Manoj Leelanivas, EVP, Chief Operating Officer, Juniper Networks

Shattering the Glass Ceiling — Episode 3

Be BoldLeadership Voices Manoj Leelanivas
Manoj Leelanivas Headshot

Tips for shattering the glass ceiling from someone who’s been there and won.

In this not-to-be-missed episode of the Be Bold podcast, Juniper’s Manoj Leelanivas speaks with Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, venture partner (and glass-ceiling smasher) at New Enterprise Associates. Listen (and be inspired) as she shares the secrets of her career trajectory, and how she successfully navigated tough new challenges along the way. 

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You’ll learn

  • Advice on how you too can be a trailblazer in a world of constant change 

  • The valuable role mentors often play in a successful career

Who is this for?

Business Leaders


Manoj Leelanivas Headshot
Manoj Leelanivas
EVP, Chief Operating Officer, Juniper Networks

Guest speakers

Hilarie Koplow-McAdams Headshot
Hilarie Koplow-McAdams
Venture Partner, New Enterprise Associates


0:00 one of the things that I really had to get comfortable with was this idea that I was different and I would encourage

0:07 the audience to think about that really deeply what does that mean I did not fit in as a female sales leader I did not

0:16 fit in as a female product manager with a non-technical degree by the way either

0:21 so when you're faced with the circumstances you can do two things you

0:26 can worry about it a lot or you can Embrace this idea that you're different and maybe you bring a different

0:32 perspective foreign

0:44 and welcome to another episode of be bold remember to like And subscribe to our

0:50 podcast on Spotify Apple music and all major platforms

0:56 in this episode we'll meet Hillary kopler mchitis an accomplished president

1:02 former Chief Revenue officer in the enterprise software category and

1:07 currently Venture partner at new Enterprise Associates she has shattered the glass ceiling and

1:13 continues to Transit as a board member and as a venture capitalist we'll discuss her career trajectory how

1:20 she's taken on new challenges and navigated them along the way we'll also ask about role models and

1:27 mentors during her journey and get her advice on how young people can look to

1:33 trailblaze in this world of constant change hi Hillary it's a pleasure to have you

1:39 join us today as noted at the top today's episode is focused on shattering the glass ceiling and navigating the

1:47 world of technology before we dive into your professional career take us back

1:53 to your early days how did you become interested in Tech and where did you go to school great

1:59 thanks Manoj for that wonderful intro and it's a pleasure to be here I appreciate you inviting me so um you

2:07 know I grew up in the New England area just outside of Boston and when it came

2:12 time to apply to college I have a twin sister we applied to women's colleges all over the country and just so

2:19 happened that I ended up getting winning a scholarship to Mills College back in the early 80s my sister headed off to

2:26 Vassar I headed off to Mills and that brought me to California that was the second time I had been to California in

2:32 my life in those days we didn't get on to airplanes quite so often as we do today so flying across

2:40 the country was a big deal going to college across the country was a really big deal

2:45 um I spent three years at Mills I spent a year in the UK my junior year abroad

2:50 and then in my senior year of college I applied to graduate school and I was

2:56 very interested in public policy I applied to the University of Chicago and was accepted into their public policy

3:02 program so as soon as I graduated from Mills I got on another airplane sight on

3:07 scene flew to the University of Chicago and spent two years there and earned my Master's in public policy

3:15 how'd that first start wow that's a lot of flying around in those times and once you've finished

3:21 your college you took another flight a long flight and landed an article that

3:27 was your first uh you know journey into your professional career and from everything we know about Oracle at that

3:33 time it's this hard charging company right very driven how did you fit into

3:38 that culture what were some of the things you faced as part of the journey and you know how did you get you know

3:46 really involved into the culture of Oracle and what lessons did you learn

3:51 so many great questions that Oracle was pretty actually applying for a job at the

3:58 Federal Reserve my student loans for due I like to share this because most of us

4:04 carried student loans in those days and I know a lot of our audience does as well

4:09 and I had to debate between taking a job at Oracle or calling my parents and

4:15 asking them to help me with my student loans so obviously I took the job at Oracle deferred this dream of working

4:21 for the Federal Reserve and ended up at Oracle in the product division as a um

4:26 one of my first important jobs was that of a product manager what what really

4:32 resonated with me about Oracle was the culture of disruption that Larry Ellison had built

4:39 um his perspective which I really embraced was this idea that tech

4:45 companies were designed to disrupt the status quo and if you look at my history

4:52 and kind of the teaching that was embraced at uchicago which is really all about disrupting markets and

4:59 constructing models if you think about kind of their their first principal School

5:04 um and then my upbringing where my dad ran r d for an industrial company out in

5:11 the Boston area on highway 128. this whole idea of the status quo was meant

5:17 to be changed was really fully ingrained in me when I got to Oracle it felt really comfortable

5:24 um you know it was a tough culture in retrospect it was very Socratic

5:29 um I realized I had to wear a lot of armor to be successful there I was very successful there over the years

5:36 um but it was a culture that I'll never forget and and kind of built the

5:42 foundation for how I think about leadership today whether in my operating worlds or in my poor girls or as a

5:48 venture capitalist and hopefully that armor served you well as you started moving from Oracle to

5:55 other companies and you know what really attracted to you you to many of these opportunities and

6:02 if I'm not mistaken at the time a sales leader a female sales leader is

6:09 a rarity and let alone being a cro or a head of

6:15 sales in a company in a software company and you made that amazing journey what

6:20 were some of the obstacles you faced to the journey and how did you overcome them yeah well let me it's a great question let me go back to being a

6:27 product manager um I don't think I was a particularly good product manager I wasn't schooled

6:33 in product management I just was looking at some podcasts today designed for product managers and I was thinking in

6:39 my head gosh I wish that had existed in my early 20s when I was a product

6:44 manager at Oracle but um in my the first couple years I was there I was a product manager for

6:50 application development tools which don't exist today and that's the whole

6:55 story and into itself and then I moved to product marketing and I spent a lot of time in front of customers helping

7:03 sales people close deals helping customers understand the technology and

7:08 how to effectively utilize the technology and those and those experiences actually attracted me to

7:16 sales where it's very clear that the um at Oracle is very clear that you are

7:22 either an engineer this successful roles in the company with a lot of Mobility where engineering roles and sales roles

7:29 and I think today even that reputation for the company exists and people understand why you

7:37 sort of want to move to those roles that have a lot of Mobility when you're when you're interested in those areas and you

7:43 have passion for it so about three or four years into my journey at Oracle I

7:48 decided to transfer to sales after having been a product manager in product marketing maybe it was five years I wish

7:55 you know I wish my LinkedIn were more detailed in those days LinkedIn didn't exist which is why it's not more

8:02 detailed but I moved to sales and I felt like wow the glove fits for me I

8:08 understand the products and that's often a big barrier in sales organizations who

8:14 understands the products and who can translate the value proposition of that product to typically a very technical

8:20 buyer um so I was in a great position to do that I had insights from having been a

8:26 product manager um that helped me be a very successful sales person but also a contributor to

8:34 the strategy the sales strategy for the company and that was something that the leadership team picked up on very early

8:41 and put me on the sales Advisory Board which would meet with the President of Sales once a quarter and there I was at

8:49 like I don't know 26 27 years old whispering in the ear of the president of the company on what are pricing

8:56 strategies should look like vis-a-vis Microsoft and that was pretty heady stuff that was pretty exciting and I

9:03 think that those experiences participating in the sales Advisory Board being brought into strategic

9:09 conversations around how our division was run really helped me understand what

9:16 my potential was beyond being an individual contributor as a salesperson

9:21 um now what's rugged about the Oracle culture that I loved and and I should

9:26 set the stage the company was when I joined the company they had just gone public and we went public at 100 million

9:34 dollars in Revenue that's unusual today to go public at that early stage we were

9:41 growing to a half billion dollars the next year and the following year we grew to a billion dollars so this was like a

9:48 rocket that was taking off and I happened to have found a seat on this rocket

9:54 um and what I recognized very early on was that the company embraced this idea

10:00 of meritocracy that if you were contributing and delivering and had good

10:05 ideas it didn't matter how old you were it didn't matter what seat you had in

10:11 the company everybody was opening open to listening to your ideas and that just that just energized me that just made me

10:18 feel like I can make an incredible contribution to this company well beyond the specific remit that I have in the in

10:25 the role that I happened to play at that time and that led to a quick succession

10:31 of promotions I think if I remember correctly I had seven jobs in the first

10:36 five years of my early career a promoted promoted

10:42 promoted to management at a very early age and then eventually to sales leadership very very quickly the very

10:49 division that I was that I entered I ended up running seven years later and

10:55 it was like a two billion dollar division heady stuff at the time to realize that

11:02 you could sort of start at the bottom and work your way to the top um so hopefully that answers your

11:08 questions or stimulates other questions oh lots of questions you know use you

11:13 know started off in a rocket ship of a company yeah then you started off in the product organization but then found your

11:21 true calling which is sales and in a rapid set of promotions to become an accomplished you know sales leader

11:27 for the audience you know can you give say one thing from its sales leadership point of view which you were uniquely

11:34 you know good at and as a female leader if there's one thing which you can share

11:39 with the audience you know which helped you navigate you know the challenging environment that is Oracle in terms of

11:46 you know going up in the uh you know carpet ladder well you know I did have

11:51 one unique characteristic that people would talk to me about I don't think I self-observed it but people shared it

11:57 with me which was I was very customer-centric in the very beginning even as a product manager I knew nothing

12:03 when I took that product management job I was lucky to get that job and probably

12:09 one reason I got that job was Larry Ellison spent a quarter at the University of Chicago

12:14 and we were only allowed at that time we hired from 10 universities across the country and that gave that filter

12:21 created confidence like if you had gone to MIT or Caltech or uchicago or Stanford you got sort of a

12:28 a free pass so to speak to take on these stretch assignments so that was that was

12:34 one thing but I brought a very customer-centered Point of View to a company that was really focused on

12:40 having the best technology there was a strong belief in the company that if we have the best technology

12:47 and we've priced it right that rational buyers will buy our Tech every single

12:53 day of the week and that's why in the early days of Oracle it was and the database Market in general is sort of

12:58 characterized by Benchmark data on Speed and Performance Etc and throughput

13:04 um and that and that was a belief that Larry Ellison really had what I could see on the other side was that Microsoft

13:12 who who had become a very Fierce competitor after they acquired the rights to cybase's SQL Server database

13:18 technology did not think Tech first they actually thought Tech good enough vertical integration distribution kind

13:27 of this customer-centric view partner huge ecosystem of partners that would

13:32 implement the databases on behalf of customers taking complexity out of the customer's hands and as I sort of

13:39 studied the difference between the two strategies both of which were very successful in the market

13:45 I realized that my inclination was to be a customer back and really focused on

13:51 the customer experience and I think that's what made me ineffective not just an effective

13:56 um individual contributing salesperson but also when I became a leader a lot of the work we did on how we engaged

14:04 customers was around their experience with us and a great example of that was

14:10 I had a huge bias towards hiring more technical Sellers and to really beefing

14:15 out the sale beefing up the sales engineering ranks of the organization because I really believe that customers

14:22 wanted to talk to somebody who was technical who could help them decide if this technology would work for them and

14:29 then they'll talk to the salesperson about price and terms Etc but really the

14:34 first and most important conversations start with a technical buyer to a

14:39 technical seller which happened to be in in those days sales engineering

14:44 um this is all you know before product like growth models Etc Hillary makes a lot of sense the

14:51 customer center city in you you know I see that you know sitting with you as a fellow board member in a company so I

14:56 see that even now very well let me just push you a little bit on you know being a female leader you know walking into a

15:03 room full of you know sales um readers and you're running them right

15:08 you're running that organization and they're reporting to you how did you hold your own and is there any advice

15:13 for budding you know yeah how you navigated that I will you know it's interesting in the

15:20 early days of my career manage I didn't think about gender as a barrier at all

15:25 and maybe we'll talk about that why that is later in the podcast but what was very

15:32 clear from the very beginning of my career is that I was generally the only

15:38 woman in the room and there were very few women female role models at the company

15:45 um the ones that were there actually were in sales um and I think that's because sales has

15:50 a very clear report card so it's a great place for women to do well because you either make your number or you don't and

15:57 there's not a lot of perception dispute um and then you know then in HR and

16:04 finance and sort of supporting roles there were women emerging at the company in those days but one of the things that

16:11 I really had to get comfortable with was this idea that I was different and I

16:17 would encourage the audience to think about that really deeply what does that mean I did not fit in as a female sales

16:25 leader I did not fit in as a female product manager with a non-technical degree by the way either

16:31 so when you're faced with the circumstances you can do two things you

16:37 can worry about it a lot or you can Embrace this idea that you're different and maybe you bring a different

16:42 perspective and that's part of why I started talking about the customer centricity I think I brought less of a

16:49 technical orientation if we have the fastest database we will win true but if

16:54 we have the fastest database and we're customer centered we'll really win and that was sort of the perspective that I

17:01 brought to the table that was different from others I think all of us that go into leadership roles end up realizing

17:08 that we're different that we've marched to a different beat I'm sure you have this experience and I just had to get

17:16 comfortable with that um and not worry about it so much but

17:22 what I didn't realize and I came to realize later on was that other people

17:27 were equally uncomfortable yet I was the only woman in the room because a lot of

17:32 people changed their language they changed the stories that they told perhaps they changed the metaphors that

17:39 they used because they were sort of correcting culturally for the fact that there was a woman in the room and that

17:46 actually had the impact of on them of making them a little more formal than probably they wanted to be

17:52 to be honest you know today that's a little more natural in our company cultures 30 years ago now it's so natural

18:01 it's really Sage advice which you give Hillary just now you know you're when

18:07 you're different and you're differentiated in something you know in your case Customer Center City uh and

18:12 making sure a kick-ass product which is a customer-centric sales force can do amazing things that transcends

18:19 everything all other differences right transcends you know barriers and culture gender all that stuff so finding that

18:26 unique thing about anybody is vital it doesn't matter gender diverse culture

18:31 whatever I think that's really really great advice let me just uh fast forward a little bit from Oracle

18:38 lots of companies in between Tableau and whatnot and then Salesforce you know Salesforce you know it's a great culture

18:45 sort of company uh starting off as head of sales and eventually becoming president uh in this in these roles um

18:53 especially working with a very you know well-known individual again another individual which is a cult personality

18:59 like Mark Benny Hoff how was that journey in Salesforce and what were some of those observations from sales leaders

19:06 which you could share with well let me let me um share with the audience my exit from Oracle and how I got to

19:13 Salesforce just to set content so I was at Oracle for 18 years from 100 million to 11 billion which is

19:21 quite a journey but I was in my early 40s at that point or maybe had just turned 41 or something and I realized I

19:29 wanted to experience a different culture so I set my eyes on a company that

19:35 um was not in the Enterprise and that was Intuit and I had a friend who had gone

19:40 there who was head of QuickBooks and I asked her to introduce me to the CEO I

19:46 met with him and he hired me to come in and run sales for the small business organization and into it and what the

19:53 reason I took the role is twofold one uh it was important for me to leave Oracle

20:00 or my might still be there today you know 35 years later

20:06 um two I wanted to experience something outside of the Enterprise I felt pretty

20:11 strongly I didn't want to go to sapu who was our largest competitor at the time I

20:16 had a lot of loyalty to the company they had done great things for me my family my husband also was there for 18 years

20:22 we met there so I didn't really want to do anything sort of negative to Oracle

20:29 um and then I wanted a position that put me on the executive committee for a company I really wanted to be exposed at

20:36 the next level I'd been running a multi-billion dollar division at Oracle I often participated in the executive

20:43 committee but I was not a standing member and I really wanted that experience so I went too into it I was

20:49 there for three years just under three years I helped change the way they

20:55 engage with their customers the gifts that Intuit gave me was this incredible obsession with customer experience there

21:03 everyone in leadership and Intuit had come out of Proctor and Gamble or cpg company and they had kind of a consumer

21:10 orientation to how people used QuickBooks or Quicken or Turbo Tax that

21:17 was such a gift to me because it read it had resonated at Oracle I had thought

21:22 about it but I didn't have a way to be exposed to these Advanced Techniques for

21:28 raising customer centricity and ux design all the things we do today

21:33 naturally but we didn't do so naturally in those days with Enterprise software

21:38 so I was there for almost three years and Mark anyoff called me and said I really want you to come up here and help

21:46 me scale this company and of course I'd known Mark since my early 20s at Oracle I'd worked for him at one point my

21:53 husband had worked for him at one point so I came home and I said to my husband Mark called he said oh yeah I know he

22:00 called me too like that and he really wants you to come up to salesforth so I started

22:06 asking people in the industry what do you think about this company Salesforce Salesforce had just gone public it was

22:11 about a 500 billion dollar company remarkably I got really mixed feedback

22:16 some people were like you gotta go up there that's amazing they have this no software approach they're going to

22:23 conquer the world and other people were like it's never going to work it's never going to scale that multi-tenant

22:29 instance idea makes no sense um don't go up there and so I decided

22:36 kind of on a lark that life is worth living because of the experiences and I

22:42 committed to going to Salesforce and when I got there I was there for about four days and it was late one evening

22:49 you know I was on boarding so lots of late nights I called my husband and I said this is the perfect company it's

22:55 the synthesis of oracles technology disruption and intuits customer centricity the glove fits I am so happy

23:04 I made this decision and that's how I ended up at Salesforce well that's that's an amazing journey

23:10 you know combination of Intuit and Oracle experiences helping you Landing in Salesforce uh in all these Journeys

23:17 whether it's Oracle Intuit sales force I'm sure as you grew from a very young

23:23 Hillary to an accomplished sales leader there were you know role models and

23:28 sometimes even mentors you know who helped you guide can you share some of those experience help guide you through

23:34 this journey yeah well I think they're so important and I think menosh as you

23:40 and I know it at this point in our career they come in all shapes and sizes and often they don't even know they're a

23:46 mentor or that they've influenced you but let me share a couple that come to mind first I'll start with my

23:52 grandmother she was the first female banking commissioner in the US she was Bank commissioner for the state of

23:58 Massachusetts and her job was really to regulate the Savings and Loans banking

24:03 system which at the time was pretty much the big banking system because the

24:08 glass-steagall ACT was still in effect um and one time she told me a story that

24:14 she was invited to a men's club to speak at lunch about the state of the banks in

24:20 Massachusetts but that she had to enter the back door of the club because she

24:25 was a woman and I remember it was about eight or nine years old and I said to her Nana didn't that upset you and she said and

24:33 she was very dismissive you know nope that did not upset me at all because they were there to listen to me I was at

24:39 the podium and that's such a huge impact on me because what I realized and how she said

24:47 it and how she behaved it she didn't see that as an obstacle she knew what her purpose was at that lunch

24:53 you know to talk about the banking system she didn't care what door she had to enter to get to that Podium and I

25:00 thought that was just a moment I remember over and over again in my own career when I have to quote walk in the

25:07 back door so that's number one this woman of great determination and also a role model for

25:13 me that women in powerful leadership roles are normal you know as a little kid going into the bank people always

25:20 recognize the name they always ask me about my grandmother so I realized like

25:25 oh women have leadership roles and they contribute um to society in lots of different ways

25:31 so that was a really important role model then I had lots of leaders and

25:37 mentors that helped me with my career that made bets on me Larry Ellison made a huge bet on me in the early days he

25:44 gave me at a very young age a huge responsibility to kind of disrupt the status quo in terms of distribution

25:50 models Mark benioff always told me I am your provocateur I am going to make you

25:57 a better leader and I believe he did do that uh Steve Bennett and Scott Cook and Brad Smith over into it you know gifted

26:04 me over those three years with lots of different perspectives and most of importantly Frameworks that I had not

26:11 been exposed to so that I could look at business models from a sort of framework

26:16 and principles basis and make sense of them and make better decisions and then

26:22 I was a very serious young executive you can probably imagine this because you've

26:28 seen me in serious mode and I had one boss a woman the first woman I worked

26:34 for I think I was in your life 14 of my career before I got a female boss

26:41 she helped me understand that I didn't have to be so serious all the time and

26:47 that by building trust with people building Rapport really not being all

26:53 business all the time I could be even more powerful as an executive and more

26:59 effective as a leader in bringing out the best in people and so her name is Sandy Bruce she's now retired but she

27:06 had an amazing impact on how I thought about leadership of of human beings which is really a lot

27:13 of the work that we do wow what an amazing list of people uh I

27:19 had an inkling of you know some of these folks as possible mentors are all morals but I did not know about your grandmom I

27:26 mean it's an amazing place to be when you have a role model in your own home right you know somebody

27:32 you can look up to as your grandmother now let me just um jump into your

27:38 venture capitalist role right yeah how do you keep the pulse of the industry in the winter capitalist Rule and you know

27:45 you're meeting a lot of young entrepreneurs coming and pitching their ideas and whatnot uh

27:50 you know what's the sort of you know what have you seen you know especially come going into the year 2023 where

27:57 there is questions about you know a looming recession and whatnot uh what What's your crystal glass telling you

28:03 what advice do you have for those young budding entrepreneurs well I think first of all I really

28:09 admire Founders who are starting companies I mean I wish I had done it honestly I think if I had been born

28:16 maybe two decades later I would be a founder of a company but I didn't I didn't have that dream and

28:23 I wish I had in retrospect but the advice I mean these Venture Capital jobs

28:29 are amazing because you get to meet with so many entrepreneurs and you get exposed to so many ideas and

28:36 philosophies that it if you're a lifetime learner like I am you're just

28:41 soaking it up and you're trying to figure out how to get that Vision or at least I'm

28:47 trying to figure out how to take that vision and make sure it's successful how do I help this person build a billion

28:54 dollar company what I'm really good at menu she has operationalizing a vision so part of what I think about when I'm

29:01 meeting with young entrepreneurs is how would I operationalize that Vision like how how quickly could we go how could we

29:08 scale it what would we do first in what sequence order and why tend to spend

29:14 time with companies that are both Venture growth Equity stage so later stage companies like an automation

29:21 anywhere would fall into that category and then early early stage companies so seed stage and series a companies and

29:29 that range of company is really really interesting it keeps the work very

29:34 interesting my advice to everyone right now is first of all I think that it's going to be painful for people but it

29:41 will be a good lesson I've been around long enough you you've been around long enough I've seen three Cycles like this

29:48 and I also saw the beginning of the quantitative easing that came into the global markets in 2008 and we've had

29:54 this unprecedented level of quantitative intervention from governments and

30:01 banking authorities all over the world for since 2008 and that's part of what

30:06 we're experiencing is that they're pulling back those positions which in the long run will be better for the

30:12 economy because Capital was cheap a lot of people got access to excess capital

30:18 and didn't always spend it well and I think this will be a good lesson for folks on how to build an efficient

30:25 scalable company but there will be the shaking out which will be difficult so

30:31 my advice to people is really think about the ROI that you're going to get

30:37 on the dollars you're willing to spend to scale your company and don't be afraid to pull back

30:44 on the other hand recognize that these contractionary periods are actually the

30:50 period in which you can take market share from your competitors and so it's that tension and you're probably

30:56 thinking as I say this and I hope the audience is thinking like wait a minute she's saying be careful with the dollars

31:02 I spend but also think about taking a market chair set tension that will

31:07 deliver great strategies for the company and I joined Salesforce in 2008 and the

31:13 reason that we were as successful post 2008 as we were is because we made big

31:20 Investments to consolidate the market the CRM market during that downturn

31:27 during that very difficult scary downturn that was actually when we made the biggest bets of the company and we

31:33 came out if you look at the revenue for the next five years in the subscription model you can see we came out winners on

31:40 that model so last one last question I think you know we are always talking about young

31:45 people coming into the workforce I mean you had experience from Intuit Salesforce you know where you know

31:51 youngsters come into the workforce you know it's possible that they can feel lost in a big company you know how do

31:56 they come up come on their own there right and as well as young people now coming into the workforce in this you

32:02 know sort of interesting time with you know interest rates today in no a challenging High you know tough to find

32:10 the right opportunities in the marketplace uh both kind of audience right the young people coming into the workforce you know it's it's an

32:17 interesting time at the same time once you get into the workforce how do you assimilate and grow when you can feel lost in a large company any interest any

32:24 insights you can share in this regard Hillary yeah I think that's a great question

32:31 I guess two things one is one of the things I did in my career that I think made me more successful was I thought

32:38 about my local report card as I like to call it or kind of what I'd be measured

32:44 against but I always thought about that in the context of what the company's goals are so if you're joining a company

32:51 or if you've been with a company for a long time it's really important to force yourself to raise your altitude on what

32:59 you're contributing to the company and what the company is trying to accomplish and in as much as you can listen to the

33:06 earnings calls really pay attention to the you know the All Hands messaging

33:12 Around Mission and strategy and link your activities to what the

33:17 company is trying to do I think people tend to push themselves and grow faster when they're when they

33:24 raise their altitude on the on the strategy as one example I think related

33:31 to that is part of what I talked about earlier which is getting out into the market and really thinking customer back

33:38 about the company you've built and then also the companies that other people

33:43 have built and really looking at them and this goes back to that benchmarking to ask yourself what can you learn from

33:51 these other companies and so what I've found menages people are very reluctant

33:56 to go Benchmark their competitors and be objective we've probably experienced this as well running a product work but

34:04 so what I've encouraged people to do is often Benchmark a company that's not in their industry like we as The Benchmark

34:11 pharmaceutical companies when I was at Salesforce because we wanted to learn about the experience and

34:17 we glean these little insights from how Pharma brings technology to Market

34:23 through doctors that we would then apply to our own model and I think this idea of going out

34:31 and benchmarking and then getting ready to look at the competition and when I

34:36 think about how to think objectively about the competition because I've seen so many organizations put their head in

34:44 the Sands as as it relates to the competitor I have this Mantra of first you respect your competitors then you

34:51 study them deeply and then you beat them and for some reason starting with

34:57 respect really helps people open up their aperture and be more open-minded

35:04 to how they think about the competition if if I then took that theory that I

35:10 just espoused a benchmarking and being customer back and applied it to a career

35:15 it it really tells an individual that part of your responsibility for your own

35:20 career development is to go meet people who you can Benchmark who you want to be

35:26 like and then build a plan to take on some of

35:31 the find the experiences that will help you be more like them and that's where I think mentors of all shapes and sides

35:38 they show up they don't have to be official mentors they can just be people you admire and there are characteristics

35:43 or experiences you think they've had that you would benefit from

35:49 you have shared so many nuggets of wisdom in this conversation you know your focused on customer centricity you

35:56 know kind of really resonates with me number two on benchmarking you know benchmarking whether it's you know

36:01 competitors folks in different Industries uh or even networking you

36:07 know benchmarking and using that as a way to network into learning new things all of these are you know amazing you

36:14 know ideas for not just you know sales or product managers but for you know

36:19 young entrepreneurs for people in their middle level management as well as CEOs you know these are you know some of the

36:26 things you know typically CEOs have is a blind spot right you know not looking at the competitor in the right way right

36:31 you know show some respect and start there and then maybe you can learn much more and you can actually beat the competition later right you know the

36:37 last thing you want to do is dismiss your competition and you know things go bad for you yeah absolutely

36:43 it's an absolute pleasure to have you with us Hillary uh I really enjoyed the competition and I'm sure our audience is

36:50 going to thoroughly enjoy the conversation too well thank you manage it's been a pleasure to be here and I love our partnership in collaboration on

36:58 our board together thank you

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