The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

How a Good Leader Leads a Purpose-Driven Company with Tony Cascio


Leadership is a challenge with a diverse generational workforce requiring varying types of motivation and leadership styles.

The reality of leadership is often similar to firefighting. You're being reactive out of necessity rather than strategically proactive.

The most successful executives and managers demonstrate a diverse skill set and ability to slow things down, and focus on the challenge in front of them while still being able to see around corners.

We explored these topics and others with Tony Cascio, a Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates and President at Cascio Group. Cascio is a recognized business transformation leader.

You're listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies, were tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. In revenue generating teams are many who ascended to the manager or executive ranks only to decide they preferred working in the field. Leaderships a challenge, with the diverse generational workforce requiring varied types of motivation and leadership styles. Technology increasing the Ray to change. Managers and executives have to master and by our preferences, consistently changing the reality. Leaderships off. In the case of firefighting, we're being reactive, how to necessity, rather than strategically proactive. However, the most successful executives and managers demonstrated diverse skill set and ability to almost slow things down, focus on the moment and challenge and challenges in front of them, while still being able to see around corners. There's an element of courage required to be successful in these roles and set of disciplines for managing the constant state of change we encounter on a day to day basis. Today we're going to explore these topics and others with Tony Cassio, a member the value selling associates family in an eighteen year veteran from Gardner hailing from Chile, TORONTO, Canada. Tony's a RECOGNIZ has business transformation leader and leverages a wealth of experience working with global organizations. Tell me, thank you very much for taking the time to be on the show today. Thank you, Chad and Chili is an understate. Has the vortex hit in you guys yet? I would say we have been suffering through this vortex for the last three days consistently and we've got you know, when your chocolate lab doesn't want to go outside and playing the you know it's cold, without a doubt, without it all right. So we like to start to have each episode we just kind of a question to get my little more familiarity with you as a person rather than professional, kind of just, you know, authenticity and understand you a little bit better. I always like to start with you, aside from Your Day job. What is something that you're passionate about or hobby that you have that some people might be surprised to learn about? Yeah, so I've got some of them that keep me busy, obviously, but I'd say the one that right now is most passionate for me is some of the work I do with other business executives in my community as part of the nights of Malta, and it's, you know, it's a religious order, but more importantly than that, it's a group of business executives that get together that really try to help the impoverished in our community. We live in a wonderful metropolitan city in Toronto, Fifty Three Different Cultures. It's a wonderful ecosystem, but unfortunately we have we have people on the street, we have people that are hungry, we have people without homes and we just go around and do good deeds to help those as best as we can, and for me that's a really fulfilling way to spend my time and energy. She giving back to my community in two people in my city. So thanks for asking. Yeah, it's funny. When I was in Halifax working with a client, we were walking through if anybody's been in Halifax. Theer's this this lovely walking mall area and we were walking through there one night. He was a little chilly. Wasn't anything was too bad, but it was amazing to me to see the number of people that were actually out helping and interacting with those that were less fortunate. In fact, one of the construction worker guys ray, I watched him run to his truck, get a jacket out, give it to a gentleman on the street, told him just have it, don't worry about it. If you really want to give it back or get it free tomorrow, but we don't want you to recall and that kind of humanitarian outreach, I hate to say, it is not something that we see as much as we probably shouldn't in America anyway. Yeah, well, I don't think it's American or Canadian, to be honest with you. I think it's just we live in a busy world and we live in busy times and sometimes we just don't take the pause to look around us and our surrounding area and go hey, I'm pretty fortunate to have what I have. Some people are down on their luck, unfortunately. What can I do to help out? What gesture can I offer? You know, whether it's...

...a jacket, whether it's a cup of coffee, whether it's putting a couple of bucks of spare change in a cup for a guy at whatever it is, we can all do our part. So I appreciate you acknowledging that chat. Excellent sor right. So let's Jum on the topic of the day, executive and managerial courage, change management, what it takes to be the successful today. So as we were prepping for this, this was kind of one of the topics that you'd float as the surface, and I'm curious why this topic? What is it about this topic that you find that resonates with you? Yeah, so there's a bit of a shift, right. If you look at Corporate America, we are financially driven, always have been, always will be, but you're seeing a lot of mission driven companies now. So you know, the finance and the numbers are what they are, but now there's a mission and a purpose and this creates lasting values for both the employees that we manage and the clients that we serve. And that's really where manager or courage is starting to surface as a mainstream leadership skill and competency and so when we think about that. So for me, when we say mission, I guess just because what we do, because Tony and I work the other just as it is aware, because what we do, I think it sounds to me almost public sector, is right, because we always say I you're selling the public sector. It's not about profits, about mission or funding. These value changes. You think it's partially because of the generational differences that we're seeing as we get you know, baby boomers, Gen x, millennials, Gen Z is, they're all coming together in the workforce today. Yeah, I think there's definitely part of that right, and I think what you're seeing is, and we'll talk about a little bit later on, is, you know, but this this notion of sense of purpose. Right, if you're fortunate enough to be a leader and you've got a team of people, just because you have a team of people, that doesn't make you a team right. We've all worked in dysfunctional teams with leadership that perhaps hasn't had a clear sense of purpose, of vision around what we're trying to accomplish and our teams. More than ever before, and I'm dating myself for a bit, but you know, in the early years of my career, chat my team. We were together for a long time, right five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten years, and as a team we co existed for that extended period of time. In today's reality, you're a leader and there's going to be constant change that's infused in your team and what that means is, for that period of time that you're together as a team, how do you really drive value at an individual level for the purpose of meeting the financial goals of the organization, having that mission or purpose of the company? And again, whether it's reduction and packaging, whether it's giving back to the ecosystem, whether it's being more of a socially corporate responsible organization. As leaders, we can't be deaf to that, we can't be mute to that. We have to be aware of it and we have to have the courage to lead our people down that path. And to your point, you know, the younger generation is very in tune with that. People want to work for a company that's got a strong sense of mission, vision and purpose, not just incredible quarterly revenue growth and revenue targets. Court recorder. Well, and that care mean that, and I agree with one hundred percent, and that creates additional challenges. I mean there's always been the challenge of just you know some some people are better managing and creating that sense of team and loyalty and know you have the emotional intelligence, let's say, to connect with the team that they have right and to get that loyalty. And to do it in an environment that was just focused on our or primarily focused on financial return is challenging in and of itself. And now you have all of these people that want that bigger intrinsic reward. In fact, it's probably just as important for many today as the financial portion of it. Can I pay my bills and live...

...a good life, but also in my am I having some type of intrinsic reward and experience. So I'm curious, when you look at the executives today that you work with, is that that's one of the largest challenges for them or there are other things in addition to that that they're also struggling with? Now that that's definitely one of the challenges that are taking place to night. I think what they also struggle with is just when you're a leader, you spend a lot of time managing and measuring Your Business. You have a set of metrics, you have data, your reporting up, your reporting across your building bridges, as they say, across the organization. And But this coaching of your team is something we talk about a lot, but we don't necessarily invest the time and energy to coach and to coach with the real sense of clarity and purpose around. Hey, what's our mindset? Right? If you're in a growth or into company with the growth mindset, then that's a fantastic place to be. If you're in a company that's struggling, that's in crisis mode, that's a different set of leadership qualities that you're going to have to tap into. If you're in what we call transformation, which to me is a bit of an ambiguous term, but but nonetheless change management. Right. So if your company is going through a big change, whether that's a merger and acquisition, I. Divestiture, you're creating a new channel partner strategy, you're going into a new market, you're entering a new market, those dynamic changes really impose the managerial courage that's needed to say, okay, now that this is taking place, what can I, as a leader do to impact the people that are going to be impacted by it and, more importantly, how do I create clarity? And I think one thing you and I have talked about this. Or Chats look great leaders have very clear expectations and they set the right priorities. And if you can have clear expectations and set the right priorities and they're aligned to the corporate initiatives and business business issues, as a leader you're going to be successful, you're going to be authentic, you're going to be real and I would say a lot of leaders struggle with the engagement of their people. In other words, how do you stay engaged with your team in a way that is relevant, that is visible? How do you use metrics and data to create scorecards that actually track people's progress and success and you can recognize that? You know, we all celebrate when that you client comes on board and you've got paperwork, sciting. Hooray, everyone does a high five, bell or whatever we do these days, right, but you and I both know that's the end of that cycle. But as leaders, what can we do during that process, during that evolution, to visibly create success for our people so that they can measure progress, they can measure a sense of accomplishment? I think that's really important. And the last thing I'd say is this whole concept of accountability. Right manager or courage is all about having accountability as a leader, but also being selfaware to say, you know, I need to go out and have what I call accountability meetings. You have to have accountability meetings with your managers, with your directors, with your people, and people need to be selfaware about why are we doing this? How does this impact you? Why are you making a difference? What can we do to help you and support you? If we can create that kind of cadence and we can create that kind of rigor and be authentic about it and be genuine about it. Now we're starting to bring our teams together and we create a sense of purpose as a team, but we also need to identify the individual personal goals of the person on the team. Right,...

...if you care about me and you care about my colleague and you connect us and create interdependency between the two of us, now we're both rowing in the right direction, in the same direction. Now it almost starts to feel like we're a team. Well, and you say we. You know, when you see accountability, executives often struggle to have themselves held accountable. So I can see how. I can see how they can do it with their teams. Right, totally understand. We've talked about accountability meetings before, but I'm curious how do the executives? How would you recommend that the executives hold themselves accountable and have that their own coaching, let's say? Yeah, so that's a great question. So the way you hold your self accountable as an executive is, first of all, you've got to go through this discipline, I call it right, it's a set of disciplines. You've got to do some mindset and planning, and this is the right time of year to do it. You're at the beginning of a calendar year. You take the time to prioritize what's most important, as we said. Right, if I have clear expectations, what are my priorities? You use the data to identify your productivity goals. What are the goals that are going to drive productivity? Not Busy, but productivity, and there's a big difference between the two. Right. It's kind of this outcome based culture that you and I talked about all the time. Right, you can be really busy and do work, but if it's not outcome based and it doesn't move towards the impact of what you're trying to accomplish, that it's hard to really make any sense of it. The other part about accountability is also having a goal, and the goal has to be something that you can measure, monitor, refine and adjust, and it's a goal that you, as a leader, hold yourself accountable to. It's your standard. Right as leaders, people look at our behavior and that determines how we're leading our team forward. It's not what we say, it's how we act, how we behave. So having those goals and being able to articulate them is really important. And then the last one I would say is, I talked about this a lot, relevant, repeat and Rinse. Right. So on the best teams that I've ever been on, my leader was in was what I call consistently boring right chat. He was relevant, he would repeat and he would rinse. We knew with clarity what we were measured against. We knew with clarity what the leader was reporting up to the organization. And that accountability also creates predictability as a leader, because as a leader you want if people to be predictable, you want your people to be solid and knowing exactly what the relevant goals are, the right prioritization, and then creating this mindset right, this mindset of being very goal oriented. And when you do that collectively, as a team, as a group of individuals, it perculates up to the leader. And now the leader has the ability to be accountable at the truest level because he's got the back of his people and his people have his back or her back. It's an interesting concept. That the predictability right. So I'm a big fan of radical transparency right now, no secrets. This is exactly what we're here to do. This is, you know, this is what we're going to accomplish. I wonder, have you seen like tactics and managers can use to instill that, because what do we see? I mean, oftentimes what we see is organizations that are being, you know, the fighting fires. Then I heard it last week when I was with a client. I've got so many fires I'm fighting, I'm I'm reacting, I don't have the space to focus on my leadership, were to seek out my own coaching or to be, you know, as consistently transparent. I haven't communicated this change to my team. That's happened in the organization. So they're operating under a false set of you know, goals and objectives are principles. Any easy tactic, emotions, easy, any tactics that...

...managers are executives could use to really get to that level of repeatability and predictability. Yeah, I think the first one is be honest with yourself about your coaching style. Are you an activity based coach? Are You coaching against activities and tactics? Are You coaching against objectives and goals? And whatever time you've carved out for yourself for coaching, it's not enough, right. That's the first rule, right, it's not enough. And secondly, unfortunately we don't spend enough time putting coaching in our calendars with our people to talk about the planning. We put a lot of time in the calendar calendar to talk about the review component. Let's review the past, let's review it didn't work, let's review that missed forecast. But we need to put time in the counter calendar to talk about the planning. Let's plan your future success, let's plan your future outcome, let's plan about the objections that you've got in front of you right now. And how can we overcome together. How can we take this moment coaching? If, Fosse, if you foster a coaching environment, people come to you and they're looking for coaching. In the moment, I call it moment of truth, when someone comes to you and asks for coaching, because they're humble and they're transparent. So the first thing it says you need to spend more time coaching. Every great leader knows they need to spend more time coaching, and part of that coaching is also skip level reviews, being mature enough to say, you know what I want to do, skip level reviews, and for those of you that aren't familiar with that concept, that's where, you know, I let my boss talk to my people once a quarter and those people get feedback on my leadership competency and say here's the skills that Tony has, here's the skills that Tony needs to develop, because here's how I feel, or here's how it doesn't impact me positively, or here's where I think together we could be better. So coaching is the first one. The second one, I would say, is problem resolution. Having a clear way that you can communicate and articulate to your team to say, Hey, guys, we're gonna have problems. That's the reality of our market place. But when we have problems, we're going to systematically analyze the problem. I expect you to come with recommendations on how to resolve the problem and then we're going to solution the problem and fix it the first time. Too many times without problem resolution in a leaderships organization, these problems start to ferment, they start to mushroom. Now my problem becomes Chad's problem, becomes Larry's problem, becomes frank's problem. Now we all share the same problem. The products suck, the prices too high, it's the wrong time of year, right. We've all been there, we've all seen it. So having really your problem resolution helps you address the problem, resolve the situation and also understand the underlying barrier. Is there something more systemic here? This problem keeps reoccurring with the same person over and over again. It's a coaching opportunity, it's a training opportunity, it's mentorship opportunity. Perhaps the last one I would say is communication and vision. Right does your team know? Do they really know what the Vision, strategy and purposes? And I always test this right. I ask the VP tell me what the vision is strategies of your team and tell me what the goals are and the articulate them and I'll ask them with their communication format is and they'll share that with me. Then I'll go down and talk to the five managers or directors that report to the VP. I'll ask them to tell me what's the vision, what's the goal, what's the purpose? Inevitably, Chad I'll get. I'll get a varying degree of consistency, but I'll also get the managers own interpretation. Sure, and and, and that's where it's a dangerous area, right and that's where the relevance,...

...the repeat and just continue that pattern of repetition of the message and the purpose in the intent. Celebrate the successes and the progress against the metrics. Recognizing and celebrating those moments, not the end result, but the moments, creates the right sort of energy and vibe everyone to feel really good, and that's what manager real courage is all about. Interesting. So then there's the so the other element that we often see and and we all know. I mean, I think executives know they need to set more time around for coaching is but and be more consistent. I mean I really like those tactics. What I have seen lately, though, is it's always, I don't want to say the first thing to get scheduled over, but it has a tendency to get pushed. So's it's sets this. It set an expectation with the team that it's important but not critical, right, because it gets moved because it isn't one of those foundational pillars of the week or your engagement strategy with your team's. And then you know you have the telephone effect. If an executive says this is the vision of a manager, just like you were saying, the manager said that to their team. By the time we get down to the bottom we often hear radically different things. So I'm curious when, when they look at that, why is it? What are the things that we can do to help executives that we work with understand how critical that is to our own success? So take our own accountability right. If I'm in an organization and I need more coaching for my boss, how do I approach that that manager or that executive and say hey, this is this is important. What kind of strategy should we use to say you're not doing enough of this, because a lot of people won't proactively go to their boss and say hey, I need something different. Right, there's a level little under of questioning power. Yeah, that's some people are uncomfortable with. So if we go the other direction, we say are the reps are listening to this, or team members of listeners? They want to go to their bus. Ahay, I want more of this. How could they approach it effectively without, let's say, with the right level of emotional intelligence? Yeah. So, so there's definitely some things you can do and it's a great question, Chad. So I would say the first thing is you have to look for ways to bring out the best and people. Right. So we can all be guilty of sharing negative feedback on situations and circumstances, but but the leadership courage to look at positive forces and encourage the small wins is so important. So looking for ways to bring up the best in others is really important, always searching for that better solution. As I said right the reason we don't end up having enough time to coach or that time in coaching gets moved from our calendar is because in our own daytoday activities, we get caught up with the activity based situation and circumstances. So if we think of better ways to resolve situations and solutions, as I said before, you'll free up your time to actually go back and you know, one of the things that I say is a guiding principle is coaching is perishable. If you don't coach and keep that coaching cadence in your counter it's perishable. It ex fires, it goes bad, just like a Banan ur or fruit that's been that right and it happens. So you have to coach right. The other thing is you got to stick to the facts. A lot of times you mentioned that and I mentioned the right emotional intelligence. It's great if you can be a coach and leverage your emotional intelligence, but you need to balance that with the facts and use those facts so that you can deliver a clear message that's firm enough and it's easily understood and people can move on and know exactly what's expected from them. And then I'd say the last thing is, you know, pick your timing right. Make sure your timing is proper, because if it's not, it's going to create a challenge. You know, don't come to me Monday at eight... with in the moment coaching opportunity. Right, you're just going to set me off from the balance of the week. Right. So, you know, pick your time when it is most appropriate to have the dialog and conversation with the team and use it as an opportunity to infuse energy, to reinforce mindset, to reinvigorate the individuals, and I think that if you do that consistently and you hold onto it, there's other things, you know. There's that empathize with others, manage your weak performers in a way that's effective, right, because, let's face it, we all have teams that are strength and teams that have weakness, so we have to coach accordingly. But the reality is, you know, if you can take a bottom performer and move them up through coaching, your return on investment versus opportunity lost or or having an open territory is dramatic. Right. The compounding effect that bringing a bottom person up in the organization is phenomenal, not to mention the morality it's created on the team when we see people going on that journey. Right, excellent. All right, so let's let's change direction here a little bit. We ask all guests kind of two standard questions then reach interview. The first is simply if somebody doesn't have a connection to you, if there's no referral, there's no intro, they don't have a way to capture your attention with, you know, because we have a shared community. Let's say what's what do you find to be the most effective way someone who wants to get your attention and gets a fifteen minutes of your time? Most effective ways that it works for you for someone to pull that off, capture your attention, build credibility and get that meeting on your calendar. Yeah, I think for me it's all about, you know, being authentic. So if someone wants to establish rapport and build trust with me, they need to be authentic in their reason for reaching out and bring me some value add whether it's a piece of information that validates what I was feeling or thinking about, because they did their research. Second their early it might be something I wasn't aware of. Hey, did you know? Right, I always find that interesting. I'll tell you what turns me off. I know you didn't ask this question, but I'll tell you what turns me off. This week I had someone on linkedin reach out to me. Hey, Tony, would love to reach out with you. I'm I'm always interested in meeting presidents in the Toronto Market Place. Would love to be part of the network the day after. Hey, Tony, thanks for the connection. I have my ceol ready to do a demo on product ABC. Was that? Yeah, and I seed lots of that. Chad, right, I see lots of that, people connecting and then going right into you know, I got my freemium for you, I've got my demo for you. It's like right, how do you do that? So, anyway, sorry that that's one that will know, and that's a great point, because it's an abuse of a tool. In my opinion, it's an abuse of the concept behind, you know, social networking. You've got no credibility of no right to make that ask. Yeah, right, so if you want to reach out and connect and and share value, great awesome, but when they pull that, and I call it, I mean it's a trick or attactic. It's not even an effective one. When they pull that, it literally, I'm with you one hundred percent. Turns me off, like I just I don't even want to talk to anymore. I'm not going to look at anything else you send me because it just feels invasive. Yeah, what absolutely is right and and I think for for a lot of people, you know, you've got to spend a little bit of time doing preparing and planning. Know me a little bit, show me that you took a little bit of time to get to know me, whether it's personally and professionally, and find a hook, a relevant Hook, and I'm willing to listen, I'm willing to chat. Excellent. All right, last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. Just one thing, as you could tell sales marketing professional service to be one piece of advice that, if they...

...listened, being the Coveat, if they listened, internalize that, you believe would help them hit their targets. What would it be and why? That's a good one. I like that. You know, I I think honestly, we don't spend enough time, and I'm guilty of this, is to we don't spend enough time to establishing what I call clear success metrics and in our in our value selling world, we call that building personal and business value with our executives and I think that is overlooked. So I would say if you can set really clear success metrics, that you can measure and track progress with your client or with your prospect. Then you're on this journey together. You save a lot of time, there's a lot less ambiguity and you'll know much more quickly if you've got someone qualified in or qualified out, and that's just as important. Right. How many people, it's now February. How many people have Q for Pipelines that still in they're doing, pipeline that they're still hoping on? Right, and you and I both know, like hey, at some point you gotta you gotta put a bullet in that, and that's hard to do. So I think if you have clear success me tricks, you get yourself out of that trap and it's just important to do that. So that's my sort of little nugget on on acceleration. Perfect, Tony, for listeners interested and talking more about this stuff. For we're connecting with you without asking to do a demo with the second time out of talk. Best Way to do it shoot an email the website, not email school. And you know, if anyone wants to chat, you can email me and t o ny Dot Sass and Sam Cio at value sellingcom and this has been a total blast. Chat. Yeah, thank you, very much for being on the show, Tony. Has Been Absolute pleasure to have you appreciate time, especially on a Saturday morning. Awesome. Appreciate it. Cheers. All right, everybody that does it for this episode checks out of be Tob Rev exactcom. You know the drill. Share with friends, families, Co workers, people you meet on the street. If you like what you here, does favorite drop us for view on itunes and until next time, we have value selling associates. With you nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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