Wendy Hanson 0:24
Well, greetings, everybody, you know, I sometimes have very special guests. I know I say that a lot. But all the guests that come on this show are special because they have lessons to share that we can all implement right away. And you're really in for a treat today, Charlie Longfellow has just joined channels site. And we chatted prior to his move. And I asked if he would share his learnings about those first very important months in a new organization, when you're in a leadership position. So you get to hear what has worked for him joining this new company and his eye has that you can learn from if and when you transition to this type of leadership position. So I'll give you a brief bio of Charlie. Charlie is the former head of international sales, that momentum that used to be Survey Monkey, and current Chief Revenue Officer at Channel site. Charlie is from the west coast of America, but currently resides in Dublin, Ireland for the past five years. Welcome, Charlie. It's always great to see you,
Charley Longfellow 1:27
Wendy. So good to see you. How are you? Good, good, good.
Wendy Hanson 1:31
We are seeing each other everyone on the on our screen here. So you know, you don't get to see us. But it's really nice to be able to put a face when we're doing a podcast like this, because there's a lot of sharing and going back and forth. So how has it been? Just generally, how was your transition been? Charlie?
Charley Longfellow 1:50
It's been, it's been fantastic. You know, I was, like I said, I was at momentum for 11 years. And anytime you're in an organization for a very long period of time, you know, it's tough to leave. But a great opportunity arose and moved over to Channelside, kind of back to my my startup roots, you know, and really getting back to the, to the pieces of building and creating, which is, you know, near and dear to my heart. Yes.
Wendy Hanson 2:19
And your current role is, tell us a little bit about what that role entails. Because what we're really interested today in for people is when you go into a new organization, and you're in a leadership position, how do you go in there and and be in a learning mode?
Charley Longfellow 2:37
Yeah, yeah. So my, my current role, I head up our sales and marketing functions over at Channel sites. And I think, you know, any, anytime you're going into a new role, and whether it's, you know, frontline manager, or, you know, is fortunate I am to move into a sea level. It's, I think, moving into it is really about how are you prepping? And getting ready for what comes in, you know, first 90 days, I think we talked about 3060 90 plans is, you know, just kind of a staple of moving into moving into roles. And I definitely started putting them together as I was moving over here. So happy happy to share some thoughts around that. Yeah.
Wendy Hanson 3:23
Because that's a really big thing. You don't just land and then figure it out. Yeah. Yeah. If you're flying to the moon, you got to do something along the way. And there's a lot of preparation. So what are some of the things that you did to prepare for this transition?
Charley Longfellow 3:39
Yeah. So for, for me coming into this role. It was really, really about reflecting on on what are kind of my core values? And what do I really want to instill in this organization? And what do I really want to get out of it? You know, for me, I spent a lot of time reflecting on previous leaders that I've worked with, you know, when and how did I see them kind of transitioned into a role? What were they doing really well? What were some areas that they may not have been doing so well. And it really started building out this, this comprehensive plan. And then, about a week or two before joining, I said, All right, I'm just gonna pause for a second. And because it's so easy, I think to get caught up in how you've seen other people do things, that what you really don't want to do is not be true to yourself, I think coming into an organization, or, you know, moving getting promoted into a role or any any of that stuff. The people that you're working with and your team members, they really need to be able to see kind of your authentic self. So you can take bits and nuggets from other people, but you definitely don't want to come in and be somebody completely different than than you are. Because that'll wear off, you know, at some point, some point the real trial would come out and You know, it just isn't fun for anybody through there. So. So I scrapped a little bit on my 3060 90 plan, and started making it a lot more high level, like, what are the? What are the things I want the team to be known for? What are some of the culture pieces I want to instill? How do I want to operate as a leader? And what do I want to be known for? And so, you know, that's, that's really kind of what I built it around was, what does that vision, some level of strategy work? Because, you know, you don't know what you don't know until you get in? And, you know, it's, I guess it's more fluid than, here's the plan, I'm gonna go execute this plan. Yeah,
Wendy Hanson 5:40
I love that. Because as you were saying that I was reflecting to if you go into an organization with this very baked plan, like, here's what I'm going to do, but you don't know the people that are in there yet. And you don't know the culture yet. Your plan could really bomb. So I love how you got fluid. And you said, Okay, let me stand back, kind of the metaphor we always use here is get on the balcony and get off the dance floor and have that chance to look around a bit. So you in your, in your zest to really have a good plan going in. You pulled back a little I think that's great advice for people.
Charley Longfellow 6:15
Yeah, I mean, it was Mike Tyson said, everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the face, you know, once I had some ideas around things, but you know, once I once I got into the organization, and really, you know, the first 30 days have just been spent listening and observing, you know, and, and I guess mentally triaging, what are what are fires that need immediate attention? You know, and what are ones that it's okay to let burn a little bit, because I think that's a very critical thing for a leader to be able to do, because we can't fix everything, you know.
Wendy Hanson 6:51
And one of the key words I heard you say, is listening, you know, to go in there, and be open and listen, and listen, without your agenda. Is that hard to do?
Charley Longfellow 7:03
Well, not after working with you and BetterManager for eight years. I'm not I'm not sponsored on this podcast. But yeah, hopping in. I'm a curious person by nature. And, you know, I think the mantra I've always used is seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. And I think I think, early in my career, when I was when moving to, you know, a leadership position, I would make a lot of mistakes around thinking I knew exactly how to fix something. And maybe I did, you know, but the problem with with that is, I didn't really understand the why things were operating in the in the manner that they were. And if you don't understand the why well, then you can't understand the impact, or the potential change management or any of the things that go with that. And so, you know, this, this first 30 days has been critical for me to just really understand why and how we operate and the way that we do and the team has been doing some fantastic things, you know, before before I've gotten there, and just very fortunate to be able to be a part of the journey with them.
Wendy Hanson 8:15
And momentum, you really built a lot of high performing teams, and you've seen a lot of change over the years to be it's not everybody's in an organization that long these days. So you've you've grown teams, people have left people have come on, what are some of the key elements that you think is important as you're going in to developing a high performance team? Yeah,
Charley Longfellow 8:39
that's a good question. I would say, I would say the first thing that really goes into it is have a vision of what you are wanting to do, where you're wanting to take the business where you're wanting to take the team, whatever that that vision is, be able to have that and then also be able to articulate it articulate very clearly. The, in order to get everybody in an organization, whether you're managing, you know, a group of five people or 5000 people, you still have to get everybody aligned towards here's, here's where we're running. So I would say that's, that's definitely step one. Underneath that, it would be creating strategies. I think it's very easy to go from vision to how do we solve it, and forget kind of that middle ground of what are the kind of the big rocks that we're going to run after. And make sure that all of those aligned back up to the vision and if they don't kind of pass that, you know, sanity check of being part of the vision, well, then they're probably not worth those may be some fires that you just let you know, continue to let burn. And, you know, once once you've kind of defined those two, the tactics and how you get there. These are the ones where you're really bringing the team along. And more often than not, though, they're the ones that know how to actually solve, solve those pieces. So it's about making sure that they feel empowered, they feel the permission to do what they need to do to do their best work and help help move the organization forward.
Wendy Hanson 10:16
And how do you know they bought into the vision? Because that's, you come in, you put out that vision, which is awesome. Here's where we're heading. And how do you get buy into that? How do you know that everybody's okay, we Wow, we're excited by this vision. This is when I wake up every morning, I think of here's where we're going.
Charley Longfellow 10:34
Yeah. Yeah, it's, that's, I think that's something managers have been trying to solve for, you know, many, many years. And I don't think you ever get 100 100% alignment. But I think that, there's a couple things that go into that one is, is you as a leader, kind of being your authentic self, okay, they have to buy into you before they're going to buy into where the organization is headed, or where what you're asking them to do. So, if going back to kind of what I was saying earlier about, you know, potentially mimicking too many people, if you can be your be your true self. That is, that is one of the most critical pieces in there. And for me, you know, I've always bought into the concept of servitude leadership, you know, something I was, I learned at a very, very young age. And it's really about bringing the team along in the journey versus kind of pointing and ordering. So, you know, when I started the team out of Momentive, here in Dublin, you know, as one of the first people on the phones, you know, we were a sales organization, I was one of the first people on the phones out prospecting, and said, you know, this is something we can do. And, you know, think about how cool this is that you are one of the first people at this, you know, at this office, who is starting this journey? And what's it gonna look like in five years, and we have 150 folks out, you know, doing this on a on a regular basis. And, you know, it just got everybody really excited around that.
Wendy Hanson 12:08
Yeah, yeah. When when you can have people buy into the vision of the opportunity, here's our opportunity that we have going forward, you know, and how do you want to be part of it, that's great. And what has surprised you during this whole thing about yourself, Charlie, because this is a, it's an inside job in many ways to know if you're going to be your authentic self, and you know, you're a servant leader. And, you know, what surprised you about yourself through this,
Charley Longfellow 12:36
you know, that some of the feedback, I've always gotten through my, my career has been that I'll get in the weeds too much, and potentially try to solve, you know, things at a very, very tactical level. And, you know, as a head of anything, or, you know, in this new role as a CRO, I have a big team around me that that can solve that stuff for me, you know, it can solve that for the business. And so I think what's surprising about myself is how much I actually have been delegating, and how much I actually have been empowering. And it's just been kind of second nature for me. So, you know, it's been a good prep for the past 11 years of, of seeing what it looks like when you're working too many hours and trying to solve everything, because then you're not really good at one thing, you're, you know, kind of utility player across a lot of things. And I think what you lose out on that is you lose out on being able to bring, you know, going back to my authentic self, bringing people along the journey growing their skill sets, letting them you know, try and fail, you know, and yeah, so that's, that's probably been the biggest, biggest thing that surprised me over the past 30 days is how much, you know, it's been collaborative delegation, rather than me getting in the weeds and trying to fix it.
Wendy Hanson 13:58
And what I love is the opportunity that's here for you now is that fresh start. It's like when you say, not studying what other leaders have done, but what did I do in the past, and now I get a fresh start on things. And when you're in a new organization, that is really a gift to have that freshness to the situation.
Charley Longfellow 14:19
Yeah, yeah, I'm definitely definitely enjoying it. It reminds me a lot of you know, when I was at Survey Monkey, 11 years ago, and the size of the organization that I'm at now was, you know, about the same size of survey monkey was back then. What, how many folks? It's a little over 100 right now. Yeah. So it's, it's, it was fantastic to kind of go through that whole journey over the past 11 years and being able to start this time, hopefully, with a little bit more knowledge a little bit more, you know, a lot more gray, but, you know, more insights into how we can accelerate and potentially miss some of the mistakes that I might have made early on.
Wendy Hanson 14:57
Yeah. And I do love that you're, you, you're a good model for, as you've gone into this new role, you want to model good behavior as an employee and a leader, like, I don't want to do everything. It's not it won't serve people, you know, I have to delegate and your team members have to delegate. So the more they look at how you handle those things, that, you know, you'll set that up as the culture in the organization of this is how we do it. So it is so important to always be a little bit like looking in the mirror and saying, Yeah, is this is this the behavior I want of everybody else? I better model it, you know, do I want people working 24 hours a day, you know, and always be accessible? You have choices at this point to say, here's how we're going to do the culture on this sales team.
Charley Longfellow 15:45
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I within I think it was within the first couple of weeks. That exactly, I actually saw a couple of the leaders who were probably taken on wait way too much, and just saying, oh, send it to me, I'll handle it send that to me, I'll handle it. And it was kind of when when I saw that I remembered Oh, Charlie, don't, you know, a Don't be doing that. And then be i Big on, you know, the concept of radical candor, you know, just making sure that we're, we're given feedback. And so that was some of the, you know, the first feedback that that I gave, and you could just see, see, you almost saw, like, oh, I guess that is okay, not to do this, or I now have the permission not not to do this. And so yeah, modeling behaviors during that during that first period of joining is super critical.
Wendy Hanson 16:38
Yeah. And as the team as you bring the team together, are there any things that you have done, because everybody in this remote world are always trying to figure out how do I connect with people in a better way? You know, how do I make sure that there's no person left behind? You know, that that's out there? And that's challenging? Is there anything that you've done recently that has helped?
Charley Longfellow 17:04
Can you ask that again? And, yeah.
Wendy Hanson 17:07
When, when you have a remote workforce, and everybody is remote right now, it channels site? Is that correct?
Charley Longfellow 17:14
Yeah, but 50 5050, we do have a couple of days where we come in together.
Wendy Hanson 17:20
Okay, so you do have an opportunity? Because that's the our new hybrid world. Yeah, you got to use your your time to connect in a different way than go into the office and spend the whole time on Zoom. Is there anything you've learned in that piece about things that you need to do? Like, even when you're in the office than with people, or when people are remote? And they don't always come in? How do you connect with them?
Charley Longfellow 17:42
Yeah, so you know, I think, when we're, when we're in the office, I'm pretty old school. So when we're in the office, it's pretty, pretty easy for me to connect with folks. We have kind of a hot desk, thing at the office where you know, it's just come in, find a desk and go there. And one of the things I made just on day one, I made it important for myself was to not go sit off to the side with, you know, a group of managers and sit there and do our paperwork, or, you know, whatever it is. And so, from day one, you know, it's been parked up next to the account executives, and the BDR is in the CSMs. And, you know, just kind of being being in the thick of it, and I'm sure they were, you know, worried and shocked at the at the start of it, but it allows us, you know, it allows us to have casual conversations, and for me to pick their brains on just things I don't know about the business or about themselves, or, you know, they're, I remember early early on one of my managers that said, you know, within the first 30 days, you should probably know, two or three personal things about most of the folks you work with, you know, not too personal, but, you know, know what kind of car they drive their children's name, you know, any of that stuff. And, and so I love connecting with the, with the teams in the office. And I do have, I do have some, some folks that that work remote. And so you know, it's a bit of a challenge, but I think you have to be, it's less opportunistic to connect with them, and you have to be a little bit more deliberate, deliberate around it. And, you know, making sure that you have business conversations when you need to have them but also, maybe extend your one on ones for 15 minutes. And, you know, have a bit of banter in there, you know, on either side, or adding adding a 15 minute, you know, window on either end, it just it just goes a long way.
Wendy Hanson 19:35
Yeah. Oh, and I love the point that you bring up about knowing some personal things about somebody. And oftentimes we have that on our BetterManager 360. Like, do you know, like, You're someone on your teams, like three closest relatives. And some people say, oh, gosh, that's so personal. I don't I don't want to know about that. But if you have somebody who just had a noob weren't baby are caring for an elderly parent, and you don't know those things and all of a sudden their work behavior seems to be shifting. Here, it can have nothing to stand on, you know, to be able to support them and to be able to say, Wow, how's it going and people love when when somebody cares about them about an issue that they're dealing with. So I love that that's one of the things that that you've always been good at. And that sitting in that circle with everybody else, I remember coaching and Google in the very early years, and sales used to have like, a little, they didn't call it a pod, but they all sat together. And you and so everybody would hearing learning from each other. And, you know, the managers were there. So it's a great model.
Charley Longfellow 20:45
Yeah, I mean, the you know, and it's, I think it's actually pretty critical for me, as I start exiting the 90 day period is probably when I'll start doing a bit more scaling. You know, within the team, once I have kind of my hands around, around things, I know exactly what's going on. But the there's just so much that goes into learning by osmosis this by always first sales team. And I would assume the same customer success or support or, you know, any kind of customer soft skill rolls, that you just can't be afforded, sitting on Zoom, you know, and dialing into a meeting every every once in a while. So, for me, it's it's super critical. Now, I wouldn't mandate you know, being in the office five days a week and doing all this because the role doesn't require it. But, you know, I think a couple days a week getting everybody together, and and making sure that we are continuing the march towards the vision, you know, is super critical.
Wendy Hanson 21:46
Yeah. Great. So you've given us a good rundown of like, the first 30 days, what happens post 30 days? Like, when, as you're moving on? What are some of the things that are going to be coming up for you? Oh, it's
Charley Longfellow 21:59
all fixed by then, you know,
Wendy Hanson 22:03
I love that begin with the end in mind. It's all done. It's
Charley Longfellow 22:05
all done. Yeah. So after, after the first 30 days, really where I'm spending my time in, if you recall, the first, the first 30 days is really where I'm spending a lot of time listening, understanding, being curious, doing a lot of discovery, you know, with a team and just really understanding why we operate in the manner we do, what are some of the root cause reasons on decisions that have been made in the past, etc. And, you know, it's, it's easy at times to just make an assessment and say, this, this needs to change. And here's, here's what needs to change. But if you haven't understood the why within it, then I think what you're really missing out on is the ability, which would be the next step is around change management. Because if you don't understand the why, in how decisions are made, or what what was happening, well, then it's very easy. You know, if you can ever think back to any, any bosses decisions that they made that you maybe didn't, you didn't agree with. And usually it boils down to your voice wasn't heard, or, you know, we didn't get the they didn't know about this one thing that happened two years ago, when we tried to when we tried to make this tweak. And so after, after I spent some time really understanding the why, then it's, then it's about getting the team together and making sure that we can get aligned on some level strategies.
Wendy Hanson 23:35
Yeah, that's great. You've mentioned three of my favorite words, numerous times, why curiosity, and listening. Those are really kind of my top three in the world. If if leaders all embrace those, be curious, listen carefully, listen, like to really what's going on in the feelings in the room, not just what people are saying, and then always explaining the why so that people understand. Yeah, those are such key areas.
Charley Longfellow 24:03
And absolutely, so I mean, you know, like, I would imagine that after the, you know, first first 3045 days, whatever it is, I'm not going to be bringing up anything that's revolutionary, like, the things that I see that, you know, we could optimize or tweak, the team probably knows this already, you know. And so, if, if I haven't done a good job of understanding why we haven't addressed that already, well, then I'm just going to, you know, kind of blow past the root cause reason on it, and it could be, they didn't feel the permission. They didn't feel like they had the permission to do it. Or, you know, like you said, it was some personal problems at home or something like that, that's prevented, you know, resource allocation or super stressed across things like these are all things that that as a leader you need to know. So that way you can start working Through the the change management side of it.
Wendy Hanson 25:03
Yeah. And, you know, there's always going to be people out there that resist change, you know that change is just not their friend, they want things to keep going the same way. So what are some of the things that you think about when you when those are inevitably going to come up?
Charley Longfellow 25:19
It's like, it's like me wanting to go to the, you know, want to get Beachbody ready. You know, this is, I want to go to the gym. But you know, at the end of the day, I'm not gonna go. And so it I actually forget, in maybe maybe we should cite this on the on the podcast, because I know somebody came up with this. But it's that is an old kind of formula that I've used around somebody's resistance to change. And it's D times V times CFS is greater than somebody's resistance to change. Are you familiar with that? Wendy? No, I haven't heard that. Okay. So it stands for dissatisfaction. And a vision, that was concrete first steps are greater than somebody's resistance to change. And if you don't have all three of those components, somebody's not going to change, or the organization has to change, or I'm not gonna go to the gym, you know, and get and get Beachbody ready. Why? Because I don't have enough dissatisfaction to do that. Or I don't, I can't contemplate what it actually, you know, could look like if I was doing that, or I haven't done any concrete first steps, like, buy some running shoes, or, you know, get a gym membership or, you know, things like that. And so, being able to break, break it down into the kind of those three things is kind of what helps me mentally triage. Like, going back to the thing, which fires I need to address now in which ones are okay. Burning?
Wendy Hanson 26:57
Yeah. Oh, I love that. I've never heard that formula. And it makes so much sense. No. And the dis, sometimes we need, I love the concrete first steps, because that's often where we get stuck. You know, we look at things that are so big, it's like, you don't you don't know how to deal with it. And if you have something smaller that I can do this, and then I could do this. And I think that's brilliant. Yes.
Charley Longfellow 27:23
Yeah. And I would say, you know, in my time, you know, using that as kind of my, how do I assess change? I would say the step that I skipped more often than not, in, you know, I always have to check myself and, and reel it back. And I would say, you know, leaders that I've observed is kind of that dissatisfaction phase. And usually the approach that that managers might take is to kind of point out to you, when do you here's, here's, I'm gonna give you some feedback, here's a lot of things, you know, that could get optimized are some areas that that I think, you know, you could do some feedback on, if you're not dissatisfied. And in that feedback, you're still you're not going to change. Right? And so it's how do you get creative and really get down to the root cause of why those things are happening? Why are those behaviors being you know, going in the manner they are? And then being able to attack that root? Cause?
Wendy Hanson 28:29
Yeah. And, and how that then moves on to, to the vision and the first steps and just moving in that direction? For those that resist change. Yeah. I love that. That everything if we have if we have a road to go on, and with some steps and some signposts it's always easier to get there.
Charley Longfellow 28:49
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Wendy Hanson 28:53
And one final question is about you're in Dublin now. You've been there for five years. And you know, you came from the West Coast in us. Is there anything that really stands out as you know, we're a global company and it's so interesting to see there's there's certainly differences all around where we're no matter what country that you're based in. Anything that calls out to you of how Dublin has been really different as a as a as a place to to be an accompany be an employee be a leader?
Charley Longfellow 29:25
Yeah. You know, Dublin, Dublin has been a very welcoming community. I when I first came out here, I thought I was going to do my 12 months and then I'd go back to Oregon or California, and the culture, the culture that the Irish have, and specifically in Dublin, it's just it's I don't know how to describe it, but if you haven't been come over, will will have a pint and the i i really don't have any immediate desire to, to head back to the States anytime soon. So, you know, I would say that coming out here, as an American, and working for a multinational company, I realized that we over thought, how to move into international markets. As Americans. Were selling to people, we're working with people. Sure there are cultural differences. And, you know, the Dutch might be very, you know, pointed. And you know, the Germans may have done all their research before they come talk to you. But at the end of the day, you're talking to people and how you connect with people, you don't have to overthink it. People want to talk to authentic people who know themselves. And they know that you they have, or you have their best interests in mind. So,
Wendy Hanson 30:48
yeah, oh, that's a great summary. Yeah. Yeah. And when they know that you're not selling them, you're trying to help them create something that's better for them in their organizations. Yeah. That's great. And by the way, I have been to Dublin, I was on a dragon boat racing team. That's right. And I went to Dublin. And it was an absolutely wonderful place. I had the same experience, very welcoming. And I wish we had pubs like they have over there where you can just go and hang out and they were singing and it was a wonderful experience. So I hope to get back there sometime.
Charley Longfellow 31:21
That's right. The Dragon Boat Racing. I've seen them out out on the canal.
Wendy Hanson 31:25
Yes, yes. Well, thank you all for for joining us today. Charlie. If people want to get in touch with you. What's the best way that they if they have questions? Is it your LinkedIn profile?
Charley Longfellow 31:37
Yeah, LinkedIn is perfect. Or Charlie dot Longfellow channelside.com.
Wendy Hanson 31:42
Okay, and it's Charlie Charle. Why?
Charley Longfellow 31:47
Why don't my mother allowed me to spell my own name when I was about three. So that's what I did. Good work. Good. Thanks, Mom.
Wendy Hanson 31:57
All right. Well, thank you, everybody, for being with us today. I hope you're going to take some of these very tangible lessons and lessons about vision but also about next steps and how do you really go into an organization so that you can you don't go plowing in with your own agenda, but you go in listening and curiosity and understanding why things are the way they are? So thank you, Charlie, for sharing all that with us today. And we look forward to seeing you all somewhere in the in the universe of LinkedIn, please reach out if I can help with anything. firstname.lastname@example.org We'd always love to hear from you. Thank you.