Podcast Episode 2: Bob Santella

GreenKey

August 21, 2020

Podcast

Strategic Mindset with AT

Welcome to the latest episode of Strategic Mindset with AT. In this episode, Anthony Tassone interviews Bob Santella, CEO of IPC.

Bob was recently selected as “CEO of the Year” by Market Choice Awards. Listen in as AT and Bob discuss strategies to find work-life balance, avoiding bad hires, and how to select best in breed partners.

Bob Santella:

I’ve found in my experience, I’ve worked over 35 years in the financial industry, and I’ve worked at firms that over a hundred thousand people, firms with 30 people, that I helped start, and firms in the middle, , so I have had a wide range. And I’ve found in my career that there are very similar traits to organizations, no matter what the size is, that makes them successful. The 30 person firm that pays attention to detail, has good customer service that pays attention to the hires they make is successful just like a hundred thousand person firm. They may take longer to move the ship around the ocean if you a hundred thousand person firm, but there’s many more similarities and much more commonality among what makes companies successful regardless of the size.

Anthony Tassone:

Then it’s Bob Santella. Bob is the CEO of IPC. The voice communication system used by wall street. Bob has over a thousand employees in 20 global offices producing about $500 million of revenue per year. This year, Bob was voted CEO of the year by market choice awards. In this episode, Bob describes the strategies. He deploys to communicate with this company to make good hires and to form partnerships. I also asked Bob about how he uses downtime to deal with stress and anxiety. Let’s listen in, as I asked Bob about his strategy for tipping,

I’ve noticed that you tip well, you really take care of like valets and people at the door, and you know, people at your hotel, waitresses and waiters. One of the things I’ve noticed, I’ll meet you for dinner in New York. I’ll walk in and everyone knows your name. Everybody knows who Bob Santella is. How important is that to sort of treat service folks the right way?

Bob Santella:

Probably part of my personality if I were to analyze it. And it’s hard for me, it’s hard to analyze your own personality. I actually grew up in a family of eight children, so a big Italian family outside of Philadelphia. My dad didn’t make much money. And my twin brother and I started working at age 10. We started selling newspapers as paper delivery boys and put myself through high school in college. All we worked hard as far as a lot of hours to, to pay for university and pay for my private Catholic education in high school, full support of my family. So I’ve always, I’ve always worked a lot. I cut grass on weekends. I would work hours just to make $10. That’s the way it was wired.

So I probably have this deep seeded appreciation for, I would say, people that work every day to actually go to maybe more the blue collar type of people that work in a restaurant or a hotel or a train or whatever it might be. If I really liked that come in every day. And this is just do mundane jobs and do it with a smile on her face and treat people well I’ve learned that it’s not, it’s not about the tip with me. although, that’s part of it. It’s just showing people you care about them. And I try to talk to people. I mean, I didn’t want to go into a few times Anthony I’ve been at, whether it be in a hotel or a restaurant or a place I’ve been at, I actually take the time to talk to the doorman, learn about the families.  And if I have time to kill and talk to waiters at the restaurant and the manager one, cause they’re just people like I am. There’s no, there’s no ranking here on a society level of any sort of caste system. But secondly, I really just enjoy the interaction with people and I, and I really appreciate people that work hard. So that, that that’s what drives. I recognize people often though. I also recognize that a place like New York city or Las Vegas or Miami or other places where it’s hard to get into the trendy places sometimes, or popular places. It’s good to know people any way you can get to know somebody you take advantage of. And so there, there is a practical element of this that you, you want to be able to have a nice meal at a nice restaurant in a quiet place. And again, 35 years experience of traveling a lot and going out to dinner a lot and meeting a lot of people. I also have a twin brother that looks like me, that does the same thing sort of gives me double coverage. So often times to here the word Santella and they don’t really care about the first name. So that’s part of it. But yeah, a lot of it has been driven, I think by just my own kind of background and what I did early in my life.

Anthony Tassone:

It’s unbelievable. I think the small army of people, that work in these hotels that know you and speak highly of you. You probably may not be aware of Bob, but you know, when I walk into a hotel, I ask where you’re at. Everyone says, Oh, he just came through here half hour ago. And this is what he’s doing today.

One of the things I think about when I think about your role, and you travel a lot, I’m wondering what strategies do you deploy to communicate to those employees when you’re such a global organization? Yeah.

Bob Santella:

As you mentioned, Anthony, IPC is a global company. We have over a thousand people in Asia, Europe, North America, and we have some key partnerships in other regions of the world, such as South American, the middle East, Scandinavia. It’s something we spend a lot of time talking about internally within the management team, in the management ranks, as you know, and other leaders know, employees want communication. We look at employee surveys, for example, of the top issues that are identified often in a survey, normally communications, right at the top of the list, as far as an issue that employees want to be dressed. In other words, they want credible clear and regular communication. We make a point of having communications, town halls, employee sessions. And, and the reason we do that is one, you can get a little more local and a little more granular when you do that.

Secondly, there are issues that are unique each region, and people want to hear about that. You know, for example, if you’re working in Asia on the product team, you want to hear how the company’s investing in products, that’s going to work in that market. You’re in your Europe, you want to hear about sales strategy That’s going to be addressed for the European market. So we make a point again of having regular communications on a regional basis as well. The last major thing we do at the executive level manager, the level is we try to focus on the quality of the content of communications. More is not better, better is better employees want specifics. They want issues addressed that they identified in their questions. They want to know what’s going on in the company. They want to know what’s going on in the industry. We want to know our future plans. They don’t just want cliches about, let’s just make a better company and let’s grow up. And they actually want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Communication’s only as effective as my entire team communicates. So I communicate and I attempt to communicate on a regular basis to my team. I also spend an equal amount of time making sure that my manager and my direct reports are doing what I’m doing as far as facilitating communication around the firm.

Anthony Tassone:

How much of that is data-driven you mentioned that you have surveys, you do Q and A’s, I’m wondering how much is data driven and how often does this happen? Is it something that you find needs to be done every two weeks or monthly or quarterly? How often is the company hearing what your vision is about?

Bob Santella:

As you know, as, as a seasoned leader, Anthony, that there’s informal data collection, there’s formal data collection, there’s this questionnaires and in other ways to access data on a more formal basis and analyze it. And we do that and informally the management team at all levels needs to have their collective finger on the pulse of the company to get, I would say constant feedback because we live in a dynamic world and dynamic company, dynamic industry. Will we do it again to answer your question is focused on having at least a quarterly update with the entire company company, highlights, financial updates, those updates, then also key issues and key recent topics that affect the company and affect our employee base. We want that predictability. So people know what we’re doing. We go out in advance of those meetings and actually collect on a formal basis. Pre-submitted questions, feedback, comments, and issues, and do our best to address.

I would say the most common issues identified by the employees that are pre submitted at least a quarterly basis, and do an employee survey on a specific topic that we think is probably the burning or one of the burning issues within the company. So for example, not surprisingly last couple of months, work from home affects the employees. Obviously that’s our customers effects our partners and everybody else that we deal with, we went out and did an employee survey to entire company addressing work from home in the future and all the issues that’s around the work from home experience and continuation of it and different hybrid options we had over 80% of our employees respond to that survey in a matter of 48 hours. And for those that do surveys among a large employee base, that does a really high percentage when he shows us this is not the exception by the ways that employees are really engaged on topics that they care about. And the feedback was really constructive. It helped us further crystallize policies and guidelines sometime to nuance for various regions but thats an example where at least once a quarter, right?

Anthony Tassone:

It’s interesting. You mentioned culture a few minutes ago. You said that you’ve got folks spread all over the place and there’s different culture at IPC, different lots of different regions. I’m wondering what strategies you deploy to make good hires considering how culturally diverse and regionally diverse and just how global IPC is and the same thing for removing bad hires. Do you have any tips Or strategies you can share with us around making sure you hire the best people?

Bob Santella:

there’s not one set of rules or one silver bullet or one playbook that works with you. This is where managerial discretion and experience is probably as important as objective criteria. But yeah, but you need both. You need both. You need to think about things and this is a really important topic for all companies, large, small, medium. You’re really only as good as your talent you really are. And I know it sounds like a cliche. There’s a reason why it’s called because it’s true, right? You’re only as good as your people. You know, we find that accompany, IPC, which again is global. I consider IPC to be a medium sized, small company. That’s what I call us. We are a global company. You learn that on a regional basis or on a country specific basis.

Yeah. I have to be aware of country rules, regulations, and laws. Cause that’s sometimes impacts how you hire and how you terminate people. You know, it’s not the same you’re for example, as far as policies and severance policies. Yeah. And the amount of time needed to give and even numbers people you can eliminate versus United States or Asia. So you have to be aware of those roles when you’re managing global company. The top thing that I’ve done in my career, and I’ve managed global business for a number of years, focus on my management team. Again, not just my direct reports, but the next level down because the strong management team, so IPC is about 30 people there best equipped to make sure that they have staff beneath need them that are aligned with, from values, from strategy work ethic and making sure the people that work for us realize that we’re in a customer business.

That’s what IPC is. We’re customer oriented business. And everybody at IPC needs to understand that. So when you have a 30 people or 35 people that are strong performers at the top of the organization, and they’re managing their teams effectively, they’re also managing their staff and how they bring people in how they train those people, how they mentor those people and so forth and how they performance management people out of the company. As a primary focus in my level, CEO, obviously can’t hire and fire everybody in a company size of IPC, kind of key drivers, I think will impact company. The other thing is really important though, is to establish objective criteria to the extent that you can. And that’s what we try to do. For example, a performance management, we’re constantly establishing criteria for our performance metrics, those not performing well, the answer isn’t to fire them, the answer is to make them better.

They don’t improve. And sometimes exit them from the organization as a healthy part of the process because allows for new people to join the organization. People that are really strong performers, you want to reward, give them opportunities. So we focused on a lot on creating internal opportunities for our better performers, being a global diverse firm. We have the luxury sometimes to have opportunities for people to move around the firm, thinking outside the box, a finance person with a really strong performer, can I go on a sales team, the will and the skills and the intelligence to maybe which their direction. And they’re a really strong performer. We’ve been open minded about certain opportunities. And I think we have a good track record of doing that. It’s not just important to bring on board when you hire them or how you terminate people. It’s really important what you do after you bring them on board.

And my experience has been that often we have a new hire the first 90 or 120 days cause sometimes make or break their career at a company. Now that may sound dramatic and maybe it’s not as extreme as your experience, but if somebody comes into a company and the first hundred and twenty days is really a bad experience, there’s no onboarding, there’s no training, there’s no mentoring. Nobody’s really kind of moving them along in the process of taking ownership. You might lose that person. It might still do your job every day, but he might just have a subpar attitude while they’re at the company. If you engage in employee for the first hundred 20 days, you meet with them on a regular basis, see how their expectations are being met and assign a mentor to a new hire. You normally have somebody off to a good positive start within the company, of course, it’s up to them to succeed. I’m a big believer that the person most responsible for managing one’s career is that person company’s got a responsibility to let people succeed early. Part of somebody’s tenure at a company is a great way to get that started.

Anthony Tassone:

Yeah, super powerful. Bob, I agree with everything you just said, especially the making new hires, giving them clear, consistent goals that are achievable and spending time with them to describe and discuss how are they going to hit these goals? Most of the exit interviews I’ve done, Bob or somebody is left green key, and maybe a week later we’ll do an exit interview. I would say nine times out of 10. It’s that issue. It’s somebody that underperformed that didn’t realize they’re underperforming, didn’t realize what they were working on and spending the majority of their time on wasn’t a huge priority at Greenkey. And it really comes down to just giving somebody clear, consistent goals and also checking in with them. You know, you know, our COO, Liz who I think is a superstar, I refer to Liz in our organization as an ER doctor or somebody that runs around and triages problems. Half her time is just following up with people. Do you understand your goal? Do you think you can achieve it? And I found that to be a successful process and strategy. That’s how much we care about it, that we dedicate half our CEO’s time to setting up goals and following up with people and making sure they understand what it is.

I want to ask you, if you had two people that are identical and capability, what is the deciding factor for who you hire?

Bob Santella:

You can learn from a lot of people. Anthony. I say this in all sincerity and objectivity, you spoke at our strategy session about a year and a half ago. You spoke to our executive team on the topic of how you look at people, how you build an organization, how you identify talent, even listening to you, GreenKey, being a different size firm versus IPC. We learned from that. I learned how no matter what the size of the organization is emphasizing talent, talent management, how you hire people. I know you put new hires and prospects through a very rigorous process. And one that really identifies can each hire is really critical for, from a Greenkey. So I just want to commend you for your focusing and the priorities you place on the human capital in the human equation.

Anthony Tassone:

Yeah. I appreciate that, Bob. I didn’t always place such an emphasis on it. I made a lot of mistakes early on at Greenkey and what I came to realize was that people we hire is the most important decision I’m ever going to make at Greenkey. And so I have to be involved in that hiring process because we’re so small and people may have such an outsized impact on our organization and making a bad hire so expensive and really at a high level, it’s all about being compassionately, candid and optimistic. You know, those are the two characteristics that have been, you know, the most successful.

Bob Santella:

But because again, back to your quote from Anthony about that Identical situation with two people, this comes from a person who’s an identical twin. So I can appreciate some degree. The question of people have judged me. sometimes not know that I have somebody who sort of looks like me talks like me and they waste, you know, that no matter how similar people look at this caveat of his saying, it’s hard to say exactly identical. I get the gist. The question on paper. Sometimes people look fairly similar and look, they can have an identical experience. I would say almost identical resume and background. We actually start talking to people and this is where experience as an interviewer. And as a manager comes in, people aren’t identical. As far as how they communicate their motivation level, you touch on a really key word, positive, optimistic, versus maybe people that aren’t as optimistic or as positive cause optimism, which is different than to being delusional. Optimism gets you through challenges much, much more so than, than people that look at the glass being half empty all the time.

The two key traits that I look for when I see people that are similar. Number one, work ethic. Now it’s hard to gauge some time and interview, but you can, you can pick up body language and pick up various questions of people perceive work. Doesn’t matter. I want somebody working 18 hours a day. It’s not the point. I want somebody that understands that in our business customer driven business and a trading environment and key motto is that whatever it takes, remember it takes me that you do your job every day and you have a good work life balance, but you know, crisis or an emergency or urgent thing need to rise to the occasion. And when you have time to relax, you relax.

That’s not me dictating that that’s the market’s dictating that and that’s society and so forth. So some people get that. Some people understand that the proverbial nine to five hat that some people wear in certain industries doesn’t quite fit our industry. And it just can’t be a nutrient. So you need to be able to rise to the occasion and then be able to exhibit a proper work ethic. People establish work ethics typically early in their career. You know, some people can change them, obviously typically good work ethics, stay with people for their career and bad work ethics career as well. So try and vet that out.

The other thing is intelligence. We don’t get people IQ tests, and that’s not the point here. And I think that’s not legal in many countries, but you’ve talked to people and there’s a difference between experience and previously acquired knowledge versus an innate intelligence, help people have aptitude and their ability to pick up things and ability to pick up new things and new concepts. And I’m a big believer that if you have a motivated, intelligent, hard working person who can teach that man or woman, almost anything to do a job, you know, within, within, within reason, crack on teach teaching to be a doctor or a lawyer, but I could teach them how to work at IPC.

Anthony Tassone:

Our CTO, Tom gave me a tip a couple of years ago, sort of as probing to understand somebody’s work ethic. A good question to ask we found is to ask how they made money in high school, how they made money in college and describe, you know, the different types of jobs they have. And obviously we love hearing about cutting lawns and delivering pizzas. The worst answer is, you know, I don’t remember that would be, that would be a bad answer.

You mentioned number one, got two candidates are exactly the same. The one candidate that communicates better than the other, I would prefer that candidate for sure. And one thing we’ve asked for is in the past, I’ve interviewed folks and ask them to forward me a handful of emails that they’ve written to their peers over the past month or so you get a sense of how somebody communicates by reading, how they speak to people that are equals to them. And so we found that the writing style will change. You know, if they’re reporting up to somebody, you know, you can tell that taking a lot of time to write that email, but look at how they’ve written emails to their peers. I would always favor the candidate that communicates the best.

Bob. I want to just sort of switch gears for a second. You know, one of the things I’ve seen during your time at IPC is IPC has sort of changed its attitude to, towards working with partners. I can tell that’s you driving that change at IPC. And I’m wondering if you can describe to us some strategies that you deploy to find good business relationships that ultimately lead to partnerships and what is your philosophy on partnerships in general now that you’re running IPC

Bob Santella:

Partnerships are really important part of our business. And I know the important part of your business as well. Again, we can’t have 30 or 40 partnerships and expect off 30 or 40 to be quality partnerships. It doesn’t work that way. We try to identify the top six, eight, 10 partnerships that add value type IPC, add value to the other partner firms and focus more time on fewer number of relationships kind of gets down to quality versus quantity driven by the reality of our, of our business and also driven by our customer expectations. And then we align goals. I find that if I have a good relationship personally, but good relationship is not just personal relationship, a good, honest, transparent, and direct relationship with the other CEO of other partner company that generally helps the rest of the relationship. It doesn’t guarantee it by any means.

Not all partnerships go straight up, but th the top of the company doesn’t get along well with the top of the partner company, probably doesn’t bode well for the rest of the partnership down the food chain. So it’s really incumbent upon me to understand why we have a partnership, make sure we’re going to invest in that partnership. I do my part to make sure it stays on constructive. I think it’s also important from our perspective, try to get better in this area and working with our partners to establish realistic milestones and metrics to measure the progress of the partnership and partners are enemy relationship with IPC Maher perspective as well, because it benefits their business both short and longterm. But if it’s our business, the only way to measure the best way to measure it is it really put, measure success in and putting milestones in from a timeline point of view that both sides agree on and then measure the progress, gauge the progress of how you move them down the path. And both sides need to be open minded enough and flexible enough to pivot where they need to pivot and recognize that sometimes you need to change expectations, but just like any family relationship or any personal relationship, you have a good partner is going to be ups and downs, but people stay focused on the original objectives and the original intentions and vote the proper amount of time.

Anthony Tassone:

Oh, is that a large portion of your time? Are you having dinner? A lot of dinners in New York and London with partners trying to understand their business and

Bob Santella:

I would say 15 to 20% of my business as usual time I take out the special kind of part of the time with board meetings and other stuff. I do it with business as usual, either exploring new partnerships, vetting the financial aspect of the partnership, knowing about the team that the new partnership, but I spent a decent amount of each week trying to identify key partnerships.

Sometimes just keep relationships, you know, partnership, as you know, is a really general and very broad word and not all partnerships are uppercase P some are in some art, but other media can have a strong relationship that you might have with a competitor as well. Coopetition as we often call it. Whereas I spend as much time as I do on this Anthony’s that often when you’re dealing with a partner from it again, I think by definition is a company, you know, less about and about your own company and IPC by now I know fairly well. I’ve been running the company now for almost two and a half years. The more I learn every day, but when a new partner comes in, whether it be a Greek key or another firm, there’s a lot more ramp startup time and more really educational on my part to learn more about that company, specific information, things that are relevant to IPC the only way to learn about a company and its people and its culture is to spend time with that company time.

Anthony Tassone:

That’s so good. Bob, you mentioned quality. I would sort of summarize what you’ve just said by encouraging listeners to not be sort of partnering agnostic, at least not with your team’s time. My time, I’m a little bit more generous with, I love meeting other founders. I love talking to other partners. I view that as an important part of my role to gather intelligence. I think that that’s a super important, critical part of, of our roles. I know Bob, you do that a lot, so it’s something I’ve seen you do. I think it’s been super effective, IPC. I’m trying to model my own behavior after what I’ve learned from you.

I don’t think he can be shy and our role. I think you need to be a little bit pushy, make sure you’re spending the social time with other businesses and especially customers. I know you have a lot of customer dinners as well. That’s really some of the most highest quality time that an executive can spend – is get outside of your comfort zone, get away from the keyboard and get in front of customers and partners. You certainly do a good job doing that.

Bob Santella:

I found in my experience, I’ve worked over 35 years financial industry, and I worked at firms that had over a hundred thousand people firms that have 30 people that I helped start and firms in the middle. So I’ve had kind of a wide range in it. And I’ve found in my career that it’s very similar traits in organization. No matter what the size is that makes them successful. That 30 person firm that pays attention to detail that gives good customer service that pays attention to they hire makes him successful. Just like a a hundred thousand person. Firm may take longer to move the ship around the ocean of your a hundred thousand person firm, but there’s many more similarities and much more commonality among what makes companies successful regardless of the size I’ve found going around the world. Even since joining IPC in 2018 at Greenkey technologies for the size of your firm is one of the best known firms in the industry in a positive way.

I visit customers in Asia, Europe, North America, and virtually every big bank and broker that we do business with, or try to do business with, knows of Greenkey and knows what you do and speaks highly of you.  doesn’t mean they all use your services right now, but for a company, your size to have that visibility that doesn’t come by accident, that’s a Testament to you and how you reach out to people and how you engage people. Again, we all have our own styles and I think probably your more personable than me, honestly, but I think that companies appreciate even more. If, as a leader of the company, you don’t go out and represent the company. Other people won’t either in your company where they won’t be as effective. So again, I try to balance it. I don’t do it every night. I don’t spend half my time doing it, but I try and do it on a sustained regular basis.

And every month I go back and look at my calendar and said did I meet at least a half a dozen people this month outside of work on customer side partner side, whatever that benefited me and IPC actually go back and gauge that I keep track of it. And if I did, I feel like I did my job. It’s about the quality, not just the quantity, by the way, people that really helped us. If I didn’t do it, I’d go back and just wonder what happened that month. And if something throw me off my game, but if something I do measure it,

Anthony Tassone:

Thank you for the kind words earlier, Bob, you know, I was thinking about our early customers. They really were buying green keys culture. You know, in the early days they buying an API and some professional services and they just thought, you know what? These guys are, they’re smart guys. They’re very direct. They understand the problem we have on the sales and trading desk. And they gave us the benefit of the doubt. And that’s really what I think your culture gets you. And it’s why it’s so important to hire the right people because ultimately those early customers are buying your culture and your brand long before they buy your actual product. We figured that out early, why we focus so much time and attention on making good hires.

Bob with regards to being customer facing and having dinners with partners. Something that I talk with my kids about really focusing on being personable, focus on being dynamic and having charisma and being direct and candid and optimistic. And I think that, you know, especially if you’re, if you’re a young executive or somebody young listening to this, don’t underestimate how important, that is, uh, is super important. And I would encourage people to really emphasize their communication skills, not just learning about cooling technology or learning about some new problem that they want to solve, but actually figure out how you make an impression, figure out how when you spend time with somebody, when you speak it has weight and they remember what you say and they appreciate why you said it.

Bob Santella:

You touched on one word. I think that’s really important to me is word presence executive presence. And I say that because I’ve had the opportunity in my career in my 25 years to work for three or four CEOs, a fairly large companies, fairly large, in most cases, public companies, wide variety of personalities and kind of icy styles, but they’re all really effective CEOs. And I observed this and I have in meetings with them board meetings or executive meetings, I watch it sometimes with how they acted and how they manage the teams and manage myself. One thing I noticed that they all seemed that presence and presence means that you don’t need to be the loudest person in the room. You don’t have to be the slickest person in the room or the one that talks to most. But when you talk people, listen, when you talk, you kind of stop and pause and listen to for others.

But sometimes it’s softer than you talk. And the more you don’t scream, the more people actually listen to you. But you find a common trait among senior leaders and effective CEOs that when they go into a room where we have customers and with colleagues or with teams or wherever they are, people sort of sense that they’re the boss within a leader, I’m blessed with having four children. And most of the time they listened to me, but not always. And I was saying that when I told him the same thing, that when you go out in life, no matter what you do, you shouldn’t sacrifice your personality. I’m not trying to change anybody’s personality or how they want to behave. You can be your introvert and be effective. You can be extroverted and be completely ineffective. I think we get to realize what role you want to have and how you get to that role.

I’ve found that the way I act communicate within a situation with my owners, my board of directors, my colleagues is slightly different than I do at home, my dishonest person or changing my personality. But you learn that you just have a style. That was my case. He just emphasized proactive communication, honesty, transparency, and credibility. And then rest of, kind of falls in line. As I tell my team all the time and tell my board directors that once you lose credibility within an organization, as a senior leader, you won’t get it back. You can do everything you can to kind of communicate and improve everything else you do, as far as how you want to be within a company. But if the employee base or you’re managing things that you’re being dishonest, or you’re being disingenuous on a regular basis, you won’t get the respect back that you need to be effective within an organization.

Anthony Tassone:

Talking a little bit about family. And I suspect your answer is going to be family related. But how important is downtime to you? How do you utilize that effectively to make decisions and process information? Can you describe to us how you disconnect?

Bob Santella:

It’s really important. I think for any, any leader, really any, any person I think, but they have time to think and not just to do, there’s a difference you can do, and you can’t execute. If you don’t plan, you can’t plan effectively. If you don’t think you don’t have the time to reflect and understand not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. And I spent time on it. I figured that early in my career in an organization and get to where I wanted to get to, I had an activity plan. I’d had it well, it’s sort of longterm. I had to work towards those goals without being consumed by them. I’m a big believer that you have more options in life. If you’re good at what you do, people like to hire good performers, excellent performers. So first of all, I always learned was be good at what you do.

Secondly, taken upon yourself to plan out where you want to go in life, recognizing you need to have an element of flexibility in those plans. Cause sometimes like the ultra curve balls, and that gets to the ability to think about what you want to do and why you want to do it. What I do right now, Anthony, and what I’ve done over there as of a year or so, is that there is the difference in my mind between downtime and family and friends in a way away from the office. And also downtime would be just a weight from the everyday aspects of the office. It’s still work related where I can think, but that didn’t mean I made a point on probably 80% of the weeks of the year. I actually go into my office on a Saturday or Sunday for a few hours, not the entire day.

And that that’s sort of my thinking day. And my planning day. I find when I go into the office early Saturday morning for four or five hours, you don’t have the distractions of a telephone ringing. You have distractions of emails flying in from around the world and other things to kind of take your attention. So I actually, I consciously spend that time as much that time, not just do everyday thing, but actually looking at my goals, looking at what’s coming up the next couple months, strategizing about, Hey, there are things I need to do in life for myself and for the organization. That’s my intentional thinking time. And I find I can actually think better when I’m alone, actually away from everybody. I’m by myself in an office situation. I’d do it out here, Jersey city headquarters VPC. I do it back when I’m back outside of Illinois and a little one room office down there in downtown Naperville, Illinois.

So I find it effective. The second element of that though, is the downtime with family. And I’m also a big believer that I work really hard not to take my job home and never think about things. I’m less, I don’t need a whole lot of sleep at night. And I think I’m at night and think about things. And I actually go to my office and kind of reflect. But when I’m with my family, I am not sure. My wife knows what I do for a living most of the time. My view is that you’re better at work when you’re happier at home, simple as that. And you’re better at home when you’re happier at work. But so we tie the two together. It’s sometimes a recipe for disaster. So I tried to time together by trying to make sure I’m happy at home. And I focus on my children when I’m a hundred percent of the time and my wife and my work, I want to focus on work and then just not take the problem with work back home. And it’s worked well for me.

Anthony Tassone:

Bob. I think it’s super rare, I don’t think it’s the norm. I make it a point to ask people like you, how do you deal with stress and anxiety and how do you separate work from family? Because I’ve struggled with that for sure. you know, most of the regrets I have in life are really about, and I wish I was more present on that vacation. It’s about, you know, realizing how fast kids grow up. And it’s really a super power that you have, Bob, the ability to compartmentalize. I don’t think most people can do that.

Bob Santella:

If you play into the all-consuming nature of what we do, we’ll never break out of it. You never will. And you will sucked into it. You need to make a conscious effort of how you do that. And when you do it and it comes down to how you delegate to other people, how you have a system in place to make sure you are, you are on call 24, seven as a CEO, you have to have boundaries and parameters where that applies and just leave it to chance or leave. The other people dictate that role would be reacting rather than proactive. And that’s not my style. And it means so I’ve learned to be more proactive in that instead of boundaries,

Anthony Tassone:

Bob. I really want to thank you for your time. You have a super strategic mindset. You’re a mentor to me. I really do try to model a lot of my behavior from things I’ve learned from you over the past couple of years. I really just want to thank you for spending your time with me today.

Bob Santella:

Anthony thank you for give me the opportunity to talk to you and your listeners, the educational learning on both ways. I’ve learned a lot from you and your team, and have a ton of respect for you and the green key team by the way, every company should aspire to be as far as having a mission and a vision and trying to keep that all the best of you and your listeners they continue to stay healthy during unknown times we live in.