And so I think that's relevant in a daily, you know, practice for any leader, any salesperson, any, you know, front desk receptionist, any labor worker in a plant like you've got to be able to raise your hand and say you don't know so that the associates feel as though they could do that, too. Yeah, I think that's I think that's amazing advice. How do you keep that top of mine when you have, You know, the board or the CEO or whoever you know, breathing down your neck? Hey, we gotta hit this number. You know where we have with this forecast, you know, talking about, you know, deals that are following through or this rep isn't good or what's going on over here. And there's all this pressure and I've never been a VP of sales. I've never been a CEO, but...

I could just imagine that there's a lot of pressure tied to that. And when you feel pressure, it's It's kind of harder to see that human side. It's harder toe take the extra 15 minutes thio, build the report or have that conversation. So is that a challenge for you at all? Like balancing and we've got all these goals to hit. But also I know that the way to get there and the way to build a great company on team is to show that vulnerability and to build trust with people free. Gosh, it sure used to be. You know, I think that I had a good amount of practice In my first s VP role. There was a ton of pressure. There were a ton of things coming at me from different angles. And there were times where I got myself really stressed out and very frustrated and said or did things that I definitely would never dio now knowing how to manage my emotional side a little bit more. But yeah, I think vulnerability actually helps the message. So if you think about it, go back to you saying like, Hey, you know, where's the forecast and and why aren't we hitting metrics and why aren't we, you know, having the opportunity Thio pass even a goals this month and then think about how you communicate that down two layers. If you show vulnerability even in those meetings it will take. Sometimes it's It's very hard for the CFO across the table to be like, Oh, it's fine to be vulnerable, but after you do it for a while, they get used to it. But if you have the opportunity to say, Hey, listen, like here the circumstances that I see I think that we need to get better in this area as a team and you make it a statement that relates to the entire group. And then that message trickles down of Hey, guys, I know this is hard, but here the goals we signed up for and here's how we're gonna work together to achieve them. Then you have the opportunity to show that you're a part of that team, that you're a part of that vulnerability and that you're gonna work hard with them to get there. And so you know, it's it's at first again. It was like, Oh, gosh, like you guys are doing what you need to do And it's a metric call, right? But it very much can turn into a teamwork, a team building and an opportunity for vulnerabilities across the board. Man, I love that. How do you How do you instill that type of mentality and the other leaders that work under you? Do people just get bought in from working with you for a while? Do you vet that out in an interview process? If you're bringing someone in from the outside, like, how do you make sure that, you know, people under you are not, You know, taking away from that mentality and being the quote unquote bad sales manager that we were talking about before? Yeah, you know, it's amazing when you allow someone to be vulnerable and you share vulnerabilities, they generally take it. So it's almost like the leading by example. Right? So picture, if you come into my office and you're like, you know, I'm hitting this and I'm hitting this, but I'm not hitting this metric, But here's my plan to do it and I go and I respond to you and say, Hey, like, gosh, I'm sorry you're not hitting that metric. You know, there have been plenty of times, and my sales career is the first time sales manager that I really, you know, didn't get things done. And it's okay. How can we work together to figure out how to do it? Your stress and tension and face is gonna, you know, release right. And you're going to relax and you're gonna feel like it's okay to fail, and you're gonna be OK talking to me about that. And so it's not as much by in as it's making it okay, right? I think that's That's for that vulnerability side. I think the other side is you cannot Ah, lot of people expect sales managers to just know what to dio, and they do not. Management's hard leaderships hard. I find very much so that people don't even explain the difference between management and leadership to a first time people care leader. And so it's like the basics get...

...missed and they go straight. Thio. Here's how you calculate forecast. Here's how you make sure that you're training them on the sales side. But what about the people management side? And what about the people leadership side? And that just does not get generally taught? You're you're given more responsibility, but you're not taught how to deal with that. I love that. I wanna switch gears a little bit because you got, you know, a new role, what about six months ago or so at some point last year and made it into the C suite. So congrats. First of all, congrats on that. I'm curious as a naive salesperson early in his career. What's the difference. Like, do you feel a difference in these first six months between being the CEO, having the sea in front of your title versus being a VP or an SPP in some of the world's you've had in the past? Yes. Exposure to quite a bit more than what I had exposure Thio at the S V P level. You know, I I feel like I can be incredibly proactive. For the first time in my career in general, I don't have a lot of reactive approaches, which has been really nice. I'm leading departments that I actually have no idea how to do their job, which was which was really, um, it first intimidating, right? Like I'm leading the finance Department. I came up in sales. So you have to know that I am not a finance guru, right? Like that generally doesn't go hand again. Eso It's It's been really interesting to realize. Okay, I don't know what you dio, but gosh, I've learned how to lead and I know how to hold people accountable. And I know how to get people motivated. And so do I have to know everything about their job anymore. And I realized that the answer is no, I don't right. I get to just truly lead and help them solve problems. And that's been a lot of fun. In the SBP role, I was head of sales, so I was at the executive table. But it was still a very, very different general feel than the role I'm in today for sure. So how do you come into that? Those different departments, right? And obviously you have a lot of experience, a lot of success, you know, high tenure. But you you don't know how to do the job of some of the people that you're managing. Like how do you How does that work? You know, like, how do you make sure that you're giving the right guidance to folks and maybe get educated more on the finance world? Or, you know, different parts of operations that maybe you weren't exposed to, like, how do you fill in those gaps? Yeah, you know, it's funny. Just this week I finished a Lincoln learning on 66 Sigma, and so that was fun. I didn't think that I would be taking that in my life, but I'm an executive sponsor now. for six Sigma projects, so I need to know at least the basics and understanding. So I do stuff like that all the time. I read a lot. I make sure that I understand, you know, specific processes and and especially in the HR department that I'm leading like I'm I'm reading an article every day, right on what are the new laws and what are the things that we need to be cognizant of? And so you know, I'm doing that. I'd say more than that. It's, it's let's go back to the roots of everything that I've learned. And it's curiosity, right? It's asking a lot of questions. It's evaluating my talent and finding out where they are and where they're holes in their development. And it's the whole in the development is specific to their their department. Then I'm gonna have to figure out either a how to lean on other people. To gain that knowledge. I'm gonna have to gain it myself, or I'm going to invest in that person s so that they can go get what they need from another, and that's happened right...

...like that. That stuff is going to continue to happen but But leading like an understanding problems and leading directors and VP s and S V. P s, you know, is you got a lot of smart people with a lot of tenure, and most of the time they just need the confidence to make the decision. And that's my main job is to help them solve their problems, you know, help them with their people problems, which at the at the end of the day, we're all eating people and help them build confidence and the decisions that they're making. You mentioned that you read a lot, and I'm not sure if that's just, you know, industry news and things like that. If it's also books. But But if it is books, I'd be curious if there's any of that you have had a major impact on you or any of that. You suggest to other folks or, you know, gift to other people that, you know you think is a very valuable book for people to read if they're coming up in whether it be sales or leadership or just more life related. Yeah, I am a super fan of the lunch Yoni books. I I I've been to his unconfident. I have had the individual sessions hosted by the table group, and so I am a super fan there. I read all of Patrick Lynch, Joni's books often and over again. I think that, you know, that's something that I brought into the organization. And now here Loft Wall was like, Okay, we had this rapid growth. It's time for some really good, just healthy organizational structure. And, man, does Patrick Lynch Eonni have some really good, just foundational things that are important? I would say, like for any first time executive or first time you know, VP, that's looking to really understand organizational health. The advantage is pretty phenomenal. Is there one of his books in particular, or just You can't go wrong across the board. Yeah, it's actually that. So it's called the Advantage. Yeah, it is a it's kind of I think it's like five of his books summarized and put into one. So it's everything from you know what Your meeting cadence should look like how to build teams and trust within your organization. But Thio, your thematic goal as an organization and your rally cry, and the importance of the pillars that support that goal. And so it's really good, and it gives you a feel of who he is now. It's not as fun as some of his other ones because he writes in Fable, which is another reason I think I love it, because it's just so easy to relate to the characters. But, yeah, the advantage is a really good one. Um, Thio, invest some time and I love it. I love it. And you mentioned lost while obviously, that's a new role that you took last year. And that's an interesting business to get in during Cove it right? Like trying Teoh. You know, I guess kind of like safely separate people, whether it's in, you know, in office, environment or health care, whatever it might be. So I'd love to hear you talk a little bit about the decision to go there and why you made that move and a little bit of what you folks are up to right now. Yeah, Yeah. So, yeah, making a move in the middle of pandemic is an incredibly stressful And I know a lot of people have had to go through that. You know, I I took a long hard Look at what I was doing at the time, and I had at just to go back a little bit at very very desk, you know, come came on toe 40 inbound sales people and really had the opportunity Thio build a B two b organization from scratch and on my own. And, man, do I wish Revenue Collective was around for me back then because I would have eaten that up because I was on an island on my own and I built the entire thing and it was amazing and it ended up being 200 people in 100 inside and 100 outside and, you know, across the country and worldwide, even in Australia. And it was amazing and I got out of that and I really have the opportunity to look and think like, what do I What do I truly want to do...

...next? Right? Obviously a ton of experience now in sales leadership, and do I want to go do that, or am I ready to get uncomfortable? And that's where Bryce, the CEO here at Loved Wall him and I had been in contact over the years. I would mentor him he would mentor me. We'd meet up for lunch once a quarter, and I was jokingly saying to him, I know you guys were growing like crazy, Are you? If you're ever interested to see 00 let me know And it was pretty much from that that he's like, Let's do this thing right Like So I think here it left. While you know, they have been a really small kind of lifestyle company, they've been around for 10 plus years, not focused on growth. They were fine being, you know, a couple million a year and having like 10 employees. And they were they were good. And then all of a sudden, they bring Bryson as the CEO. He comes in. He's very growth minded marketing background, really great product and business leadership. And and he's like, No, no, no, we're gonna grow this thing And then they blow up overnight with covitz. So 400% growth is what they had. And think about that in manufacturing because you have lead times and it's like we're gonna throw 75 plant workers and we're gonna throw people at problems, is how I like to put it so they threw people at problems because they didn't have time for process and things were out of control, right? And he needed another leader because he couldn't do it all himself. That was at that sea level to come in and help truly take a deep breath and create structure, process, organizational alignment, work on things like the core values, like do all of that stuff, that I had the opportunity to learn a ton in my last role and bring it over. And so today we're doing well, we have, you know, we've scaled back in the plant because obviously when you bring a really great organizational process, you have the opportunity. Thio do more with less. And so I came in. I think they were like 75 people in the plant. We now have 30 and were able to get the same amount out. So just through operational, you know, efficiencies and whatnot, and we're planning on growing again this year, and and that's by additional investment in product, You know, diversification of our brand and even relooking at our sales organization and making sure that we're doing the right things over there with systems and processes so lots of lots of fun over here. Lots of growth, which is always a good place to be. I love it. Sounds like a situation that needed someone toe help operationalize it. So it's kind of like the right place at the right time. It waas Absolutely, That's amazing. That's amazing. So as we're looking ahead to 2021 for the leaders out there, whether they're in an operations capacity or maybe a sales and marketing capacity, do you have any thing that is, you know, top of mind, any new trends that you're watching or any new focus is that that you know, you're trying to get better at or or focus on the business for loft wall that might be pertinent to those types of leaders? Yeah, I mean, that's Ah, gosh, I could dio we could probably do an entire podcast on just that question. You know, I think it Recently I wrote an article and ah, lot of it was around managing and leading people in the environment that we're in today, right? And I think that this is relevant for sales leaders. It's relevant for CEOs. It's relevant for operational leaders and everything in between. Right is people are filled with a lot of emotion right now. Emotion from whether it's the environment of what's going on politically or it's the Koven environment. It's the economy. There's going to be continual things that happen that create heightened emotion. And I think that a focus on how you...

...accept and lead and manage emotion is something that we really have never thought about in the work place. It's always been like I don't know how many times people say, Hey, we're transparent and authentic in this company And then someone comes into the manager's office and they get emotional and the managers responses. Hey, don't be emotional about this, right? It's a natural instinct because it's uncomfortable to see somebody get emotional right. No one wants to be on the other side of that. It's it's not comfortable for us, and so we try to stop it. And so how do we train? Our sales managers are leaders are frontline people that hey, let's go ahead and accept what's across the table from us. If their emotional, how do we make sure we maintain that curiosity and let them know it's okay to be emotional and get them out of that state so they could move on to the next task. And that's something that we're going to start working on here. And this organization is making sure we're training our managers on how to manage emotions in the workplace, and I would recommend that everyone look at that. It's not something we've dealt with in the past, but it's definitely something that's here today, man. And not only that, but trying to do that. You know, for many of us, through zoom or slack or whatever technology. So I personally find that it's never easy to have those conversations. But I find it to be even tougher to do through a screen than being in the person where in the room with the person where you could maybe since their body language a little bit better and have a more personal connection at least more easily that way. So that's a whole nother layer on top of everything to for sure, absolutely and even more important that we're that we're not just saying how you doing and they say you're fine and you move on like actually care. Is that what you would do if your mom said she was fine. Probably not like, let's ask, Let's ask again. No, how are you really doing? Like as a person, right? And when we get busy, it's really easy to forget that it really is. So it's super important right now for sure. Yeah, and I'm a believer in, you know, bring in your whole self to work, right. Like it Z it's it's tough to, you know, separate both those things like let's go back, you know, 20 years when you know you are, Ah, new mother and in school and and work like you weren't you weren't not doing those things while you were at work, right? Like those thoughts still come into your mind. You're still probably tired because you're not sleeping very much or you know you're overworked or your stress. So, like again, I think that goes back to your mantra and philosophy on people. First leadership of trying toe understand where people are coming from what people are dealing with. Everyone's got in a different situations that ever I feel like everyone is stressed out to some degree based on all the different factors going on and to trying to understand where people are, so you can leave them better and work with them and, you know, help them be their best and be happy and fulfilled their job. So not a nisi, not an easy position to be in. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You hit the nail on the head. Yeah, Well, Steffy, I appreciate I think I speak for everyone that that's got, you know, their headphones in right now, while they're working out or doing laundry or, you know, walking the dog or whatever they're doing that you are amazing. You're a badass. And I'm very excited that we got to have this conversation. So maybe we can wrap this by if you have any last words for the folks out there that are, you know, leaders or potential leaders out there. And then where can we find you? Connect with you? People have questions for you. What's the best way to reach out? Yeah, So I I'd say, you know, final words, and this is kind of my mantra out the gate is Don't be afraid to try something new. And don't be afraid to try risk. You know, if you think that you're not quite there. What's the worst that could happen? You fail, you'll get back up. So I that is my number. One thing that I go back to all the time is just take a risk. I'd say to find me, I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. And so I think connecting with me there is...

...probably best I post a ton. I'd love to connect with all of you out there. And so my Lincoln is just under Stephanie Valenti. You can also look up loft wall, and you will find me there under people. Perfect that, Steffy. Thanks so much for coming on. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Alright. Thank you for listening to that episode of the Revenue Collective podcast. This episode was brought to you by six cents powered by AI and Predictive Analytics. Six cents helps your you unite your entire revenue team with a shared set of data to achieve predictable revenue growth. If you enjoyed this episode again, please The only ask that we have of you here is that you go to Apple. You can subscribe. You can rate the show. Five stars, helps us grow the show. Share it with a friend you know, use revenue. Collective. Hit the slack group. Share with people. Thanks for listening. We'll be back next time with another episode. Go out there and be great this week. See how.

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