The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 years ago

Mike Reagan on Increasing Self-Awareness

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Inboxes fill up, task lists go unchecked – we all have times when we struggle with maintaining the balance between our personal and business lives. But if we want to be our best, we have to take the time to work on ourselves first, and understand who we are and what we bring to our relationships.

Self-awareness plays a key role in optimizing the work-life balance. To help us understand how we can increase our self-awareness, we sat down with Mike Reagan, a 25-year sales and marketing executive and advisor for Threat X.

Re listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated ELPAN executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: welcome everyone to thebtob revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chat Sanderson today we'retalking about a topic important not just to sales, AF marketingprofessionals, but anyone who has you know to pay the bills we hase to live abusiness life right. We want to focus on ways that we can increase. Thesuccess in their careers by increasing selfawareness, been a hot topic,continues to be a hot topic. Maybe I'm just old has been a topic for a longtime, but it seems to have come back with a lot more fervor. Lately,everyone is extremely busy. Always things to be done. INBOX keep fillingup, taskless doesn't seem to ever get resulved. Yet, if you want to be, if wewant to be our best, we need to take the time to work on ourselves to have apersonal life and focus on the people that we are and that we bring to ourbusiness lives to help us. We have MIC Regan and executive with over twentyfive years of sales and marketing experience WHO's. Currently, an advisorfor Cyber Security Company threadx like thank you for taking the time andwelcome to the show o thanks, thot happy to be here so over the last fewyears I's been a great deal of focus on this concept of balancing personal andwork lives. I think it was tim. Ferris wrote the twenty hour work week or fourhour wor. We something like that. Yeah Reality of the always on world right. Imeans people feel like they always have to be connected. We actually joke insales that there's no such thing as vacation is just working from adifferent location right. So Iw'Ud love to hear why you think this is such animportant topic and you know how to focus on being and then maintaining ahealthy balance between work and personal aves yeah. You know it'sinteresting. I I want to say probably ten or fifteenyears ago or so it' suddenly hit me...

...that there doesn't need to be thiscrisp line between perpersonal life and work life, and you know in reality,were it's our life right and and our life is rooted for the most part in theway we interact with others and with the world, and it really begs thequestion: How do you want to sort of live your life and what are the goalsthat you said for yourself and your interaction with others and when youthink of it? That way, I sort of your job is just another dimension of howyou're, interacting with others and so, first and foremost, I would. Iwould suggest that you know ask yourself that question: How do I wantto live my life and and what do I want to achieve through interacting withothers, whether it's, your kids, your spouse? Your friends, your co workers,your customers, your prospects, what are the common? You know, goalsthat you set for yourself for enriching your life and hopefully the lives ofthose that you interact with and and when you think about that, suddenly thelines start to blur- and you realize you're, just a guy right and you'retrying to get thrugh life. So it's and it also takes a lot of pressure off.You know a lot of people say you know, work hard play hard, okay! Well, I justfinished works. I'm supposed to go play hard and it's like hey on a minut I bitjust lit, and what do you want to do with yourwith your life and how do you want to grow as a person? It's an amazingconcept when you think about right, because we've all been programmed, youknow work versus personal life and if you stop looking at it that way andjust keep looking at it as say this is my life. This is the way I want to bein the space that I'm in ind the way you know the type of person I want tobe, regardless of the facet right as it is a little bit, freeing an yeah. Somecompanies now start to kind of tweek that right, so I won'tname them because I don't know thires...

...particularly flattering, but there wasa company three years ago that I was talking toabout doing some work with and they drilled really really hard in theirinterview process that hey, we don't focus on work. Life Bounchyoua take asmuch vacation as you want when you need it, but the way that they did it was alittle bit almost like. You have unlimited vacation, but wereally don't want you to take it right. The on it was the unspoken kind ofundercurrent, and so I'm curious- and I know this is totally not in thequestions that I sent you so no Doi Bo it, let's O for it yeah but,like you know, you see, have you seen companies kind of take this and I don'twant to saynefariously turn it to their advantage right, but use it ind,perhaps not optimal ways right, get those people to believe that they havethis come and go like. How do they maintain that? There's accountability,there's things you have to do for the business yeah reating, a culture like H,w have you? How have you seen that playout? Well, oddly enough, the thelast company, I was a an executive at we shifted to that model and we did so successfully the inpart because it reflected our core values and in one ofour Corpe value is, was you know when life happens? Logger them understandsthat was the company, as wit, was Lirhythm, and, and we had there was mutual respect,meaning respect for the employee and the employee had respect for thecompany, and there was also accountability and people understoodwhat was expected of them, and I think, to the extent that you have someemployees that may operate on the fringe of of company values. Then then you you'll,probably see employees attempting to abuse that flexibility, but for themost part, if you've done a good job...

...hiring and nurturing the employees thatmutual respect is sustained, and you know it's not just the personaltime. You know Pto the time off in those days that they allocate for that.It's also, you know, life does happen. Y, your mother gets sick or you'r. yourkids got Ta play at school or you know an and go take. It go. Watch them inthat musical. You know, watch them play that Zylophone, right and and and thena ND, but but they're n in thes mutual respect. Maybe it's later that evening,or it's the next, the next day, they're going to find a way to make up for thatstuff that they had. You know schedule to get done that day, but but didn'tbecause they went to the school and that concept. Ofman Lik is the keyright and ITI seeming struggle with hiring right that companies have to youknow and if you're doing it right for the beginning and the you instill itall the way. Through that's awesome, and I always when I was running teams,I used to say: Look you do what you have to do. If, if you want to go, seethe musical or something happens in your life, go, do it it's not going tochange what you know is Akin ofle, but you're, an adult, and I respect you tobe able to juggle your priorities in an effective way that isn't going to betoo burdensome right right and that mutual respect is the key. Well, Ithink it places a big burden on management, because in order to have people feel like they'reaccountable, they need to be accountable to certain things. What arethe goals that they're expected do, achief and and management needs to besufficiently specific in their goal, setting so that at the end of the atthe end of the week at the end of the month, the end the quarter of the year,it's clear to both the employee, as well as the manager Er the goalsachieved or not. If there's ambiguity there, then there's going to be in aroom for misinterpretation and- and I I gets to be a slippery slope whens thelast time you shopped at a mall. How...

...will we do our holiday shopping or evenbuy toilet paper and ten years? Listen for shopcast talking retail strategywill explore the massife changes happening in retail, join retail expert,Michael Dark and his guests, who help you understand these dramatic shiftsand fordick. What the retail landscape of tomorrow will look like if you'reinterested in the future of retail tune in on Fridays at seven Am Pacific Timeand Toay Im eastern time on voice America business. I always found when Iwas doing this with my teams, and I probably wasn't that's roly doing thisbefore the whole. You know: Hey. Is this a part of our company values? It'sjust like hey, you're, inyoure in sales and marketing, I'm running the team. Wehave these goals a hit, do what you need to do and then sometimes you' getthat question right. The question would come from the executive, so why is thatperson not in the Om? I haven't seen them for two days right and what arethey doing and now, all of a sudden, it starts to create this friction withwith manager about now I've got to defend what the person is doing ratherthan having a conversation around. Are they hitting their goals and objective?Well, I mean if your manager is asking you or questioning you about why thatperson is an ind sort of underpinning. That very question is a question about Y or management ofthat you know the individual. It's like what is it that you don't trust aboutme. I mean I eve happy to share with you that you know the his son had aherny operation and e need to you know Geta take a couple days off, butclearly, there's there's some level of you know in a challenge or you're, not fullyempowering nee Tomanate, these guys and that's cool. Let's just talk about it.What is it that's concerning you yeah. Let's get it right, let's get t on yeahI what is it exact? Maybe maybe it's because I missd, maybe it's because Imissed my sales gull forte two last two quarters- that's cool. We've alreadytalked about that and here's what I'm doing to change it right but yeah, butif in either either you'r going to...

...empower me to manage these people andget it done or not, but remem you know, yeah, that's a constant! It's aconstant battle, but as we were prepping you mentioned how finding thatright, balance right and it may be just removing the view of business versusPersona- will hew finding that right balance can create optimal results, notonly for the person but for the business. You provide some exampleswhere you've seen this this happen. I fear that too many people, it's an odd concept, that, if all of asudden I'm pulling out a structure that helps you understand your relation tothe world business for personal, that some people co a little hey wire withit. So give us some examples of where you've seen it. You know that balanceand attaining that be extremely beneficial for all involved. Well, oneof the one of the the best sales executives ive ever worked with is awoman by the name of Sarah Avrey and Sarah really managed that balance incrediblywell and she she lived her life as a sales exact the same way. She lives apersonal life. She cares about people and the her customers ended up almostinvariably becoming very close friends. You know she cares about what's goingon their love life outside of the business world and you know one couldeasily say well shoot. I Don' have time to be everyone's best friend right andyou know I can't care about everyone, hand sent Chrismas, friends, everyone,but she was genuine ind. The way she approached these people, as he firstapproached them, has prospects. She tried to understand who they were andwhat their goals were and what their life was all about, what their interestwere, and this is kind of sells, one O one. You know who's, your favoritesports team is zone, but what else? What else about their life is affectingthem day today, and when you really care about the prospects and thecustomers? They know that right and it...

...ends up leading to a relationship.That's built, unmutual, caring and mutual trust, and when they trust youthey'll share even more info with you and there's a mutually beneficialrelationship. That's established and it's not just around what your productcan do for them. You know you see them as a whole person and- and theyrecognize that and you build long term, usually lucrative relationships andthere Sarah crushes it and every and every role she's in as aresult. I'vetell a lot of h a lot of the customers that I work with a lot of the salestaff that I work with now and and teaches like look. Some of my bestfriends are people that I've sold to over the last fifteen years, becauseyeah and I end up- I've got one guy in particular. Where you know look. I gotto the point where I was tutoring his kids in English. This kid was havingHar Time and it wasn't it wasn't. I wasn't trying to make a buck which is O.I was struggling. His kid was struggling its like. You know you can't,especially today. I don't think you can be successful or as successful in salesor marketing. If you don't have that empathy, gene right that right,curiosity, curiosity, yeah, tick, yeah is hard for people, Yeah Yeah, it's youknow, and it's hard for people on the buying sidetoo. You know if you're you're approaching a prospect, it's notuncommon that they, they believe they're supposed to play a certain role,ind engaging with vendors right. I remember there was one time. One time Iwas brought in by by a sales rep and their channel partner, and they broughtme in th the VP. You know to meetwith this big account O was a big deal andwe shot ell up and h. The CIO had done six or seven people around his tableand- and you know we introduced ourselves andthe guy sitting in the middle of the table to seeiwas like. Why should I buyyour product and I'm, like you know, he's playing the decision maker, I'm incharge, you're going to tell me...

...everything I want to know, and I just lookd own an I saidbole Jon, I'mnot really sure you should. You know that's what I said and thensuddenly he's like what and I'm like yeah I mean you know, Charlie shared with me someof the requirements that you've shared with him. But there are a lot ofunknowns here and I want to you know, find out if, if your needs actuallymatch what we can provide, so you know, let's you know if wlet's review thoserequirements, you knowertewas kindofind of Takin, a back. It's like you, know,you're, not in pitch, but wait a minute, that's crazy! You know, and I wouldsure enough. We ended up winning the business, but you know it's important to assess whether theprospect you're calling on believes they've got a roll to play or if theyare sufficiently open to Establishig a human connection. In order to then do business that isworthwhile and mutually beneficial right and and believe it or not, mostof those folks that believe they're supposed to play a role actually kindof loosen up when they realize that you're willing to play whatever role isgoing to best serve the relationship and- and it may not be you know yoursolution- may not be the right one for that and it's okay to say no to aprospect and to say you know we don't have a fit here right. You know whatit's my times, probably better, spend elsewhere to, but that's cool. You know, welland now honesty that honesty's keyright I mean, and it's one of those things that you know: Sales Rafts, theespecially sales raps. So, like I gotto hit this number, I got it this numberand they get into this mode where it's like they're, going to push and pushing, pushing it's just like W. Hey wait, a minute. You know what an part of yourequation is: Argu spending your time in evout, that's right, and if you'rechasing somebody that doesn't have a problem, you can solve. Just be honest:Yeah, Hey, I'm not! This is we're not a good fit right now. I did this all thetime. s like you, aren't ready as an organization to make the changesnecessary to implement what we do...

...effectively. So why would I want towaste your time right? Take your team and go go carting it'll be betteranyou'l, get more out of that than what yeahit's not ready. Honesty, you knowis key. It also requires some vulnerability and some authenticitylove these. You know buzz words that are flying around today, but you haveto understand who you are and bring that you know I that genuine empathythat genuine curiosity to the interaction or o it just doesn't work,yeah, yeah and so throughout your career. Can you give me like threetactics or four focuses that you've implemented to help make sure youmaintain that optimal view of life that work life balance, even though wealready pulled the line out of the sand? Three yeah yeahocus on to you know tomake sure that you're staying in the space you want to be in well. Let's I mean in in executing my fih professionalcareer. More broadly Mam, Mor broadley doesn't doesn't matter O help, you keepyourself grounded, maybe that's a better way to say it, so I meditate, and so that helps you and I talked last week or two WEKS weny first setthis up about the importance of listening, fom being present, and so Ifocus a great deal on that. Really understanding, what's going on, INESI,the dynamics and listening is is not just o the words but body language andand really understanding. What's going on with the with the other person, and, and so you know, listeningscritical, I I try and revisit that topic of what amI trying to achieve for my interactions with otherthers and certainly they're, always thebusiness goals that need to be achieved, but more important than those businessgoal. Ol Ays. What am I trying to do...

...you know achieve when I'm given theopportunity to engage with other people? You know how can I recognize what theirneeds are and help serve their needs, and you know, is a as a executive witha team that I manage and teams that they intern manage. Looking for that opportunity to helpthem grow and their team members grow in in every engagement I have of themis really important. If I know I'm going into a meeting with another exacker staff member thathistorically has been sort of less than ideal in theirengagements. Maybe articipating sof e friction right. It's like Hayg on aminute. How do I think this is going to get out, and what can I do differentlyto change that dynamic to make it productive for both of us and- and itmay be, the you know- thirty seconds walking for myoffice to the conference room and reflecting on that and and preparing myself for thatdynamic and to change that dynamic quickly if its surfaces TAT's really important? If, if I'm engaging with the a person atthat reports directly me- and I see that they're stressed- and you knowthey're not operating in an optimal mindset or withoptimal energy, it's like hey on a minute. What can I do asking myself in the moment? What can Ido to ship their perspective to make this more positive and truithfuldiscussion? You know, and let's set aside the business stuff for a minuteand try and get under the coveragees to what's leading to that tention. Youknow a lot of times: it's not related to the topic at hand, but there'ssomething some other dynamic at play or some other topic. That's that's gotthem riled up that you know they really...

...want to talk about an that's really ontheir mind, but it's unrelated to the topic at hand. It's like wellion, let's,let's talk about that other thing right now, because we're not we're not goingto be able to be very productive on this other thing until we work through.What's bothering you no, it's more like managing the whole right you'remanaging that you're, not managing just the business side of a person, you're,managing and leading people right, extremely divers. Aldifacited haveother things life. You know life gets in the way B. You know you need to beaware of that in order to effectively empower them. That's right, ND andmanagers that fail to do that end up supporting an unhealthy dynamic which is onebetween you know the person they manage and themselves where that person,they're, managing, doesn't doesn't see or sense that human connection, it's awork relationship and there and there's not going to be as deep trust there and they're not going to go tobat to the extent of the otherwise would you know for you so you've got A.I think it's important to treat everyone as you point out in a holisticway as a whole person and you'll find the business does aheck of a lot better. Some people might say that's a waste of time and that'sthat's earthy, crunchy stuff. It doesn't really matter. I yeah, you knowwhat believe it or not. You'll find the company gets a lot more productive whenyou, when you behave that way, and so in those organizations. That's a greatit's a great point right. So in those organizations that maybe or not, let'ssay, cultural, culturally aligned with that type of management approach. whereit really is- and I I don't know what it's been. Maybe it's just because I'vyou know spent the last seventeen years in stals. It was always a CFO. I had tospend so much time with the CFO to make to help him or her stop looking at thenumbers and are looking at the people. So did you come up with ways that youcould internally, if you ran into people that maybe weren't aligned withthat cultural vision of managing the...

...whole of treating them like real people,building the trust and Ou that have you come up with tactics or approaches thathelp reduce e the friction internally, maybe with other pur executives orthings like that? You know. I've been fortunate. I'veworked with the last two CFOs, which comprises thelast. You know, eighteen years for me, they've been very much aligned valuewise with me and with a culture that that Ithrive and, and I think, is optimal for Compani. So I haven't. It's been a while, sinceI've had to deal with that unhealthy dynamic that you just characterized but the guidance, I would give people thatmight be listening to this that find themselves in an organization that, where there's acultural, you know misfit between themselves and the culture that thecompany's putting off is you know, ask yourself: Can you facilitate thatchange and culture, and sometimes it might be a conversation with he, CEO and and in reviewing the companyculture and the company values and if, if, as stated, those values Aligne withwhat was what you'd like to have, but it's actually in the execution in themonitoring of those values where the WR, it's not matching up, then call out theexecutive team to say what guys either we're going to live by these valuesthat we've put on paper or we're not not, and and and and hopefully they'll make theright change. If, if you can't see a path towardschanging the organization to align the with your values, go find one where youha really I mean life is too short. It's like you know what and then notevery every. Every company will be able...

...to do that, so you know take take thetime and make the effort to go, find an organization that does really Ali andbut also be you know, be honest with yourself. No organization is perfect,no person is perfect, but what you need is an organization, that's willing toacknowledge the imperfections and commit to change when they discoverthat they're vering slightly from those values right. Intellectual Honesty isan essential value that needs to be present and a willingness to say. Youknow what I screwed up and you know you're right. I did not act tothe line with our values and I'm sorry and here's what we're doing to changethat. Honest conversation. Are you where youneed to be? Can you have the impact you want to have, and can you accept thecurrent state and believe there's a path to the future state yeah yeahthere you go and so in the in the sales. An market fill specially sales rightwee NA we're in a real time, environment- and I mean thank you- youknow Amazon and apple and everybody than invested in you know. Customerexperience and the always on and I'll be where the customer wants us to bewhen they want us there in a B to be space. You know it is literally. Weneed to be there when the customers want us right and interact in a waywhat whether it be digitally by phone, showing up face to face yeah o you havecan give our audience two suggestions for how professionals, in that kind ofenvironment might be able to actually get to a point where they can take atruly unplugged vacation. And yes, I am completely asking for myself. Yeah sure know I totally get that d by thewhole way, the the organizatations that that advocate, or support and and andcelebrate those individuals that don't take a lot of vacation time, and I justyou know, they're working for the company. I think e're messed up intheir values. You know everyone, everyone needs to take time away, and...

...sometimes that's the that was one ofthe biggest management challenge I had was having people that just were tooinvested in their in their career and their job and that that was too much oftheir life. It's like this. You need to go. Take time away, you need to sothat's your question of a a couple strategies to enable someoneparticularl in in a calls role to take full of the unplugged break number onehave a very firm handle on your business know. What's going onunderstand what accounts, what the state of accounts are existingcustomers as well as you know, prospects and what's next in the cellcycle, and know it well enough, so that youcan communicate that to someone, that'sgoing to back you up, while you're g gone so delicate, but in order todelegate effectively you've got to have all of your ducks lined up and be ableto provide all the detail that that person might need to take action onyour behalf and your absence and and communicate to your customers and prospects and internal. You know coworkers that you're going tobe on the plug, for, for you know, ten days and while you're on plug these arethe people that you can go to to resolve, isses that might arise and- and if you, if you teat upproperly and you have people you can trust to Toke care for those accounts andyou've, given them all the detail, they need and you let your customers know whatyour prospects know that you're going to be gone. But you know sally is thego to person and here's a contact. Ino She'll, take care of you and youempower selly to do so. Then you can go away and Chek your email off and notcheck and at the end of the day, you can always give that final luck. Ifit is truly an emergency and you can't access the information, you need totruly serve this customer and it's...

...critical and it means we're going tolose the account or you know then call me on myself, but otherwise, if it'snot an emergency, I don't care ti on't Goin to call andand communicate that tosomeone that will respect that request, right, right, oundries right, establishat make sure people are empowered yeah. I maybe I'm just too much of a type Acause. I'm now I'm in a different situation, because we run our ownbusiness right so but yeah right. If I delegate to somebody, then I would loveto have some redeliate Yo, maybe have to look into that, but I think it's a business opportunityhere, elgation company, all right, let's, let's change thedirection a little bit. I ask all. I guess kind of two standard questionstoward the ends of weach interview, the first Asso as a revenue executive. Thatmakes you a prospect wore target yeah or other people who want to get infront of you, and so I always like to ask executives. We have one, ifsomebody doesn't know you, you don't have a relationship with them. What isthe best way for them to interact with you or approach you to buildcredibility in the trust necessary to capture your attention, refraise that one for me, I'm not sureEgot it fully. So so, if somebody wants to get in front of you and says hey,you know as an adviser for Oh right, yeah, ah yeah, okay, H, do they pick upthe phone and call you is it I mean? What's the? What is it that's going toget turn your head, so they you'll actsal yeah yeah. So I would say present to me immediately upon engagingme that you know me that you know my company,that you know you have done your homework, whether it's you know it's funny, people that reachout to me that are from my Almamata I'll, always give them a break. Youknow because they looked me up. They knewer went to college right, okay,right, Al Right, you know at and out of respect to my Mama, I'm gonna, you knowleast listen to them, but e, but then...

...they'd got a demonstrate that they'vedone homework their homework as well T. maybe it's you know, they've seen a recentfinancial report on the company. theythey'll mention a recent bigcompany whin. Maybe it's a partership that we formed demonstrating they've done homework,which demonstrates the they're truly interested in forming apartnership. If I hear a standard steel, you know that I know they're givming toeveryone else, they're calling I'm going to hang up. You know I'm gonna, it's yeah, you gotTA. You got a Hippi hard quickly with something personalized that I knowthey've done their homework and and they know who they're talking to okay,perfect and so now last question: We call it our acceleration insight. Ifyou were, if you had one piece of advice that you could get to sales,marketing consult, doesn't matter us, a professional one pieces that if theylisten to and that's the Caviat, I always put out there, they have tobewilling to listen yeah. What would that Davice be that we believe would helpthem be more successful and achieve their goals? You know more frequentlywhat would that advice B M Wy? Well, it's going to tie back to thefirst thene that you and I talked about which is look. There's people talkabout work, life balance it for me, it's life and and what are you tryingto achieve in your life? And I think if I were to boil it down toone word, it would be care care about your custom, Merse careabout your prospects care about your coworkers, a D and and by that I meanunderstand what are they trying to achieve? What do they need it? You knowif you truly care you're going to listen, you're, going to listen, hard,you're, going to understand what their needs are, what they, what they'retrying to accomplish? What's difficult for them right now...

...and and you'll find that you end up seekingto serve them in in ways that really address their needs, and I guarantee,if you care about your customers, your prospect, your coworkers you'll end up taking care of yourselfin the end excellent, like if the listeners interested in talking moreabout the topics we've touched on today. What's the best way to reach out, they can reach me at m. Kr, f. m.that's MPF, F is in frank, Amazon, Mary atoutlookcom excellence like I can't think you knowg for taking the timeit's been grat having you on the show today, that's bee great Chan take careall right, everyone that does it for this episode Les Check Us out of beTobe REVIZECCOM. You know the drill, shareiff friends, O family coworkers,get it out there, so other people can benefit from the value that we'reproviding and until next time we avevalue prime solutions Wich, you allnothing, but the greatest success you've been listening to the BTBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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