Level Up is a monthly webinar open to anyone interested in improving their leadership skills. The series is designed to help you get to know the leaders of Experian and gain insight into the skills needed to grow your career.
Most recently, we spoke with Reshma Peck, SVP Marketing for Integrated Marketing at Experian. Reshma is responsible for brand, segment and product marketing for B2B financial services at Experian. She leads a diverse team in multiple disciplines of marketing to identify market segments and develop value propositions, market insights and thought leadership; generate awareness and demand; build client affinity and power the sales teams focused on driving revenue. She champions key employee initiatives that reflect the dynamic culture across Experian.
We were so happy to have the opportunity to chat with Reshma for Level Up.
Mike Delgado: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Level Up Leadership podcast. My name is Mike Delgado.
Patty Guevarra: My name is Patty Guevarra.
Mike Delgado: This podcast is designed to help you get to know the leaders here at Experian and also gain insight into leadership skills and traits needed to grow our careers.
Patty Guevarra: In this podcast, we’ll talk mentorship, career navigation, handling rejection, work-life balance, mental health, diversity inclusion and so much more.
Mike Delgado: We hope you enjoy the show.
Patty Guevarra: Today we’re excited to chat with Reshma Peck SVP of Marketing here at Experian. Thanks for joining us Reshma.
Reshma Peck: Hey, thanks for having me.
Patty Guevarra: Alright. Let’s start with your background.
Reshma Peck: Sure, first of all this is really quite the setup in here.
Reshma Peck: This is like, I mean, the DJ radio stations.
Mike Delgado: Like Power 106. [crosstalk 00:00:59]
Reshma Peck: It’s quite something. I have been with Experian for over ten years. I’m just going to count in decades now, I think. Prior to coming to Experian I was with Disney in Consumer Brand Marketing. I was in Theme Parks and Entertainment at Downtown Disney and California Adventure, for those of you that are in California.
Mike Delgado: So much fun.
Reshma Peck: Yeah, that was my job there and then prior to that I was in consumer products and consumer brand marketing in Scottsdale. I launched new products for household goods and foods and bath and body, etc. And then over the last ten plus years I’ve been at Experian throughout corporate marketing and working on marketing services all in the marketing function. Currently I lead integrated marketing which is for the financial services B2B verticals.
Patty Guevarra: You’ve been a lot of places, but you’ve been at Experian for a decade now. What keeps you here? What do you love most about your job?
Reshma Peck: Yeah, we were talking about this a little bit earlier, Patty. I think it first and foremost starts with the people, right? I just really like the people I work with. Patty and I have some of the same connections and I really enjoy working with them. I enjoy the leaders, I enjoy my team and it’s really sort of work hard play hard mentality so I just really like the people that I worth with. I mean we laugh. We stress together, we laugh together, you know, that kind of thing. In fact, Patty was telling me that a lot of my team are on this WebEx so just get back to work. You don’t need to be on here asking me any hard questions. So I like that.
Reshma Peck: The other thing is I’ve been really fortunate to have jobs where I get to really thrive and change so I like to create new. Give me a blank piece of paper and that’s really what I enjoy doing. I’ve had the opportunity to work on new initiatives, new markets, creating new brands, new acquisitions so I really like working on new product launches, etc. like that. And then finally I really like the brand. I love as a brand marketer, coming from consumer brand marketing, that’s my background, I like the Experian brand I love being a storyteller of the brand. I mean who doesn’t like a good story. I like telling stories about this brand so we can make it really memorable.
Patty Guevarra: Right.
Mike Delgado: I love Reshma’s answer because I feel the same way. It’s all about the people.
Reshma Peck: It is.
Mike Delgado: The people here are amazing. I think part also is your leadership and other leaders who have brought on good people. Looking for certain skill sets, certain personalities, low ego, team players, you know, that collaborative spirit. So I think that’s super important too.
Reshma Peck: Yeah, my team will say, they’ll interview people to bring on to their team, and often they’ll run the candidate by me at the end and I’m only there to assess cultural fit so I have that sniff test on whether they can actually be somebody that I want to work with and certainly not all experience and skills. I think that’s really important.
Mike Delgado: Yeah.
Patty Guevarra: You spoke a lot about brands and your career is obviously all about building up other people’s brands or their companies but what about personal brand? We want to know how important that is to you and what your personal brand is.
Reshma Peck: I think, I didn’t know this, obviously, before earlier on in my career, but as I’ve aged it’s really important to think about what your personal brand is. Just like you do with any products or any companies, I think you’re just a human being. What is the story you want to tell about yourself? What is the story other people you… you want them to tell about you? It’s really important so I think part of leadership is building a personal brand and to think about it. Now I actually, in our function, we create a lot of narratives and a lot of messaging. You know that, Mike. A lot of story arcs. We put them through this filter. I have this filter of the “R” principles, “R” because it’s easy for me to remember I guess.
Reshma Peck: We put them through this filter of does this messaging go through these principles and I think it’s very similar to what you would do for your personal brand. So let me just tell you what they are. The first one is: Be real. And to me, I think, authenticity and being true to yourself being who you are is so important because that’s the only way to be sustainable. You just can’t fake it. People will see through fake news. I think it’s just really important to be yourself and I wish I had learned that earlier on in my career, to be honest. It does take confidence in age. And there’s room for every type of person so if you’re not appreciated by being your true self, then go somewhere else because there’s definitely room for you somewhere else.
Reshma Peck: That’s the same thing with our stories, right. So our narratives when we talk about PR, Mike. I mean people see through. We can talk about fake value propositions, or fake features and benefits.
Mike Delgado: And I think one of the difficulties is sometimes you see leaders that you want to emulate, right? And that’s where it gets difficult, because you want to be your authentic self but then you say what’s the leadership like? Oh I want to be like that. And they might be super extroverted, very personable and you might be introverted, right? So how do balance authenticity with the trying to be better or trying to emulate a really good leader in your life?
Reshma Peck: Yeah and I think everyone’s got skills they can improve upon, right? I think if there was somebody who’s very articulate or is a great presenter, yeah, learn that. That’s obviously important. If you are in a company that values extroversion and creativity then you sort of have to stretch that muscle a little bit. There are things you can learn from everybody. I’m not going to be the person I am at home in my pajamas, obviously. I am going to be a little put together here. So put on my work mode. I think it’s important to do that but I do think great leaders like our executive leaders, my bosses, Craig, everybody else, appreciate diversity even in their leadership. If you look around Craig’s table. I think that there is room, Mike, for both of us to be ourselves and still be successful in the company. I think that’s what I mean. Find your lane and it’s just so much easier to be yourself. It really is.
Mike Delgado: I feel like that’s really good advice.
Reshma Peck: The other “R” principle that I think is really important is to be relevant. Just like we talk about our industry messaging, it’s really important to hone our craft. To stay on top of it, to stay on the cutting edge. All of us are in marketing and social media. You know, just everything that sort of explodes as far as our channels that people are communicating on and the way they consume media. I’m one of those people that like to watch advertising so I don’t fast forward through the TV ads. I want to hear what’s going on or the ads that are served up on social media, Patty. Let’s see what Facebook’s got the algorithms, right?
Patty Guevarra: Right.
Reshma Peck: Serving me up the ads. Just the different, there’s Twitch that people are sort of on watching streaming live. I was actually in a meeting yesterday and with AEG Worldwide Entertainment and they have this E-sports division and they were talking about how you can sponsor, in E-sports you can actually sponsor the jersey. So they have Call of Duty or…
Mike Delgado: Fortnite.
Reshma Peck: Well, they have these big events in the Fortnite Mega Leagues or Overwatch Leagues and you can actually sponsor the jersey on a virtual player or a virtual stadium.
Patty Guevarra: Interesting.
Reshma Peck: You don’t have to go to Angels stadium to do that. Or to the Rams, or Chargers. You can can actually sponsor the jersey and have your logo on this person who’s fighting in this league so it’s crazy. To stay on top of what’s relevant in marketing is really important. And in that way for me it’s really important to get in the trenches with the team. You roll up your sleeves. We have a lot of big events and big activities that takes all hands on deck. If I don’t hone my craft or know enough about all the different things I won’t be able to get in the trenches and roll up my sleeves. It’s important to do that.
Mike Delgado: That is so true. Because it’s funny when you talk to kids these days about their media habits. And I’m even asking the wrong questions. I was talking to some eight year olds on my block. I was like, “What are your favorite shows? What TV channels do you watch?” And they were like TV channels? It’s like no, I only watch YouTube. And they have a whole list of YouTubers that they’re watching. It’s just funny and all the YouTubers have their own brand and I watch some of these videos that my kids watch and they’re all like, they have calls to action. Comment below, like it. All the stuff that we learned in marketing, I’m seeing these kids on YouTube having their CTA, telling them to replay to get their views up.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. Yeah. You know we have TV’s in all the rooms in our house, I swear they don’t even get turned on. Because it’s just all the laptop and it’s either Netflix or social media channels. That’s the only way they consume media and in fact there was VidCon, there was a conference in Anaheim for four days where it’s literally just YouTube and Instagram celebrities and TikTok celebrities that are just all teenagers that have millions of followers. I think it’s important to keep it on top of that because it’s… as we talk about empowering consumers and creating a better tomorrow. These are our tomorrow and so how do they consume media and how are we going to be able to reach them is really critical.
Mike Delgado: That’s right.
Reshma Peck: And they’re not just kids. We talk about the gaming industry we’re talking about adults in there.
Patty Guevarra: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Reshma Peck: Young adults, so I think it’s really important. The third “R” is repeat. Now, in the brand world we say, a brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. For us, communications, a repeat of communications, we talk about it in the marketing is really important because if we don’t say it, they don’t hear it. If they don’t hear it, they don’t repeat it and you don’t want them to repeat it.
Reshma Peck: I think it’s important to think about how to extend our networks as employees and as leaders to extend the reach within the company so people are talking about you. And it’s not just coffee meetings, I don’t mean that by creating a network. I think stretching assignments and getting new assignments or taking new assignments outside of your little ecosystem is really important because you build a network based on how people see how you’re working. That’s one of the things that I would recommend to everybody is find an assignment that’s sort of, or a stretch project that is outside of your function and is outside of your division. That’s how you get to meet a lot of different people in the company.
Mike Delgado: That’s right and I think also all the different clubs and the ERG’s here. It’s a great opportunity to meet others. I found all the different diversity inclusion events here have been great. It breaks out of our silos and all of a sudden you’re meeting different marketers, there are people in different business units.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. Absolutely. And we have a lot of events and initiatives to work on so we’re happy to take anybody to sign on. Please email me directly if you want to work on any extracurricular projects.
Reshma Peck: I think it also helps you dust off the things that you’ve been doing routinely and learn new things. And that’s actually another one of the things I really love about this place is I feel like I learn something every single day. And every day I have said to myself, I did not know that. I didn’t know we did that. Or I didn’t know we could do that. And it’s really kind of exciting. It’s fascinating. Which makes it a harder story to tell about Experian because every day we’re evolving. It does help you learn a lot of new things.
Mike Delgado: It’s so funny. We were in a meeting and I was like I’ve only been here eight years and I just learned this about Experian. Because there’s just so many things.
Patty Guevarra: Yeah.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. I was just having a one on one with somebody on my team and she just told me that she’d been here a year and I swear I thought she had just been here like five minutes ago. And she said it just flew by. It’s because you’re learning so much and it’s not routine and every day is so new. Look at this equipment you guys have here. It is just really exciting. An exciting time.
Reshma Peck: The last “R” is, I don’t know if applies so much to messaging but, just to be ready. I can’t underscore the importance of preparation. Preparation is key. To me, personally, I need to prepare for everything. I was telling Patty, I was asking her, do you have any questions for this? Is there a script? Is there a dry run, is there a rehearsal? And she was like no, no, no. We’re just talking.
Patty Guevarra: No, just talking.
Reshma Peck: You just can’t wing everything as you get into more complex situations. And it’s really important that you don’t settle for mediocrity and if you want to strive for excellence, you’ve got to prepare. I mean, everybody prepares. Marathon runners prepare, basketball players prepare. It’s just really important to prepare and I think that that’s really important.
Mike Delgado: Reshma, I loved how you talked about networking and getting to know others in the business. I think you are probably one of the best networkers because I just see you, well I’ve seen you at Vision or at conferences. I mean, Reshma is just all over talking to so many different people and it’s really cool to see how well you’re able to, I just feel like you’re one of those individuals that anybody can talk to. You can walk up to anybody and spark conversation and that’s not a skill everyone has. And I’m kind of curious about your advice for those of us, like myself, who maybe go to big conference or Experian event and you’re feeling little shy or introverted, do you have any advice for those of us?
Reshma Peck: First of all, I’m working. I’m not networking at those events. Usually fighting fires or hey, is Craig ready to go on stage, where is he, where is this, where is that, is a video going to be played? So no I’m running around like a crazy person but thank for it looking like I’m networking.
Reshma Peck: I am very extroverted so I score on the high extroversion scale range and I think that helps, obviously. Although there’s a lot of people that are more extroverted than me. I think I’m getting more introverted as I get older, I’m like get away from me, I need to go into my cave for a minute. I think it’s easier for me. I also, I find different angles for people so I have to think about who I’m trying to talk to. I choose a different angle to break the ice or to talk to them. I use personal questions often. I don’t think those are off limit because like I say you’re working people, you’re working with human beings so I don’t think it’s off limits to say, hey, I’m from Ohio too. You’re from Ohio or whatever it is. Hey I heard you whatever blah blah blah. Or where do you live? You live in Orange county. I think it’s fine to break the ice and people want to be connected to you in sort of a different way as well. It’s not just like hey, you’re a risk officer I’m a risk officer, let’s chat.
Reshma Peck: I think you can use different questions and different topics to break the ice to get to know people because we’re all complete human beings. I live in a place, I have a family, I have a life, I have work. So I’m more than just working at Experian. It’s probably easier for me because I am extroverted. And then sometimes after those conferences, I’ve got to tell you, Mike. I go into a bunker and I’m just like nobody talk to me.
Patty Guevarra: No one talk to me. Yeah.
Mike Delgado: Have you always been really extroverted?
Reshma Peck: No. I was a very shy kid. As a teenager I was really, really shy. I mean all the way up to my teen years. I had a lot of friends that I followed that were big leaders, I was the follower. I was just very introverted. I was a gawky kid and one of those athletic jocks but not really that cool. Not that cool kind of an athletic jock. Female athletic jock which I don’t know was that cool in those days.
Reshma Peck: I wasn’t really that outgoing but I came out of my shell. Some of it is practice and it’s just not all innate. Some of it is practice and some of it you have to do. If you want to network and you want to grow your network and if you want to learn new things, you’ve got to connect with new people.
Mike Delgado: That’s right.
Reshma Peck: It is what it is. You can’t just hide behind headphones and a laptop. You just can’t do it that way.
Mike Delgado: That’s right. That’s right.
Reshma Peck: Unfortunately. I go to events, you know we’ve been to events, right Mike. You and I have been to some events, the big conferences and it can be exhausting. It can be draining for sure. But you’ve just got to make a concerted effort and then go back into your cave and then come back into the conference center and then go take little nap and then come back.
Mike Delgado: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right.
Reshma Peck: I think those things are really important.
Patty Guevarra: I’m curious, when you do kind of feel like your energy’s been sucked out of you out of these conferences and all that, what are your ways to recharge?
Reshma Peck: I do take time. I make sure that I spend, I go off to my hotel room. Some of these events go really late at night. I used to be able to do it much better back in the day. I can’t recover as fast in the morning. I’m more disciplined. To get a good night’s sleep is really important to me. I love sleep. I mean, I really love sleep. I don’t get it often, this is probably why I love it. To get a good night’s sleep is really important. To go recharge and I think what you do preparing prior, I prep before I go.
Reshma Peck: Have I gone and rested, have I read a book, have I really chilled out the weekend before? For example, for Vision, I work on that conference and I would have to go out on a Saturday before we start on Sunday. So that Friday before I usually take the day off or I’m working from home or something and then just recharge. Just chilling out so I know I’m just going into the marathon. Just be, again, it’s preparation, it is just really preparing my body and mind, I guess, for the networking.
Mike Delgado: That’s right. That’s right. That’s actually really, really good advice because sometimes you’re like go, go, go and then all of a sudden you’re flying in the air, I personally can’t even, when I travel I can’t even sleep. I don’t sleep well in hotel rooms. I love how you’re kind of like mentally, physically, preparing yourself.
Reshma Peck: Oh yeah.
Mike Delgado: Okay, I’m going to go to a conference for three days and got to be on. So I need to just recharge.
Patty Guevarra: It’s really intentional.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. You know, sales people, I mean I work with obviously I’m part of the integrated marketing and sales organization, I mean, they go, go, go. They travel from one event to another event. And a lot of times I’ll get asked to travel to things and I honestly purposely say no because I know there isn’t a break in between for me and I have to make sure there’s a break. I can’t go from Monday through Thursday and then go to Thursday to Saturday. It’s just, I’m not that good.
Reshma Peck: I need recharge time. I need to be plugged in for a little bit. And now some people can do that nonstop and that’s a different type of extroversion. I need to recharge and I need to prepare. So I do things that are for my mind and body whether it’s working out or whether it’s going to the spa or whether it’s just chilling out by myself. I do try to enjoy some alone time before I go into a really big conference.
Patty Guevarra: I want to know what your advice is for maybe someone who’s a little younger in their career and maybe just starting to really take on leadership. Maybe their just starting to lead a team for the first time, what your advice would be for them.
Reshma Peck: Yes. Hire well. I think people say marry well but I’m just going to say…
Patty Guevarra: Hire well.
Reshma Peck: …hire well. If I have to leave you with two words today as you start to lead a team and as you start to recruit a team, hiring well and getting your team composition right is just critical. Not only to see success but you as leader, it is the single most important thing that I gauge my success or failure in is if I’ve got the right people on the team.
Reshma Peck: So really focus on getting the right talent. And hiring for experience only gets you that far so I’ve learned it’s not about what the experience is on the person’s resume or during the interview so I do look for potential, what’s the curiosity and initiative in that person. It is really important and you know we work in an organization where it’s team goals, squad goals, right? So it’s a team support and it’s, you know, a few people that I’ve hired over the last year, I was thinking about it, so many of them now have a job that’s very different than they were hired for. So they had a job description that was 50% which was outlined and the successful ones find the gaps and if you hire the right talent they find, they go create their own 50% of the job description.
Reshma Peck: Here’s the gap, here’s where I’m going to go, I’m going to fill that void. It’s really important to find the right talent and they can go figure out what the right job is. I don’t know if you guys are into NBA but there’s been the NBA trades, it’s like the reality show of the summer, right?
Patty Guevarra: Oh yeah. Yeah, it is.
Reshma Peck: And I was thinking about it because they’ve created all these power duos in some of these teams during the trades. The Lakers, Clippers, certainly in our area and so many of them will now, many of them will be playing different positions than they played in their original team. So, they’ll have to create, they’ll have to figure out how they fit into that team. They’re elite talent but if they all have that same team goals, they should be able to adjust and play in another position and still be able to make it. I think you hire the right talent, you hire elite, you hire well. And then figure out the…
Patty Guevarra: Everything else. [crosstalk 00:24:33]
Reshma Peck: Everything else gets figured out.
Mike Delgado: I’m curious, you have hired really, really well. Everyone I’ve worked with on your team are, they’re all awesome. So I’m kind of curious about how you go about interviewing and what sparks you’re looking for in that conversation.
Reshma Peck: I’ve interviewed thousands of people, Mike. Didn’t I interview you?
Mike Delgado: You did.
Reshma Peck: Look at that. See, I hired well. See Mike, you made it.
Reshma Peck: There’s just so many little things and when you get to interview as many people certainly, obviously, you want to know about some of the successes they’ve had in their career. What they want to accomplish, what their ambition is, is really important and then the questions they ask me are very important. A lot of times we’ll interview people and I’ll have a half an hour and people will wait til the last five minutes to say do you have any questions for me. I generally ask if they have questions for me with in the first 15 minutes to see how they… I’m not the first person they’re interviewing with. They’ve already interviewed with some people so I think they should be able to have questions.
Patty Guevarra: Right.
Reshma Peck: We actually had somebody the other day that said no, I don’t have any questions for you. And I said are you sure?
Mike Delgado: [inaudible 00:25:59]
Patty Guevarra: Why don’t you try that again?
Reshma Peck: Are you sure? You don’t even want to know if we have good benefits? Anything? Oh my gosh, you have to ask some questions. And that just sparked, that helps you think about how curious they are, what kind of initiative they’ve taken, how much they’ve learned about the business. Ask them to ask questions within the first half of the interview, not the last half. Those are some of the things and I try to get to know on a human level. Like I said I want to work with people that I have fun with and enjoy and get to know them as well.
Patty Guevarra: I think anyone from the outside looking in on your team can just tell it’s like a super high performing team. But at the same time, they really get along well. I know Ann would tell me about your little sprints with your food. Where everyone just gets fried chicken from all these other places and then they just all eat it all at once.
Reshma Peck: Yes.
Patty Guevarra: Wow that’s amazing. So I kind of want to know how you cultivate that culture among your team and keep it so fun but at the same time everyone does their job and does it way past expectations.
Reshma Peck: Yeah, so well thanks, Ann for telling everybody that we eat quite a bit. We do have our food throw downs is what she’s talking about.
Patty Guevarra: Yeah. Food throw downs.
Reshma Peck: Everybody goes and gets the best fried chicken they have in Southern California and then we do a taste test for the best taco or the best pizza. Food is important to our team. So, yeah, we do that. I think it’s a concerted effort. Honestly, Patty, it’s something I do think about and I do think it’s really important because I think we can all get into our little lanes and put our heads down and we have a hundred million things to do. And we all have families to go home to to entertain and be extroverted with or have food throw downs too, right.
Reshma Peck: But if you think about your team as a family and like I said I think the team composition is the most important thing to me. I spend more time here than I do at home for sure, so I just really want to enjoy the people I work with and one of the ways to do it is to do social things, is to do competitive things. It’s not just social, it’s not just food or going bowling, we’re going to go bowling where it’s going to be competition. There’s always some sort of element of competition.
Patty Guevarra: So, no matter what you’re performing.
Reshma Peck: Yes, yes. Trying to hone your competitive skills, right. Yeah. Don’t get lazy. Bowling for some sort of prize but we do competitive, we actually create teams, we created a team last year for our competitive take away project we created these teams and come up with a marketing plan that was the most well regarded and how we are going to go after the competition in our market. Marketing, we’re creative and entertainment is part of our thing so it is really important to make a concerted effort. Sometimes people schedule it. I’ve seen some leaders do schedules like quarterly off sites or quarterly something and there’s other leaders that have monthly events. You have to make a concerted effort to do that.
Patty Guevarra: I think when you look up leaders like yourself or even just like the stark opposite where leaders don’t really care about culture they’re like work, work, work, you can kind of guess that something happened to them earlier on in their career that made them that way so I’m curious about how or where you learned your leadership style from or if you were inspired by mentors or other people along the way whether they were at Experian or outside of Experian.
Reshma Peck: Yes, I think we all start out like work, work, work because that’s what we think that’s what’s going to get us there but what got us here is not going to get us to the next place. No, I’ve led some teams that have not been happy. I mean, honestly, Patty, to be quite candid I’ve led teams that have not been happy. In other places where there’s been retention issues, and I think that the team composition, it’s really a puzzle, it’s a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve hired really good people but they haven’t been able to get along and we’re a kind collaborative culture. We don’t get that right in Experian, we’ve got problems, right. So that’s part of also building the team is the filing the puzzle, making sure people fit. Who are the people, who’s starting, what position they’re playing.
Reshma Peck: But I had to learn from those mistakes so, you’re right. I don’t think culture was, you know, creating a team culture and creating this harmony and this team, this high performing team was priority as I started out in my career. I think that it’s a learned, something that I learned from mistakes, learned from other people, how they’ve done it. I think there’s some great leaders here in the company that have, I think you can tell from their engagement scores in the people’s survey that have had remarkable scores. They have amazing leadership so I think you find those that you emulate. I’ve learned. It’s just learning from mistakes and I get a lot of feedback. This company loves giving feedback.
Patty Guevarra: Oh yeah.
Mike Delgado: I love how there’s a survey every week.
Reshma Peck: Oh. My. I hope Justin’s listening. No, feedback is a gift and I get a lot of gifts.
Patty Guevarra: So, you’re lucky.
Mike Delgado: The gift of feedback.
Reshma Peck: I’m very well gifted. Yes. I can’t even unwrap half my gifts so no, I have gotten a lot of feedback on hey, I think you should this more, I think you should do that. I’ve been told you should be more visible in here. When you’re geographically not located in the right place or even if my office is in one place etc. so I think visibility. So people tell me, come out here, do this, do that. And I have some great people that are on my team that have this just amazing autonomy to tell me that. And they have a relationship that they say you know will you… Especially during this travel period that I have doing Sales Summit and Vision and there’s a few times where I’m gone for about two months straight, the team will say hey you haven’t been here. I’ll get that feedback. You need to be more present. We missed you so let’s go do something.
Mike Delgado: Yeah, we were talking about the types of feedback because you can get tons of feedback. Other leaders, your team, and then you also have your close friends and colleagues here give me your feedback. So I’m kind of curious how you navigate all of it because you can’t do everything.
Reshma Peck: Yeah, you know it’s really important that you validate the feedback so I think that’s another thing I learned. Because when you get the feedback you think, first of all, if you’re anything like me, most of us are, we go immediately to the negative, by the way.
Mike Delgado: Yeah, sure.
Reshma Peck: Yeah, yeah, yeah, strengths, strengths, strengths, positive, okay let’s just what am I supposed to improve? And so, but I think it’s really important to validate it because, like I said, if you’re your true authentic self not everyone’s going to, you’re not going to fit into everybody’s lane. And you just have to make sure that you, first of all, you can’t change everything. So you have to say what are the most important things, what are the most critical things to make me successful as a leader and for my team and for the business. You have to figure that out, validate it.
Reshma Peck: That’s how I think it’s really important. Go ask somebody else, is this really important. It may be important. Mike, you may give me some feedback that might be important to you but it may not be that important to somebody else. In fact, in the people’s survey I asked the team. So we got our people’s survey results back and you know we’ve got to do some action planning and I actually asked about four or five of the people on my team have created a little advisory council. And they’re going to go validate that feedback.
Mike Delgado: Oh, interesting.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. So they’re going to go dive deeper a little bit, do some focus groups with the team and do another add-on survey.
Mike Delgado: That’s great.
Reshma Peck: But really focus on what are the three or four things that are most impactful things we should be working on. Not all 67 questions. So I think validate the feedback is really important.
Reshma Peck: I think you learn to prioritize who are the people that give you really good constructive feedback and I hope that we all get feedback with some opportunities for learning and opportunities to improve so I don’t want to just say, Hey Mike I don’t like the way you did this and then walk away. But you should do it this way, this would be a better option. Hopefully those are the people’s feedback that you want to take because you can at least adjust from it. That would be my… feedback is a gift.
Mike Delgado: Yeah, that’s good. Feedback is a gift. Put that on a bumper sticker.
Reshma Peck: Yeah.
Patty Guevarra: Reshma, did you always want to be a leader?
Reshma Peck: I think so. Yeah. I wanted to be at some point I thought I wanted to be more in politics. I thought I was going to be the president of the country.
Patty Guevarra: Still time.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. Still time. And quite a possibility. Despite my background. I thought I wanted to be in politics, I actually used to run phone banks to try to do campaigns, to do volunteer. And I was really fascinated by politics and fascinated by how people have control of like countries or different policies. I didn’t think I was a marketing leader but I definitely wanted to be a leader in that way.
Mike Delgado: Interesting.
Reshma Peck: Yeah. I started as an accounting major, as a finance major, I wanted to go to political science but I was really good with math and that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. I started out with finance and then I thought oh my gosh this is really boring. Sorry, finance. It was just too many rules and guidelines for me so I had to hone in my creativity so I moved left.
Patty Guevarra: What’s your advice for someone who might not know as well as you did that they would want to be a leader?
Reshma Peck: You know, I think everybody can lead in so many different ways without having somebody direct reporting to you. And that’s actually some of the things, we have a small team, we don’t have a huge team, so there are a lot of opportunities for you to be a supervisor of some sort, a mentor of some sort. I think you can lead outside of the work area. I think there’s a lot of opportunities for go and volunteer and lead some of those volunteer opportunities. I did that when I was in college, I was a resident advisor in college, an RA. So I think I started out leading these little freshman renegades in a college dorm.
Reshma Peck: Leading a team, whether you’re in sports, leading a cause, and I think that try all of those to see if that’s something you want to do. I think those are some of the same principles you learn and some of the same, and you learn all these best practices along the way.
Patty Guevarra: Do you think that leadership is kind of natural to everyone at some point in their lives?
Reshma Peck: I don’t think it’s a natural path. I don’t think it’s a natural path. I do think that you have the ability to be a leader outside of the workplace. Absolutely. I think you have the ability to lead something if you want to outside of the workplace so if you’re not sure about it, definitely try it. Take it on. Try leading my teenage kids and that’ll give you a good test of how not to do it.
Reshma Peck: I think there’s a lot of opportunities and volunteering to try and hone your leadership skills. Because you’re right, Patty, I think sometimes when we interview candidates and you say what leadership opportunities have you had or have you led a team, have you led something. So, you’re right, and I think that people say well I didn’t have a direct report, I didn’t have five people reporting to me and I haven’t been through management training but you’ve got to go do it outside of the workplace to get those experiences.
Patty Guevarra: Speaking of your kids, how are you instilling their leadership skills and teaching them how to be a leader in their own lives?
Reshma Peck: Not well. It’s hard. It’s really hard and this team group, I think we got the wrong group. Whatever gen they are, the Gen Z and then we’re back to Gen A. I don’t know.
Patty Guevarra: You know what comes after Z.
Reshma Peck: Another alphabet? They’re both athletes, they’re both really good athletes and so I think they are leaders on their teams so I think they’re learning that through sports or drama or school and things like that so they’ve got a lot of opportunities to do that. It’s hard when you figure out when to let go and when they have to… push them in the deep end and when they have to be able to swim on their own so I think those are just challenges parents make and challenges even when you hire a new employee. When do you push them in the deep end and say you know what go figure it out on your own. And how much training you give them. So how much hand holding you do versus hey you’ve got to be able to figure this out on your own.
Mike Delgado: That brings up, I’m curious when people talk about work-life balance, when you hear that phrase, what does that mean to you?
Reshma Peck: What is that?
Mike Delgado: You know, how you’re…
Reshma Peck: Can you please?
Mike Delgado: Yeah, sorry.
Reshma Peck: Yeah.
Mike Delgado: When you kind of like-
Reshma Peck: I’m kidding. I’m kidding.
Patty Guevarra: I’m pretty sure she’s [crosstalk 00:40:14]
Mike Delgado: I got [inaudible 00:40:17]
Reshma Peck: You didn’t see it through these giant microphones the size of my head. Yeah. Work life balance. I actually think this company does the best at it, to be honest. I think we have a culture of that. I think our leaders are really amazing at that. I don’t know, I mean I just think you have to do it on your own. I know, for me, my operating rhythms are there are some busy times of the year. When it’s planning season, whether it’s Vision or Sales Summit, you know, those kinds of times, whether it’s event season. If we’re acquiring a company I know it’s going to be a busy time etc.
Reshma Peck: But it ebbs and flows. I know there’s going to be down time and you have to find a way to have down time and have that down time in your life outside of here. You just have to, I make it work. My kids have always known that I’ve worked. I’ve worked my entire life so they know I get dressed up and go to work and I have a laptop and that kind of thing. I don’t think they know any better. That’s just the way we function. It takes a village. I figure out different ways to do things at home so I use my phone for everything. I have notes, I have Alexa, I have lists. Alexa’s my best friend. My notes section is my best friend. My reminders. Thank goodness for technology.
Mike Delgado: Right. Do you set, when it’s not the busy seasons, do you set boundaries like I’m not checking my email after a certain time. I’m kind of curious about how you delegate that.
Reshma Peck: So I should say yes, Mike.
Patty Guevarra: Are you crazy?
Reshma Peck: Maybe this is the part you can edit out. [crosstalk 00:42:20] I’m not awake at midnight. I’m too old to be staying up at midnight to be able to make it back the next morning. No, I’m not up at midnight because I do love sleep. So I try to get some good sleep but it’s hard, it’s hard not to when you have some sort of deadlines and you have different time zones sometimes I’m working with. That’s really challenging, or if I’m traveling or if I have traveled and then I have to catch up. I mean, we’re an email company. I think my job is Chief Email Processor sometimes. If you don’t clean out your email and clear out your email and get that done I think you just feel like you’re so behind.
Mike Delgado: Do you definitely go to zero? Are you the zero inbox?
Reshma Peck: Oh, no. No. No, no, no.