ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | LARRY MANLEY
Larry Manley is the current Carolina Division Manager for Cutco/Vector Marketing, headquartered in Raleigh, NC. From humble beginnings in life, and through the early days of his career, Larry has become one of the most legendary figures in company history. A 31-year veteran with Vector, Larry has played a major role in the development of FIVE other Division Managers, and he was the recent recipient of the company’s $100 million award for producing over nine figures in Cutco sales. Larry is a bigger-than-life personality who is known all throughout the company for his great humor, candid communication, and amazing inspiration.
Q&A WITH LARRY MANLEY
Q: Tell us a little about how you got started selling Cutco with Vector.
- I grew up in a small town in Ohio. I had 3 jobs before working with Vector/ Cutco, and once I started with the company, I just had tunnel vision, and here I am 31 years later.
- I saw a flyer on my car, I called the number, I went in for an interview and saw them cut a penny and I got started.
Q: I know you’ve had some really transformational experiences along the way in your career and I’ve love for you to talk about some of the times that stand out most and what you learned from those experiences.
- I remember when I got my first $100 paycheck, which sounds like not much now, but that was a big deal to me. I started to build up some momentum and my manager believed in me more than I did. So much so that I started to win some sales contests and before I knew it, I was flown to a port and hopped on a cruise. I was hooked.
- As a new manager I had some real challenging obstacles that made me question if I could be successful. I wasn’t responsible with my money, and had to move offices and went in the hole to cover expenses, and on top of that I had about $3,000 of sample kits stolen. Then my office didn’t sell much and even went backwards my 2nd year. I went cross training to learn from another manager and ended up turning my summer around the 2nd year. My manager pulled me aside to point out to me that 70% of my office’s sales that summer were done in the last half of summer. He then pointed out that I was going into the 2nd half of the year with a ton of momentum and that I was going to be a District Manager. His words really filled me up. From there we kept growing and it taught me the power of not giving up/ work ethic and the power of confidence and the power of belief. The big lesson: see people how they can become, not how they are.
Q: What do you think is the mindset for the people who are struggling (in whatever it is they’re doing) that helps you get past those challenges and become successful eventually?
- My mom used to always tell me that if there weren’t the valleys, there wouldn’t be the peaks. So that was a mindset I was raised with.
- I remember Tony Robbins teaching the concept of “try until.” How long do we give a baby to walk until we give up on teaching them? That doesn’t happen. You try until.
- Do you do something you enjoy, and is it something you can believe in?
- I also think, “what’s the worst that can happen?” Coming to terms with this makes you less afraid.
- To me, quitting is not an option.
- Having big goals, but then breaking those goals down into smaller pieces so you believe you can achieve it.
Q: You have a track record of developing top leaders. What do you feel has enabled you to be so great at developing other top leaders?
- Part of it is that I’ve just been a Division Manager so long so I’ve had a lot of chances.
- I also mentioned the idea of seeing people as they could be not as they are. So many people did that for me that it taught me to do that for others.
- I learned that if you take care of your people your people will take care of you.
- I also intentionally look for people who have the qualities of leadership that I know it takes to be a great manager and I’m not shy about telling them.
Q: What are some of the qualities, attributes, or signs you look for in the early stages of a rep or new manager’s career when targeting people for potential leadership roles?
- I think a track record of selling Cutco doesn’t hurt but I think more importantly than that sometimes is work ethic. Do I like their core values and do they align with what we’re doing? How they treat people.
- “What you appreciate appreciates.” Are they appreciating the opportunity.
- Character is more important than charisma.
- A willingness to learn and a growth mindset.
Q: What are some of the ways you strive to build relationships with these leaders as they’re cropping up in your organization?
- Spending time with them outside the office.
- Trying to be a good role model for them.
- People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.
- Trust is really the foundation to a relationship.
Q: Who are some of the people in your life or your career that exemplify great leadership and what do you think people could learn from them?
- My ex-father in law, Grant Kurtz. He’s one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met. He taught me to be liked and respected.
- Marty Domitrovich had a profound influence on my career.
- Amar Davé- personifies the “it factor.”
- Scott Dennis- one of the greatest leaders in the business.
- Loyd Regan- a great competitor.
Q: What about some of the people you’ve developed? What have you seen come out of them?
- Trey Ketcham has work ethic, an expectation of excellence, and not only demands a lot of others but also demands a lot of himself first.
- Brian Hurlman is someone who’s an amazing communicator. He can get someone to run through a brick wall with his passion and belief.
- Something they both have in common is they love having fun but they’re fun in their own unique way.
Q: What do you think you’re most proud of in your life?
- My 2 boys. Something really cool is that both of them started selling Cutco right out of high school. My oldest for the past 2 summers and my youngest just worked his first summer on the job.
Q: Is there any other advice you feel you’d like to give to young entrepreneurs who aspire to have the same level of success you’ve had?
- From a leadership perspective, it’s all about caring about your people. You take care of your people and your people will take care of you.
- “If you help enough other people get what they want, you can have everything in life that you want.” Zig Ziglar
Q: As you look into the future, how do you aspire to change people’s lives through your work or through your influence?
- I tend to be happier when I can help other people around me achieve their life’s goals.
- I’ve noticed a common thread with all the successful people we’ve had on this podcast that there were people in their life who believed in them and encouraged them and helped them see more.
- Who are the people in your life who need you and your belief and your enthusiasm for their future?
- Targeting people who demonstrate the qualities, attributes, values, and willingness to then build relationships with those people. Spend time with them. Be a role model.
- Using teachable moments with someone you’re helping to develop into a leader. Take the time to sit them down and share how certain actions make people feel. Help them learn what the consequences of those actions or those decisions are. Help them learn the lesson and make better decisions.
- Who are you as your best leader? What does it look like? Authenticity combined with a sincere desire to help other people. Jim Rohn calls it, “Enlightened Self-Interest.” The idea that we’re all motivated to create a certain lifestyle but that the enlightened leader understands that the best and fastest way to get those things is by helping as many other people get the things that they want.
Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina.
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