Brett Wiggins

043: Brett Wiggins – Strategic Anchors for Success in Business

Podcast

ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | BRETT WIGGINS

Brett Wiggins is the current Michiana Division Manager (covering Indiana & Western Michigan) of the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization. As one of the pillars of the company’s Midwest Region, Brett is rapidly becoming one of the most influential leaders in the company. He leads a rapidly growing organization, volunteers his time to impact youth at his church, and devotes time to his family life with his wife and 2 young daughters. In this conversation, we talk about the four “strategic anchors” that guide how Brett runs his business and lives his life, including in particular, the concept of always doing the right thing. Through his positive example, Brett Wiggins has become known a highly-respected young leader and a positive role model for many others.

Q&A WITH BRETT WIGGINS

Q: Tell us a little about how you got started selling Cutco with Vector.

  • I was referred by a high school friend and thought it was going to be a summer job. But after my first summer, I went back to school and really realized I that I needed to learn how to sell.

Q: I’d love to hear about some of the most significant experiences you had as a sales rep or as a new manager and what were some of the lessons that came out of them?

  • As a rep at the end of my first summer I was one of the few reps who didn’t go away for school so I got promoted to Assistant Manager.
  • Some people step up and they earn a promotion and some people get promoted then rise up in their effort because they got promoted.

Q: How about as you moved to branching and beyond?

  • I branched in an area in which a Cutco/ Vector office hadn’t been for a while and I liked that I was the face of Cutco in my area.
  • That branch experience was my first time paying my own bills.

Q: How about as a District Manager, are there any lessons or experiences you’d like to share?

  • I had the opportunity to be the Pilot Manager before I ran my own District office and I didn’t realize how much that would help because I got to learn how to work with a staff.
  • As a new District Manager, I took that focus and developed my staff early.
  • I learned that my people won’t take things seriously if I don’t take them seriously. My team is a reflection of me.

Q: How about as a Division Manager, are there any lessons or experiences you’d like to share?

  • As a District Manager I didn’t really reach out for help outside of my Division Manager or Region Manager, but when I became a Division Manager, I realized that I needed to ask for help from people who were beating me. So I went to a national manager training conference prepared with 20 questions to ask of certain people.
  • After that I learned to really focus on my main pillars — those who I’m going to build the division around.

Q: You’re well known as someone who does what’s right, and applying this concept to both your personal life and your professional life, how does this manifest itself into your organization?

  • As a division we have 4 strategic anchors that I want everyone to adhere to.
    • Recruit the best.
    • Pursue best practices.
    • Achieve breakthroughs.
    • Do the right thing.
      • I’d rather sell less the right way than sell more the wrong way.
      • Long term, the right people stay when you do the right thing.

Q: What else do you think is unique about you or your organization that others could learn from?

  • Go slow to go fast.
  • My best leaders don’t always do what I tell them to do. I give them my advice, but I encourage them to do whatever they believe is going to give them the best results. If they do something just because I told them to do it, they won’t do it well, they won’t try as hard, and they won’t be happy, and if they don’t do well they feel like they can just blame it on me because I told them to do it.

Q: What are some things you’re doing outside of the Vector/ Cutco business to help change people’s lives?

  • I work with my church in their youth program and help to facilitate a student-led student ministry.

Q: As you look into the future, how do you aspire to change people’s lives through your work or through your influence?

  • The immediate thing that comes to mind is to be a great husband and a great dad.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • I love that Brett was exposed to the concept of personal development while he was an assistant manager.
  • Reading the book from Matthew Kelly, The Dream Manager.
  • I like that Brett talked about learning the financial management side of life while he was a young Branch Manager.
  • Brett’s 4 strategic anchors:
    • Recruit the best.
    • Pursue best practices.
    • Achieve breakthroughs — what’s your next breakthrough?
    • Do the right thing.
  • How can you change lives outside of your work?

CUTCO/VECTOR TERMS

  • Branch Manager — a Cutco/Vector manager, often a college student, who runs a sales office during the summer months.
  • District Manager — a Cutco/ Vector office/ manager that runs a year-round office full time.
  • Division Manager — a Cutco/ Vector manager who runs a team of District and Branch Managers as well as their own “Pilot Office.
  • Pilot Manager — a Cutco/ Vector manager who work with the Division Manager to run the day to day operations of the Division headquarters (Pilot) office.

 

Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina.

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