"If Someone Calls You Out, Be Mature Enough to Self Reflect" 5 Leadership Lessons with Logan Mallory

“In my first sales role, a customer wouldn't do business with me because I came across "like a used car salesman". His comment threw me into a slump. My boss counseled, "You need to be mature enough to reflect on that criticism. If he is right, resolve it. If he's wrong, move on." I've relied on that life lesson dozens of times since then.”

I had the pleasure to interview Logan Mallory. Logan is the Director of Digital Marketing, at Jive Communications. Logan is also passionate about public speaking and recently has been speaking at colleges and universities on topics from marketing to personal branding.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your "backstory"?

When I was in the third grade, my Dad went through a significant period of unemployment. Instead of making excuses or relying on someone else to solve his problems, he created a temporary side business. My Dad cleaned dirty ceilings in bars, bakeries and restaurants...places that had stained ceilings from oil, smoke and grease and the kids in my family helped on weekends.  His example, a core part of my "backstory", has impacted my personal career. Initially, I struggled to find what I wanted to do professionally and put myself into roles that were unfulfilling and frustrating. I persisted in looking for a career where I could have an impact, feel successful and provide for my family like my Dad did. It took a lot of time and tenacity to find the right career path, but it has paid off in many ways. 

Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

My most interesting project is increasing productivity and revenue by building a strong relationship between sales and marketing. Typically there's an adversarial relationship between the two teams. I'm fortunate that my counterpart in sales, Woody Klemetson, has seen the potential value and pushes for the same result in his efforts. Marketing is consistently involved with sales. We walk the sales floor multiple times a day. We create real relationships them. We host a monthly meeting where we share analytics, results and campaigns, so the sales team knows we're capable and engaged. That meeting builds their confidence in us. Some might consider this a "soft" project, but it has very "hard" results. We use the marketing and sales relationship as a recruiting tool but it also drives revenue. YTD we've increased YOY sales by 51% YTD and in the last 90 days we've seen an increase of 89% compared to 2016. 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

While trying to shift from sales into digital marketing, I interviewed for a role I wasn't qualified for. The hiring manager, Jon Kofford, took a chance on me and hired me in spite of my relevant experience. He was patient as I learned and let me fail a time or two when the risks were reasonable. He saw a few capabilities (drive, scrappiness, etc.) he believed would compensate for my lack of experience. Without his confidence, my career would be completely different. We're still friends and he continues to be a mentor.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I mentor people who are stuck in their careers. It's informal, but 2 to 3 times each month I work with people who need career coaching, help with their resumes or interview skills. Initially it was family and friends, but now "friends of friends" reach out for help. I hope that in those interactions I challenge people to think more strategically about their careers, but more importantly, that I provide them encouragement and hope.

What are your "5 things I wish someone told me when I first started" and why.

  1. You're Not Stuck: There have been multiple times where I've felt stuck. Stuck in a job, or stuck in a situation. We all have the power to change our circumstances. There are always excuses (fear, time, money, feelings, relationships, etc.) but you can overcome them. Get out of your bad job with zero flexibility. Stop working for your frustrating boss. You're only stuck because you've decided to be. 
  2. If someone calls you out, be mature enough to self reflect: In my first sales role, a customer wouldn't do business with me because I came across "like a used car salesman". His comment threw me into a slump. My boss counseled, "You need to be mature enough to reflect on that criticism. If he is right, resolve it. If he's wrong, move on." I've relied on that life lesson dozens of times since then.
  3. You can create the experience you need to get the job you want: I've learned that you can create the experience you need to get the job you want. Read articles from industry thought leaders. Take on a project for a local startup free of charge. Better yet, create your own startup to get some practice. Attend a conference. Get creative and find a way to generate the experience you need.
  4. Be aggressive when you pursue your compensation package: I took my first job without enough information about my total compensation package. It ended up being a bad situation and it was my own fault. I've learned that I can be more aggressive. I've taken two courses on negotiation skills to get better at it. That skillset and insight would have been helpful a decade ago.
  5. There will be "hard personalities" everywhere you go. Learn to work with them: I always dreamed of working in an office where everyone was smart, nice and cool. That's never been a reality. In every role and in every company, I've had lazy, mean and sneaky coworkers. I wish someone had told me sooner to get over that. Sometimes those people make work harder, or less pleasant, but it no longer consumes me. I find ways to work with them. If that doesn't work, I find ways to get my job done without them.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.

It's hard to go a day without seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda in the news. His style is so engaging. I love his art, but I respect him because he is constantly making efforts to be a unifying voice. His sentiment is one of caring, kindness and selflessness. In 2017, most people are immediately angry and divisive, but Lin-Manuel is using his influence to try and unite others. Do I know him originally for his work with Hamilton? Absolutely. But since then I've developed increased respect for him because of his humanitarian approach.

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