ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST
Mike Muriel is the Central Region Manager for Cutco/Vector Marketing, responsible for an organization encompassing parts of 16 states. A 27-year veteran with the company, Mike is a multiple time National champion, member of the Cutco/Vector Hall of Fame, and has inspired the entire company through his strong, driven leadership. Mike graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, and lives near Chicago with his wife and 2 boys.
Q&A WITH MIKE MURIEL
Q: How and why you got started with Cutco?
- I was about to graduate college and I thought I was going to go into government or become a political consultant after graduating but something didn’t feel quite right so I decided to take a trip to Japan.
- Before my trip I found an ad in a newspaper for work that paid well so I came in for an interview and got the job.
- I figured I would be done selling Cutco when I left for my trip but a family friend kept calling me (on my house line; no cell phones in 1992) while I was away so when I got back my mom told me I had to go do a demo for her. They bought a set and we had a blast.
- When considering leaving Cutco my brother suggested, “If you enjoy what you’re doing then keep at it.”
Q: And you went into management pretty shortly after that, didn’t you?
- I was fortunate to work with 2 top Division Managers who were at the top of their game.
- They opened my eyes to what was possible working with Cutco/ Vector.
- I was seeing the impact my managers were having and I decided to hang my hat here for the time being.
Q: Tell us about some of your early experiences and some lessons that came out of them.
- I learned to find people who are really good at what they do and learn from them.
Q: You had a pretty transformational experience about 22 years ago. Tell us a little about that.
- There were 2 incidents that happened 2 weeks apart.
- The first one was being held at gun point which shook me up and made me really think deeply about life.
- The second incident was a near-death car crash during a blizzard that I somehow walked away from without a scratch.
- I walked away from those incidents thinking, “these are signs that I need to really start living my life.”
- Things really started taking off in my business shortly after those incidents.
- You can learn from your own experiences or learn from other people’s experiences.
Q: Cutco was experiencing some growing pains around 2004/5 but your office was thriving; what were some qualities or attributes that allowed you to thrive during those challenging times?
- Sometimes you don’t realize you’re growing while you’re growing because it takes time for the results to catch up to the work you’re doing. So in 2004 I started getting results from the personal development I had started to do in 1999.
- I find that if I’m growing as a leader than my people are growing as a leader. When I’m not intentionally growing, neither is my team.
- We didn’t buy into the prevailing limiting beliefs of the rest of the culture at that time.
- Success is 80% psychology and 20% tactics.
- We fostered a really collaborative culture.
- “Everything affects everything else.” -Jim Rohn
- “Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.” – James Allen
Q: Marty Domitrovich was one of the most beloved leaders in all of Cutco/ Vector and was taken from us prematurely from pancreatic cancer. Marty was one of your closest mentors. Would you share with us some of the things you learned from Marty and some of the things you observed while working with him?
- Marty threw a party in order to raise funds for a philanthropic fundraiser and over 1,000 people showed up. To have that many people show up to an event just tells you how much people loved him.
- Early in my career I made a pretty big mistake and the following day Marty and I were playing golf together when he pulled me aside to share a story with me about a mistake he had made when he was young. He was genuine and humble.
- He was the type of person that always elevated others.
Q: Other than Marty, who else has been inspirational to you?
- My parents and family members moved to the US from Bolivia in 1963. They were doctors and they couldn’t speak English.
- They were hard workers and eventually reached some high heights in their profession; my dad becoming the doctor for the Chicago Bears and Chicago White Sox and then moved on to become the Commissioner of Health in Chicago.
- They really wanted to get the most from their opportunity in the US.
- My parents and family were also really big on giving back.
Q: As you look ahead at the years to come, what are some of the ways you aspire to change the lives of the people around you through your work or through your influence?
- If you want to raise responsible children, give them responsibility.
- This is a mistake making place.
- I would like to partner more with the community around us and help develop people into leaders, people who can solve problems, who can take initiative, who are resilient, and who are goal oriented so they can become world changers in whatever industry they move on to whenever they leave Cutco/ Vector.
- You don’t have to go through a traumatic experience in order to decide to change your life, you can simply make a decision.
- Don’t do things just to be expedient, do things for the long term.
- Are we putting those around us in a position to grow? Are we facilitating opportunities for growth? Great leaders find ways to help others expand their abilities.