J. Brad Britton

017: J. Brad Britton – To Be A Great Leader, First Be A Good Person

Podcast

ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST

Brad Britton is the current Southland Division Manager of the Cutco/Vector organization, headquartered in Anaheim, CA.  His career with the company dates back to 1988, when he started as a sales rep in Texas.  His path led him to Oklahoma and then California, where he was a National Champion District Manager in Sacramento in 1993.  He became one of the top-producing Division Managers in the company, and ultimately took on the role of Regional Executive in the Western Region from 1999 through 2005.  Brad left the Cutco/Vector business for nine years at that point, returning in 2014 to lead the Southland Division and spread his influence throughout the entire company through programs like the Cutco Cares World Impact Initiative, which he started.  A true legend in the company, Brad has been directly responsible for at least $260 million in Cutco sales, and has indirectly influenced hundreds of millions more in sales.

 

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY GUEST HOST — TRENT BOOTH

How’d you get started with Cutco?

• Brad heard about Cutco/Vector from his friend, Randy Meador

• Started with John Carpenter

• Working with John was a fantastic learning experience because John was such a great example of positivity, magnetism, and how to treat other people.

 

How did your path take you from new rep to District Manager in Sacramento?

• Second became Branch Manager in Beaumont TX

• Broke the all-time record, finished #2 behind Jeff Kunkel

• Became District Manager in OKC, then opportunity opened up in Sacramento CA

 

What contributed to your great success as a DM/DVM in Sacramento?

• Having a consistent home in Sacramento led to a building process that created an “empire” within a couple years.

• Mark Lovas was a key player in those early days, and Brad’s influence was instrumental in helping Mark grow and build his career.

 

Tell about building the dynasty of the Western Region.

• I paid attention to my mentor, Bruce Goodman, and tried to model what he had done.

• “Do right by people,” was a critical lesson from Bruce.  Even if it cost some money in the short-term, you make decisions in the best interest of your people.

• “Pay attention to how you treat people, because you never know who might work for you someday.”  Always being aware of our influence on others.

• Developing the Western Region was a byproduct of running the business right on a day-to-day basis.

 

Walk us through the thinking that led you to leave the company for a while.

• Brad had a special needs son who needed extra time.

• Was home schooling his older daughter as well.

• Had a friend that had an opportunity for him to do some flexible consulting work.

• Brad always thought he would eventually come back to Vector in some capacity down the road.  He was away from the business for 9 years.

• Trent also left Vector for 20 months and could NOT find anything resembling the kind of culture that existed in Vector/Cutco.

• You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

• For many people in Vector, this is their first career and they don’t have anything to compare it to.

 

Lessons Brad has shared with his daughter, Madison:

• Brad shares about his daughter, Madison, working for the past 4 Summers.

• Trent’s own daughter just started as a Cutco rep this Summer.

• Reps have time/capacity to do more than they think they can do.

• The importance of the ways in which we talk to ourselves.

• “Treat yourself as well as the people you are serving.” — Trent

 

How did the Cutco Cares World Impact Initiative come to be?

• A way for Vector/Cutco people to impact others while on our annual company trips.

• Started with an experience in Rome, where a group brought food to some homeless people.

• The next year in Prague, a small group again served the community

• The formal program for Cutco Cares began the following year (2017) in Costa Rica, helping children who lived in poverty nearby.

• Since then, we have also served communities in Munich and Cayman Islands.

• We serve an underserved part of humanity.

If you’re not growing, life gets really boring.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”  — Helen Keller

 

Interview ends with Brad’s 4 core philosophies:

• Connection — with every person that we encounter

• Execution — actually doing the things we know we ought to do

• Simplicity — finding ways to simplify our tasks

• Gratitude —  The opposite is entitlement

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