Steve Johnson: I was chasing comp as lots of people do when you first start. My mentor pulled me back and said, “If you’re doing that, there’s always more money somewhere else. You can’t move for comp. That’s just the craziest thing. You should take a step back and start thinking about what is it that you want to do. What do you want to learn?” That was really a big one.
Steve Johnson: The second one was focus on experience. It’s better than titles. People would ask me, “How did you end up as the CRO of Hootsuite?” And most of it was just simply because I had enterprise sales, partners, business dev, marketing, online revenue, volume sales experience.
Steve Johnson: I’d learned and looked for roles that built up my experience and that I can really credit to my mentors. I would never have thought of them on my own. Those are a couple of really, really big ones.
Steve Johnson: And the third really is just purpose, looking at the mission or purpose, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know if you know Lisa MacLeod but she wrote a book Noble Sales Purpose and there’s I think, another book coming out, Noble Leadership Purpose. Companies that have a noble purpose outsell their peers by 45%. It’s just huge and I find it really makes a difference.
Steve Johnson: And I boiled it down – actually my last talk to Hootsuite, I thought about it and purpose drives passion. Passion drives productivity. Productivity drives success. It almost seems to flow that way. If you have a really big purpose, you’re really helping out this company.
Steve Johnson: It’s not just a sales quote. It’s not just a support ticket. You’re making their life better. There’s a purpose for what you’re doing. So I think those are I can credit to the mentors that I’ve had.
Steve Johnson: I’m a massive fan of mentorship. And over the years I had really three people that were mentors for years. One of them was a CTO and I was a venture capitalist. He mentored me on the tech side so anytime I was looking at a new venture, he would give me some great advice.
Steve Johnson: Another one was a former CEO. He gave me some great advice as I looked at just broad leadership and growing up. And another one is currently an executive at Intuit and it was more scope-scale, how do you do things on a big, broad level? I would ping them all the time.
Steve Johnson: And then broader than that, I would really inform a group of mentors that I would talk to in the tech space from companies like HubSpot, Marketo, SurveyMonkey, Zendesk, go down the list. Any company I thought was super interesting and they were doing something potentially different, I want to know. So those became mentors in a micro way. So those three were my micro mentors, if you will.
Steve Johnson: And then I had bunch of these other people that online revenue, enterprise sales, marketing, those are the ones I would just routinely reach out to but I can’t say enough about it. I’ve also been a mentor for a number of people now that come and ask. I can’t do ton of it but I think it’s huge.