David Schloss is an online entrepreneur and founder of Convert ROI, helping businesses manage and create advertising campaigns that convert clicks into customers. As we discussed on our recent podcast, learning these areas of expertise are crucial to the success of today's modern leaders. I have a theory that all leaders, no matter what industry they may be in, should have a good understanding of modern digital sales and marketing processes. This doesn't mean that everyone must be experts, but it does mean that they will need these skills to survive in the digital age.
Here is my formal interview with David Schloss on Leadership and Advertising.
1. Who are you (in 25 words or less)?
David: I am an online entrepreneur who began marketing in 2007 and has helped businesses improve their website traffic, customer acquisition, and revenue using social advertising.
2. Define leadership in your own terms.
David: Creating alignment between yourself and those around you (employees, contractors, friends, family, etc.) to accomplish a common goal.
Randall: Leaders MUST have alignment. Leaders who alienate their teams, show that they are in it for themselves, or who don't believe in teamwork are not true leaders. They may have a leadership position, but that is much different than actually being a leader.
3. What are your 5 core values as a leader?
David: Practice, Patience, Persistence, Vision, and Drive
Randall: I love your first one, practice! Practice doesn't make perfect, because no one is perfect... But it will make you stronger. Strong leaders develop their strengths through practice and repetition.
4. How can a leader fail? Tell me about a time when you failed as a leader (and what you learned as a result)
David: A leader could fail by simply not connecting with his or her supporting cast. For example, a CEO that doesn’t take time to understand the vision and goals of his/her Board of Advisors cannot create the actions needed to accomplish those same goals. There’s misalignment and miscommunication.
One of the best examples of failure as a leader was when I hired a new individual onto my team and didn’t provide them with any direction.
I took the time to onboard, show them the software we use and the tasks we needed to accomplish, but I put zero effort into understanding what they wanted to accomplish, what’s their bigger vision, and where do they see themselves in the company 6-12 months from now. I didn’t connect on a deeper level.
What I learned from that experience is people who become a part of a team or company want to feel appreciated, accepted, and a part of something bigger.
Yes, they have a job to fulfill and tasks to accomplish, but connection and communication are what create and establish the bond with that individual and the company’s mission and vision.
Randall: There are always very valuable lessons to learn in leadership. Where some may see this as a failure, you look at these things as opportunities for learning and improvement. That is KEY.
5. What is the most difficult part of being a leader?
David: Finding and keeping quality talent. You can hire people every day, week, month and year, but if your new hires do not feel appreciate from day 1 they’ll slowly drop out of your organization. This is an evolving process for most businesses and one that constantly needs to be finely tuned.
Randall: Ahhh... This one is tough. I have also learned this the hard way. You must connect your quality talent with work that they truly love and desire to do. Make them feel valuable and appreciated so that they continue to thrive in their roles. Great stuff.
6. How do you measure success for you as a leader?
David: Expressed happiness by my team and how often they’re achieving the milestones they set for themselves (we set monthly milestones).
Randall: Yes, a team that is happy will help you maintain a positive and strong work culture.
7. Have you ever taken on a job that you were unqualified for?
David: Absolutely. Did I succeed? In some cases and yes and some cases no. If I truly believe I can accomplish a specific job even if it’s outside my traditional scope of work, I will give it a shot and put my all into the job.
Randall: Sometimes it's all about moving outside of your comfort zones. I find that it is absolutely horrifying at first, but many times we rise to the occasion and surprise ourselves. It's all part of the growing pains of leadership.
8. How do you view the millennial generation?
David: Motivated and driven to succeed, but lacking direction and leadership. That’s why so many Millennials attach themselves to people such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, etc. because they see these individuals as people creating content and businesses that inspire the masses. The core problem is most Millennials don’t know where to start, and that’s why they look up to various entities to “put the pieces together” and find their purpose in life.
Randall: Yes, this is true. Millennials, for the most part, look up to those that they agree with and want to become. The problem is, they don't know where to start. They hear different messages that conflict with what they believe and they either have a choice to conform to those beliefs or live their own beliefs out by creating their own personal brand. Unfortunately, there are too many people who are ready to conform rather than be themselves.
9. How do you think the millennial generation is perceived?
David: They’re perceived as lazy, stubborn, unmotivated, entitled, and disrespectful.
10. Why are you so passionate about leading millennials?
David: Millenials inspire me. I am a Millennial. I hang out and do business with Millennials. I see myself as a leader creating leaders around me. These people are the future leaders, creators, and innovators of the world.
I don't say this about too many people, but David is a GURU in his space. I really do use that word sparingly, because nowadays everyone is a guru. I'm very happy to have gotten to know such an incredible person with an incredible mind in a short period of time. Make sure you check out David on social media as well as our podcast interview below.
Check it out!
We interviewed David on The Millennial Leadership Show to talk to him about Leadership and Influence in Today's Digital Marketing World.
In this Episode, David will explain why digital marketing is essential for leaders to understand (even if our careers aren't in marketing). It's a great show.
Connect with David on social media!