Martin Creighan -You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful.

Martin Creighan
Martin Creighan tells us why you should “You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful”, why “It’s ok to be afraid”, and that “Real leadership is putting your team out front” and other insightful lessons. Hosted by Robert Hossary

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About Martin Creighan

Martin Creighan is inspired by people, building new relationships and a continuous curiosity of learning, Vice President of Sales, Martin Creighan has joined the leadership team to propel Commvault’s innovative brand and award-winning software and SaaS offerings into the Australian and New Zealand markets. Creighan has over three decades of experience and brings a wealth of leadership expertise and
knowledge in the software, cloud, technology, telecommunications and defence  industries, having held numerous senior leadership and sales positions.
Prior to joining Commvault, Creighan was the Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Software Group (Citrix, NetScaler and Tibco) Australia and New Zealand where he was responsible for go to market execution and revenue/profit growth. He previously held senior sales and general management leadership roles at AT&T, Radware, SecureNet/Baltimore Technologies and was an Operations Specialist and Master Training Specialist with the United States Navy.
Creighan holds a Bachelor of Business from The National University of San Diego, California, and is a Certified Master Training Specialist from US Navy.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful 04:18
Lesson 2: Look after your people and your people will always looks after you! 16:32
Lesson 3: Your “Why” doesn’t have to be industry specific. 21:40
Lesson 4: Tackle each of life’s challenges one step at a time. 28:24
Lesson 5: Always be kind. 31:25
Lesson 6: Real leadership is putting your team out front. 35:42
Lesson 7: Build your team based on Attitude, not aptitude! 38:55
Lesson 8: Don’t be a “Gonna”. 42:15
Lesson 9: It’s ok to be afraid! 46:24
Lesson 10: Never, ever forget where you came from. 49:45

Martin Creighan -You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful.

[00:00:08] Robert Hossary: Hello and welcome to 10 Lessons Learned, where we talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense their wisdom for your career, business, and life, in order to make the world a little wiser. Lesson by lesson. My name is Robert Hossary and I’m your host for this episode.
[00:00:28] Robert Hossary: Our guest today is Martin Creighan Martin has over three decades of experience and brings a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge in the software. cloud, technology, telecommunication, and defence industries, having held numerous senior leadership and sales positions.
[00:00:48] Robert Hossary: prior to joining Commvault as vice president of Asia Pacific, Martin was vice president and general manager of Cloud software group Citrix NetScaler and Tipco in Australia and New Zealand, He previously held senior sales and general management leadership roles at AT& T, Radware, SecureNet, Baltimore Technologies, and was an operational specialist and master training specialist with the United States Navy. Martin holds a Bachelor of Business from the National University in San Diego and is a Certified Master Training Specialist from the U. S. Navy. Welcome, Martin. Thanks for being on the show.
[00:01:30] Martin Creighan: Thanks, Robert. I’m very happy to be here.
[00:01:33] Robert Hossary: Well, full disclosure, I’ve known Martin for several years, while Martin was at AT& T and now Martin is, Asia Pacific Vice President for Commvault, I’ve always found you, Martin, to be A man of integrity, and you had a lot of, lessons that you shared with me, knowingly or unknowingly, just through our, our experience, and I thought our audience would find them as intriguing and fascinating as I did.
[00:02:02] Robert Hossary: but before we get to your 10 lessons, let me ask you this. What would you have wanted to tell your 30-year-old self?
[00:02:12] Martin Creighan: I think that is a great question. Just, just before I answer that question, I will tell you, of course, as, as I’ve experienced life through my career, I’ve also had a personal family and my son did an exercise when he was in high school here in Australia, where his, his year nine self.
[00:02:31] Martin Creighan: Wrote his year 12 self a note, and then on year 12, they got to open it up and reflect back and, and, and see what the results were. And did they achieve, you know, everything that they aspired to achieve and so on? And what I found so relevant about that, and hence this question, is that life throws stuff at us, and as it throws stuff at us, it’s okay for us To pivot and to change and make sure that we adjust and adapt as we go.
[00:03:02] Martin Creighan: so what I would basically tell my 30 year old self is you might have a plan. And you are absolutely going to be dedicated and executing that plan, but life throws stuff at us. And so as it throws stuff at us, it’s okay to pivot and to change and to adapt so that you can still ultimately be successful.
[00:03:24] Martin Creighan: At least, you know, what success looks like in your own mind, but it’s okay when life throws stuff at you. Change and adapt along the way. It’s, it’s not all bad. It’s, from my perspective, and Robert, you probably would’ve heard me say this a number of times in life, we either win or we learn. so along the way, what, what, where do we win?
[00:03:42] Martin Creighan: And along the way, what have we learned? So that’s what I would tell my 30 year old self. It’s, it’s okay. When life throws stuff at you, you can adapt.
[00:03:48] Robert Hossary: What a wonderful lesson. And let’s, let’s face it, I mean, that’s what 10 Lessons is all about. It’s about sharing what we’ve learned.
[00:03:57] Robert Hossary: I heard when I was younger, in my 30s, something that also changed the way I would think along the lines of what you just said, which is have a plan. But don’t fall in love with it.
[00:04:10] Martin Creighan: Yeah.
[00:04:11] Robert Hossary: Because life throws stuff at you.
[00:04:13] Martin Creighan: Life throws stuff at you. You never know what’s around the corner. You never know.

[00:04:18] Lesson 1: You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful.

[00:04:18] Robert Hossary: Fantastic. Well, let’s get on to your 10 lessons, Martin. the first one, I must admit, is my favorite. So, lesson number one. You don’t have to be a jerk. to be successful. Over to you, Martin. Tell us why.
[00:04:33] Martin Creighan: I, I like this one too, by the way. and, and so, as you mentioned, over three decades of, leadership and experience, not only in leading teams in the private sector, but, you know, an additional 10 years on top of that of leading teams in the military where, you know, once again, if you don’t get things right, lives are on the line.
[00:04:52] Martin Creighan: So a little bit of a difference, in regards to those, those two extreme examples. But what I found through all of these life experiences is I’ve come across many, many, many leaders, as I’m sure you have, Robert, and in our time, being in a private industry and for me also being in the military. And I, I sit back now with, the knowledge and experience that I have, and I smile when I come across leaders.
[00:05:18] Martin Creighan: And specifically, when I come across leaders who have this tendency or have this thought process. That in order to get stuff done, they have to lead with the stick. I don’t understand it. I honestly don’t understand it. you know, coming from the military, of course, you know, it’s a, it’s a different environment and you have to listen to, you know, your superiors and you don’t question orders and you do all those things because once again, lives are on the line.
[00:05:45] Martin Creighan: but even in the military. there’s opportunity for you as a leader to really get your message across in the right way and not only motivate but inspire your team. And in doing so, they’re going to, they’re going to trust you. They’re going to build trust with you. And as you continue to build that trust, then they will take a bullet for you.
[00:06:05] Martin Creighan: They will, you know, be willing to put their life on the line for you, as a leader. Now, that’s an extreme example, but if we take that example and we apply it to the corporate world, especially if you, if you’re looking at, you know, a, a go-to market role, leadership role or function, whether it’s in sales, marketing, channel, it doesn’t really matter.
[00:06:24] Martin Creighan: I’ve come across so many leaders in the past that feel like the only way that they can get results out of people was by beating them up. What they don’t realize in the process is they’re actually beating them down and through the beating them down process, you’re going to make that person less confident.
[00:06:43] Martin Creighan: You’re, you’re going to put that person or force that person to a shell. You’re going to get less innovation. You’re going to get high employee churn. You’re, you’re going to get, a decrease, a significant decrease in trust. And you’re never going to get the best out of your people or out of your team.
[00:06:59] Martin Creighan: And I, personally, my, because my mind doesn’t function like that, but I personally can’t understand why people wouldn’t just approach it in a different way with an attitude of we’re going to do this together. We’re in this together and we’re going to do this together and lead with the carrot.
[00:07:15] Martin Creighan: If we do these things. This is going to be the result. Don’t get me wrong. I think the, one of the big challenges here too, Robert, is I think, I think people feel like if, if Robert’s going to hold Martin accountable, he must hit him with the stick. You can still hold people accountable, and you can still set clear transparent expectations and you can still communicate in a very clear and transparent way. But
[00:07:40] Martin Creighan: You don’t have to be a jerk. And I think that’s so critical.
[00:07:44] Robert Hossary: Yeah, you absolutely don’t have to be a jerk. let me share with you, Martin, because everything you said has resonated so much because of experience. The longer we’re in the workforce, the more we see this, the more people we lead, the more we realize that we worked for leaders who were stick oriented.
[00:08:07] Robert Hossary: one of my positions, I was leading a team and I thanked them. I said, thank you for doing that. And they looked at me in shock. They had never been thanked by the previous leader. I just don’t understand that. They were They were in shock that I took the time out to go up and thank them for the work they had done on, on that particular project.
[00:08:32] Robert Hossary: It just amazes me, Martin, that there are still people in leadership roles that don’t get it. that meme has been out there for, for over a decade now. You know, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad leaders, you know. I just don’t get like you. I just. My brain doesn’t work that way. I don’t understand why you would do that.
[00:08:55] Robert Hossary: You know, yeah, I’m lost. I’m at a loss for words, but you don’t have to be a jerk.
[00:09:03] Martin Creighan: You don’t have to be, but here’s the other thing that I will say is because, you know, once again, I’ve been doing this, if you include my military background, my military time, 40 years. so yes, Robert, I am an old man now. but what I’ve actually found is, is I, I actually now have fun.
[00:09:20] Martin Creighan: With that leadership style, and what I mean by that is, I think over the years, these leaders have found or realized that they’re not going to break me. and I, like to use the phrase, I seen this movie, when I come across those specific types of leaders. so what I do is I try to bring them in.
[00:09:36] Martin Creighan: And what I mean by that is, you know, my mother used to always tell me the phrase of kill them with kindness, you know, bring them in, you know, get them involved. And the best way I found in dealing with leaders that lead with the stick is ask them questions, bring them in, and then use specific phrasing.
[00:09:53] Martin Creighan: I, I found three words to be extremely powerful in those types of situations. So, when somebody’s beating you up about why a deliverable wasn’t made or, you know, why a sale hasn’t come in or whatever the scenario is, I found that the use of three words can really change the conversation and the direction of that conversation.
[00:10:11] Martin Creighan: And those three words are how can we? Because as soon as I say How Can We?
[00:10:17] Martin Creighan: I’ve just drawn that leader into this challenge. So instead of it being an I problem or a me problem, it’s now a we problem. and by doing that, it, it makes them think and it forces them to think in a different way because all of a sudden, just with three words, you’ve shifted the conversation and now they’re thinking if they really are that type of a leader, they’re thinking, okay, now how do I get myself out of this?
[00:10:39] Martin Creighan: And in many cases, they’re not. They’re not quick enough to be able to think on their feet fast enough to back themselves out. And then what you’ll find is now they’re in. And once they’re in, and they’re in that challenge with you, now you can get somewhere. Now you can start having a sensible conversation.
[00:10:54] Martin Creighan: But I, as I mentioned, it’s, it’s, it’s very taxing. It’s very stressful. I’ve done a lot of work over the past few years in mentoring young leaders on how to be great leaders and through that process have found that happiness in the workplace tends to create up to 20 percent higher productivity.
[00:11:15] Martin Creighan: within the workforce if you’re, if your workers are happy. well, how do you make your workers happy? the highest weight, or the highest factor in making your, your workers happy is, your, your workers having a sense of gratitude and therefore your leaders having a sense of gratitude. And you mentioned it earlier, Robert.
[00:11:32] Martin Creighan: You said, thank you. It’s the sense of gratitude of saying, hey, Robert, I recognize the hard work that you’re doing. Thank you for that effort. And a lot of businesses think I got to give rewards and I got to give recognition and I got to give all those things. And although all those things are very nice, a simple thank you goes a million miles.
[00:11:51] Martin Creighan: I had a wonderful leader at AT& T. Her name was Ann Chow. She was the president of AT& T business. and she reminded me when I was at one of our conferences and I was having a chat to her. She said, Martin, you know what I still like to do? And I said, what’s that Ann? She said, I still like to write handwritten thank you notes to team members that I’ve come across.
[00:12:08] Martin Creighan: that have gone above and beyond. And there was a couple of folks at the table who were listening to this conversation, and I think some of them were like, oh, wow, you know, we’re, we’re in the digital age, right? We have emails, and we have chat, and we have WhatsApp, and we have, you know, every, every device under the sun that can get us an instant message to someone in a really quick manner.
[00:12:28] Martin Creighan: But I agree with her. There’s nothing like it. You know, getting a piece of mail, in the mail coming to you and you’re like, Oh, what’s this? And you open it up and it’s, it’s a handwritten thank you note, from one of your leaders or from one of your colleagues, or maybe even from a family member or a friend just saying, Hey, you know what?
[00:12:45] Martin Creighan: Thank you. And I appreciate you. It is so strong, and and I’ll never forget that, and I’ve taken that on board, and now almost every organization I’ve been to, almost every team I lead, I’ll still surprise my team members with a handwritten thank you note, or I’ll leave them with a note somewhere stuck inside their desk, so when they open their drawer or something like that, there’s a handwritten note from me just saying, hey, you know what?
[00:13:06] Martin Creighan: Thank you. It’s very powerful.
[00:13:08] Robert Hossary: It is very powerful and they’re very valuable techniques, that you shared with us. I want to move on to your next lesson, but I have a, I have a question because while I agree with you, and I do. lead in the style that you’re talking about. When I’m confronted by a leader who is stick oriented, I get defensive.
[00:13:36] Robert Hossary: It’s very hard for me to then switch my mindset. How would you suggest, and I’m a seasoned professional, as you can tell by all the gray beard, but I’ve been doing this for a while, and I still don’t know how to not get my back up. So what advice do you have for young upcoming leaders, to not fall into that trap of retaliation?
[00:14:04] Martin Creighan: So what I would say is, and you’ve probably heard this before, and if you go to any present, presenting course, or if you’re, working in a public speaking sector, one of the things that you’ll learn early on is the power of the pause and people don’t like dead time in conversations. So we have a tendency to keep talking.
[00:14:23] Martin Creighan: But in situations like that where you can feel an emotion coming through that you know is probably not going to be the right reaction to a specific situation or specific moment, then my recommendation is that is where the power of the pause is most powerful. So people say, yeah, but Martin, how do you do that?
[00:14:42] Martin Creighan: If somebody’s coming at you and they’re coming at you in an aggressive way, how do you, how do you pause? And then, and then, you know, give your time to, because the pause gives yourself the time to think of how am I going to react and so on. And for me, one of the best ways to do that is smile. So if, if you have somebody who’s, who’s like really down your throat and they’re in your face and they’re whatever, I have a tendency to take a step back and kind of, you know, smile.
[00:15:07] Martin Creighan: And that smile. Is my pause and that pause now is giving me the opportunity to think about my reaction and then therefore I can take that next step. What I’m also doing in that pause. I’m breathing and breathing is so important, so, so important. you know, once again talking about the US Navy, the US Navy seals do it all the time.
[00:15:28] Martin Creighan: They call it a four by four. It, it’s a breathing technique that they’ve, used for many, many years as they get ready to basically go into a mission or when they come out of a mission. And the breathing technique is basically there, to basically, bring focus back to the central nervous system and to really calm yourself down.
[00:15:45] Martin Creighan: So it’s four deep breaths for four seconds and you do four repetitions. That’s the four by four. and you can see these guys, you know, if you ever see any video of them, et cetera, they’ll, they’ll be doing these, these motions before they go into a mission. Then when they come back from the mission, they’re full of adrenaline.
[00:16:00] Martin Creighan: So what do they do? They do the breathing technique again to bring them back into, you know, call it a normal or a calm state of mind. So breathing is really important. So being able to pause, take that deep breath, smile, and then respond gives your brain and your body the opportunity to really think about that reaction.
[00:16:20] Martin Creighan: And I know you, Robert, and I know how high your EQ is. So I know that if you had that opportunity to take that pause. to take that breath and smile back, you’d actually respond in the right way. I

[00:16:32] Lesson 2: Look after your people and your people will always looks after you!

[00:16:32] Robert Hossary: look, I could talk about this particular topic for a little while, but let’s move on to your next lesson, because they’re all wonderful. And I want to share this with, with the audience. So lesson number two, look after your people and your people will always look after you. That is such a truism.
[00:16:51] Martin Creighan: Oh, this is one of my favorites.
[00:16:52] Martin Creighan: I, I still tell people today when they ask me, Martin, what is your philosophy of leadership? I say, my philosophy of leadership is built around what I call the three P’s. and that’s people, purpose, and passion. And, and the reason why I use the people, purpose, and passion is because if you look after your people and you help them find their purpose, which we’ll come to a little bit later, but if you help them find their purpose, then they’ll execute with passion.
[00:17:14] Martin Creighan: And I would challenge anyone I woulduld challenge anyone to show me someone who’s failed when they’re executing with passion. And I don’t mean haven’t stumbled along the way. I don’t mean haven’t made a wrong turn along the way. All of us are going to do that. But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you’re ultimately going to get back up.
[00:17:34] Martin Creighan: You’re going to dust yourself off and you’re going to keep going. And it’s, it’s what helps drive that tenacity, to, to be successful and that will to be successful. So people, purpose, passion, really important for me. But where did I get this from? Robert, I was a 17-year-old man, you know, senior in high school in the United States.
[00:17:52] Martin Creighan: I’m the youngest of eight. so I have five sisters and two brothers. I didn’t come from a lot of money. mom and dad were, were struggling and we’re trying to figure out, am I going to go to university? What am I going to do? And if I’m being honest, at the time, I said, I don’t want to go to university.
[00:18:06] Martin Creighan: But that was the thing to do, right? Everybody goes to university. So, I’ll never forget this. I was blessed with, having A really good friend of mine, his name is Greg, and he grew up with us. He went to the same primary school as I did, and Greg came from a large family as well. Greg was the youngest of 13.
[00:18:23] Martin Creighan: so he also had three brothers and nine sisters. so between Greg and I, we had two, two big families, but, Greg and I, of course, grew up together, enjoyed playing sport together, etc. Greg’s dad was an extremely successful businessman, but also an extremely successful dad. and, and more importantly, just an absolutely wonderful person.
[00:18:44] Martin Creighan: His name is Jack Donahue. And, today Jack is considered, well, you know, a pioneer in regards to finance and investments and, and, and attributed in many cases as being one of the founding fathers of mutual funds and what it meant. And Jack was the founder of a company called Federated Investors, which is today Federated Hermes.
[00:19:02] Martin Creighan: And, I’ll never forget this. I was at Greg’s house, like I always was. We were always up there playing sport or, you know, carrying on some sort. but I was up at Greg’s house. And, his dad was there and, and that wasn’t often because his dad was always traveling, et cetera. So we didn’t see his dad often, but his dad was there.
[00:19:17] Martin Creighan: And like I said, his dad was an exceptionally humble human being for the success that he’s enjoyed in his life. And we were in Greg’s kitchen and Greg, and I were sitting there and we were stressing over what are we going to do in our lives? You know, how are we going to, how are we going to achieve success?
[00:19:33] Martin Creighan: And all, all the, all the, world’s problems are on our shoulders.
[00:19:37] Robert Hossary: At 17 years old. Yes, of course, they’re on your shoulders.
[00:19:40] Martin Creighan: At 17. And I remember having this conversation and as we’re having the conversation, Craig’s dad is sitting over there cracking up, laughing at us. And I’m, I’m looking at him, I’m like, Mr. D, this isn’t funny. Like these, these are important decisions. And when I said it, he laughed even harder. And, and, and I was like, Mr. D, please tell me. I was like, you’ve, you’ve done wonderful things in your life. You have a great family. you’re a great, great dad, great brother, all these things, great company.
[00:20:05] Martin Creighan: so what’s the secret to success? He said, all right, Martin, I’ll let you in on a couple of things. He said, number one, always look after your people and your people always look after you. He said, build that trust, have their back. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. When they say they’re going to do something, hold them accountable.
[00:20:24] Martin Creighan: He said, but always look after them. If they’re doing a good job, tell them they’re doing a good job. Thank them. give them a pat on the back. Recognize them and, you know, at Christmas, give them a, you know, a Christmas basket or whatever the scenario is, always look after your people and your people always look after you.
[00:20:39] Martin Creighan: And it’s so true, even through, and by the way, Jack was in the military during World War II, flew planes, went to West Point, a very, very successful man, as I mentioned. So many of the philosophies that I live by today, not only were recommended by him, but also came from, You know, military, breeding, if you will.
[00:20:57] Martin Creighan: So number one, look after your people. You people, I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, yeah, that’s right. You know, everybody wants to work for somebody who cares, you know, be empathetic.
[00:21:05] Robert Hossary: That’s it.
[00:21:06] Martin Creighan: You know, you know, understand, realize that we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. You know, so, so number one, look after your people and your people look after you.
[00:21:15] Martin Creighan: And the second thing that he told me, no matter what you do, be passionate about it. and he said, you know, the old cliche once again, Robert, you know, if, if, if your work is what your passion is, then you’ll never work a day in your life, right? And, and it’s true to a certain extent. And I think over these, you know, 30 plus years, I’ve found that there’s certainly one thing that I’m very passionate about and it’s my people.
[00:21:36] Robert Hossary: I think that is great advice and it’s a great lesson.

[00:21:40] Lesson 3: Your “Why” doesn’t have to be industry specific.

[00:21:40] Robert Hossary: you talk about passion. I’m not sure whether this segues into, lesson number three. It does in my mind. your lesson number three, your why doesn’t have to be industry specific. I kind of understand, but I’d love to hear your explanation behind this.
[00:21:58] Martin Creighan: So here’s the explanation. It doesn’t have to be industry specific or skill, skill specific or job specific or, uh, et cetera. I mean, it’s, it’s so interesting, as I mentioned, earlier in mentoring some of these young leaders, young aspiring leaders, I’ve seen in just raising kids, right? I have a daughter who’s 28 and a son who’s 25.
[00:22:18] Martin Creighan: you know, so just raising your own kids, I have, you know, 35 plus nieces and nephews. you know, there, there’s plenty of young aspiring leaders who, are around me on a day to day basis. And I find it very interesting that they feel like they must go to university, they must get a degree in a specific field, and then they must go forth and be very successful.
[00:22:40] Robert Hossary: Well, society tells us, Martin, society tells us we’ve got to do that.
[00:22:45] Martin Creighan: And so these kids are hardwired into, these young adults are hardwired into this, I must find out what my why is now. And I’ve been looking at tons of statistics on Gen Z, millennials, et cetera, and if you actually look at the statistics, this is why we’re suffering in STEM, because a whole bunch of Gen Z and millennials wanted to actually focus on giving back.
[00:23:08] Martin Creighan: And therefore, they have a tendency to take more art based majors, et cetera, when they are learning and going to university, because they feel that the art based streams are going to give them an ability to give back. And many of them feel like giving back is, might be working for a charity, or it might be, you know, it could be a million different things, but their philosophy of life is, in order for me to be successful, I must give back.
[00:23:33] Martin Creighan: And therefore, I believe that my why has something to do with giving back. And that may, in fact, be true. It may, in fact, be true. because there’s no, in my, in my opinion, there’s no greater gift or no greater feeling in this world than giving, you know, talk about happiness or in this particular case, fulfillment when you give.
[00:23:53] Martin Creighan: It is just absolutely phenomenal. So, the reason why I mentioned that is I, even my own kids and my daughter has, you know, changed her major three, three different times. And now it’s doing something totally different. My son took a gap year and, you know, he was like, I don’t know what I want to do. So he did a year and he took some time off.
[00:24:10] Martin Creighan: He tried some jobs and now he’s going back again. but my, I guess the reason why I put this in here as a, as, as a lesson is your why does not have to be a job. It does not have to be a specific skill set. Like, I want to be a doctor so I can heal. It doesn’t have to be a specific skill set. In my particular example, you know, I did have aspirations to, you know, get into physical therapy initially, or, you know, something of the nature of medicine of some sort.
[00:24:38] Martin Creighan: But I actually found out that my why or my passion, as I mentioned a few moments ago, is actually just people. I love leading, And being with people, and I love, and that’s my why. My why is, my why is building things and building success with people. And each one of us will have a different, a different factor or a different definition of what success is, but my why is, is how do we actually go into, if I’m going into an enterprise organization like Commvault, who I work for today, my why exists around the fact that where are we today?
[00:25:09] Martin Creighan: how can I actually basically take hold of these folks, these people? and bring them on a journey with me to a point where they understand that my why is all about making them better. Are they better today than they were yesterday? Are they going to be better tomorrow than they were today?
[00:25:25] Martin Creighan: Are they going to be better in two weeks than they were last week? And so on and so forth. And if we can do that together, if we can continue to grow and go on that journey together, then that is absolutely fulfilling my why. My why is people. How do I help them grow? how do I, understand what’s going on in the world.
[00:25:41] Martin Creighan: how do I just make them a better human? And I guess at the end of the day, and I might’ve even said this to you when we were having a coffee, but at the end of the day, my, I think about things like, God forbid, if Martin got out, went out in the street tomorrow and got hit by a bus. What would people say about Martin?
[00:25:56] Martin Creighan: You know, people may or may not remember the successes you’ve had from a sales point of view, or people may or may not remember, you know, the fact that you graduated with honors from university, or people may or may not remember that you are a master training specialist, or people may or may not remember any of that stuff, but as the famous American poet Maya Angelou once said, you may or may not remember what someone said, but you’ll always remember how someone made you feel.
[00:26:23] Martin Creighan: That, to me, is everything. So, that’s my why. My why is people. I’m passionate about people.
[00:26:29] Robert Hossary: You are. And there’s, there’s demonstrable evidence of that. Let me, if I may, add, we all have that conversation, you know. What am I going to be when I grow up? It’s a conversation that I had, in my 40s, and what you said is so true, Martin.
[00:26:48] Robert Hossary: It doesn’t matter what you major in. Understand that when you find that passion, The skills that you have learned will go and help you with that passion. and I’ll use myself as an example. I was a business leader. I am a business leader, but I was in IT. I was in a lot of different industries.
[00:27:10] Robert Hossary: I did a lot of different things, but now that I have found my why, which is helping people, all those skills come into play and are helping me. Be successful in that endeavour. So, you know, it doesn’t matter how many careers you have or how many branches you’ve, gone off the beaten path on, the point is when you do find your why, as Martin is telling you, you’re going to be able to use all the skills you learned to enable your passion and be successful.
[00:27:45] Martin Creighan: I like to phrase it of, you know, because my why is all about people, right, working with and leading them, and, and working with and leading teams. That’s my passion. It just so happens that I’m doing that in the technology industry, but that doesn’t make me a technologist. So, and that’s what I think some of these young leaders, young aspiring leaders are really struggling with.
[00:28:04] Martin Creighan: They feel like in order for me to be successful and really to, you know, capitalize or, or really find my why, then I must, I must do it in a specific area or a specific industry, et cetera. And, and that’s not the case.
[00:28:18] Robert Hossary: It’s not. And we can take this off on a tangent.
[00:28:21] Robert Hossary: but we won’t. Let me just move on, to your

[00:28:24] Lesson 4: Tackle each of life’s challenges one step at a time

[00:28:24] Robert Hossary: lesson number four, which actually links back to what you would tell your 30 year old self, in a sense, because lesson number four is tackle each of life’s challenges and challenges. One step at a time. And why do you do that? Because life throws stuff at you.
[00:28:41] Martin Creighan: It throws stuff at you. It’s so true. And not only that, especially in today’s fast paced, rapidly moving business world, and especially you are young leaders. They, they expect that they’re going to walk into a, you know, position, they’re going to walk into an organization and they’re going to be the VP of Asia Pacific in no time.
[00:28:59] Robert Hossary: I’m going to stop you there, Martin. Didn’t we all think that was going to happen to us anyway, when we were young?
[00:29:06] Martin Creighan: I think we did, but I think right now with today’s like, the pace that everything’s moving at today, it’s accelerated that expectation even further. Yeah. And, and it’s, it makes me smile. And the reason why it makes me smile is because it’s, I love the fact that that is a goal or an aspiration because we, we need to have a plan.
[00:29:24] Martin Creighan: We need to set goals and have aspirations. But as my mother used to tell me when I was young, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And what that really means is that number one, there’s going to be some patience required, but there’s going to have to be some planning and a few of these other things, in regards to my plan on how I’m going to tackle life’s challenges.
[00:29:44] Martin Creighan: But what I’ve also found Even as, as late as yesterday, because we have people who are so determined and because we have people who are so committed and because we have people who are so motivated, what they try to do is they try to do everything at once. And I think, you know, in my 30 plus years in, in leading and managing and running teams, et cetera, I found that, if we all try to do everything at the same time, then we’re going to specialize in doing nothing very well.
[00:30:11] Martin Creighan: However, we take a step back, take a breath. Have a plan and focus and say, yeah, I have these 10 priorities that I have to get through, but I’m going to focus on these two first, and once I complete them, I’m going to go to the next two, and then once I complete them, I’m going to go to the next two, and so on, we’ll find that we’ve completed those top 10 priorities in no time.
[00:30:32] Martin Creighan: However, if we try to do them all at once, we’ll find that we haven’t really executed on any of them at all. And, and I think that’s so true in life, you know, whether we’re have aspirations to buy a home or buy a property or whether we have aspirations to move up in, in, in regards to position or status in regards to our jobs or, you know, whether we just want to be a better dad or whether we want to be a better husband or whether we want to be a better brother or whatever that scenario is, I think if we tackle life’s challenges one, one step at a time, we’re going to have a much better, we’re going to have a much better success rate.
[00:31:04] Martin Creighan: Thank you. in accordance to what success means to us and achieving the goals that we have.
[00:31:09] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. and I, I think, if I can sum it up, in my mind, it is focus.
[00:31:16] Martin Creighan: 100%.
[00:31:17] Robert Hossary: Focus on one task at a time. And you’ll, as, as you said, Martin, you’ll get through all of them. I really like that. That’s great.

[00:31:25] Lesson 5: Always be kind.

[00:31:25] Robert Hossary: Okay, so lesson number five should be, should be something that we all do all the time, but we don’t. So, you know, maybe you can shed some light. So lesson number five, always. Be kind.
[00:31:41] Martin Creighan: Once again, I really like this one, and I’ll credit and attribute this one to my wife. and, you know, so, this December, I’m very lucky and honored to say that I’ll be married for 30 years.
[00:31:55] Robert Hossary: Oh, congratulations.
[00:31:56] Martin Creighan: Thank you. So, Rachel and I will be married 30 years this December, but, um, Rachel’s the one that, in my opinion, she’s very much like my mother, actually. the kindness just seeps out of her soul. and it doesn’t matter what situation she’s in or we’re in or anyone else is in. She always thinks about others first, and she’s always very kind and giving.
[00:32:15] Martin Creighan: And that comes, you know, with a lot of, I think, practice and a lot of patience over the years. But the reason why I credit this to Rachel is because… In life and in business and in our rapid pace that we’re moving at today, I’m human, you’re human. I’m sure you get frustrated. There’s, there’s times when I get frustrated, and I can physically remember sitting here at home and I’ll be frustrated about something and I’ll say to my wife, I don’t understand why Robert can’t see blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:32:44] Martin Creighan: And she’ll just look at me and she’ll smile and I’ll be like, what’s the smile for? And she’ll say, because Robert’s not Martin. Robert doesn’t have your same point of view. Robert doesn’t have your same skills, your same experience, your same background, et cetera. Robert’s not Martin. And what she’s really saying to me is whatever you do, when you respond back to Robert, be nice.
[00:33:01] Martin Creighan: And the reason why is because over the years, I’ve also found that I’m talking to some people and on the surface, everything seems fantastic. Everything seems to be working very well for this person. They, they’re moving in the right direction, et cetera. And as I start to get to know people and I start to understand what’s really happening behind closed doors or what’s really happening, in their home lives or whatever, it’s absolute chaos.
[00:33:25] Martin Creighan: And I use the analogy of you ever seen the, the swan gliding so gracefully across the lake? Under the water that swan is paddling like hell. how many people have we come across in our careers where they seem to be gliding so gracefully across the lake, but in their own personal lives they’re paddling like mad just to stay afloat?
[00:33:45] Martin Creighan: And so, therefore, because we have that experience, we should actually make sure that others also understand that, and we should never assume we know what’s happening behind closed doors. And so, we should just be nice. Like my mother and father used to say, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.
[00:34:02] Robert Hossary: This is an age-old lesson that we seem to have forgotten, Martin. I agree with you. We should just be nice because, as you pointed out, you don’t know what someone else is going through. And it’s not just the younger generation that need to hear this. It’s the older generation that need to remember this.
[00:34:24] Robert Hossary: Remember what your parents told you, as Martin just said. Be nice for God’s sake, it would make the world such a much better place to live in. Just be nice. And I, well, for our viewers who are watching this on YouTube, you may have seen me laughing when Martin mentioned that he learnt this from his wife, because I learnt the exact same lesson from mine.
[00:34:48] Robert Hossary: I just found that there you go, you know, you listen to people in your life, listen to people who care enough about you to tell you the truth. So love it.
[00:35:01] Martin Creighan: Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:35:03] Affiliate Break

[00:35:03] Robert Hossary: So we’re just going to take a quick break and we’d like to thank our affiliate partner, Audible. Audible is an amazing way to consume 10 Lessons Learned. Books and other podcasts allowing you to build a library of knowledge all in the one place.
[00:35:18] Robert Hossary: You can start your free 30 day trial by going to audibletrial.com/10lessonslearned. With Audible, you can find your favorite lessons while at home or on the go. Once again, that’s audibletrial.com/10lessonslearned for a free 30 day trial. The link’s going to be in the show notes.

[00:35:42] Lesson 6: Real leadership is putting your team out front.

[00:35:42] Robert Hossary: Our guest today is Martin Cregan, Vice President, Business Leader, Entrepreneur. Martin let’s continue with your 10 lessons. Lesson number six, real leadership is putting your team out in front. What does that mean?
[00:35:59] Martin Creighan: Oh, I love this one too. And the reason why I love this one is because I’ve come across so many people in my career that play the political game.
[00:36:08] Martin Creighan: It’s all about them. It’s all about politics. It’s all about making them look good. It’s all about managing up. It’s all about their position in the company and their advancement and so on. But true leadership is putting your team out front, putting your team first. And, once again, actually, if you talk about any special forces operations, the Navy SEALs, if you talk about any military unit in general, and you talk about military leadership, if you’re in the field and you’re in a battle and gosh, only knows, I mean, the craziness that’s happening in our world right now.
[00:36:38] Martin Creighan: But real, true military leaders will let their team eat first. They will make sure that their team is safe before they sit down. Or I like to use the analogy, I don’t know if you remember, when Sully, Captain Sully landed his plane on the Hudson.
[00:36:54] Martin Creighan: And everybody’s like, Captain, Captain, we got to get off. And he actually went through the front to back of that aircraft and made sure that every single soul was off of that plane first. Well, he also has a military background, right? So he was putting his people, his team, et cetera, out front. He was making sure that they were looked after, that they were safe, and that he actually had their back.
[00:37:15] Martin Creighan: And I think that is so important. So, in a, in a world today where we see a lot of people who are in it for themselves, in a world today where we see a lot of selfishness and people leading with a stick, and we see all these other bad behaviors in our world, let’s always remember that real leadership is putting your people out front.
[00:37:33] Martin Creighan: So, when your people do a great job, let’s It’s recognizing them. The number of times I’ve been on, you know, calls or videos where, you know, executive team members have said, Hey, Martin, this has been, this is a fantastic result. And I will make a point of saying, yes, and that’s because of Robert. And the reason why is Robert did A, B and C.
[00:37:51] Martin Creighan: And so Robert deserves the credit here.
[00:37:53] Robert Hossary: Absolutely.
[00:37:54] Martin Creighan: You know, and you know how easy that is?
[00:37:55] Robert Hossary: Incredibly easy. Do it all the time. And I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment because what is the point? Of you taking credit for someone else’s work.
[00:38:05] Martin Creighan: And you didn’t do it. You didn’t do it, so why are you taking credit for it?
[00:38:11] Martin Creighan: but once again, that, that, that to me is true leadership. and, and it’s, it’s the same as, you know, when no one’s watching. How does that particular individual respond to an incident or, you know, something’s going wrong? It comes back to the integrity thing for me, Robert. So, that’s what I mean by real leadership is putting your team first.
[00:38:27] Martin Creighan: you know, so the, I think the Navy SEALs, actually, I think Simon Sinek even did a, talk about when he was meeting with the Navy SEALs and he was talking to a couple of the SEAL commanders, they were talking about when they come back in from, you know, wherever, whatever mission they were on, they come back in the camp, the leaders make sure their team eats first.
[00:38:42] Martin Creighan: And once they know that their team has been replenished, their team has, has had their fill, then the leaders will sit down and eat. in my, in my opinion, it’s just a great example of what true leadership is all about.
[00:38:52] Robert Hossary: I agree. I mean, that lesson is so clear.

[00:38:55] Lesson 7: Build your team based on Attitude, not aptitude!

[00:38:55] Robert Hossary: there’s really not much more I could do than endorse it. Let’s go to lesson number seven, build your team based on attitude, not aptitude. I like this. I don’t know whether I fully agree with it. So I’ll sit back and let you convince me.
[00:39:12] Martin Creighan: I think this is really important too. So, I am, for an example, for me, one of my priorities, one of my business priorities that I’m executing on right now, as we continue to lead and build what we’re doing at Commvault is right person, right role.
[00:39:25] Martin Creighan: And what I mean by that is, when I say right person, that means right attitude. Over my 30 plus years again, Robert, I’ve come across so many different people, people who are coachable. Teachable people who want to learn, who have a zest for learning and being part of something bigger than themselves. All of these are attributes that I look for when I’m actually hiring somebody.
[00:39:46] Martin Creighan: And I do that on the basis of, you might come across folks who are extremely, from an aptitude point of view, gifted. Absolutely gifted. But when you look at a team, if you look at a basketball team, or if you look at a football team, et cetera, you might have one or two people in those teams who from an attitude point of view are pretty gifted.
[00:40:08] Martin Creighan: But what you really need is the guys that aren’t so gifted, but are going to play really strong defense, or you need the folks that are going to have the attitude that gets everybody riled up and gets them going and make sure that they continue to be motivated even when they’re down. And, you know, so a team, a true team is made up of multiple different people, but I still will.
[00:40:26] Martin Creighan: I’ll always live by that. If the team members in general have the right attitude, then we’re going to achieve success together. And that success, from my point of view, is just, a byproduct of the teaming, the collaboration, et cetera, that comes with having the right. Attitude. So, I think if you look at the attitude versus the aptitude scenario, there’s the old addage.
[00:40:50] Martin Creighan: I think it’s an old African proverb that says, if you want to go, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. And the reason why I love that is because, If you have the right attitude, and you’re a team player, and you’re the type of person that’s going to help and give, and you’re the type of person that wants to, you know, believe in yourself and believe in your team and be fulfilled and be happy and all those things, then I think if that attitude is something that you’re displaying on a regular basis, then you’re going to be somebody that I want to team with and I want to partner with.
[00:41:17] Martin Creighan: And finally, what I’ll say is that, You can teach people to sell. You can teach people technology. You can teach people, how to build a rocket ship to get to the moon. Sometimes it’s really hard to teach people core values. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell people or share with people why being nice is so important and being kind and empathetic.
[00:41:39] Martin Creighan: And all those sorts of softer skills, the EQ that is required in some cases is a lot harder to get. so I, I normally will always hire on, on attitude versus aptitude.
[00:41:50] Robert Hossary: Agreed. and it’s something that I have done, I suppose, for a majority of my leadership career, because I realized early in the piece, skills, you can teach them.
[00:42:01] Robert Hossary: You can teach the skills. But you can’t teach the attitude. if they don’t have the right attitude, the right cultural fit, doesn’t matter how skilled they are. You’re spot on, Martin. You are absolutely spot on.

[00:42:15] Lesson 8: Don’t be a “Gonna”.

[00:42:15] Robert Hossary: Okay, well, lesson number eight is an interesting one, because, it just reminds me of an old joke, but, I, I know how serious this is and I, I love it.
[00:42:27] Robert Hossary: So, lesson number eight, don’t be a gonna .
[00:42:31] Martin Creighan: And one of my favorites, I’ll tell you a quick story. in the United States, if you go to California, you’ll see the number plates or the registration plate says the golden state, or if you go to Florida, it says the sunshine state, or, you know, if you go to New York, it says the garden state, or if you go to Pennsylvania, it says the Keystone state.
[00:42:51] Martin Creighan: Well, in Missouri, it says the show me state. And what that means is that people from Missouri, for whatever reason, have a reputation of being cynical. People from Missouri have a reputation of, you know, they’ve had all the Westerners come in and all the Easterners come in and say, this is what we’re going to do.
[00:43:08] Martin Creighan: We’re going to, we’re going to build business. We’re going to do this. We’re going to do all this stuff. And the people from Missouri were just looking and saying, that’s great. Show me. So, in other words, deliver. Don’t tell me what you’re going to do. Do it, show me, right? And I love that analogy. And the reason why I love that analogy is, is through my career, the number of people that I’ve had working for me, working with me, or me working for them that tell me or have told me what they’re gonna do, and then 90 percent plus never comes to fruition.
[00:43:37] Martin Creighan: my, my adage there or my ask is don’t tell me what you’re going to do. Just go do it and show me. What you’re gonna do. and this leads them to, you know, even, even lessons learned for me when I was raising my kids, when they used to come to me and say, daddy, daddy, I can’t, I can’t open the bottle.
[00:43:52] Martin Creighan: I can’t climb the, the rock. I can’t, you know, I can’t swim to the other end of the pool. that used to drive me nuts because to me that, that leans into this, adage of I’m going to do something. And then of course, because it becomes hard. difficult, complex. We, we certainly give up on it. So, I think the whole mindset of, don’t tell me what you’re going to do, just go do it is, is really important.
[00:44:13] Martin Creighan: And I think that really, I sits well with, get the negative, vocabulary and a negative connotations out of your mind and out of your vocabulary. Focus on the positives, focus on what you’re going to do and what you can do, and you’ll do it. It’s like the famous quote from Henry Ford.
[00:44:29] Martin Creighan: Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.
[00:44:32] Robert Hossary: That’s it!
[00:44:32] Martin Creighan: I love it. I love it because, you know, if you think you can, then you’re going to find a way. That’s where that tenacity comes into play. You might fall down and once again have to get up and dust yourself off a thousand times, but you’re going to do it, right?
[00:44:44] Martin Creighan: You’re going to be passionate about it. But if you consistently tell yourself, I can’t. Or this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to do this, but you don’t ever wake up the next day and start, you know, you don’t have a plan and then you don’t start taking action on the plan, then you’re never going to achieve your results.
[00:44:58] Martin Creighan: So, I’m just a big believer.
[00:45:00] Robert Hossary: You’re programming yourself. The language is programming you to be non-successful or incompetent or whatever it is. If you are using that language as you say, Martin. Then you are programming yourself to fail.
[00:45:15] Martin Creighan: It comes back to, you know, to your point, the language is so important.
[00:45:19] Martin Creighan: It’s for an example, when I’m talking to my team, I don’t check all my team. I check in with them. Those two words, check on versus check in, have a massive impact on results. or, you know, as I mentioned before, when I want to, when I want to get participation from multiple groups, how can we? You know, once again, terminology or language is so important and it’s so important in so many different ways and how you make people feel and, you know, et cetera.
[00:45:43] Martin Creighan: So, yeah, so when my kids used to tell me, I can’t, I used to tell them, I’m sure you can. Let’s work this out. You know, so what you’re telling me is, if we did this or that, could we do it? Oh, yeah, we can. Oh, well, you can do it, you know, so you just have to work around it and get them to the positive frame of mind versus the negative frame of mind.
[00:45:59] Robert Hossary: So, ladies and gentlemen, don’t be a “GONNA”, get off your butt and do it.
[00:46:05] Martin Creighan: Do it. Show me. I’m from Missouri. Show me.
[00:46:10] Robert Hossary: The last thing that, that you want is to suffer the “SHOULDAs”. I shoulda, I coulda, you’ll end up shoulda all over yourself. So, don’t be a “GONNA”. Love it.

[00:46:24] Lesson 9: It’s ok to be afraid!

[00:46:24] Robert Hossary: All right. lesson number nine. Now, lesson number nine is easier to say than to do, Martin, so again, I will need your wisdom and Your words to help us get through and understand how we should handle this.
[00:46:40] Robert Hossary: Lesson number nine, it’s okay to be afraid.
[00:46:44] Martin Creighan: I think to a certain degree, and I’m not saying that men are the only ones that are, you know, put up the shield or put up the,
[00:46:50] Robert Hossary: Oh no, I’ll say that. I’ll say that. Yeah. We, men are the only ones because they’re idiots. Yeah, being a man, I can say that.
[00:46:57] Martin Creighan: Yeah, but we have this tendency that, oh my gosh, it’s not, it’s not okay for me to be afraid or worried or any of those things. it is okay for you to be afraid. I mean, you know, in life, you’re going to set a plan if you’re going to set yourself a goal. you know, in my opinion, you’re not pushing yourself or your goal’s not big enough if it doesn’t scare the crap out of you.
[00:47:16] Martin Creighan: Right? If you’re sitting there and you’re saying that this is my goal and you’re like, oh, yeah, I can do that. that’s not a real goal. That’s something that you’re probably going to achieve anyway. So, so, from my point of view, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in your personal life, whatever the scenario is, if your goal or aspiration doesn’t scare the life out of you, then it’s not big enough.
[00:47:35] Martin Creighan: And if it does scare the life out of you, I think what you need to do is just sit back and say, it’s okay for me to be afraid and the reason why is there’s going to be risks involved. It’s going to have an impact on me. It’s going to take me out of my comfort zone. and, and that’s all okay. It’s when we’re out of our comfort zone that we learn the most in life.
[00:47:54] Martin Creighan: those are where the real true lessons come in. That’s where we, Oh, okay, that didn’t work. I’m not, I’m gonna have to pivot. I’m gonna have to change. so, and it’s being out of that comfort zone. It’s being challenged.
[00:48:04] Robert Hossary: Yeah.
[00:48:05] Martin Creighan: I was at AT& T for 17 years, and I loved it.
[00:48:09] Martin Creighan: And it was a great company. We built such a great team and a great culture, but if I’m being brutally honest, the last couple of years, I wasn’t being challenged. and so then for me, it’s kind of like, okay, I, I have to do something different because now I’m getting to the point where, you know, my brain’s not being challenged.
[00:48:23] Martin Creighan: I’m not, driving to my aspirational goals anymore. I’m just turning up. And, and you don’t, you don’t want to be in that position. So what I would say is it’s okay to be afraid. And by the way, if you’re not afraid, when you put your goal down on a piece of paper, or you put it on your wall, you do whatever you want.
[00:48:40] Martin Creighan: If it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, then it’s not big enough. Start again.
[00:48:44] Robert Hossary: I hear you, and it resonates very deeply with me. Very, very deeply. And yeah, it is okay to be afraid, I’ll say to our audience, if it still doesn’t resonate with you, rewind, listen to this again, because it’s important.
[00:49:01] Robert Hossary: It really, really is. What Martin said is very, very deep. Okay.
[00:49:08] Martin Creighan: Sorry, Robert, before you go on, I’ll give you one last example.
[00:49:10] Robert Hossary: Please.
[00:49:11] Martin Creighan: I grew up in a very modest neighborhood. actually, in a very, by the time I grew up, it wasn’t a great neighborhood. It was a pretty bad neighborhood and riddled with crime and project housing and this, that and the other.
[00:49:20] Martin Creighan: And when I was talking to my mother, when I was in the military, if I ever told my mother, I’m going to be the vice president of Asia Pacific for a software company, she probably would have told me to stop dreaming. Like, you’re dreaming. You’re dreaming. You’re dreaming. And once again, to me, it’s just an example of don’t let others around you tell you what you can or can’t do.
[00:49:39] Martin Creighan: That’s totally up to you. And once again, if that goal. If it doesn’t scare the life out of you, then it’s not big enough.

[00:49:45] Lesson 10: Never, ever forget where you came from.

[00:49:45] Robert Hossary: Love it. All right. Well, hey, Martin, we’ve gotten to lesson number 10. So lesson number 10, never ever forget where you came from.
[00:49:57] Martin Creighan: So I love this one too.
[00:49:59] Robert Hossary: Well, they’re your lessons you should love of all.
[00:50:02] Martin Creighan: Probably a perfect segue from just talking about my mom, but I, you know, once again, Robert grew up in a very Irish Catholic modest family in the United States, in Pittsburgh. And, you know, we didn’t have much, et cetera, but what we did have is each other. And what we also had was a set of core values that defines us as people and human beings.
[00:50:22] Martin Creighan: And something that I’m so proud to say, even to this day, in being the youngest of eight and having seven wonderful siblings, five sisters and two brothers, all of us have managed to, you know, have a, a very fulfilling life. None of us ever gotten into trouble. None of us ever gotten to, you know, drugs and, you know, we’ve all lived a pretty, a a pretty, some people might say boring, but I’d say a pretty successful life in regard to raising families and, and, you know, being.
[00:50:51] Martin Creighan: Good, kind, caring people, giving back to our communities, giving back to our families, and giving back to our loved ones and friends. And that makes me very proud. And when I take a, that step back, take that breath, and I think, how? Because if you think about it, the statistics are against us. With, with eight of us, at least one of us should have went off the tracks.
[00:51:11] Martin Creighan: Right? the statistics will tell us that there should be, and by the way, it’s not that, you know, everything is peaches and rainbows, right? you know, we’ve all had our challenges as we’re growing up in regards to family challenges, health, whatever the scenarios are, they’re, they’re there. They’re absolutely there.
[00:51:25] Martin Creighan: But it’s how we respond and how we collectively respond as a unit that makes me so proud. But all of that is foundational and built on the core values of integrity, honesty, trust, respect, kindness, compassion, empathy, et cetera, that our mother and father spent years and years and years instilling in us as we grew up.
[00:51:48] Martin Creighan: And so, for me, I will never, ever forget where I came from, whether it was the neighborhood that I grew up in, which is East Liberty, so shout out to everybody in East Liberty and Pittsburgh, but whether it was the neighborhood that I grew up in, or whether it was the family that I was part of All of those factors made me who I am today, but it was the core foundational values that were instilled in us as, human beings from our mother and father and our family unit that made us the people we are today.
[00:52:13] Martin Creighan: And, and for that, and because of that, I am the human, the leader, the husband, the dad, the brother, the uncle, et cetera, that I am today because of those foundational core values. So never forget where you come from, folks.
[00:52:26] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. Your roots define you. it doesn’t mean that you can’t change, but you can learn from them.
[00:52:36] Robert Hossary: You can, as Martin said, you can build on the values that you, you got from your roots, but never forget where you came from. That is a very, very powerful lesson, Martin. Thank you for that. Before we wind up, I would like to ask you… One more question.
[00:52:55] Robert Hossary: So Martin, what have you unlearned in your life and career so far? Something that you had held on to as being truth, as something that you thought absolutely is the right thing to believe, and then as you got more… Knowledge, more experience, more wisdom, you went, hmm, that wasn’t right.
[00:53:20] Martin Creighan: I’m going to share two with you, if that’s okay.
[00:53:22] Robert Hossary: Please.
[00:53:23] Martin Creighan: so the first one is, as you’re growing in your career, in your life, et cetera, all of us want to be liked. All of us want to, you know, we like to think that people like us. We want to belong. We want to be part of something. And so I would say that, you know, One of the things I did struggle with is, especially as a, a young leader, in the military, I rose to the ranks quite quickly.
[00:53:45] Martin Creighan: and, and as a young leader, I found that, you know what, a hundred percent of the people aren’t going to like you a hundred percent of the time. And that’s okay. That’s okay. And the reason why it’s okay is because We’re different. All of us are different, but I struggled with that. So that’s the, that’s the first thing I, I unlearned is that I don’t need everybody to like me.
[00:54:05] Martin Creighan: I need to like me. and then it starts, it starts with the core and then my family and then my loved ones and my closest and so on. And, you know, once again, through life, Robert, we learn, and we pivot and we hopefully become better people and better human beings. So that’s number one. so, yeah. Well, you don’t have to, 100 percent of the people don’t have to like you 100 percent of the time.
[00:54:24] Martin Creighan: That’s one of the things I’d say. The second thing that I would say that I had to unlearn is, you know, and this might be maybe once again for military, but you’re not always going to have control of 100 percent of the situations 100 percent of the time. So don’t stress about it. You know, the, the amount of stress that I see people Pull themselves under or put themselves under because of something that’s going on in the work environment.
[00:54:49] Martin Creighan: And I asked them, do you have control over that situation? Oh, no, no, no, I don’t have control over it, but it’s going to impact. If you don’t have control over it, then please don’t worry about it. yes, we’re going to have to react to it. Yes, there’s going to be changes. Yes, we’re going to have to respond.
[00:55:02] Martin Creighan: And as we always say, there’s 2 ways to respond to every situation. But if you don’t have direct control over a situation, then please don’t stress yourself about it. We have enough stresses in our world and in our lives, we don’t need to add more stresses in our lives about, you know, stressing about things we don’t have control over. So, please do your best to let go of whatever you don’t have control over and just realize that there’s going to be, you know, repercussions or there’s going to be changes. Changes imminent. There’s going to be change and we’ll just have to pivot along with that change. But if you don’t control it, please don’t worry about it.
[00:55:36] Martin Creighan: And once again, early in my career. It’s like, oh my God, you know, stressing over, over all these factors that I actually realized that I have no control over. Yeah. What we do have control over, Robert, is how we react.
[00:55:49] Robert Hossary: That’s it.
[00:55:49] Martin Creighan: That’s what we have control over.
[00:55:51] Robert Hossary: In a nutshell, it took me a long time to learn those two lessons
[00:55:55] Robert Hossary: The most important thing that you touched on. is, you’ve got to learn to like yourself. That is the start of everything else. If you don’t like yourself, you can’t move on from that. So, Look in the mirror and learn to love the person looking back at you.
[00:56:16] Robert Hossary: That’s, that’s from me today. But Martin, these have been fantastic lessons. Thank you so much for making time and being on our show and sharing these with us. I really do appreciate it. And I know our audience does. This has just been a wonderful conversation. So what are you doing now? how can people find you if they want to?
[00:56:37] Martin Creighan: As you mentioned at the beginning of the show, I’m the Vice President of Asia Pacific for Commvault. So, people will find me in Australia sometimes now, but mostly in Asia somewhere. So, my travel schedule between now and the back end of the year is quite crazy, but people can always contact me. Please go, go see Martin.
[00:56:55] Martin Creighan: Creighan on linkedin. com. You can contact me there. You can actually, of course, reach out to us at Commvault. I’d be happy to speak to anyone who has any questions. I do try to make time, for future and aspiring leaders. so I think it’s really important for us to give back in that regard.
[00:57:11] Martin Creighan: and if it’s one thing that we can do, if we all learn to share and collaborate and be happy, I think we can make this, world a much better place.
[00:57:18] Robert Hossary: Couldn’t have said it better myself. Once again, thank you so much for being so generous with your time. And we’ll finish here today. You’ve been listening to 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:57:27] Robert Hossary: Our guest today has been Martin Creighan, sharing his. 10 lessons with us. This episode is supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. You know what? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of today’s lessons. You can email us as well on podcast at 10lessonslearned. com. go ahead, hit that subscribe button, like the show and turn on that notification bell so you don’t miss an episode of the only podcast making the world wiser, lesson by lesson.
[00:58:01] Robert Hossary: Thank you, Martin. Thank you everyone. And remember, you don’t have to be a jerk to be successful. See you at the next episode.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

Martin Creighan

Martin Creighan -You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful.

Martin Creighan tells us why you should “You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful”, why “It’s ok to be afraid”, and that “Real leadership is putting your team out front” and other insightful lessons. Hosted by Robert Hossary

About Martin Creighan

Martin Creighan is inspired by people, building new relationships and a continuous curiosity of learning, Vice President of Sales, Martin Creighan has joined the leadership team to propel Commvault’s innovative brand and award-winning software and SaaS offerings into the Australian and New Zealand markets. Creighan has over three decades of experience and brings a wealth of leadership expertise and
knowledge in the software, cloud, technology, telecommunications and defence  industries, having held numerous senior leadership and sales positions.
Prior to joining Commvault, Creighan was the Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Software Group (Citrix, NetScaler and Tibco) Australia and New Zealand where he was responsible for go to market execution and revenue/profit growth. He previously held senior sales and general management leadership roles at AT&T, Radware, SecureNet/Baltimore Technologies and was an Operations Specialist and Master Training Specialist with the United States Navy.
Creighan holds a Bachelor of Business from The National University of San Diego, California, and is a Certified Master Training Specialist from US Navy.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful 04:18
Lesson 2: Look after your people and your people will always looks after you! 16:32
Lesson 3: Your “Why” doesn’t have to be industry specific. 21:40
Lesson 4: Tackle each of life’s challenges one step at a time. 28:24
Lesson 5: Always be kind. 31:25
Lesson 6: Real leadership is putting your team out front. 35:42
Lesson 7: Build your team based on Attitude, not aptitude! 38:55
Lesson 8: Don’t be a “Gonna”. 42:15
Lesson 9: It’s ok to be afraid! 46:24
Lesson 10: Never, ever forget where you came from. 49:45

Martin Creighan -You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful.

[00:00:08] Robert Hossary: Hello and welcome to 10 Lessons Learned, where we talk to leaders and luminaries from all over the world to dispense their wisdom for your career, business, and life, in order to make the world a little wiser. Lesson by lesson. My name is Robert Hossary and I’m your host for this episode.
[00:00:28] Robert Hossary: Our guest today is Martin Creighan Martin has over three decades of experience and brings a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge in the software. cloud, technology, telecommunication, and defence industries, having held numerous senior leadership and sales positions.
[00:00:48] Robert Hossary: prior to joining Commvault as vice president of Asia Pacific, Martin was vice president and general manager of Cloud software group Citrix NetScaler and Tipco in Australia and New Zealand, He previously held senior sales and general management leadership roles at AT& T, Radware, SecureNet, Baltimore Technologies, and was an operational specialist and master training specialist with the United States Navy. Martin holds a Bachelor of Business from the National University in San Diego and is a Certified Master Training Specialist from the U. S. Navy. Welcome, Martin. Thanks for being on the show.
[00:01:30] Martin Creighan: Thanks, Robert. I’m very happy to be here.
[00:01:33] Robert Hossary: Well, full disclosure, I’ve known Martin for several years, while Martin was at AT& T and now Martin is, Asia Pacific Vice President for Commvault, I’ve always found you, Martin, to be A man of integrity, and you had a lot of, lessons that you shared with me, knowingly or unknowingly, just through our, our experience, and I thought our audience would find them as intriguing and fascinating as I did.
[00:02:02] Robert Hossary: but before we get to your 10 lessons, let me ask you this. What would you have wanted to tell your 30-year-old self?
[00:02:12] Martin Creighan: I think that is a great question. Just, just before I answer that question, I will tell you, of course, as, as I’ve experienced life through my career, I’ve also had a personal family and my son did an exercise when he was in high school here in Australia, where his, his year nine self.
[00:02:31] Martin Creighan: Wrote his year 12 self a note, and then on year 12, they got to open it up and reflect back and, and, and see what the results were. And did they achieve, you know, everything that they aspired to achieve and so on? And what I found so relevant about that, and hence this question, is that life throws stuff at us, and as it throws stuff at us, it’s okay for us To pivot and to change and make sure that we adjust and adapt as we go.
[00:03:02] Martin Creighan: so what I would basically tell my 30 year old self is you might have a plan. And you are absolutely going to be dedicated and executing that plan, but life throws stuff at us. And so as it throws stuff at us, it’s okay to pivot and to change and to adapt so that you can still ultimately be successful.
[00:03:24] Martin Creighan: At least, you know, what success looks like in your own mind, but it’s okay when life throws stuff at you. Change and adapt along the way. It’s, it’s not all bad. It’s, from my perspective, and Robert, you probably would’ve heard me say this a number of times in life, we either win or we learn. so along the way, what, what, where do we win?
[00:03:42] Martin Creighan: And along the way, what have we learned? So that’s what I would tell my 30 year old self. It’s, it’s okay. When life throws stuff at you, you can adapt.
[00:03:48] Robert Hossary: What a wonderful lesson. And let’s, let’s face it, I mean, that’s what 10 Lessons is all about. It’s about sharing what we’ve learned.
[00:03:57] Robert Hossary: I heard when I was younger, in my 30s, something that also changed the way I would think along the lines of what you just said, which is have a plan. But don’t fall in love with it.
[00:04:10] Martin Creighan: Yeah.
[00:04:11] Robert Hossary: Because life throws stuff at you.
[00:04:13] Martin Creighan: Life throws stuff at you. You never know what’s around the corner. You never know.

[00:04:18] Lesson 1: You don’t have to be a jerk to be successful.

[00:04:18] Robert Hossary: Fantastic. Well, let’s get on to your 10 lessons, Martin. the first one, I must admit, is my favorite. So, lesson number one. You don’t have to be a jerk. to be successful. Over to you, Martin. Tell us why.
[00:04:33] Martin Creighan: I, I like this one too, by the way. and, and so, as you mentioned, over three decades of, leadership and experience, not only in leading teams in the private sector, but, you know, an additional 10 years on top of that of leading teams in the military where, you know, once again, if you don’t get things right, lives are on the line.
[00:04:52] Martin Creighan: So a little bit of a difference, in regards to those, those two extreme examples. But what I found through all of these life experiences is I’ve come across many, many, many leaders, as I’m sure you have, Robert, and in our time, being in a private industry and for me also being in the military. And I, I sit back now with, the knowledge and experience that I have, and I smile when I come across leaders.
[00:05:18] Martin Creighan: And specifically, when I come across leaders who have this tendency or have this thought process. That in order to get stuff done, they have to lead with the stick. I don’t understand it. I honestly don’t understand it. you know, coming from the military, of course, you know, it’s a, it’s a different environment and you have to listen to, you know, your superiors and you don’t question orders and you do all those things because once again, lives are on the line.
[00:05:45] Martin Creighan: but even in the military. there’s opportunity for you as a leader to really get your message across in the right way and not only motivate but inspire your team. And in doing so, they’re going to, they’re going to trust you. They’re going to build trust with you. And as you continue to build that trust, then they will take a bullet for you.
[00:06:05] Martin Creighan: They will, you know, be willing to put their life on the line for you, as a leader. Now, that’s an extreme example, but if we take that example and we apply it to the corporate world, especially if you, if you’re looking at, you know, a, a go-to market role, leadership role or function, whether it’s in sales, marketing, channel, it doesn’t really matter.
[00:06:24] Martin Creighan: I’ve come across so many leaders in the past that feel like the only way that they can get results out of people was by beating them up. What they don’t realize in the process is they’re actually beating them down and through the beating them down process, you’re going to make that person less confident.
[00:06:43] Martin Creighan: You’re, you’re going to put that person or force that person to a shell. You’re going to get less innovation. You’re going to get high employee churn. You’re, you’re going to get, a decrease, a significant decrease in trust. And you’re never going to get the best out of your people or out of your team.
[00:06:59] Martin Creighan: And I, personally, my, because my mind doesn’t function like that, but I personally can’t understand why people wouldn’t just approach it in a different way with an attitude of we’re going to do this together. We’re in this together and we’re going to do this together and lead with the carrot.
[00:07:15] Martin Creighan: If we do these things. This is going to be the result. Don’t get me wrong. I think the, one of the big challenges here too, Robert, is I think, I think people feel like if, if Robert’s going to hold Martin accountable, he must hit him with the stick. You can still hold people accountable, and you can still set clear transparent expectations and you can still communicate in a very clear and transparent way. But
[00:07:40] Martin Creighan: You don’t have to be a jerk. And I think that’s so critical.
[00:07:44] Robert Hossary: Yeah, you absolutely don’t have to be a jerk. let me share with you, Martin, because everything you said has resonated so much because of experience. The longer we’re in the workforce, the more we see this, the more people we lead, the more we realize that we worked for leaders who were stick oriented.
[00:08:07] Robert Hossary: one of my positions, I was leading a team and I thanked them. I said, thank you for doing that. And they looked at me in shock. They had never been thanked by the previous leader. I just don’t understand that. They were They were in shock that I took the time out to go up and thank them for the work they had done on, on that particular project.
[00:08:32] Robert Hossary: It just amazes me, Martin, that there are still people in leadership roles that don’t get it. that meme has been out there for, for over a decade now. You know, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad leaders, you know. I just don’t get like you. I just. My brain doesn’t work that way. I don’t understand why you would do that.
[00:08:55] Robert Hossary: You know, yeah, I’m lost. I’m at a loss for words, but you don’t have to be a jerk.
[00:09:03] Martin Creighan: You don’t have to be, but here’s the other thing that I will say is because, you know, once again, I’ve been doing this, if you include my military background, my military time, 40 years. so yes, Robert, I am an old man now. but what I’ve actually found is, is I, I actually now have fun.
[00:09:20] Martin Creighan: With that leadership style, and what I mean by that is, I think over the years, these leaders have found or realized that they’re not going to break me. and I, like to use the phrase, I seen this movie, when I come across those specific types of leaders. so what I do is I try to bring them in.
[00:09:36] Martin Creighan: And what I mean by that is, you know, my mother used to always tell me the phrase of kill them with kindness, you know, bring them in, you know, get them involved. And the best way I found in dealing with leaders that lead with the stick is ask them questions, bring them in, and then use specific phrasing.
[00:09:53] Martin Creighan: I, I found three words to be extremely powerful in those types of situations. So, when somebody’s beating you up about why a deliverable wasn’t made or, you know, why a sale hasn’t come in or whatever the scenario is, I found that the use of three words can really change the conversation and the direction of that conversation.
[00:10:11] Martin Creighan: And those three words are how can we? Because as soon as I say How Can We?
[00:10:17] Martin Creighan: I’ve just drawn that leader into this challenge. So instead of it being an I problem or a me problem, it’s now a we problem. and by doing that, it, it makes them think and it forces them to think in a different way because all of a sudden, just with three words, you’ve shifted the conversation and now they’re thinking if they really are that type of a leader, they’re thinking, okay, now how do I get myself out of this?
[00:10:39] Martin Creighan: And in many cases, they’re not. They’re not quick enough to be able to think on their feet fast enough to back themselves out. And then what you’ll find is now they’re in. And once they’re in, and they’re in that challenge with you, now you can get somewhere. Now you can start having a sensible conversation.
[00:10:54] Martin Creighan: But I, as I mentioned, it’s, it’s, it’s very taxing. It’s very stressful. I’ve done a lot of work over the past few years in mentoring young leaders on how to be great leaders and through that process have found that happiness in the workplace tends to create up to 20 percent higher productivity.
[00:11:15] Martin Creighan: within the workforce if you’re, if your workers are happy. well, how do you make your workers happy? the highest weight, or the highest factor in making your, your workers happy is, your, your workers having a sense of gratitude and therefore your leaders having a sense of gratitude. And you mentioned it earlier, Robert.
[00:11:32] Martin Creighan: You said, thank you. It’s the sense of gratitude of saying, hey, Robert, I recognize the hard work that you’re doing. Thank you for that effort. And a lot of businesses think I got to give rewards and I got to give recognition and I got to give all those things. And although all those things are very nice, a simple thank you goes a million miles.
[00:11:51] Martin Creighan: I had a wonderful leader at AT& T. Her name was Ann Chow. She was the president of AT& T business. and she reminded me when I was at one of our conferences and I was having a chat to her. She said, Martin, you know what I still like to do? And I said, what’s that Ann? She said, I still like to write handwritten thank you notes to team members that I’ve come across.
[00:12:08] Martin Creighan: that have gone above and beyond. And there was a couple of folks at the table who were listening to this conversation, and I think some of them were like, oh, wow, you know, we’re, we’re in the digital age, right? We have emails, and we have chat, and we have WhatsApp, and we have, you know, every, every device under the sun that can get us an instant message to someone in a really quick manner.
[00:12:28] Martin Creighan: But I agree with her. There’s nothing like it. You know, getting a piece of mail, in the mail coming to you and you’re like, Oh, what’s this? And you open it up and it’s, it’s a handwritten thank you note, from one of your leaders or from one of your colleagues, or maybe even from a family member or a friend just saying, Hey, you know what?
[00:12:45] Martin Creighan: Thank you. And I appreciate you. It is so strong, and and I’ll never forget that, and I’ve taken that on board, and now almost every organization I’ve been to, almost every team I lead, I’ll still surprise my team members with a handwritten thank you note, or I’ll leave them with a note somewhere stuck inside their desk, so when they open their drawer or something like that, there’s a handwritten note from me just saying, hey, you know what?
[00:13:06] Martin Creighan: Thank you. It’s very powerful.
[00:13:08] Robert Hossary: It is very powerful and they’re very valuable techniques, that you shared with us. I want to move on to your next lesson, but I have a, I have a question because while I agree with you, and I do. lead in the style that you’re talking about. When I’m confronted by a leader who is stick oriented, I get defensive.
[00:13:36] Robert Hossary: It’s very hard for me to then switch my mindset. How would you suggest, and I’m a seasoned professional, as you can tell by all the gray beard, but I’ve been doing this for a while, and I still don’t know how to not get my back up. So what advice do you have for young upcoming leaders, to not fall into that trap of retaliation?
[00:14:04] Martin Creighan: So what I would say is, and you’ve probably heard this before, and if you go to any present, presenting course, or if you’re, working in a public speaking sector, one of the things that you’ll learn early on is the power of the pause and people don’t like dead time in conversations. So we have a tendency to keep talking.
[00:14:23] Martin Creighan: But in situations like that where you can feel an emotion coming through that you know is probably not going to be the right reaction to a specific situation or specific moment, then my recommendation is that is where the power of the pause is most powerful. So people say, yeah, but Martin, how do you do that?
[00:14:42] Martin Creighan: If somebody’s coming at you and they’re coming at you in an aggressive way, how do you, how do you pause? And then, and then, you know, give your time to, because the pause gives yourself the time to think of how am I going to react and so on. And for me, one of the best ways to do that is smile. So if, if you have somebody who’s, who’s like really down your throat and they’re in your face and they’re whatever, I have a tendency to take a step back and kind of, you know, smile.
[00:15:07] Martin Creighan: And that smile. Is my pause and that pause now is giving me the opportunity to think about my reaction and then therefore I can take that next step. What I’m also doing in that pause. I’m breathing and breathing is so important, so, so important. you know, once again talking about the US Navy, the US Navy seals do it all the time.
[00:15:28] Martin Creighan: They call it a four by four. It, it’s a breathing technique that they’ve, used for many, many years as they get ready to basically go into a mission or when they come out of a mission. And the breathing technique is basically there, to basically, bring focus back to the central nervous system and to really calm yourself down.
[00:15:45] Martin Creighan: So it’s four deep breaths for four seconds and you do four repetitions. That’s the four by four. and you can see these guys, you know, if you ever see any video of them, et cetera, they’ll, they’ll be doing these, these motions before they go into a mission. Then when they come back from the mission, they’re full of adrenaline.
[00:16:00] Martin Creighan: So what do they do? They do the breathing technique again to bring them back into, you know, call it a normal or a calm state of mind. So breathing is really important. So being able to pause, take that deep breath, smile, and then respond gives your brain and your body the opportunity to really think about that reaction.
[00:16:20] Martin Creighan: And I know you, Robert, and I know how high your EQ is. So I know that if you had that opportunity to take that pause. to take that breath and smile back, you’d actually respond in the right way. I

[00:16:32] Lesson 2: Look after your people and your people will always looks after you!

[00:16:32] Robert Hossary: look, I could talk about this particular topic for a little while, but let’s move on to your next lesson, because they’re all wonderful. And I want to share this with, with the audience. So lesson number two, look after your people and your people will always look after you. That is such a truism.
[00:16:51] Martin Creighan: Oh, this is one of my favorites.
[00:16:52] Martin Creighan: I, I still tell people today when they ask me, Martin, what is your philosophy of leadership? I say, my philosophy of leadership is built around what I call the three P’s. and that’s people, purpose, and passion. And, and the reason why I use the people, purpose, and passion is because if you look after your people and you help them find their purpose, which we’ll come to a little bit later, but if you help them find their purpose, then they’ll execute with passion.
[00:17:14] Martin Creighan: And I would challenge anyone I woulduld challenge anyone to show me someone who’s failed when they’re executing with passion. And I don’t mean haven’t stumbled along the way. I don’t mean haven’t made a wrong turn along the way. All of us are going to do that. But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you’re ultimately going to get back up.
[00:17:34] Martin Creighan: You’re going to dust yourself off and you’re going to keep going. And it’s, it’s what helps drive that tenacity, to, to be successful and that will to be successful. So people, purpose, passion, really important for me. But where did I get this from? Robert, I was a 17-year-old man, you know, senior in high school in the United States.
[00:17:52] Martin Creighan: I’m the youngest of eight. so I have five sisters and two brothers. I didn’t come from a lot of money. mom and dad were, were struggling and we’re trying to figure out, am I going to go to university? What am I going to do? And if I’m being honest, at the time, I said, I don’t want to go to university.
[00:18:06] Martin Creighan: But that was the thing to do, right? Everybody goes to university. So, I’ll never forget this. I was blessed with, having A really good friend of mine, his name is Greg, and he grew up with us. He went to the same primary school as I did, and Greg came from a large family as well. Greg was the youngest of 13.
[00:18:23] Martin Creighan: so he also had three brothers and nine sisters. so between Greg and I, we had two, two big families, but, Greg and I, of course, grew up together, enjoyed playing sport together, etc. Greg’s dad was an extremely successful businessman, but also an extremely successful dad. and, and more importantly, just an absolutely wonderful person.
[00:18:44] Martin Creighan: His name is Jack Donahue. And, today Jack is considered, well, you know, a pioneer in regards to finance and investments and, and, and attributed in many cases as being one of the founding fathers of mutual funds and what it meant. And Jack was the founder of a company called Federated Investors, which is today Federated Hermes.
[00:19:02] Martin Creighan: And, I’ll never forget this. I was at Greg’s house, like I always was. We were always up there playing sport or, you know, carrying on some sort. but I was up at Greg’s house. And, his dad was there and, and that wasn’t often because his dad was always traveling, et cetera. So we didn’t see his dad often, but his dad was there.
[00:19:17] Martin Creighan: And like I said, his dad was an exceptionally humble human being for the success that he’s enjoyed in his life. And we were in Greg’s kitchen and Greg, and I were sitting there and we were stressing over what are we going to do in our lives? You know, how are we going to, how are we going to achieve success?
[00:19:33] Martin Creighan: And all, all the, all the, world’s problems are on our shoulders.
[00:19:37] Robert Hossary: At 17 years old. Yes, of course, they’re on your shoulders.
[00:19:40] Martin Creighan: At 17. And I remember having this conversation and as we’re having the conversation, Craig’s dad is sitting over there cracking up, laughing at us. And I’m, I’m looking at him, I’m like, Mr. D, this isn’t funny. Like these, these are important decisions. And when I said it, he laughed even harder. And, and, and I was like, Mr. D, please tell me. I was like, you’ve, you’ve done wonderful things in your life. You have a great family. you’re a great, great dad, great brother, all these things, great company.
[00:20:05] Martin Creighan: so what’s the secret to success? He said, all right, Martin, I’ll let you in on a couple of things. He said, number one, always look after your people and your people always look after you. He said, build that trust, have their back. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. When they say they’re going to do something, hold them accountable.
[00:20:24] Martin Creighan: He said, but always look after them. If they’re doing a good job, tell them they’re doing a good job. Thank them. give them a pat on the back. Recognize them and, you know, at Christmas, give them a, you know, a Christmas basket or whatever the scenario is, always look after your people and your people always look after you.
[00:20:39] Martin Creighan: And it’s so true, even through, and by the way, Jack was in the military during World War II, flew planes, went to West Point, a very, very successful man, as I mentioned. So many of the philosophies that I live by today, not only were recommended by him, but also came from, You know, military, breeding, if you will.
[00:20:57] Martin Creighan: So number one, look after your people. You people, I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, yeah, that’s right. You know, everybody wants to work for somebody who cares, you know, be empathetic.
[00:21:05] Robert Hossary: That’s it.
[00:21:06] Martin Creighan: You know, you know, understand, realize that we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. You know, so, so number one, look after your people and your people look after you.
[00:21:15] Martin Creighan: And the second thing that he told me, no matter what you do, be passionate about it. and he said, you know, the old cliche once again, Robert, you know, if, if, if your work is what your passion is, then you’ll never work a day in your life, right? And, and it’s true to a certain extent. And I think over these, you know, 30 plus years, I’ve found that there’s certainly one thing that I’m very passionate about and it’s my people.
[00:21:36] Robert Hossary: I think that is great advice and it’s a great lesson.

[00:21:40] Lesson 3: Your “Why” doesn’t have to be industry specific.

[00:21:40] Robert Hossary: you talk about passion. I’m not sure whether this segues into, lesson number three. It does in my mind. your lesson number three, your why doesn’t have to be industry specific. I kind of understand, but I’d love to hear your explanation behind this.
[00:21:58] Martin Creighan: So here’s the explanation. It doesn’t have to be industry specific or skill, skill specific or job specific or, uh, et cetera. I mean, it’s, it’s so interesting, as I mentioned, earlier in mentoring some of these young leaders, young aspiring leaders, I’ve seen in just raising kids, right? I have a daughter who’s 28 and a son who’s 25.
[00:22:18] Martin Creighan: you know, so just raising your own kids, I have, you know, 35 plus nieces and nephews. you know, there, there’s plenty of young aspiring leaders who, are around me on a day to day basis. And I find it very interesting that they feel like they must go to university, they must get a degree in a specific field, and then they must go forth and be very successful.
[00:22:40] Robert Hossary: Well, society tells us, Martin, society tells us we’ve got to do that.
[00:22:45] Martin Creighan: And so these kids are hardwired into, these young adults are hardwired into this, I must find out what my why is now. And I’ve been looking at tons of statistics on Gen Z, millennials, et cetera, and if you actually look at the statistics, this is why we’re suffering in STEM, because a whole bunch of Gen Z and millennials wanted to actually focus on giving back.
[00:23:08] Martin Creighan: And therefore, they have a tendency to take more art based majors, et cetera, when they are learning and going to university, because they feel that the art based streams are going to give them an ability to give back. And many of them feel like giving back is, might be working for a charity, or it might be, you know, it could be a million different things, but their philosophy of life is, in order for me to be successful, I must give back.
[00:23:33] Martin Creighan: And therefore, I believe that my why has something to do with giving back. And that may, in fact, be true. It may, in fact, be true. because there’s no, in my, in my opinion, there’s no greater gift or no greater feeling in this world than giving, you know, talk about happiness or in this particular case, fulfillment when you give.
[00:23:53] Martin Creighan: It is just absolutely phenomenal. So, the reason why I mentioned that is I, even my own kids and my daughter has, you know, changed her major three, three different times. And now it’s doing something totally different. My son took a gap year and, you know, he was like, I don’t know what I want to do. So he did a year and he took some time off.
[00:24:10] Martin Creighan: He tried some jobs and now he’s going back again. but my, I guess the reason why I put this in here as a, as, as a lesson is your why does not have to be a job. It does not have to be a specific skill set. Like, I want to be a doctor so I can heal. It doesn’t have to be a specific skill set. In my particular example, you know, I did have aspirations to, you know, get into physical therapy initially, or, you know, something of the nature of medicine of some sort.
[00:24:38] Martin Creighan: But I actually found out that my why or my passion, as I mentioned a few moments ago, is actually just people. I love leading, And being with people, and I love, and that’s my why. My why is, my why is building things and building success with people. And each one of us will have a different, a different factor or a different definition of what success is, but my why is, is how do we actually go into, if I’m going into an enterprise organization like Commvault, who I work for today, my why exists around the fact that where are we today?
[00:25:09] Martin Creighan: how can I actually basically take hold of these folks, these people? and bring them on a journey with me to a point where they understand that my why is all about making them better. Are they better today than they were yesterday? Are they going to be better tomorrow than they were today?
[00:25:25] Martin Creighan: Are they going to be better in two weeks than they were last week? And so on and so forth. And if we can do that together, if we can continue to grow and go on that journey together, then that is absolutely fulfilling my why. My why is people. How do I help them grow? how do I, understand what’s going on in the world.
[00:25:41] Martin Creighan: how do I just make them a better human? And I guess at the end of the day, and I might’ve even said this to you when we were having a coffee, but at the end of the day, my, I think about things like, God forbid, if Martin got out, went out in the street tomorrow and got hit by a bus. What would people say about Martin?
[00:25:56] Martin Creighan: You know, people may or may not remember the successes you’ve had from a sales point of view, or people may or may not remember, you know, the fact that you graduated with honors from university, or people may or may not remember that you are a master training specialist, or people may or may not remember any of that stuff, but as the famous American poet Maya Angelou once said, you may or may not remember what someone said, but you’ll always remember how someone made you feel.
[00:26:23] Martin Creighan: That, to me, is everything. So, that’s my why. My why is people. I’m passionate about people.
[00:26:29] Robert Hossary: You are. And there’s, there’s demonstrable evidence of that. Let me, if I may, add, we all have that conversation, you know. What am I going to be when I grow up? It’s a conversation that I had, in my 40s, and what you said is so true, Martin.
[00:26:48] Robert Hossary: It doesn’t matter what you major in. Understand that when you find that passion, The skills that you have learned will go and help you with that passion. and I’ll use myself as an example. I was a business leader. I am a business leader, but I was in IT. I was in a lot of different industries.
[00:27:10] Robert Hossary: I did a lot of different things, but now that I have found my why, which is helping people, all those skills come into play and are helping me. Be successful in that endeavour. So, you know, it doesn’t matter how many careers you have or how many branches you’ve, gone off the beaten path on, the point is when you do find your why, as Martin is telling you, you’re going to be able to use all the skills you learned to enable your passion and be successful.
[00:27:45] Martin Creighan: I like to phrase it of, you know, because my why is all about people, right, working with and leading them, and, and working with and leading teams. That’s my passion. It just so happens that I’m doing that in the technology industry, but that doesn’t make me a technologist. So, and that’s what I think some of these young leaders, young aspiring leaders are really struggling with.
[00:28:04] Martin Creighan: They feel like in order for me to be successful and really to, you know, capitalize or, or really find my why, then I must, I must do it in a specific area or a specific industry, et cetera. And, and that’s not the case.
[00:28:18] Robert Hossary: It’s not. And we can take this off on a tangent.
[00:28:21] Robert Hossary: but we won’t. Let me just move on, to your

[00:28:24] Lesson 4: Tackle each of life’s challenges one step at a time

[00:28:24] Robert Hossary: lesson number four, which actually links back to what you would tell your 30 year old self, in a sense, because lesson number four is tackle each of life’s challenges and challenges. One step at a time. And why do you do that? Because life throws stuff at you.
[00:28:41] Martin Creighan: It throws stuff at you. It’s so true. And not only that, especially in today’s fast paced, rapidly moving business world, and especially you are young leaders. They, they expect that they’re going to walk into a, you know, position, they’re going to walk into an organization and they’re going to be the VP of Asia Pacific in no time.
[00:28:59] Robert Hossary: I’m going to stop you there, Martin. Didn’t we all think that was going to happen to us anyway, when we were young?
[00:29:06] Martin Creighan: I think we did, but I think right now with today’s like, the pace that everything’s moving at today, it’s accelerated that expectation even further. Yeah. And, and it’s, it makes me smile. And the reason why it makes me smile is because it’s, I love the fact that that is a goal or an aspiration because we, we need to have a plan.
[00:29:24] Martin Creighan: We need to set goals and have aspirations. But as my mother used to tell me when I was young, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And what that really means is that number one, there’s going to be some patience required, but there’s going to have to be some planning and a few of these other things, in regards to my plan on how I’m going to tackle life’s challenges.
[00:29:44] Martin Creighan: But what I’ve also found Even as, as late as yesterday, because we have people who are so determined and because we have people who are so committed and because we have people who are so motivated, what they try to do is they try to do everything at once. And I think, you know, in my 30 plus years in, in leading and managing and running teams, et cetera, I found that, if we all try to do everything at the same time, then we’re going to specialize in doing nothing very well.
[00:30:11] Martin Creighan: However, we take a step back, take a breath. Have a plan and focus and say, yeah, I have these 10 priorities that I have to get through, but I’m going to focus on these two first, and once I complete them, I’m going to go to the next two, and then once I complete them, I’m going to go to the next two, and so on, we’ll find that we’ve completed those top 10 priorities in no time.
[00:30:32] Martin Creighan: However, if we try to do them all at once, we’ll find that we haven’t really executed on any of them at all. And, and I think that’s so true in life, you know, whether we’re have aspirations to buy a home or buy a property or whether we have aspirations to move up in, in, in regards to position or status in regards to our jobs or, you know, whether we just want to be a better dad or whether we want to be a better husband or whether we want to be a better brother or whatever that scenario is, I think if we tackle life’s challenges one, one step at a time, we’re going to have a much better, we’re going to have a much better success rate.
[00:31:04] Martin Creighan: Thank you. in accordance to what success means to us and achieving the goals that we have.
[00:31:09] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. and I, I think, if I can sum it up, in my mind, it is focus.
[00:31:16] Martin Creighan: 100%.
[00:31:17] Robert Hossary: Focus on one task at a time. And you’ll, as, as you said, Martin, you’ll get through all of them. I really like that. That’s great.

[00:31:25] Lesson 5: Always be kind.

[00:31:25] Robert Hossary: Okay, so lesson number five should be, should be something that we all do all the time, but we don’t. So, you know, maybe you can shed some light. So lesson number five, always. Be kind.
[00:31:41] Martin Creighan: Once again, I really like this one, and I’ll credit and attribute this one to my wife. and, you know, so, this December, I’m very lucky and honored to say that I’ll be married for 30 years.
[00:31:55] Robert Hossary: Oh, congratulations.
[00:31:56] Martin Creighan: Thank you. So, Rachel and I will be married 30 years this December, but, um, Rachel’s the one that, in my opinion, she’s very much like my mother, actually. the kindness just seeps out of her soul. and it doesn’t matter what situation she’s in or we’re in or anyone else is in. She always thinks about others first, and she’s always very kind and giving.
[00:32:15] Martin Creighan: And that comes, you know, with a lot of, I think, practice and a lot of patience over the years. But the reason why I credit this to Rachel is because… In life and in business and in our rapid pace that we’re moving at today, I’m human, you’re human. I’m sure you get frustrated. There’s, there’s times when I get frustrated, and I can physically remember sitting here at home and I’ll be frustrated about something and I’ll say to my wife, I don’t understand why Robert can’t see blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:32:44] Martin Creighan: And she’ll just look at me and she’ll smile and I’ll be like, what’s the smile for? And she’ll say, because Robert’s not Martin. Robert doesn’t have your same point of view. Robert doesn’t have your same skills, your same experience, your same background, et cetera. Robert’s not Martin. And what she’s really saying to me is whatever you do, when you respond back to Robert, be nice.
[00:33:01] Martin Creighan: And the reason why is because over the years, I’ve also found that I’m talking to some people and on the surface, everything seems fantastic. Everything seems to be working very well for this person. They, they’re moving in the right direction, et cetera. And as I start to get to know people and I start to understand what’s really happening behind closed doors or what’s really happening, in their home lives or whatever, it’s absolute chaos.
[00:33:25] Martin Creighan: And I use the analogy of you ever seen the, the swan gliding so gracefully across the lake? Under the water that swan is paddling like hell. how many people have we come across in our careers where they seem to be gliding so gracefully across the lake, but in their own personal lives they’re paddling like mad just to stay afloat?
[00:33:45] Martin Creighan: And so, therefore, because we have that experience, we should actually make sure that others also understand that, and we should never assume we know what’s happening behind closed doors. And so, we should just be nice. Like my mother and father used to say, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.
[00:34:02] Robert Hossary: This is an age-old lesson that we seem to have forgotten, Martin. I agree with you. We should just be nice because, as you pointed out, you don’t know what someone else is going through. And it’s not just the younger generation that need to hear this. It’s the older generation that need to remember this.
[00:34:24] Robert Hossary: Remember what your parents told you, as Martin just said. Be nice for God’s sake, it would make the world such a much better place to live in. Just be nice. And I, well, for our viewers who are watching this on YouTube, you may have seen me laughing when Martin mentioned that he learnt this from his wife, because I learnt the exact same lesson from mine.
[00:34:48] Robert Hossary: I just found that there you go, you know, you listen to people in your life, listen to people who care enough about you to tell you the truth. So love it.
[00:35:01] Martin Creighan: Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:35:03] Affiliate Break

[00:35:03] Robert Hossary: So we’re just going to take a quick break and we’d like to thank our affiliate partner, Audible. Audible is an amazing way to consume 10 Lessons Learned. Books and other podcasts allowing you to build a library of knowledge all in the one place.
[00:35:18] Robert Hossary: You can start your free 30 day trial by going to audibletrial.com/10lessonslearned. With Audible, you can find your favorite lessons while at home or on the go. Once again, that’s audibletrial.com/10lessonslearned for a free 30 day trial. The link’s going to be in the show notes.

[00:35:42] Lesson 6: Real leadership is putting your team out front.

[00:35:42] Robert Hossary: Our guest today is Martin Cregan, Vice President, Business Leader, Entrepreneur. Martin let’s continue with your 10 lessons. Lesson number six, real leadership is putting your team out in front. What does that mean?
[00:35:59] Martin Creighan: Oh, I love this one too. And the reason why I love this one is because I’ve come across so many people in my career that play the political game.
[00:36:08] Martin Creighan: It’s all about them. It’s all about politics. It’s all about making them look good. It’s all about managing up. It’s all about their position in the company and their advancement and so on. But true leadership is putting your team out front, putting your team first. And, once again, actually, if you talk about any special forces operations, the Navy SEALs, if you talk about any military unit in general, and you talk about military leadership, if you’re in the field and you’re in a battle and gosh, only knows, I mean, the craziness that’s happening in our world right now.
[00:36:38] Martin Creighan: But real, true military leaders will let their team eat first. They will make sure that their team is safe before they sit down. Or I like to use the analogy, I don’t know if you remember, when Sully, Captain Sully landed his plane on the Hudson.
[00:36:54] Martin Creighan: And everybody’s like, Captain, Captain, we got to get off. And he actually went through the front to back of that aircraft and made sure that every single soul was off of that plane first. Well, he also has a military background, right? So he was putting his people, his team, et cetera, out front. He was making sure that they were looked after, that they were safe, and that he actually had their back.
[00:37:15] Martin Creighan: And I think that is so important. So, in a, in a world today where we see a lot of people who are in it for themselves, in a world today where we see a lot of selfishness and people leading with a stick, and we see all these other bad behaviors in our world, let’s always remember that real leadership is putting your people out front.
[00:37:33] Martin Creighan: So, when your people do a great job, let’s It’s recognizing them. The number of times I’ve been on, you know, calls or videos where, you know, executive team members have said, Hey, Martin, this has been, this is a fantastic result. And I will make a point of saying, yes, and that’s because of Robert. And the reason why is Robert did A, B and C.
[00:37:51] Martin Creighan: And so Robert deserves the credit here.
[00:37:53] Robert Hossary: Absolutely.
[00:37:54] Martin Creighan: You know, and you know how easy that is?
[00:37:55] Robert Hossary: Incredibly easy. Do it all the time. And I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment because what is the point? Of you taking credit for someone else’s work.
[00:38:05] Martin Creighan: And you didn’t do it. You didn’t do it, so why are you taking credit for it?
[00:38:11] Martin Creighan: but once again, that, that, that to me is true leadership. and, and it’s, it’s the same as, you know, when no one’s watching. How does that particular individual respond to an incident or, you know, something’s going wrong? It comes back to the integrity thing for me, Robert. So, that’s what I mean by real leadership is putting your team first.
[00:38:27] Martin Creighan: you know, so the, I think the Navy SEALs, actually, I think Simon Sinek even did a, talk about when he was meeting with the Navy SEALs and he was talking to a couple of the SEAL commanders, they were talking about when they come back in from, you know, wherever, whatever mission they were on, they come back in the camp, the leaders make sure their team eats first.
[00:38:42] Martin Creighan: And once they know that their team has been replenished, their team has, has had their fill, then the leaders will sit down and eat. in my, in my opinion, it’s just a great example of what true leadership is all about.
[00:38:52] Robert Hossary: I agree. I mean, that lesson is so clear.

[00:38:55] Lesson 7: Build your team based on Attitude, not aptitude!

[00:38:55] Robert Hossary: there’s really not much more I could do than endorse it. Let’s go to lesson number seven, build your team based on attitude, not aptitude. I like this. I don’t know whether I fully agree with it. So I’ll sit back and let you convince me.
[00:39:12] Martin Creighan: I think this is really important too. So, I am, for an example, for me, one of my priorities, one of my business priorities that I’m executing on right now, as we continue to lead and build what we’re doing at Commvault is right person, right role.
[00:39:25] Martin Creighan: And what I mean by that is, when I say right person, that means right attitude. Over my 30 plus years again, Robert, I’ve come across so many different people, people who are coachable. Teachable people who want to learn, who have a zest for learning and being part of something bigger than themselves. All of these are attributes that I look for when I’m actually hiring somebody.
[00:39:46] Martin Creighan: And I do that on the basis of, you might come across folks who are extremely, from an aptitude point of view, gifted. Absolutely gifted. But when you look at a team, if you look at a basketball team, or if you look at a football team, et cetera, you might have one or two people in those teams who from an attitude point of view are pretty gifted.
[00:40:08] Martin Creighan: But what you really need is the guys that aren’t so gifted, but are going to play really strong defense, or you need the folks that are going to have the attitude that gets everybody riled up and gets them going and make sure that they continue to be motivated even when they’re down. And, you know, so a team, a true team is made up of multiple different people, but I still will.
[00:40:26] Martin Creighan: I’ll always live by that. If the team members in general have the right attitude, then we’re going to achieve success together. And that success, from my point of view, is just, a byproduct of the teaming, the collaboration, et cetera, that comes with having the right. Attitude. So, I think if you look at the attitude versus the aptitude scenario, there’s the old addage.
[00:40:50] Martin Creighan: I think it’s an old African proverb that says, if you want to go, if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. And the reason why I love that is because, If you have the right attitude, and you’re a team player, and you’re the type of person that’s going to help and give, and you’re the type of person that wants to, you know, believe in yourself and believe in your team and be fulfilled and be happy and all those things, then I think if that attitude is something that you’re displaying on a regular basis, then you’re going to be somebody that I want to team with and I want to partner with.
[00:41:17] Martin Creighan: And finally, what I’ll say is that, You can teach people to sell. You can teach people technology. You can teach people, how to build a rocket ship to get to the moon. Sometimes it’s really hard to teach people core values. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell people or share with people why being nice is so important and being kind and empathetic.
[00:41:39] Martin Creighan: And all those sorts of softer skills, the EQ that is required in some cases is a lot harder to get. so I, I normally will always hire on, on attitude versus aptitude.
[00:41:50] Robert Hossary: Agreed. and it’s something that I have done, I suppose, for a majority of my leadership career, because I realized early in the piece, skills, you can teach them.
[00:42:01] Robert Hossary: You can teach the skills. But you can’t teach the attitude. if they don’t have the right attitude, the right cultural fit, doesn’t matter how skilled they are. You’re spot on, Martin. You are absolutely spot on.

[00:42:15] Lesson 8: Don’t be a “Gonna”.

[00:42:15] Robert Hossary: Okay, well, lesson number eight is an interesting one, because, it just reminds me of an old joke, but, I, I know how serious this is and I, I love it.
[00:42:27] Robert Hossary: So, lesson number eight, don’t be a gonna .
[00:42:31] Martin Creighan: And one of my favorites, I’ll tell you a quick story. in the United States, if you go to California, you’ll see the number plates or the registration plate says the golden state, or if you go to Florida, it says the sunshine state, or, you know, if you go to New York, it says the garden state, or if you go to Pennsylvania, it says the Keystone state.
[00:42:51] Martin Creighan: Well, in Missouri, it says the show me state. And what that means is that people from Missouri, for whatever reason, have a reputation of being cynical. People from Missouri have a reputation of, you know, they’ve had all the Westerners come in and all the Easterners come in and say, this is what we’re going to do.
[00:43:08] Martin Creighan: We’re going to, we’re going to build business. We’re going to do this. We’re going to do all this stuff. And the people from Missouri were just looking and saying, that’s great. Show me. So, in other words, deliver. Don’t tell me what you’re going to do. Do it, show me, right? And I love that analogy. And the reason why I love that analogy is, is through my career, the number of people that I’ve had working for me, working with me, or me working for them that tell me or have told me what they’re gonna do, and then 90 percent plus never comes to fruition.
[00:43:37] Martin Creighan: my, my adage there or my ask is don’t tell me what you’re going to do. Just go do it and show me. What you’re gonna do. and this leads them to, you know, even, even lessons learned for me when I was raising my kids, when they used to come to me and say, daddy, daddy, I can’t, I can’t open the bottle.
[00:43:52] Martin Creighan: I can’t climb the, the rock. I can’t, you know, I can’t swim to the other end of the pool. that used to drive me nuts because to me that, that leans into this, adage of I’m going to do something. And then of course, because it becomes hard. difficult, complex. We, we certainly give up on it. So, I think the whole mindset of, don’t tell me what you’re going to do, just go do it is, is really important.
[00:44:13] Martin Creighan: And I think that really, I sits well with, get the negative, vocabulary and a negative connotations out of your mind and out of your vocabulary. Focus on the positives, focus on what you’re going to do and what you can do, and you’ll do it. It’s like the famous quote from Henry Ford.
[00:44:29] Martin Creighan: Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.
[00:44:32] Robert Hossary: That’s it!
[00:44:32] Martin Creighan: I love it. I love it because, you know, if you think you can, then you’re going to find a way. That’s where that tenacity comes into play. You might fall down and once again have to get up and dust yourself off a thousand times, but you’re going to do it, right?
[00:44:44] Martin Creighan: You’re going to be passionate about it. But if you consistently tell yourself, I can’t. Or this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to do this, but you don’t ever wake up the next day and start, you know, you don’t have a plan and then you don’t start taking action on the plan, then you’re never going to achieve your results.
[00:44:58] Martin Creighan: So, I’m just a big believer.
[00:45:00] Robert Hossary: You’re programming yourself. The language is programming you to be non-successful or incompetent or whatever it is. If you are using that language as you say, Martin. Then you are programming yourself to fail.
[00:45:15] Martin Creighan: It comes back to, you know, to your point, the language is so important.
[00:45:19] Martin Creighan: It’s for an example, when I’m talking to my team, I don’t check all my team. I check in with them. Those two words, check on versus check in, have a massive impact on results. or, you know, as I mentioned before, when I want to, when I want to get participation from multiple groups, how can we? You know, once again, terminology or language is so important and it’s so important in so many different ways and how you make people feel and, you know, et cetera.
[00:45:43] Martin Creighan: So, yeah, so when my kids used to tell me, I can’t, I used to tell them, I’m sure you can. Let’s work this out. You know, so what you’re telling me is, if we did this or that, could we do it? Oh, yeah, we can. Oh, well, you can do it, you know, so you just have to work around it and get them to the positive frame of mind versus the negative frame of mind.
[00:45:59] Robert Hossary: So, ladies and gentlemen, don’t be a “GONNA”, get off your butt and do it.
[00:46:05] Martin Creighan: Do it. Show me. I’m from Missouri. Show me.
[00:46:10] Robert Hossary: The last thing that, that you want is to suffer the “SHOULDAs”. I shoulda, I coulda, you’ll end up shoulda all over yourself. So, don’t be a “GONNA”. Love it.

[00:46:24] Lesson 9: It’s ok to be afraid!

[00:46:24] Robert Hossary: All right. lesson number nine. Now, lesson number nine is easier to say than to do, Martin, so again, I will need your wisdom and Your words to help us get through and understand how we should handle this.
[00:46:40] Robert Hossary: Lesson number nine, it’s okay to be afraid.
[00:46:44] Martin Creighan: I think to a certain degree, and I’m not saying that men are the only ones that are, you know, put up the shield or put up the,
[00:46:50] Robert Hossary: Oh no, I’ll say that. I’ll say that. Yeah. We, men are the only ones because they’re idiots. Yeah, being a man, I can say that.
[00:46:57] Martin Creighan: Yeah, but we have this tendency that, oh my gosh, it’s not, it’s not okay for me to be afraid or worried or any of those things. it is okay for you to be afraid. I mean, you know, in life, you’re going to set a plan if you’re going to set yourself a goal. you know, in my opinion, you’re not pushing yourself or your goal’s not big enough if it doesn’t scare the crap out of you.
[00:47:16] Martin Creighan: Right? If you’re sitting there and you’re saying that this is my goal and you’re like, oh, yeah, I can do that. that’s not a real goal. That’s something that you’re probably going to achieve anyway. So, so, from my point of view, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in your personal life, whatever the scenario is, if your goal or aspiration doesn’t scare the life out of you, then it’s not big enough.
[00:47:35] Martin Creighan: And if it does scare the life out of you, I think what you need to do is just sit back and say, it’s okay for me to be afraid and the reason why is there’s going to be risks involved. It’s going to have an impact on me. It’s going to take me out of my comfort zone. and, and that’s all okay. It’s when we’re out of our comfort zone that we learn the most in life.
[00:47:54] Martin Creighan: those are where the real true lessons come in. That’s where we, Oh, okay, that didn’t work. I’m not, I’m gonna have to pivot. I’m gonna have to change. so, and it’s being out of that comfort zone. It’s being challenged.
[00:48:04] Robert Hossary: Yeah.
[00:48:05] Martin Creighan: I was at AT& T for 17 years, and I loved it.
[00:48:09] Martin Creighan: And it was a great company. We built such a great team and a great culture, but if I’m being brutally honest, the last couple of years, I wasn’t being challenged. and so then for me, it’s kind of like, okay, I, I have to do something different because now I’m getting to the point where, you know, my brain’s not being challenged.
[00:48:23] Martin Creighan: I’m not, driving to my aspirational goals anymore. I’m just turning up. And, and you don’t, you don’t want to be in that position. So what I would say is it’s okay to be afraid. And by the way, if you’re not afraid, when you put your goal down on a piece of paper, or you put it on your wall, you do whatever you want.
[00:48:40] Martin Creighan: If it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, then it’s not big enough. Start again.
[00:48:44] Robert Hossary: I hear you, and it resonates very deeply with me. Very, very deeply. And yeah, it is okay to be afraid, I’ll say to our audience, if it still doesn’t resonate with you, rewind, listen to this again, because it’s important.
[00:49:01] Robert Hossary: It really, really is. What Martin said is very, very deep. Okay.
[00:49:08] Martin Creighan: Sorry, Robert, before you go on, I’ll give you one last example.
[00:49:10] Robert Hossary: Please.
[00:49:11] Martin Creighan: I grew up in a very modest neighborhood. actually, in a very, by the time I grew up, it wasn’t a great neighborhood. It was a pretty bad neighborhood and riddled with crime and project housing and this, that and the other.
[00:49:20] Martin Creighan: And when I was talking to my mother, when I was in the military, if I ever told my mother, I’m going to be the vice president of Asia Pacific for a software company, she probably would have told me to stop dreaming. Like, you’re dreaming. You’re dreaming. You’re dreaming. And once again, to me, it’s just an example of don’t let others around you tell you what you can or can’t do.
[00:49:39] Martin Creighan: That’s totally up to you. And once again, if that goal. If it doesn’t scare the life out of you, then it’s not big enough.

[00:49:45] Lesson 10: Never, ever forget where you came from.

[00:49:45] Robert Hossary: Love it. All right. Well, hey, Martin, we’ve gotten to lesson number 10. So lesson number 10, never ever forget where you came from.
[00:49:57] Martin Creighan: So I love this one too.
[00:49:59] Robert Hossary: Well, they’re your lessons you should love of all.
[00:50:02] Martin Creighan: Probably a perfect segue from just talking about my mom, but I, you know, once again, Robert grew up in a very Irish Catholic modest family in the United States, in Pittsburgh. And, you know, we didn’t have much, et cetera, but what we did have is each other. And what we also had was a set of core values that defines us as people and human beings.
[00:50:22] Martin Creighan: And something that I’m so proud to say, even to this day, in being the youngest of eight and having seven wonderful siblings, five sisters and two brothers, all of us have managed to, you know, have a, a very fulfilling life. None of us ever gotten into trouble. None of us ever gotten to, you know, drugs and, you know, we’ve all lived a pretty, a a pretty, some people might say boring, but I’d say a pretty successful life in regard to raising families and, and, you know, being.
[00:50:51] Martin Creighan: Good, kind, caring people, giving back to our communities, giving back to our families, and giving back to our loved ones and friends. And that makes me very proud. And when I take a, that step back, take that breath, and I think, how? Because if you think about it, the statistics are against us. With, with eight of us, at least one of us should have went off the tracks.
[00:51:11] Martin Creighan: Right? the statistics will tell us that there should be, and by the way, it’s not that, you know, everything is peaches and rainbows, right? you know, we’ve all had our challenges as we’re growing up in regards to family challenges, health, whatever the scenarios are, they’re, they’re there. They’re absolutely there.
[00:51:25] Martin Creighan: But it’s how we respond and how we collectively respond as a unit that makes me so proud. But all of that is foundational and built on the core values of integrity, honesty, trust, respect, kindness, compassion, empathy, et cetera, that our mother and father spent years and years and years instilling in us as we grew up.
[00:51:48] Martin Creighan: And so, for me, I will never, ever forget where I came from, whether it was the neighborhood that I grew up in, which is East Liberty, so shout out to everybody in East Liberty and Pittsburgh, but whether it was the neighborhood that I grew up in, or whether it was the family that I was part of All of those factors made me who I am today, but it was the core foundational values that were instilled in us as, human beings from our mother and father and our family unit that made us the people we are today.
[00:52:13] Martin Creighan: And, and for that, and because of that, I am the human, the leader, the husband, the dad, the brother, the uncle, et cetera, that I am today because of those foundational core values. So never forget where you come from, folks.
[00:52:26] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. Your roots define you. it doesn’t mean that you can’t change, but you can learn from them.
[00:52:36] Robert Hossary: You can, as Martin said, you can build on the values that you, you got from your roots, but never forget where you came from. That is a very, very powerful lesson, Martin. Thank you for that. Before we wind up, I would like to ask you… One more question.
[00:52:55] Robert Hossary: So Martin, what have you unlearned in your life and career so far? Something that you had held on to as being truth, as something that you thought absolutely is the right thing to believe, and then as you got more… Knowledge, more experience, more wisdom, you went, hmm, that wasn’t right.
[00:53:20] Martin Creighan: I’m going to share two with you, if that’s okay.
[00:53:22] Robert Hossary: Please.
[00:53:23] Martin Creighan: so the first one is, as you’re growing in your career, in your life, et cetera, all of us want to be liked. All of us want to, you know, we like to think that people like us. We want to belong. We want to be part of something. And so I would say that, you know, One of the things I did struggle with is, especially as a, a young leader, in the military, I rose to the ranks quite quickly.
[00:53:45] Martin Creighan: and, and as a young leader, I found that, you know what, a hundred percent of the people aren’t going to like you a hundred percent of the time. And that’s okay. That’s okay. And the reason why it’s okay is because We’re different. All of us are different, but I struggled with that. So that’s the, that’s the first thing I, I unlearned is that I don’t need everybody to like me.
[00:54:05] Martin Creighan: I need to like me. and then it starts, it starts with the core and then my family and then my loved ones and my closest and so on. And, you know, once again, through life, Robert, we learn, and we pivot and we hopefully become better people and better human beings. So that’s number one. so, yeah. Well, you don’t have to, 100 percent of the people don’t have to like you 100 percent of the time.
[00:54:24] Martin Creighan: That’s one of the things I’d say. The second thing that I would say that I had to unlearn is, you know, and this might be maybe once again for military, but you’re not always going to have control of 100 percent of the situations 100 percent of the time. So don’t stress about it. You know, the, the amount of stress that I see people Pull themselves under or put themselves under because of something that’s going on in the work environment.
[00:54:49] Martin Creighan: And I asked them, do you have control over that situation? Oh, no, no, no, I don’t have control over it, but it’s going to impact. If you don’t have control over it, then please don’t worry about it. yes, we’re going to have to react to it. Yes, there’s going to be changes. Yes, we’re going to have to respond.
[00:55:02] Martin Creighan: And as we always say, there’s 2 ways to respond to every situation. But if you don’t have direct control over a situation, then please don’t stress yourself about it. We have enough stresses in our world and in our lives, we don’t need to add more stresses in our lives about, you know, stressing about things we don’t have control over. So, please do your best to let go of whatever you don’t have control over and just realize that there’s going to be, you know, repercussions or there’s going to be changes. Changes imminent. There’s going to be change and we’ll just have to pivot along with that change. But if you don’t control it, please don’t worry about it.
[00:55:36] Martin Creighan: And once again, early in my career. It’s like, oh my God, you know, stressing over, over all these factors that I actually realized that I have no control over. Yeah. What we do have control over, Robert, is how we react.
[00:55:49] Robert Hossary: That’s it.
[00:55:49] Martin Creighan: That’s what we have control over.
[00:55:51] Robert Hossary: In a nutshell, it took me a long time to learn those two lessons
[00:55:55] Robert Hossary: The most important thing that you touched on. is, you’ve got to learn to like yourself. That is the start of everything else. If you don’t like yourself, you can’t move on from that. So, Look in the mirror and learn to love the person looking back at you.
[00:56:16] Robert Hossary: That’s, that’s from me today. But Martin, these have been fantastic lessons. Thank you so much for making time and being on our show and sharing these with us. I really do appreciate it. And I know our audience does. This has just been a wonderful conversation. So what are you doing now? how can people find you if they want to?
[00:56:37] Martin Creighan: As you mentioned at the beginning of the show, I’m the Vice President of Asia Pacific for Commvault. So, people will find me in Australia sometimes now, but mostly in Asia somewhere. So, my travel schedule between now and the back end of the year is quite crazy, but people can always contact me. Please go, go see Martin.
[00:56:55] Martin Creighan: Creighan on linkedin. com. You can contact me there. You can actually, of course, reach out to us at Commvault. I’d be happy to speak to anyone who has any questions. I do try to make time, for future and aspiring leaders. so I think it’s really important for us to give back in that regard.
[00:57:11] Martin Creighan: and if it’s one thing that we can do, if we all learn to share and collaborate and be happy, I think we can make this, world a much better place.
[00:57:18] Robert Hossary: Couldn’t have said it better myself. Once again, thank you so much for being so generous with your time. And we’ll finish here today. You’ve been listening to 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:57:27] Robert Hossary: Our guest today has been Martin Creighan, sharing his. 10 lessons with us. This episode is supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. You know what? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of today’s lessons. You can email us as well on podcast at 10lessonslearned. com. go ahead, hit that subscribe button, like the show and turn on that notification bell so you don’t miss an episode of the only podcast making the world wiser, lesson by lesson.
[00:58:01] Robert Hossary: Thank you, Martin. Thank you everyone. And remember, you don’t have to be a jerk to be successful. See you at the next episode.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

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