Hunters + Unicorns: The 33 CxOs – Paul McGrath #016

“You have to know who you are as a person and you have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. When you’re in a leadership position you cannot take on the personality of someone else because people see through that. Learn how to be yourself. Be curious, be open to learning from others and have everyone else’s interest in mind. If you take care of other people, they’ll take care of you.”  - Paul McGrath

Hunters and Unicorns shares the playbooks from leaders, founders, executives and investors from high growth technology companies. In this special edition series The 33 CXOs we investigate the greatest success story in the history of software sales. Discover how thirty-three sales execs from one organisation, BladeLogic, became CXOs in the world’s 100 fastest growing technology companies. We uncover the stories and playbooks of the most prolific sales leaders in the industry.

Episode 16 features Paul McGrath, Vice President Central at Snowflake. Paul has over 20 years of experience in managing and leading sales teams in the software industry, but his professional career actually started in the U.S. Army. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, McGrath transitioned into a sales role at Eastman Kodak Company and was recruited by PTC where he mastered the art of aggressive selling and laid the foundations for a truly remarkable career. Rising through the ranks at an impressive pace, Paul has since worked for tech heavyweights including BladeLogic, BMC, Bazaarvoice, AppDynamics and is currently in command of the record shattering teams at Snowflake, making history on the New York Stock Exchange as the largest software company to IPO in the U.S., ever. “When you’re an individual contributor in the software sales game you just worry about yourself. When you become a leader, you’ve got to put yourself in the back seat. You’ve got a responsibility to your team and I was well aware of that because of my experience in the military as a leader and then at PTC.” In 2004 Paul joined BladeLogic as a Regional Director and hit the ground running. He had resilience, experience and the fundamental skills required to succeed at selling unique technology at a rapidly developing software company. Having focused on numbers and productivity at any expense at PTC, Paul already had a results-driven mindset but with John McMahon at the helm of BladeLogic, investing in training and placing a premium on good leadership, Paul discovered a new approach. McMahon was establishing a new culture centred around the development of people – leaders taking care of their people, making them better and holding them accountable. Surrounded A payers and “loving the hell out of it” Paul built enduring relationships, learnt the importance of working in partnership with his team and developed into a talented, humble leader. “If you’re a hiring manager and you look for people that bring something to the table that you don’t have, your life becomes so much easier. The biggest mistake that young leaders make is that they lack humility. If they look at hiring someone better than them, they might be worried that this person might outshine them, but I think nothing could be further from the truth.” In this vodcast you will discover: The pillars of Paul’s playbook and his journey to becoming a leader How to identify, recruit and enable good talent The importance of humility and learning from others What attracted Paul to Snowflake and why this is a truly remarkable company to work for Paul McGrath knows what it takes to launch and lead sales organizations. He has a unique eye for talent and is passionate about building innovative, diverse teams with big ambitions. We discuss his upward trajectory from military roots to record breaking IPOs and find out what advice he would give to the next generation of leaders looking to create their own network and ecosystem of accomplishment. This insightful discussion is essential listening for those with an interest in sales strategy, as well as anyone with a passion for the technology space. 


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