Job hopping is increasingly becoming the norm for many of today’s professionals. But for those in sales roles, that’s perhaps always been the case — particularly if the field you’re selling within is a dynamic one like FinTech.
If more employers had what Dannita Cue calls the “company culture trifecta,” though, this turnover trend could change. Cue is referring to companies where growth opportunities, stability and a strong sense of culture are equally present for employees. And it’s the exact trifecta she’s found at OnDeck.
As OnDeck’s Senior Manager of Direct Sales, Cue has had “multiple opportunities for both personal and professional growth” in her five years at the tech-powered financial platform and lending company. Of course, the amount of growth she’s experienced wouldn’t be possible without taking risks, and mistakes are a natural byproduct of that. But Cue says the “authentic” culture at OnDeck is one where failure needn’t be a source of fear — quite the opposite.
“No two days look the same here, and you cannot risk becoming complacent,” she said. “That mindset allows me to keep challenging myself to continuous growth and learning… We work in a collaborative environment where it is OK to take risks, make mistakes, and grow. It is an authentic vibe that is simply unparalleled.”
And, as a leader, Cue does her part to cultivate this culture of authenticity by making relationship building a part of her day-to-day priorities. This means connecting with her team “on a personal level,” understanding what they’re motivated by and assessing how she can best support them. Recently, she shared with Fairygodboss how that’s influenced her feedback style, what excites her most about her work and her two most memorable pieces of career advice.
What about OnDeck made you first want to join?
What first attracted me to OnDeck was the allure of a young startup company. To me, this meant access to multiple opportunities for both personal and professional growth.
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held here, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?
My first role at OnDeck was as an outbound agent doing cold calls to present our new Line of Credit product. From there, I graduated into a Team Lead and then eventually became a Team Manager. I spent four and a half years in the manager role prior to being promoted to a Senior Manager. What excites me the most about my new role is being able to use my background in sales and my experience as a people manager, combined with my knowledge of the industry and OnDeck, in order to develop, motivate, and build on the amazing knowledge, experience, and culture that our existing front-line managers have.
Ultimately, what has led you to stay at OnDeck?
What keeps me engaged with OnDeck on a daily basis is the challenge and the culture. No two days look the same here, and you cannot risk becoming complacent. That mindset allows me to keep challenging myself to continuous growth and learning. The people and culture here cannot be found anywhere else! We work in a collaborative environment where it is OK to take risks, make mistakes, and grow. It is an authentic vibe that is simply unparalleled.
What’s something you’re especially good at at work?
Relationship building. The core of leadership is within the relationships that you build with people. I believe that is the foundation of everything I do in my role. I strive to connect with my team on a personal level and make every attempt to understand the “why” behind their actions, their feelings, and what drives them.
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
The first thing I do every day is personally greet every person on my team with a “good morning!” This allows me to do a table touch to check in on everyone and set the energy and mood for the day. The last thing I do before leaving is check with everyone on my team to ask if they need anything of me before I leave. I follow the servant leadership philosophy and ingrain that in all of my interactions.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
I had a boss/mentor that was fantastic at delivering raw feedback, which was refreshing because it meant they cared enough to invest in my success. I believe most people generally have a good grasp on the areas in which they excel and that is often reinforced via positive feedback. However, I feel that we grow the most when we are provided with direct, raw feedback on the areas upon which we can most improve upon. This component of the feedback process has always been beneficial for me and knowing my areas of opportunity has allowed me to grow as a professional and as a leader.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
There are two pieces of advice that have truly resonated with me and that I have often revisited throughout my career. The first is to be an open playbook with your team and peers. Share the process of what you do and how you find success as well as your failures and what you learn from them. Collaborate with others often and in the spirit of honesty, and it will pay dividends. The second piece of advice was to simply be someone that people love working for. Again, this goes back to relationships being the foundation of my role, especially in formulating that trust with my team so they feel comfortable and appreciated enough to go above and beyond for the organization.
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