For me, that would be Victor Watts. I actually blogged about Victor anonymously last year when this blog was still in Diary of an Ad Man mode, chronicling the first year of the start-up.
Victor turned my career around in the middle of the last recession. At that time, as one of the few account execs at TMP Worldwide’s Integrated Marketing Communications Program (now Monster) who could sell, I was put into business development full time. We needed business or people were going to get laid off.
But I slumped. Eventually our president got fired, and Victor inherited me. He took the time to teach me not to spin or hustle in business development, pitches and in life. Instead he showed me Dale Carnegie, Denis Waitley and Jeffrey Gitomer; folks who touted other-centric behavior.
It was more important to listen than talk, to give than take, to represent yourself accurately from the get-go. Why? My job was to build trust and faith so that business could occur. And he made me realize when I was negative, I projected it, and attracted bad results. He helped me refocus on the positive.
I closed approximately $32 million in contracts and IDIQs within one year under Victor.
More importantly, I became a much better man who could participate and give in all my relationships. I was able to be a true partner with my soon-to-be wife. And a true PR practitioner who understood what it meant to build goodwill within a community. Really, Victor helped me grow up… I am so in his debt.
Gratitude for this Year
Here are my six tags, all of whom have influenced me this year:
Toby Bloomberg was the first A List marketing blogger to shine a little of the limelight on this blog when I was still in the Diary Mode. Toby and I have a top secret project right now. Very exciting.
Brian Solis showed me some of the core tenants of social media marketing in his reviews of my initial Now Is Gone drafts. Couldn’t say it better than the acknowledgments page, but you get the drift.
Valeria Maltoni kicks butt. People say I rose quickly this year once we switched to the Buzz Bin. Valeria has risen quicker. She’s a great example of what to do right.
Ike Pigott (yes I know you are double tagged) is a blogger’s blogger, and adds a real pragmatic voice to both my views and the social media sphere, in general. He’s a good friend, too.
Kyle Flaherty: An early reader of the Buzz Bin, and a continuing member of my community. I think Kyle’s Engage in PR is one of the better, and more under-appreciated blogs out there.
Thank you for being a valuable part of my life. I continue to learn from all of you.
Happy Thanksgiving. The Buzz Bin will return to its normal publishing schedule on Monday.
P.S. The next major holiday (at least in my tribe) is Chanukah. A little Adam Sandler for you.