Charlie Mechem sits down with Jay Stockwell, senior executive and a former naval officer. Jay has worked for companies like Procter and Gamble, ConAgra, the Nielsen Company, and Nielsen Catalina Solutions. Jay played a large role in Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer,” by allowing Charlie to present his book at a sales meeting. Charlie’s book can be found available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher. Jay reacts to Charlie’s book and anecdotes as he applies them to his experiences and wide variety of careers.
From Submarines to Sales Meetings
As Jay has had a very versatile career path, it is no wonder that he is an expert in adaptability and flexibility. With his wide variety of jobs, he has had to go through a number of transitions. Jay left the military in 1994, and from there he made the huge transition from tracking submarines to tracking mucus viscosity on Puffs facial tissue for P and G. He is now a sales executive at several companies. Any time you move from working at one place, or working with one team, to another, there are going to be some obstacles. Flexibility and adaptability are vital to overcoming and thriving through any transition.
Be Confident, But Don’t Be Arrogant
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between confidence and arrogance, especially since both seem to be an integral part of human nature. Over the years, after interviewing many candidates, Jay has found that what one person considers arrogance, another may consider confidence. For example, Jay usually interprets someone with this kind of attitude as confident, not arrogant. The best way to deal with anyone with too big of an ego or an arrogant mindset, is to deal with each one at a time.
Be Prepared to Take Risks
No one ever accomplished anything extraordinary by playing it safe. If Neil Armstrong played it safe, he never would have boarded that spaceship, let alone made it to the moon. Instead of treading in shallow waters, Armstrong took on the big waves. He made the courageous and risky decision to board a ship that would send him hurtling into space, and it surely paid off. Courage and risk taking are integral elements of success. It is important to be confident—though not arrogant—in the risks you take. Jay believes that people from the military make the best business people; this is mostly because they know how to take risks and courage, after all, you don’t join the military on a whim. Additionally, they especially know how to follow directions, which you’ve got to do if you want to make it in business, and really in life.
Live Today, Tomorrow Isn’t Happening Yet
Jay attended the Dreamforce conference with his wife, Betsy Jones, last year. He met Peter Schwartz, the futurist at Dreamforce, who was always looking toward the far future. Peter assured Jay that his children would be the generation that would stop aging. This stunned Jay, as he’d never thought of something like that before, but the thought is now ingrained into his mind. At this time he was always thinking in business terms, which is very short term; he was always looking toward the next days, weeks, months, quarters, etc. While dreaming and striving toward the future is important, if you look too far forward, you’ll surely miss what is in front of you today.
Mentors, Ethics, and the Truth
Jay notes that Charlie is one of the most important mentors in his life. Charlie has mentored Jay and his partners in his three companies for some 20 years, and has altered them and their companies in a positive way. Amazing people, mentor relationships like Charlie and Jay’s, are the ones that remind you what is worthwhile. Whether you encounter these people for just a moment or they’re a part of your entire life, whether that encounter is quaint or substantial, the impact they make is always significant.
If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit charliemechem.com or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher.