Episode 249: Colin Nanka – Success Starts With A Choice: Salesforce.com Leader, Adventure Racer

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Episode 249: Colin Nanka – Success Starts With A Choice: Salesforce.com Leader, Adventure Racer

Colin Nanka is the Senior Director, Enablement for North American Sales and Leadership Development at the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management Company, Salesforce.com. He is a proven sales leader with over 20 years of sales experience including time at Salesforce and Xerox Corporation.  In his spare time, he competes in multi-day, self sustained, adventure races in the world’s most treacherous terrains, including the Sahara Desert, Gobi Desert, Iceland, Grand Canyon, Atacama Desert and, most recently, in Antarctica.

He has a passion for writing, collaborating, learning and empowering his community to go further.

Episode 249: Colin Nanka – Success Starts With A Choice: Salesforce.com Leader, Adventure Racer

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The Learning Leader Show

“Success starts with a choice.  Find someone above you, below you, and at your level.  That’s mentorship.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence?
    • Understanding of their strengths – self awareness
    • “Do what you say you will do” “DWYSYWDO” – integrity
    • The combination of vision –> execution
  • How have you sustained excellence?
    • Know how to prioritize
    • Tiered accounts
    • Invested 4-6 hours on Saturday and Sunday while others were not working
  • “Going in on the weekend” – The sheer amount of hard work AND extra work differentiated from the rest
    • Going door to door in Canada – “It takes 20 knocks to get 1 opportunity”
      • “Good pipeline solves all ills”
      • “Flood the market with good will”
  • Marc Benioff’s management process, V2MOM, an acronym that stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures
  • Why do crazy races all over the world?
    • “I hit a crisis.  I was very successful and then had a couple bad years. It hurt my confidence.”
    • “I realize there is more to life than just working.  The elements of nature… A give back — be of service to others.”
    • The 2011 Sahara Desert race – Trained for a full year. 6 days a week, 160 miles/week.
  • “Success starts with a choice.  Find who’s the best, learn from them.”
  • Mentor-ship = “Above you, below you, and at your level.” Have all three.
  • The practice of “playing up.” Play against someone who is better than you in order to stretch and grow.
    • Constantly put yourself in positions to be stretched
  • Using Gallup to find your strengths — “A very wise investment”
    • Colin’s #1 strength – Learning. Curiosity
    • The compound effect of learning, growing, approaching each conversation with a curious mind
  • What have you learned from the adventure races?
    • Dealing with failure.  How to learn from others. “We all get better from sharing ideas.”
  • Biggest mistake new managers make?
    • “They are constantly surprised about the “people” side”
      • How to have tough conversations
      • They try to do it all — You need to be a multiplier — Trust, Coach, Empower
      • “If you don’t lengthen the leash, you aren’t allowing them to grow”
      • First 30 days – “Focus on winning hearts and minds”
      • Do a full day off site meeting with no focus on the business.  Get to know them.
      • Utilize my “Get To Know You” document
  • Understand your team value system:
    • Vision
    • Values
    • Methods – Critical success factors
    • Obstacles
    • Measure — The Marc Benioff model
  • The #1 value is TRUST — Ensure this is established early on.  Empower the team to make decisions.  As the leader, be a facilitator
  • Roger Federer — Finding joy in what you do.  Loving the practice, the process.
    • Do things daily that bring you joy in life
    • “Before I do anything for the company, I do something for myself. To bring me joy.”
  • Hiring a coach? Why?
    • Colin has had a coach for 10 years
  • “Just put 1 foot in front of the other” — 19 hour race in Iceland
  • Be: 1) Strong 2) Relaxed 3) Grateful (“It’s hard to be angry when you’re grateful”)

“Learn the rules like a pro, so that you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso

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More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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