Chris Malone is the co-author of 'The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies'. He is the subject of our latest 60 second interview.
1. How long have you been in the industry, and what is your current job title ?
It’s been 27 years since I entered the business world as a territory sales rep for Procter & Gamble selling toothpaste and mouthwash in Queens and the Bronx. While my current role as Managing Partner of a research-based consulting firm is quite different, I still draw on the business habits I learned at P&G every day.
2. Did you have a mentor and, if so, who ?
I’ve been fortunate to have had a few different mentors during the course of my career. One of my most recent and influential has been Tim Cost, who recently became President of Jacksonville University after a stellar career as a corporate affairs guru. He was the best boss I ever had.
3. Are you by nature an optimist or a pessimist ?
Actually, I think I’m a little of both, in the sense that I usually hope for the best but plan for the worst. My aim is generally to be a realist with a balanced and objective perspective.
4. Which business leader do you most admire and why ?
At this point, I would say Tony Hseih, the CEO of Zappos. He’s built a thriving billion dollar business with fanatically loyal customers by breaking just about every rule they teach in business schools. What’s more, his current focus is trying to teach the rest of the business world how to do the same.
5. What's the biggest lesson you have learned in your career to date ?
Perhaps the most useful thing I’ve learned during my career is that about half of everything I was taught earlier in life is either no longer true or was never actually true at all. So the lesson is to always question conventional wisdom and don’t assume that because things have been done a particular way in the past, that it remains a good idea today.
6. What's your favourite business quotation or life motto ?
The axiom that has guided me during most of my career is: 'You can have anything you want in this world, if you simply help enough other people get what they want'. What I’ve learned more recently is that in pursuing this philosophy, you can’t keep score. It works best if we simply help others with no expectation of anything in return. This results in others reciprocating in ways we could never have imagined.
7. What's the best business book you've ever read ?
One of the best books I’ve read is called The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. It explains why the conventional wisdom of being a Go-Getter is actually completely misguided and that being a Go-Giver is much more productive and rewarding. My new book, The HUMAN Brand explains the psychology behind why this approach is so much more effective, especially now in the Digital Age.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Malone is a consultant and keynote speaker who helps clients achieve sustained business growth and performance. He has worked with hundreds of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and non-profits. Chris has over 20 years of sales, marketing, consulting, and organizational leadership experience, and a track record of driving growth and profitability.
He was chief marketing officer at Choice Hotels International and senior vice president of marketing at ARAMARK Corporation, and has held senior marketing and sales positions at leading organizations including the Coca-Cola Company, the National Basketball Association, and Procter & Gamble. Currently, he is Managing Partner of Fidelum Partners, a research-based consulting and professional services firm.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Through original research -- featuring in-depth analyses of companies like Hershey's, Domino's, Lululemon, Zappos, Amazon, Chobani, and Sprint -- The Human Brand helps readers understand how and why they make the choices they do, as well as what it takes for companies and brands to earn and maintain loyalty in today's digital age.
Malone and Fiske explain how people see companies and brands the same way we automatically perceive, judge, and behave toward one another, highlighting the importance of genuine relationships between companies and customers.