“I am happy I didn’t take a real deep leadership role earlier in my career because I was very self-focused and just wanted to perform for myself.” – Paul DiVincenzo in today’s Tip 1528
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. There’s so much good stuff in this conversation I just had with Paul DiVincenzo over on the Sales Success Stories podcast that I can’t resist sharing another clip. Listen to this:
Scott Ingram: Let me take one quick detour, and then we’ll continue on the journey because this was also your first, if I’m not mistaken, your first real leadership position, correct?
Paul DiVincenzo: Yeah. So I did some regional leadership at Cintas, but it was very brief. So I would consider this my first real leadership, yes.
Scott Ingram: So just quickly, what were the biggest lessons learned there? And what do you wish you knew or what do you wish you had worked on before you found yourself in that position?
Paul DiVincenzo: I think I shared this at the event a few years ago. Number one, I think it came for me at the perfect time. I think people think they’re ready for leadership, or they might want it because that’s the next step of their company or whatever. But I am happy I didn’t take a real deep leadership role earlier in my career because I was very self-focused and just wanted to perform for myself. Whereas because my leadership experience came later in my career, I lucked out a little bit in being naturally ready to not be the center of attention. And I hope that’s the right leadership for most people is to be as selfless as possible and to really be focused on the team and their wins. And earlier in my career, I’m sure I would have been fine, but I don’t think I would have been as ready. So I think I left out there a little bit, but it may be something for the audience to think about, depending on where they’re in their career. And I’ve seen great leaders take it earlier in their career and do amazing things. But I think it’s a maturity game, and so people should really think about that before they take the role and even if that’s what they want to do at that moment.
And so that’s for the audience. What I think I maybe would have liked to do in the run-up to it, I think what I didn’t do just because I was moving so quickly would have been to reach out to some of the great leaders that I’ve had in my career. And I didn’t take the time to do that before I started my first leadership role. I did as I went into the next ones, but that probably would have helped just a little bit because as I’ve done it, post my first leadership role, it comes back to that perspective that I talked about. So I’m pushing myself for growth and by nature of that, I’m literally walking into the unknown. I’m stepping off a cliff that I’ve never been on before. And it sounds common sense in hindsight, like most things, but if somebody is taking a leadership role, and that’s what I should have done is just reached out to people and said, Hey, I’m going to take this role. So it’s not really a question. Here’s what I’m walking into. Here’s the challenge. Here’s what I know. Here’s what I don’t know. And just simply said, What else do you think I should consider?
And it does not matter what industry they’re from. I have found a very basic comment from that type of experienced person is mind-blowing for me. It would be something that is so basic for them because they’ve been in leadership or they’ve been in roles all the way up through the CRO role. And they’ll just say, yeah, maybe consider this or think about that, or think about, in this case, taking on a leadership role at a startup, you’re building a machine. And one of those experienced folks said to me, and I had already started building the machine, said, Hey, tell me about what you’re doing. I laid it out. He said, okay, you should just think about the machine you’re building for the outcome that you now know. If you need more clarity on the outcome, similar to what I advised the group here earlier, get that from your leadership or CEO or whatever, and then just make sure the machine you’re building is delivering on that because it may not be. It may be just this machine you’ve been dreaming up you’ve wanted to build for so long, but you don’t know it’s going to deliver that particular outcome.
So it’s really getting to what is the minimum effective dose to deliver it and then building on that. I’ll pause there, but the answer, long answer to question is mentorship, network, reach out, have conversations 5 to 15 minutes. It’ll save you five months to a year.
Scott Ingram: For the link to my full conversation with Paul and to connect with him on LinkedIn, just click over to DailySales.Tips/1528. Once you’ve done that, be sure to come right back for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!