This month’s Employee Spotlight features our Managing Editor, Manny G.! BDSer since 2015, he helps with facilitating training events, content development, and much more! Learn more about Manny, his journey with BDS, favorite interests with his family, and trends he sees in the retail world.
Q: Tell us about your journey with BDSmktg and your current role now.
A: I began my career as an eighth-grade Physics teacher and that was my dream growing up. But life sometimes has other plans, and I fell into sales and training. I realized teaching was a lot like sales and I got good at talking to people and convincing them to want to buy what I was selling. Years later I came across a position at BDS to help with training events and write training content. I was on the client side for 8 years prior and have been with BDS since 2015. Currently, I have moved up to Managing Editor for the program.
Q: What does true leadership mean to you?
A: I think with all the leaders I’ve worked with over my career, the best leaders empower their people to do their best work. We have great people that do truly world-class work and I want to help them get rid of any barriers and enable them to do their very best!
Q: What are some trends that you’re seeing in the retail world?
A: Couple things – what we try to focus on is experience vs speeds and feeds. Getting people to get hands-on and experience the product versus just getting their info from a fact sheet next to a device is key. Trend wise, it’s obvious that so much more product research happens before a customer even comes into a retail store to talk to someone. In fact, they may have either made a decision or have far more information than they had five years ago. As a team, we have been working on ways we can bridge that online experience with the in-person experience and make it a cohesive journey that helps them to want to buy at retail because of the human connection as much as price or convenience.
Q: What has been your favorite project/event you worked on?
A: Twice a year we bring all of our field and master trainers together to a global location such as London, Taipei, Shanghai, Cannes, or Berlin. I’ve been lucky to travel to some really incredible places. We usually alternate between Europe and Asia. I help develop product and essential skills content and facilitate at many of these events. These events refuel and re-energize me with the passion I see from our field teams. It’s great to get that personal connection. Plus, we create events unlike most corporate training events. They’re extremely interactive with very few PowerPoint slides or often even chairs because people learn best by doing and experiencing, not just passively listening or watching.
Q: What insights have you gained from working with clients over the years?
A: We have our roles for a reason. That’s why it’s important we show our leadership and expertise to do the things our clients can’t do. I am a big believer in leaning in on your strengths. We have a strength in adult learning capability and how to make events and content engaging and interactive. Clients want to see you provide that consultation and be proactive and bold. I like providing a little bit of a challenging mindset back. We are our client’s best partner when we don’t just go along to get along. That’s how we really show our value, in providing what they can’t get elsewhere and often what they don’t know they even need.
Q: Outside of work, do you have any interests or hobbies?
A: I have two kids and have been married for 20 years now. My kids are 14 and 12. They are both in band and I was in band, so we share a lot of music. That’s actually how I met my wife, on the high school football field in marching band. On the weekends we typically bounce back and forth between Disney World and Universal Orlando. Other than family, I’m a huge sci-fi fan. I consume any and all sci-fi I can on TV, movies, or books and otherwise head out to Cape Canaveral to watch rocket launches whenever possible.
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