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Episode 96  |  34:35 min

Mindset matters: Finding purpose and leading from the front

Episode 96  |  34:35 min  |  08.16.2021

Mindset matters: Finding purpose and leading from the front

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This is a podcast episode titled, Mindset matters: Finding purpose and leading from the front. The summary for this episode is: <p>What's your company’s reason for being? Sam Myers, Managing Director at Rational 360, has a diverse background ranging from politics to business development to the agency world. The common factor he believes top organizations share? Purpose. In this episode, Sam shares why organizations don’t have to choose between profit and purpose — and why taking a stand benefits both your customers and employees.</p><p><br></p><p>Key Takeaways:</p><p>08:42 - What it means to be purpose driven</p><p>14:21 - Where does the purpose come from</p><p>19:26 - Data Breakout: Inclusive and diverse hiring practices</p><p>20:47 - Encouraging purpose driven behavior</p><p>28:08 - The responsibility of a sales team to advocate for purpose driven behavior</p><p>33:29 - Micro-Action: Take a look at the diversity on your own team</p><p><br></p><p>Want to explore Revenue Intelligence for your org? It starts here: <a href="https://www.gong.io/revenue-intelligence/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.gong.io/revenue-intelligence/</a></p><p>Connect with Devin Reed: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/devinreed/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/devinreed/</a></p><p>Connect with Sheena Badani: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheenabadani/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheenabadani/</a></p><p>Connect with Sam Myers: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammyersjr/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/sammyersjr/</a></p>
Takeaway 1 | 02:38 MIN
What it means to be purpose driven
Takeaway 2 | 02:50 MIN
Where does the purpose come from
Takeaway 3 | 00:41 MIN
Data Breakout: Inclusive and diverse hiring practices
Takeaway 4 | 01:51 MIN
Encouraging purpose driven behavior
Takeaway 5 | 03:04 MIN
The responsibility of a sales team to advocate for purpose driven behavior
Takeaway 6 | 00:56 MIN
Micro-Action: Take a look at the diversity on your own team

What's your company’s reason for being? Sam Myers, Managing Director at Rational 360, has a diverse background ranging from politics to business development to the agency world. The common factor he believes top organizations share? Purpose. In this episode, Sam shares why organizations don’t have to choose between profit and purpose — and why taking a stand benefits both your customers and employees.

Guest Thumbnail
Sam Myers
Managing Director, Rational 360
Sam Myers Jr has built coalitions all across the US around the policies and ideals of two presidential administrations, six presidential campaigns, and clients and advocacy organizations across Commerce, Education, Technology, Nutrition, Labor, Aerospace and Human Capital. He credits meeting people where they live their lives to gain an authentic understanding of the factors that define who they are, as central to every winning campaign.
Connect with Sam

Devin: Welcome to Reveal: the Revenue Intelligence Podcast powered by Gong. We're your hosts Devin Reed.

Sheena: And I'm Sheena Badani. Revenue intelligence is a new way of operating based on customer reality. Instead of opinions, making data- driven decisions based on facts instead of opinions or guesswork.

Devin: And it's made up of three success pillars, people, intelligence, deal, intelligence, and market intelligence. You know, the things all revenue teams need and care about. Every week, we interview senior revenue professionals and share their stories and insights on how they leverage revenue intelligence to drive success and win their market.

Sheena: You'll hear how modern go- to- market teams win as a team close revenue with critical deal insight, and execute their strategic initiatives. Plus all the challenges that come along with it.

Devin: What's up everybody. I am without my partner in crime, Sheena Badani but just for the intro, she's on a much deserved vacation. I hope you're taking vacation during the summer months as well. Make sure that you work hard and play hard and take some much needed R and R. So for this week's episode, we had a really great guest. You know I think that every week, but we have Sam Myers on who's the managing director at Rational 360. What's really interesting about Sam is that his background is in politics. And then in his career, he made a pivot into a business development role for design agencies. And so what we dive into this week is how to be purpose driven. So we talk about what's your purpose, how to take this purpose driven mindset as a leader and distill it across your team. And then the last chapter that we hit on is how to take that insight and really level up your DEI hiring practices. So we cover a lot of different angles on this interview. I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too. All right, let's go hang out with Sam. Sam, thank you so much for hanging out with us on Reveal. We're happy to have you.

Sam: Happy to be here. Thanks to you both. It's exciting to be here.

Devin: So we'd like to always do a bit of an icebreaker here. And I saw on your LinkedIn bio, you have this quote, it says meet people where they live their lives to gain an authentic understanding of the factors that define who they are as central to every winning campaign. I'd love to just know, what does that quote mean to you? And why did you decide to put it on your LinkedIn profile?

Sam: If you think about GOTV. So that quote to me represents both politics, business, public affairs, I mean basically motivating people and it comes down to contextualization. It comes down to what matters to people where they are, where they live their lives and specifically GOTV getting out the vote on the campaign. It's one thing for a candidate or a human being in any regard to convince someone to vote for them based on their policies, based on what they want to do to transform the world or the government or the country. It's an entirely different thing to motivate a person to get off their couch, get a babysitter, stand in line for four hours, perhaps in the rain take time off from work. Some people can't do that. So it's a massive hardship to even be able to do that. And again, to motivate a person to do that, that takes contextualization. It takes them caring about them seeing themselves in those policies. So if you look at GOTV and then think about that approach and think about it GOTC get out the customer, GOTB get out the buyer from a B2B approach or GOTP, get out the policymaker. If you take that same approach, you need that contextualization. You need to know what they care about, what motivates them, what defines their fears and their hopes and their wants, and that becomes the underpinning to motivate people to move forward. So that's what I meant by that, if that makes sense.

Devin: Yeah, absolutely. I'm all about it. I lead a marketing team and we're all about the reader learning about, what do they care about? What do they care about right now? And how can we motivate them to take action? You motivated me to take action just now, because I'm not afraid to admit it. I did not know what GOTV stood for. So I want to confirm my quick Google search was correct in case any listeners were also scratching their head. Is it get out there and vote?

Sam: Get out the vote. Yeah. And that's okay. I shouldn't have assumed that my wonkie background that everybody would know what that means, but yeah, get out the vote. It's motivating people through large- scale events. It's meeting people where they are in a lot of different ways. Digital is much more powerful now because of just access to technology. But yes, it's get out the vote. Thanks for looking that up.

Devin: Happy to show my ignorance.

Sheena: Thanks for asking for us, Dev. And so that question just alluded to the fact that you've had a really interesting background. You've spent a lot of time working in politics. You've also been on the business development side and have a sales angle to your career. So talk about this either blend or transition from politics into sales. How did that happen? What motivated you to do that?

Sam: I grew up in politics as I mentioned when we met. My dad worked for the Carter administration, and I thought everybody's dad worked for the President when I was a kid, which is not actually a thing, but I was around that world, literally my whole life, as long as I can remember. And outside of a couple years as lead singer in a band, that's what I've done my whole life professionally and doing it on multiple presidential campaigns from'96 all the way through this last cycle. And really understanding again, grassroots and understanding what drives people and seeing the approach transform over the course of almost 30 years from robocalls and mailing into something that now is a digital activation around mailing, but more use of digital that targets people where they are. I mean, that's really where the industry is going is direct communication. But to your point, I worked in the Clinton administration after that campaign, after the'96 campaign. And then after the'08 campaign, worked in the Obama administration in education. In that role, it was a couple of years in scheduling and advance, which is a logistics and gate keeping role, and then took the White House liaison role at Department of Education. And that's a mix. It's about 50% just catch all with things that are coming from the White House and trying to figure out the political, how to navigate when Ed wants to talk about one thing and the White House wants to talk about another on a Wednesday. And the other half is hiring all the political appointees, being the main conduit for hiring the 180 political appointees. I raise that because of the recruiting angle then. Politics, again, trying to develop an IQ and adaptability, a quotient as well to figure out what makes people tick and what drives them both to find the right person for the roles, but also sell them on taking a role that's almost always a pay cut, hours that are incredibly long, but for a purpose, which again is in the ethos of the person who wins the White House. And after eight years in the administration, I went to a digital agency, huge. To your point, it's all kind of the same ecosystem. It's figuring out what motivates people, selling someone to take a job, selling someone to get off the couch and vote, or selling someone on a capability that isn't just something that you hope they buy, but that you know actually will help them. Will help a company navigate through problems, data- driven, capabilities that will actually either figure out what they actually need to do or helping them do the very thing that they've realized they have to do. It's all very much the same ecosystem. I'm answering your question. I feel like I'm bantering.

Sheena: No, that's great. And actually, it's so interesting to think about the parallels between sales and politics. If you could get an individual motivated enough to do something on behalf of their country, you can you could take those same skills, those same perspectives, and get them to motivate them to do something on behalf of their company. So it's really interesting to think about how you took your experiences and the skills from one arena to a totally different one. So really, really interesting food for thought. I do have to say that I did pull up Google, just like you Devon a second ago for Zeitgeist.

Devin: For Zeitgeist, right. Okay. I knew what this one meant, but I almost googled it again to make sure.

Sheena: I love it. I am learning new stuff on this conversation. So that keeps me motivated and happy.

Devin: It was a fun word. So Sam, you were just talking about purpose, right? Because if you're going to get someone to take longer hours, potentially make less or a lot less money than purpose is usually the thing on the other side of the scale, right. That balances it out or tips it in your favor. And so you're a very purpose driven individual, what does that mean to you to be purpose driven?

Sam: I mean, it means taking a stance. It means getting off the sidelines. When I say purpose, I've spent my whole life in progressive politics. It's no shock where I stand politically, but the word purpose doesn't necessarily mean Democrat or liberal purposes, getting off the sidelines up until two or three years ago, for some brands and companies, it was more of a risk to get off the sidelines and stand for something than it is now. Now the risk is not getting off the sidelines and that's being driven by a whole massive evolving ecosystem of stakeholders. That's government officials, that's analysts, that's reporters, that's consumers, that's B to B buyers, parents. I could go on and on. It's just become such an outcry from everyone to lean into this. And it's easy for people to say that COVID caused it. I think COVID amplified it. COVID amplified it. Murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor amplified it. Joe Biden winning amplified it. But if you think about prior to that, Larry Fink called this out in his letter to CEO three years ago, the purpose would become table stakes. And the BRT changed their charter before COVID happened. That happened in late 2019. And again, I think where we have come now with what was building before, I think largely because there's a new generation of people coming online and more senior roles millennials that are very purpose- driven themselves, but as they're stepping more and more into that ecosystem that I said before, they're bringing people along with them, their parents, and their friends. So even boomers are becoming purpose driven. And we're realizing that that is what is needed to move the world forward. So again, there was a point a number of years ago where My Pillow for instance, came out and supported President Trump and totally different ecosystem, totally different area of politics than I obviously agree with. But overnight they lost 50% of their 2000 customers and gained another, I think, 40, 000 customers or something, something insane because they took a stand. May not have been what some people believe was right, but they got off the sidelines. So for me, my definition of purpose is my own and definitely more progressive, but again, it really is a risk now for brands not to stand for something, not to get off the sidelines. And that goes for the people inside companies as well, CEOs with exec coms. CEOs have to have a perspective on this as well for employees too. Employees will leave companies that aren't starting to think about this in certain ways and go to other companies that are, because it makes them feel like they're actually making a difference in the world. So again, for me, it's getting off the sidelines.

Devin: Well, you made a great point or example there which is when you have a purpose and then you outwardly share what it is. You're naturally going to divide the room a bit. Right. And so, like you said, yeah, My Pillow lost half of their customer base. If you stop there, you'd be like, no purpose for me. I'm good. I'm keeping it to myself. Then you just said, hey, I don't know what the amount is 80X, whatever that is 40X or whatever the number is a lot more customers because of it. So how do companies decide maybe like what their purpose is and how to share it externally? Right. So you're attracting the right people, even if you're okay saying, hey, we're going to lose some people, but in the long run, that's not the right group that we want anyway. Does that make sense?

Sam: It does. Yeah. And just to be fair, the reason I raised My Pillow is growing up in the Midwest and spending my life in democratic politics, but trying to be more of a moderate, I felt like I needed to at least talk about the more conservative side of what purposes is. I now arc much harder towards the more progressive one, but I mean, again, that stakeholder ecosystem to kind of a purpose that they're demanding is equity, is lifting up marginalized communities, underserved communities. And back to your question though, specifically around how companies can do this, it's just that. It's figuring out what matters to their employees, figuring out what matters to their customers. If they can do an assessment and figure that out, is it forward? Is it a small foundation? Is it Accenture? Is it Deloitte? Their stakeholder ecosystem first is to figure out who are the people that they feel like they need to move. The purpose that they need to take doesn't necessarily need to be what the whole world wants, but they need to figure out who their stakeholders are and what they care about. Most of the time now that is more progressive, more or less lifting up marginalized communities and thinking about how to create more equitable outcomes and not just giving access to communities, but not just democratizing it, but actually making it accessible. But it's just that. It's figuring out why are they doing this? Who are the stakeholders they want to move? And then from there working backwards. Now the tactics again, could be an assessment. It can be working with their employees as well. And having town halls on the record, off the record to figure out what drives people and also creating a cultural belonging from an employee perspective. But again, is it B2B, is it B to C? Is it a company that works more with the government? Everybody has stakeholders, and now that's fundamentally different than it was three years ago. So that's the first big step is figuring that out, who are their stakeholders.

Speaker 4: For companies, I think there's some companies that have like very clear purposes and their executives are very vocal about it. And they have coms and media efforts specifically focused around that. There are other companies, maybe they could be doing better. Where does this purpose come from? Does it have to come from the founders? Is it top down? Is there a way to kind of bring it up from existing employees? How is it really created?

Sam: All those things, honestly. And a company doesn't... I think there's this misnomer that for a company to lean into purpose, especially if lifting up marginalized communities and specifically black and brown communities or women or veterans that they themselves have to somehow look and be like those communities. And maybe that was the case at one point, but that all changed when George Ford was murdered. All of that expectation of having to prove yourself as an ally went away. Now there's an expectation or inaudible now there's an expectation of ally ship and of equity. And I think a company can draw from a lot of different sources now to your question. It doesn't have to just come from the board or just come from investments that they're making, or just come from a traditional legacy history. And they can find themselves on their own ally ship journey in a lot of ways. And even if they're just starting, even if they've never tweeted about this, they've never made a single investment, there's a place to start. And that doesn't even necessarily need to be a hundred million dollars like Apple is investing in tearing down structural racism, institutional racism. It can also be a company that lifts up other nonprofits and charities in communities where they have plants or headquarters through the heft of their brand, partnering with them and having an activation and then putting it on social media or just letting people know that they are there. So there's more awareness of fundraising and cash flow to those organizations that help those communities. That's a good place to start as well. And back to this expectation of ally ship, one of the things that was one of the brightest spots of my time at BCW was that I was one of the executive sponsors of their African- American employee resource group. And again, I'm a white guy from Missouri. I'm the last person that you would think would do that. But because of this expectation now, and me being somebody who cares about this deeply half, my whole life. My wife is biracial. I try to see the lived experience through her eyes that I'm never, ever going to understand, but gut check myself and make sure that I'm saying things that are at least empathetic and understanding what I don't know, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. But that wouldn't happen three years ago. It would have been wait, who are you? You're doing what for what group? And it wasn't even an afterthought the fact that I was able to do that, and it was honestly, one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences of my entire life. But back to your question, companies now can fire on all kinds of different cylinders with the RGS, with partnering, with nonprofits, with pulling in perspective, from an outside advisory council. Convene a group of 20 people at nonprofits, big and small across the country to have them be your advisory group on what you don't know and what purpose is actually to invest in or lift up to the head of your brand. So it doesn't need to be in a vacuum like it perhaps needed to be five years ago.

Sheena: So many great tips in that. I love that you don't have to do this on your own. Get some outside counsel, talk to others.

Sam: In fact if you do it on your own in some ways now that would be considered more tone deaf because I mean, in some ways the... I mean, there's the business case that we hear about for inclusion and diversity that's based to some degree on the moral imperative, but also how retention and culture. There's so much more to it though, than that when you think about bringing people in with diverse perspectives. I mean, that mix of perspective gets to creativity much more, gets to innovation much more quickly, can push through problems, get to growth. One of the reasons that the Biden administration is leaning so hard in inclusion and diversity across all the agencies, one, it's the moral imperative. I've known President Biden's since I was a kid when my dad worked for him in'88. I know of most of the people coming into the administration that they're good friends. I know that they care about this. I was one of them during the Obama Biden administration, but there's also the operational imperative and the innovation imperative of bringing people into the government, but also transforming the culture of the Pentagon for instance. Creating a culture of belonging and respectability and tearing down obstacles like sexual assault and harassment to make every American feel like they can serve will supercharge innovation in competing with China, both economically and from a defense perspective, being able to come up with solutions to problems that other countries just can't, that in many ways, having such a diverse populace is a super power for the US. So when you bring not just diverse perspective and people that have lived different lives and see the world differently, but frankly, communities that again, the system in a lot of ways is set up to fail naturally, just have to push through harder to get to something that maybe is democratized, but it's not accessible. And doing that, living those lives, supercharges a human's emotional quotient, but also their adaptability quotient. And again, those are the underpinnings for innovation. So there's a massive case to your point for doing this because companies can benefit from it in so many different ways.

Devin: Sam says that hiring from diverse backgrounds is extremely beneficial for any company. Inclusive and diverse hiring practices can drive creativity, innovation, and fast track a company's growth, Boston Consulting Group surveyed over 1700 companies to see how company leaders are perceived by employees through factors such as age, national origin, and more. They found that companies with more diversity across the leadership team earn 19% higher revenue in the last three years than those with less diverse leadership teams. This tells me that, like Sam said, diverse backgrounds bring unique perspectives that improve company culture and revenue. The two are connected. I'm curious how leaders can kind of take this, take these insights and these kind of examples and encourage purpose driven behavior throughout their organization. Do you have any advice for that?

Sam: I do. I mean, I would say being an example. It's one thing to encourage this. It's another thing to be an example specific. And when I say example, I mean, the way you talk to people, choosing your words in a way that is respectable, but also understands the tonality of what's happening in the world. And that's not just a matter of giving a person a half day off because they watched the news and the Derek Chauvin verdict came and it's an emotional time. That's important, but having an open dialogue, having a culture of belonging, having the ability for people to really feel like they're bringing their whole selves. And as I say that, I've heard that so many times in decks and in articles that I've read that it almost sounds cliche at this point, but it is so important for leaders to do that, to emulate the very thing that they want their employees or their service industry, companies that either are infrastructure that provide services or goods for larger paradigms, like healthcare and the meat packing industry and manufacturing. I mean, for companies, those executives need to lean into that and be the change agent that they want their staff to be as well. And in our conversations before, we were talking about some of the things to really dive into, one of the things that you had mentioned. I think you said, what companies should stop doing now around DEAI. This segues into that because DEAI, the letters are in the wrong order. And they're missing a little bit too. I mean, one of the things that I think executives and hiring manager alike get wrong is thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion, starting with diversity to bring in diverse talent. Well, you can hire as many black people and Hispanic people as you want and Asian Americans as you want, but if your culture isn't set up, not just to retain them, but also make them feel like they're safe and they're welcome and they belong there, it will be revolving door. So starting with inclusion, starting with a culture that again has ERGs and has if a company's not big enough for ERGs, tonality from an executive so people feel like they can actually have conversations about little things that in retrospect aren't little. But one of our, I said African- American employee resource group before, the acronym we lovingly called the AER. One of the things that I brought to the mix, and it was a little uncomfortable for me to do it because I wasn't quite sure if I was onto something, but my wife thought I was, was the arc towards the end of Falcon and Winter Soldier. I won't ruin it for folks that haven't seen it, but that was incredibly powerful, the way they teased that out and the way they talked about what handing the shield to a black man, the white people not realizing what that actually meant. And I brought it to the group and we had a two- hour conversation on it. It was so powerful, but having a culture where that's okay, having a culture where you can say words and actually explore things that mean something to you, that's creating a culture of belonging, being open to people, being who they are. You hired them for a reason. If a company hired a person for a reason you want that whole person. You don't want them to come in and conform to the guardrails that your company has. So back to the DNI recognize it's the industry standard, but inclusion, and then diversity bringing people in that you actually want to have diverse perspectives from. And that live in communities that the system is set up to fail. Equity, again, creating opportunities for people that many have, and others don't have access to. So inclusion, diversity and equity, and then the a is accessibility or accountability is again, not just democratizing, creating a culture that you're proactively making sure people have access to it and understand it. So, I mean, in some ways back to the original question, I think that's what's so important about this for executives is to think about creating an environment that's equitable, accessible, that when you hire a person, the goal you want to have is when they come in and they start and they get up and running and they meet the colleagues and they get involved in the work, whether it's an agency, whether it's a small think tank, whether it's a CPG, that they dread the idea of leaving that job, because they feel that they are part of the fabric. And they're moving things forward themselves, and they're helping grow the company, or they're delivering great work on behalf of clients, or they're coming up with strategies for new candy wrappers, but that they feel a part of the fabric of that company, and they dread the idea of ever losing that. That's a true culture of belonging. And that's how executives need to think about this, is that get rid of your guardrails. I know that every company has a perspective and an ethos and an understanding of what they do and their legacy, but they've got to get rid of guardrails in order to create a culture that actually makes sense for people to want to stay.

Sheena: So many great points in that. I can see once you're an employee at a company, you have a pretty good sense of how inclusive and accepting is this company. When you are considering joining a new company, it's really hard to get that sense, right? You may see on the website that they are some ERGs, but beyond that, it's really hard to understand, is this a purpose driven company? Is it for me? So I'm curious if you have any recommendations for folks who may be interviewing or looking for their next job to really find that company where they're going to fit in and be included, what questions should they be asking?

Sam: Obviously questions with trying to do their own blind references with either employees that they know or people that they know that know employees with what the company is like. But I mean, look at what the company is putting out there into the world. I mean, look at what energy they have, by what light they're putting out. Is there social content that's thoughtful, that points to a company that's not afraid to actually talk about this or look at their clients. If it's an agency, look at their clients, look at who they work for. Rational 360 has us against Alzheimer's. When I saw that case study on the website and what they had done immediately, I was like, oh, this is a great company. They think about this in a way that actually will move the world forward. But again, it doesn't have to be an agency. It can be thinking about look at companies like bank of America for instance. They make investments all over the country in local markets, in what matters to communities there. It can be a school. It can be community forum. It can be a park. It can be a hospital, but they make investments locally. And I think that they're doing it because again, they want to drive up their consumer engagement and also be able to have a voice with the policymakers in local communities, but they are transforming the world in a positive way. And that's all out there on the internet. There's all kinds of different case studies and all kinds of different anecdotes for every company out there. And to your point, if a person goes to look for that and can't find any of that, any perspective on Twitter or LinkedIn or panel discussions or something that points to what they're doing in the world, good or bad, bad is obviously a red flag, but nothing is as a red flag too if a company's not willing to get off the sidelines and take some kind of a stand on something then that would make me take pause on is the culture match that? Is the culture also full of guard rails as is the voice that they have outside of their walls.

Sheena: There is a responsibility for the company. I suspect there's also some responsibility for folks who are customer facing, who are outwardly facing in any way. So what's the responsibility of a sales rep or a sales manager, or a customer success manager, engaging with their clients on advocating for this purpose or communicating that externally?

Sam: I mean, you all called this out with data. What Gong does. I mean, if you go the perspective that makes sense and a argument that makes sense that's admirable. And many clients, or prospects will listen to that. But if you have data, if you can show that 97% of Americans want companies to invest in their backyard in lifting up marginalized communities and equitable access to technology and healthcare, you can actually show actual data. And a lot of times that's like a sledgehammer when clients and prospects hear that. It's like, oh, and they see the numbers and realize, oh, this isn't just somebody pitching me or push on tonality. This is real. This is where America is moving, where most Americans are moving. So data is a huge part of that. So what you all do with bringing in data and strategy and thinking through what's around the edges that people don't see on face, that's a huge part of it as well, to be able to both sell, but also create trust between sales people and growth people. I love to say strategic growth. I mean, sales is definitely powerful, but when you think about strategic growth, it's not just picking up the phone and calling someone. It's not just trying to meet a quota. It's about again, zeitgeists and thinking about all that's out there and the fabric of society, or the fabric of people that you're pitching, or that you're wanting to get on the radar of. And I love LinkedIn. I'm a huge fan of being on LinkedIn constantly and liking people's and putting up my own, trying to come up with some content, putting up an article that I thought was interesting and a little quote at the top as I posted, but that's just creating your own gravity to navigate through. And what I believe is that purpose is a huge part of that purpose in digital and reaching people where they are, is what's most important right now to try and move people. But again, just even as salespeople, to your point, just getting out there. I mean, if you cold call someone, you might get through, you might not. Or even if you reach out to somebody who you know or knew well 10 years ago, you might get through, but if you're creating your own gravity and your own connected tissue out there by just putting your own things out into the world, sharing other companies content, coming up with your own content, liking people's posts, commenting on people's posts when they get a new job, that starts to build. And that starts to be a powerful thing that you can navigate through. And then when you're sending a note to somebody you might know, they remember seeing the three posts or somebody that you don't know, they remember seeing a thought piece you put up about a public affairs ally ship, or about the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Edmund Pettus Bridge or something that is specific to the, I keep saying the word ethos, but that's another word that I love, the ethos specific to them. Just like what I'm saying, that the clients and the companies need to do this, salespeople also need to have a perspective and put it out there. So people will notice them and want to work with them. And remember them when they come back to them. Nothing is a cold call at that point.

Devin: Love that you called it gravity because I believe that completely, as you know. I lead content at Gong. And that's what we're all about. As you know, if you understand your audience, if you provide relevant information and your purpose driven, you do create gravity, right? It brings people closer to you, but also like- minded people closer together. And that's where the real community comes in. Right? It's not just about you and those people. It's about those people with each other. So I really love how you put that.

Sam: Good. Thank you.

Devin: All right, Sam. We ask all of our lovely guests the same question at the end of the show. How would you describe sales in one word?

Sam: Sales in one word.

Devin: Sam is thinking and buying time by drinking some of his water.

Sam: That's exactly what I did. I mean the word, I'm not sure that this is right, but the word that came to mind when you said that was fun. I'm an extrovert. I love being around people. I love meeting new people and discovering new things about the world. It's one of the things they used to talk to AER a lot about was that what was a huge Bourdain fan, putting yourself in other people's shoes gives you a new perspective of the world that makes it more colorful, more exciting. And it would be so boring without that. So being able to be in sales and in strategic growth and be out there and meet new people and discover new things. It's fun. It's enriching. Maybe that's a better one. Yeah.

Devin: I love it. No, I can tell from our conversation today that you genuinely believe that just in the way you carry yourself when you talk about these things. You can tell when there's true passion. I think too, as you're saying about purpose. Purpose can't be faked. Even if you say this is my purpose, but it's not real to you, it doesn't stick. Other people don't feel that. So plus one over here, Sam. I like it.

Sam: Awesome.

Sheena: Yeah. I can feel it radiating through our monitors though. Really, really loved the conversation. It was a lot of fun.

Sam: Well, I did as well. And when my kids call me a nerd, I'm going to say that Devin and Sheena said I'm passionate. So stop calling me a nerd.

Devin: Yeah. And they're going to go,"And they're nerds to say that."

Sheena: I'll say yes. You're right.

Devin: Probably, probably.

Sam: I really appreciate you all reaching out and making the time. This was a great conversation.

Devin: Absolutely. Absolutely. Every week, we bring you a micro action, something you can think about or an action you can put into play today. I really liked the point that Sam made about company leaders needing to be the change agents that they want their employees to follow. Not only does this include hiring diverse talent, but also having a company culture that fosters inclusion. This week take a look at the diversity on your sales team, but also look at inclusive practices. Are employees encouraged to take part in ERG and have their voices heard? Do people feel like they're part of a team? Are there subtle social norms that prevent certain groups from speaking up these seemingly small things have a huge impact on employees? It can elevate your team morale and results. Did you like today's episode? Subscribe now so next week's episode, will be waiting for you on Monday. And if you're not ready to give a five, check out another episode and see if we've won you over by then.

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