It’s been a long, often lonely, journey. But I’ve found my tribe.

I started my professional career as a Ph.D. social scientist doing qualitative research for a decade at Stanford and the RAND Corporation.

I loved the focus in the Academy on learning, evidence-based decision making, and pattern recognition.

I chaffed, however, under a culture of what I called “thoughtful inaction.”

The quality of thought was spectacular. So was the analysis paralysis. There always seemed to be one more regression that needed to be run before moving into action.

I also did not like the disconnect between effort, productivity, and financial rewards.

So, after a few years in the Academy, I did what academics call “going to the dark side.” I took a revenue leader role at Kaplan, and then at Eduventures.

In these new roles, I loved the focus on pushing myself, hitting numbers, and being financially rewarded for it. It resonated with my competitive drive.

On the other hand, I was struck by the way many revenue leaders focused on “action for action’s sake” or what I called “thoughtless action.” I felt like a fish out of water.

I was struck with how sales plans and forecasts were often completely disconnected from reality. As it turns out, hope not evidence was often the strategy. 

I was also shocked by the pride placed on product pitches and close plans. It led to generic conversations, not conversations personalized for each buyer or customer.

I opted to find my own revenue leader approach that blended both worlds. I called it “thoughtful action” and to me this meant:

  • Staying laser focused on goals and hitting numbers
  • Reserving 10% to 15% of each week to reflect, learn, and iterate
  • Looking for opportunities to incrementally improve strategy and tactics
  • Learning from every single customer, buyer, or peer conversation
  • Committing to continual skills practice around buyer personalization

I refined this approach for 15 years. It led to successes as a revenue leader, then as a revenue consultant. 

But, I never really had a professional community or a tribe. It felt like I could go days, weeks, or months on solo ascents.

Then about five years ago that shifted, and it happened quickly. It started with the growing blur of social and digital media, then the pandemic hit.

Revenue leaders who used thoughtful action and personalization to break through the noise began outperforming their peers and rising into VP- and C-level roles.

Now, I have multiple conversations every day with revenue leaders who think like I do. 

I am excited for the next 15 years of collaboration with my tribe — teaching, pushing, and encouraging each other to learn and grow continually while hitting numbers.