We are excited to welcome Dave Shanker as our guest for this episode. Dave is the CEO and Founder of David Shanker Consulting.
Dave’s career spans more than thirty years, and he has mostly been involved with market research, running different market research agencies. He has also been involved in startups and has had a family business along the way.
Dave’s leadership style
People have often told Dave that he is authentic and that he wears his heart on his sleeve, so what you see is what you get. And he communicates a lot, he cares, and he gets invested in employees, clients, and the business.
Dave wants to win, and he wants his team to win just as much.
What makes people scared
Early in his career, Dave learned that not knowing is what makes people scared. And if people don’t know, they will make assumptions, and they will probably be wrong.
Building trust and credibility
You need to be very forthright, upfront, and candid with your employees, over time, to build trust and credibility.
Moving an organization to the next level
Dave believes that putting together a combination of caring, being passionate about a business, and getting invested in the employees, the clients, and the business, starts a good foundation for building a culture change and moving an organization to the next level.
Dave has always sent out weekly emails to his entire company, telling everyone what he has been doing. However, he knew that he needed to change from typing emails to doing video. So one day, he made a video and spoke for five minutes, and he was blown away by the response he got.
Dave joined Lightspeed at an interesting time. He had a challenge from day one there in working out how to bring the three different business units together. The fun part of it for him was looking across the three sales teams and thinking about ways to get them working together so that one plus one plus one would equal ten. They were successful because the sales teams all saw the benefits of working together.
Dave started with the employees. He spent many hours talking to the employees one-on-one.
The one truth that Dave found was that you can’t get to where you are going unless you know where you are. And for him, the way to do that was to talk to his employees.
After talking to the employees, he started talking to his customers because frequent communication is necessary to get your customers to buy-in.
Points of resistance
Some of the points of resistance that he ran into were around sharing customers, doubts about whether or not his commission would get paid, and whether someone else would manage to deliver as efficiently as he could.
Through the change, they did not drive growth equally across the three different business units. Because of the things Dave put in place, however, they managed to drive growth in two of the three business units. And they realized some substantial wins in how they went about the day-to-day of the business.
After Lightspeed, Dave went to a B2B media company called Ensemble IQ and had to do some heavy lifting there. He approached it in the same way as he approached Lightspeed, by thinking about what they could do at the back end to create efficiencies and become seamless, to have one operations team delivering across everything. Although the people at Ensemble IQ were very resistant to change, he still managed to do it fairly quickly.
For the most part, Dave likes centralization across shared services, no matter which stage the company is at.
The companies that Dave prefers working with
Dave enjoys working with companies with challenges in figuring out how to sell into the market they would like to get into. And with companies that are struggling to get to the next level.
Dave leans towards keeping things simple with account planning. For him, account planning is about having a conversation with the salesperson about what you want to accomplish at that account during the next twelve to twenty-four months. After agreeing about what you want to accomplish you need to think about what you need to do, to get there.
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