Three Years at Seal: What I Have Learned
Placing a high value on people and culture has been a critical component in my decision-making process for as long as I can remember.
After junior college, I was fortunate enough to receive three different scholarship offers to play football at small universities in Kansas and Missouri. Ultimately, my decision to attend Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO (yup) was based on the people I met and the culture they personified. I wanted to be a part of THEIR team. That culture.
My decision to join Seal was made in much the same way.
I got my first glimpse into Seal's culture when I interviewed back in 2015. It's important to note that I had no previous inside sales experience, had never worked for a start-up or tech company, and my entire understanding of Artificial Intelligence could be credited to the movie, The Terminator.
Conducting the interview was the SVP of Enterprise sales, Steve Tucker. He was affable, well-spoken, made eye contact, and even had a British accent! After about five minutes of small talk, where Steve managed cycling through 4 of George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words, (it's okay because he's British) he went on to explain more about what Seal does for its customers and its position in the market.
We then moved on to discuss the role. He let me know that I'd be on a small team, have a quota, and be surrounded by people that would help me grow. Then my favorite part of the interview came when he disclosed that the job has an astoundingly high rate of failure, can be miserable at times, and he'd likely end up firing me in a couple of months.
"How well do you deal with failure, Joe?"
Instead of darting for the door--as I assume most applicants would after being told their potential job would consist of days rife with failure and misery, after which you'd most likely be fired--I instantly blurted out my favorite Mike Ditka quote:
"Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal, Steve. The most important play is the next one."
I took the puzzled look on his face as my cue to elaborate. I explained to Steve that this quote was cemented into my head as an athlete, and I've adopted it as my mantra in life. That's not to say I don't care if I win or lose, but that I'll put forth every ounce of effort without fear or hesitation.
I landed my first sales job in tech that day.
What I've come to love about this company, this family, is that we embrace three core values and bring them to work each and every day.
Don't Fear Failure
At first, your failures will far outnumber your successes. Learn from those mistakes and leverage them in the future. We make robots. We don't hire them.
Lean on Your Support System
I can say with certainty that this has, and continues to be, an integral part of Seal's ongoing success--for individuals and the company alike. Here, your teammates take responsibility for your growth and success, doing whatever's necessary to see you succeed. Use that to your advantage.
Don't Ask for Permission...
...ask for forgiveness. This kind of plays into the "not fearing failure" idea, but differs in the fact that in some situations, people feel the need to ask for an opportunity to fail. Instead, we embrace a thoughtful, full-speed-ahead mentality that allows our team to innovate and break through barriers on a daily basis.
Over the last three years, I can attribute all of my failures and accomplishments to embracing Seal's culture. They have fostered my growth, both personally and professionally...and at the very least, kept Steve from firing me.
Here at Seal, we are always looking for talented and passionate people to join the team, so keep an eye on our Careers page; and remember, keep people and culture top of mind.