S8E06: Building a story for your future investors, with Christopher Traggio (CEO, VOO)

An episode of The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast

S8E06: Building a story for your future investors, with Christopher Traggio (CEO, VOO)

Christopher Traggio (CEO of VOO, a Belgian cable operator) speaks with Xquadrant's Founder Richard Medcalf. Christopher has led organisations in 7 countries through challenging turn-arounds and for the past 17 months has been CEO and leading the transformation at the regional Belgian cable operator, VOO, with over 1300 employees and €500M revenues.

We are continuing our season "The CEO Learning Curve". Interesting and inspiring CEOs reflect on what got them the top job, what they've learned over the first few quarters in the role, and what lies ahead.

In this conversation, you’ll discover:

  • What Christopher did when he arrived as CEO, to find the sale of the business had fallen through due to serious fraud
  • How this event led to real clarity for the business, and the "building a story" exercise that every CEO should go through
  • The communication challenges Christopher experienced, and the advice he gives new CEOs, especially around the "magic 80" of second-level reports.
  • How he, as CEO, spends every single Wednesday, and how it created unbelievable insight into the market and into internal operations

“On day two I was in the call centre. You get super insight to what's really going on."

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Transcript

Richard Medcalf
Hi Christopher and welcome to the podcast.

Christopher Traggio
Hello Richard, Thanks for inviting me.

Richard Medcalf
Well, you're welcome. I'm looking forward to this. It's a real pleasure to have you here. We've had a couple of conversations before and I think you've got some really interesting stories to share about the CEO learning curve. You're the Chief Executive Officer of Voo in Belgium, I love to understand a little bit about past tellers, what is Voo and how did you end up in the top job?

Christopher Traggio
Sure, sure. So Voo is basically a standard cable operator regional cable operator here we cover just over a million passings in Southern Belgium. So mostly, what is the sort of the Wallonia Region and we also have a few neighborhoods in Brussels? It's been around for a while, I mean, you know, 2020 years it started is basically local community. You know, cable television networks and little by little pulled together, pulled together, pulled together and now our, our shareholder is the local government, the Wallonia government, basically, or three governments in this one country. I mean, we have literally, we have Ministry of telecommunications and a prime minister here of Wallonia if you can imagine a small area in Belgium. So we're, for the for the moment, our shareholder is that is the government we're in the process of, of a sale. So there'll be selling a certain percentage of that and all that's been in the newspapers recently. So I'll let the sales process handle the sales process and we'll, we'll talk about what it's like being CEO. So I started back in August of end of August 2020. You know, to hear it here at roofs over four P cable operated we have our own network for fixed telephony, broadband and TV and in addition to that, we run basically what would be the HBO of Belgium if you will, so premium sports and TV series and movies and that's been around for quite some time now and you know, we've got deals with most of the major producers most major studios. If you want to watch for any any any soccer football fans, if you want to watch Premier League, in this area of the country, we're the exclusive provider of Premier League here. We've got the NFL, all kinds of all kinds of great stuff and we actually do we actually do some production. We've got some we do we produce we do we do co-production for films. Very proud to say that one of our films opened the Cannes Film Festival this year, another one of our films, won the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or, and we co-produce you know, movies in Belgium, but also that are also have international backing in them. So we actually have three films that we've co-produced, that are going up for Oscars for the best international films. So we've got Luxembourg, Belgium and France will all be represented by films that have been co-produced by our you know, our sort of HBO it's called BTV here in Belgium, so pretty exciting, pretty exciting stuff. We do about 500 million euros in revenues. You know, so it's it's a 700,000 Customers I know one of your one of your series of talks about growth, we're not really a big massive growth, we've got a couple of parts of our business that are, that are growing in a very, because we're, we're a full triple play fixed operator, we're a full NVMe no for mobile. One of your questions was how, you know, how'd you get the job, what's going on with your thing and look, I've been, I've been doing various parts of this business for for quite some time. Like, like writing promotions into them. Whether it's, you know, sales, customer service marketing, product marketing launches. I've had some large organizations, I mean, here, we've got, you know, 1300 employees, but I've had up to 850 employees and other jobs. And I've done it in I don't know, between, you know, directly managing teams or working as a consultant in I don't know, it's been like 14 different countries, whether, you know, running teams or working with CXOs, all across Europe on various growth problems, and helping them find solutions. So I think what the shareholders liked was that that kind of wide experience, international experience, multiple sides of the business, sometimes large, large organizations, sometimes smaller, always in difficult situations, I've been through a couple of turnarounds been through a startup, sold a couple entities bought a couple entities. And I think that was kind of that sort of rich background and I think probably the main thing was, I really, really, one of the things kind of makes me tick is developing teams growing and developing teams. I've done it quite a few times, I can really kind of talk about it with a passion. And I think that the, you know, the shareholders here saw the, the kind of roller coaster that was happening here at BU, and they said, We need someone that's gonna really help us, you know, develop and grow and grow the team. And I think that was another part that talked to him. So I kind of wrapped up two questions in one there. Hope that's okay. Yeah.

Richard Medcalf
That's, that's perfect. So, okay, so you took on this role back in August 2020? Yeah. This series this season is about the CEO learning curve. And so let's talk about that. What happened when you arrived? You know, what was? What was the context when you arrived? And was it as you expected? Often, what we find before we hear, what we think we're going to get before we sign is often a little bit different from what we've actually experienced when we actually arrive. It's what was that transition like for you? What happened is you arrived, so I hope it was rather unique. 

Christopher Traggio
And that then that most new CEOs will only find some of these elements and not all of them together. It was quite, quite interesting. You know, the, they had they had tried to sell the company. And it was cancelled at the last minute for reasons of fraud. Ooh. Okay, that's very good to come in. So, I mean, we had to, you know, there, you know, you had to Yeah, you got to build a build a new story on that. We also we had no, I mean, I had no CFO, I had no, Chief HR had no customer services, I had no legal department, it was left there. Oh, no, they didn't. Some of them didn't really quite exist. And it all had to do with, you know, a few people who were doing some shady things that basically, the less people that can kind of so what was happening, the better basically, right. So I had to kind of I had to kind of clean clean things up, but definitely what I really had to do was build a build a management team also. And so you can imagine, you know, the employees or they get, you know, we're going to be sold Oh, no, we're not going to be sold. Oh, now we've got you know, you know, this, this whole fraud thing happening? Oh, there's a new CEO who arrives so it was all you know, it's quite a whirlwind there when I when I arrived, I think what, what it forced me to do and I think anyone coming into a new a new role, maybe it's kind of interesting things they maybe, you know, it forced me to think about what's the story, what's the what, okay, I got this situation, but I know we're going to go back into a sale, we're going to want to bring that bring the you know, bring this business back on to the to the cellblock and I'm going to have a new a new majority shareholder at some point, and I'm going to be and I want to be able to tell the story, so I need to start, I need to start shaping that really had I was forced to do it. And I think it's actually a great exercise for a new CEO. Despite any crazy things that are happening, or, you know, using those crazy things as a kind of a motivation, I guess. Inboard Springboard Intel Tell your story, find out what you want to tell us a story and then and then go for it right very, very early on.

Richard Medcalf
So so give an example. So what did that story look like? What kind of things? You know, what do you mean when you say so my story for the future?

Christopher Traggio
Yeah, so clearly, clearly, you know, we had a lot of things that we needed to we were missing big parts of the of the business, we didn't have leaders in place. We had many things running in silos, and unchallenged, if you will. So, unfortunately, you know, the customer experience had suffered. And so we really needed really wanted to be able to tell the story of came in, built a team, and started improving customer experience right away, also needed to improve and also needed to be able to tell a good story on employee experience, because clearly, it was kind of a shocking moment for employees. Yeah. So So we basically, you know, we put together a program, we literally called it on the change, and, and they love putting stuff in English here. So even though I work in French, and as the everyday language, we literally called the program on the change OTC, or in French, oh, Taisei. And, and then we kind of had a regular regular, it provided a regular drumbeat for, you know, conferences and updates and sync ups, we have one coming up on December 15, it'll be a third one. And we get, you know, we've got almost 1300 employees, we get around 900 or so people connecting in, which is, which is pretty good showing. And it's really helped us. So that's been kind of our story. And, and, and literally, that was the story that we told to our future potential majority shareholders. So we had, you know, several, several lined up. And we told them the story, you know, and because, you know, we had to, we had to have a story. And we literally told the story, and it was just a great exercise, really great exercise. And, you know, I think if I had been in a regular situation, with my shareholder, they'd be kind of there. And, and I probably wouldn't have been forced to really take a step back, you know, yeah. And so I think one of the points you said was, you know, what would you suggest for people that are CEOs are coming in? And so, that would be my suggestion is, you know, hey, what's your story? What are you going to want to tell in 12 months, in 18 months? Imagine you got a new shareholder showing up? What are you going to tell them? 

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, it's a great point, this idea of I call it future pacing, right, is actually project yourself into the future, and work back from there. I often do with my clients, whether it's individuals or doing it with a team just there this morning, which was, if we're having this conversation in three years, or two years, whatever the timeframe is, what's going to make you thrilled, right? What's going to be an incredible result? what's gonna get you pumped? Because when you tap into that real sense of what's going to be exciting, what do we actually really want to do we get past all the thoughts and shoulds, you know, and all the Yeah, we should put this number on the board and whatever, and actually get to what is something which taps into our emotion and our drive. And when you paint that picture, you said, when you started to tell that story of you know, in your case, I guess it was, yeah, customer experience. It was here and it's now here in our employees, although when I came in, they just been through this shocking fraud, and they're all over the place. And Coasteering. Yeah. And they've now you know, we're now over this two years, we've been working on this drug around the change. And this is where people are now. And there's this essentially, sense of culture and of belonging, and, again, starts to get you excited about the future that you can create. So I love this as a as an idea. And I think tying it to the like, if pitch to a future shareholder. I think it's really great for a CEO because yeah, really brings it down to all aspects of the business. Right? What kind of business are we creating here?

Christopher Traggio
Yeah, and I don't want to give the impression that I'm some kind of a, you know, I just kind of go about things seriously, it was actually your questions. To say, hey, I want to do this podcast. Here's some kind of questions I want you to think about if you want to do it. And so thanks to you, I'm like, oh, to kind of step back on things and say, Oh, actually, we can. That's what we did. Actually, you know, we were forced to do it. And this is why so, so anyways, that was I thought that was really interesting. I kind of enjoyed the exercise preparing for the discussion.

Richard Medcalf
Well, it's interesting isn't it sounds like when we look back we can have 2020 hindsight. Yeah. Because we can we can see all the things that worked, but it's great to reflect and to draw those out because then we can then apply them next time we come along. Yeah, but as you say, there's a lot of luck and judgment and gut feeling In these things, yeah, but let me build bringing these tools, then they do become replicable. Right. And they I think so. Yeah. So. So tell me about the surprises that you encountered? What were the biggest surprises that you discovered about being CEO?

Christopher Traggio
So, um, I, I think the biggest the biggest surprise I had was the you know, this, this view, the privileged view that, that you get is unique and privileged view. And every week, every day, amazed, you know, how, you know, some, you know, some person that's contributing, that's really important that's really doing stuff isn't quite as aware as I would think of what's going on just next door. So even though I know we've discussed it, we put it on PowerPoints we put it in, and I get out to the field quite a bit. I was out visiting with some stores last week. And you've talked with the guys that are on the run the shop floor like, oh, well, that one didn't quite make it through to the to the ranks, you know? And I think that was that is it? For me, it's been the most easy, oh, man, you know, you might think you've been saying something, and you've got the message out there. But believe me, it's not there. And it gets. So the dilution effect is no 100 times more than you think. I think that was really the surprising thing. So it's, it's, it's something that I started to work on, and I'm going to continue to work on it. He's going forward but I think that was really surprising for me.

Richard Medcalf
And so, how do you deal with that? Now? How have you changed your own style?

Christopher Traggio
So I kind of saw that happening. So I said, Alright, so So in, over the first few months, as I go, geez, this, you know, I thought we talked about this, Oh, I thought we mentioned that, Oh, I thought that was you know, like, you didn't read the memo. What happened? So, so starting 2021, I say I want to put in some, I want to build in some things to, to really helped make sure the message is getting out there as much as possible. So So you know, the I started a monthly, a monthly newsletter, where I just kind of talk about who I met with, and different different topics and talk about some, you know, some nice successes, the different teams have gone through just kind of highlight that. I did a, I took all of my n minus tunes, all of them, I think they were like 80 of them. And we did coffee sessions, all through January and February. So these are video coffee sessions, right? Because it was we're still locked down and everything. And, and, and I had, you know, six to eight people in each in each session, and we just kind of chatted about nothing really to do the business just, you know, a couple high level phase and just getting feedback, and just seeing what was going on and trading some stuff. And some, you know, generate some really interesting discussions with this whole group of n minus twos. And, you know, so that, so that was fine.

Richard Medcalf
And then I'm just gonna just kind of pick up on this one and say, Yeah, I think it's really interesting. I often work with leaders on multiplying their skills, right, and transmitting values, and mindsets and culture behaviors and things. And I always said that there's really four, there's kind of four ways of multiplying your skill set and your mindset with people. And then there's based on the quantity of people. So at one level, there's like broadcasting, you know, there's like, you can just send out messages. Yeah, indicate ideas. It's the least deeply impactful, but at least you can do it with scale. And with quality, you know, you can really get your message right, you can be inspiring, can you polish everything into the message, and you can send out your video or do your speech? Yeah. And then there's this. And then the next level down is I think it's kind of this at group. And actually, once you get to about 80, it's about the upper limit. And it's I kind of cannot call it the training zone, because it's a zone where it's kind of it's not exactly bi directional, because there's any one of you and there's 80 of them, even if you get them into smaller groups, but it allows you to kind of create this training environment where there is some dialogue, and there's a feedback loop and you're able as well to get the pulse of the people. Yeah, and also see all these, these are some high performance coming up. These people really switched on. You kind of get to understand who your extended leadership is. Yeah. And you get that interaction. I think that's really what you were doing. Potentially there was Are you doing it in small groups? Yeah, I haven't created that. That's right awareness.

Christopher Traggio
That's right.

Richard Medcalf
And then, and then you come in to like the under under 10, probably people or 10 to 12 people. And that's more this coaching environment where you can really collaborate and go deep together, that's probably with your direct reports. And there's probably space for one or two, in the very intense, almost apprenticeship, succession planning, life on life kind of skills transfer, really kind of close knit skills transfer that you don't always do, but that you can do. And I think it's interesting because this group of the 80. You know, it's often an area where I think leaders miss a little bit because they're either focus on the direct reports, or they're focused on the whole thing to the organization. Yeah. 

Christopher Traggio
But there's this other real key group, I got some great feedback, it was kind of immune systems accident thing, I've been talking to a couple of these and minus twos and all this interesting stuff. And, and we said, Hey, we should, we should, we should pull this together. So it wasn't some like long photo strategic process, but we kind of fell into it, and it seemed to work. And you're right. And if people did really respond to it, they really was got some really good feedback, they really enjoyed it. And not every group was super, you know, purchased, we tried it, we tried to mix it up. And and, and, you know, okay, we get caught, you know, some people are a little bit more shy, some people a little bit more, you know, ready to share, and we tried to mix it up a bit. But most of the groups were very, really interactive, really, to staff, the conversation just kind of float around a bit on things. And, and these guys were all, you know, wanting to contribute. And so I didn't have to, you know, I didn't show up with it, there's no slides, no, anything, just kind of in conversation just fell on great topics, great topics for, you know, for people in the company, and also great, you know, great topics for, for customers, just kind of, you know, because, you know, that's, that's what makes people you know, want to come into work in the morning, right? So so, anyhow, that I thought that was a good, really good, really good thing to do.

Richard Medcalf
So you are working on this communications plan, if you like, or you are learning to communicate more focused and actively trying to stop the message getting diluted? Yes, topic sessions, yes, it's working well, but anything else that you did in or that you perhaps would have done looking back in terms of communicating more consistently or, more clearly, or creating that shared context in the organization? So

Christopher Traggio
I think I think I would try to use an enum we were going to work on this for 2022. But you mentioned it, it's getting a little bit more video, and making a bit more like snackable video, if you will, I know, it sounds like a horrible consumer thing. But, but I mean, you know, everyone's stressed out, everyone's pretty busy flying around, we've got these messages coming in and out and stuff and I think I think I got a, I got to, you know, adjust to that, you know, and try to bring some, some, some, you know, no PowerPoint. But, you know, short, simple, interesting couple of things, maybe even feeding off of your idea here of, you know, having another person there with me from one of the departments and doing a kind of a short snackable kind of exchange and a couple things that are important that they're that are really be pivoting to making the customer experience better. And I think that would bring it to life a bit more, you know, so I'm going to basically copy you a little bit what you're doing. And now if you don't mind, you know, royalties on that. But so that's kind of where I would like, where I'd like to go. 

Richard Medcalf
Now, I think in today's world, you know, it's kind of like, we're where we are, you know, yeah, I think people get turned off by over the overly long and overly polished presentations, right, which have been gone through all the corporate marketing, kind of internal marketing, communicate Corporate Communications stuff. Yeah. One of my CEO clients, you know, he runs a very large tech business, and he's had huge success by literally getting his iPhone out, holding it up. And doing a two minute thing. I mean, believe Wow, because, because it's like, a it doesn't take much time. Secondly, people don't want it snackable and also, it's kind of from the heart, he's talking to the middle. He's talking to, you know, one of his team or in the room, right, and he does a quick kind of just what you need to know in two minutes, right? And it connects with people because it's wrong. It's not, you know, you haven't gone into the big corporate studio and it hasn't it's not all scripted. Yeah. 

Christopher Traggio
And I think that's, that's really, really interesting. Very, very bold, too, coaching him, so I actually did so he actually sent me a video. 

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, the first couple of times he sent me like, this is what I'm, this is what I try. It's like a bit of feedback, you know, just on how it landed for me. A couple of times, he kind of iterated a couple of times. He was happy. Okay. But then after that, I think he was into the swing. Right?

Christopher Traggio
Yeah. That's great.

Richard Medcalf
So that's a nice one. So let's go back. So given you've been through this, this journey, obviously, it's been a very interesting journey. You came in with this whole set of Forge you went through COVID? Which was a whole other thing. Yeah. I learned on focusing in on the communication side, your coffee sessions, you've been running the transformation program. Yeah. And the change, the change? And stepping back from all that? What would your you know? What are the top tips might you have for new CEOs? You know, where? Where would you suggest they put their focus? Or, you know, what trap might you think they should avoid?

Christopher Traggio
Okay. So, I think we were lucky that we kind of came into this, our own the change as the thing that we wanted. I think we didn't realize, but now looking back is this idea of hey, changes, okay. And you know, what, we're going to change because, you know, if you're not changing, if you're not, if you're not getting, you know, better, faster, cheaper, well, your competitors will, so you know, you might as well get get on, get on, get on the plan. And, sort of, like, he gave us the right to, to, to change the, you know, and change, there's always a lot of friction, and always louder, and there's a new, new new CEO coming in, you're gonna want to, you know, so you're kind of getting into that making change, okay, I think is and say, Hey, we're gonna change and just, you know, even if you're not exactly sure what the output is going to be, but say, look, there are a couple things here that we can surely be doing better. And, you know, and, you know, tell the story. So people kind of, kind of can believe it, and buy into it and get going on it. And so I would think that would be the, that would be an important thing that we kind of didn't know, but it was, we did it? Well, you know, I believe in getting into the field, getting out there getting the front liners getting close to the customer as possible, as much as possible. And so I did that. And I think that went really well. And I think that any new CEO coming in, it's got to get out there. And the trap is the office and PowerPoints and excels and you know, meetings from eight o'clock in the morning till eight o'clock at night and never see a customer or talking about a customer all day.

Richard Medcalf
You know how to do that. What was the discipline that you had I blocked

Christopher Traggio
Wednesdays? Okay. I literally blocked Wednesday. So I started on a Tuesday. And I had already blocked my first Wednesday, I was in our call centers.

Richard Medcalf
Okay. Yeah, and for you is the call center really where you get to kind of experience the customers.

Christopher Traggio
It's one of the great one of the great contact areas for you know, a telco operator, you know, that all those calls coming in going out about, you know, what's going on and questions and everything. And for the most part, people aren't calling you tell you a great job, keep going. Yeah, oh, there is usually some, something that's not quite going right. And the customer experience, it's really just super insight about, but what's going on with your products with your processes with the way you're communicating. But, you know, I went out and did installations into customers homes, I went out with the door to door guys and knocked on doors to promote our product I went out to our shops to talk with the guys out there and see how they're interacting with customers and talk with them and customers and, you know, the agents and shot managers. So, you know, different there's all kinds of different places where you can, you know, get a feel for the customer. And I think that's, I believe in that and I really went out there and basically just, you know, Wednesdays, you know, go out to the field.

Richard Medcalf
And what does that give you taking that Wednesday? It's a lot of your time, right? It's 20% of your week. 

Christopher Traggio
So what did that give you do you think looking back super insight to what's going on? deeper insight to what to what's going on? I mean, just you And it puts in perspective things that you're doing. And you know, I mean, just yet, you know, listen to some phone calls customer asking questions about the promotion. Really? why did why was that understood both through website? Oh, yeah, that's not too clear are, you know, if you're not out there listening to the customers, you will you would know it you would you would you like oh, that's our promotion. Okay. Maybe have a look at the thing. Oh, that seems to make sense to me. But once you hear a customer talking about it, and how they understood you like, oh, oh, I didn't think about that one. And so I think it's it gives insight to really what's happening. That also gives great insight to people that are making things happen for you. So you can really understand what's going on and what, what what, how are you? How are you helping them? How are you not helping them? What could you be doing better to help them, you know, do a better job for customers? It's just super, super valuable. So I think that that went really well.

Richard Medcalf
I just want to say I think it is it is fantastic. Because there is a level of you can kind of convince yourself that you know everything when you know, yeah, spreadsheets and your managers, right. Yeah, you know, yeah. And yeah. There's another level of insight when you have your own.

Christopher Traggio
With you it like, is that how we're supposed to do it? I didn't think that was, I didn't think that was, well, not exactly how we're supposed to do it. But this is how we do it like, Okay.

Richard Medcalf
I think it's really interesting, especially for those who have come from the, you know, CEOs who have come from the finance side of the business or because it's not in their DNA, often I've no yes to. When you come from the commercial side, it's a bit more in the DNA, although not everybody, again, some people by that stage already kind of management by numbers approach, right. But, but I think it is a great point that just so you know, even doing a little bit gives you a huge amount of insight that you wouldn't get completely confused. 

Christopher Traggio
During your internal meeting, you mentioned that you mentioned the numbers thing, I think that, you know, as a CEO coming in, you got to get your data pack together to be one of the, the, you know, the next day. So I started on Tuesday, Wednesday, I went to the field on Thursday started working on my data pack. What am I looking at every week? And, you know, you think you Oh, it's been a business, it's been running they got did in fact, well, yes. And no, you know, different people have, you know, yes or no. And, and what's interesting is, usually it was it was kind of a, an operational data pack kind of thing was put together at some point in time, when I don't know, but priorities are changing, you know, all the time. And I think, you know, you'll find, oh, you know, what's really important today is, you know, might not be covered in that pack that as of today, and might not be in an actionable format to help you really pilot things and drive things and, and make adjustments. So So yeah, you mentioned the numbers, numbers, you can't you gotta you got to get get to get to it got to get the pack together. I think one of the things that I that I messed up a little bit was also getting out with supply getting in getting out to meet the supply key suppliers, right, I was too late. Now, for the most part, everything went great and, and was unable to catch up, catch up on quite a few of them. In one case, it's turned, it turned into a bit of a mess. So I've done a better job of patching that up. And it's, it's in a much better place. But there's still a you know, a kind of a back a back history that we still haven't quite fixed so. I would definitely something I hadn't, you know, really I'm a gas player, you know, we they do the job we pay up, you know? Yeah. Well, that was wrong. So that would be that would be my, my, my big tip coming from what did I mess up kind of thing? That would be that would be it, I'd say.

Richard Medcalf
Okay, well, thank you for thanks for opening up right and sharing these insights. It's so hard won lessons that you've had to go through. So let's talk about a few quickfire questions. Okay, um, what's your favorite quote?

Christopher Traggio
So my favorite quote this goes back a long time Suze back a long time. I think this was in my I think this is my prep school yearbook my high school yearbook if you will, back way and I'm an ice hockey player and this is a quote from a famous Canadian ice hockey player Bob Gainey for check back check paycheck just was an awesome thing. And he, you know, he is he was the classic hard worker, not the fancy guy, but just the guy you want on your team, you know, the key, the key guy on the team that's just kind of, you know, everyone, you know, really looks at that guy to be setting the example out there. And, you know, just the idea of, you know, stay to the basics, right, do those, well, you know, work hard, and it's gonna pay off. And I just, I just really liked that one. So I always come back to that quote.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect, What's the book that's really influenced you on your journey of leadership?

Christopher Traggio
Okay, so, I mean, I try to read for business stuff, you know, on a regular basis just to kind of keep things open but and there's all I think there's just a ton of interesting ones out there. I mean, you know, this stuff like, you know, tipping point and you know, that kind of, but I like to read I think it's important to read outside of business stuff just to kind of get the creativity going, you know, and get stimulation and I think you can get that stimulation that emotion and then it'll flow into how your how you're going about your job and I just said to two recent books, one was really funny. This guy was, rose up through the ranks to have Napoleon's army. He did his memoirs, the memoirs of Capitaine Coignet it's just like, we think we got it. We got a heart. This guy was like walking across Europe, like on a regular basis, you know, or even walking around horseback. It's just like, Oh, my God, what a it's just, it just puts these in perspective of what would you know what was going on? There's that wasn't that long ago. You know? That, though, you know.

Richard Medcalf
We're talking about when we get can we complain when Attalus is?

Christopher Traggio
Yeah, we gotta get my I got my app. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. This guy's like walking to you know, in a Moscow.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect. What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Christopher Traggio
Yeah. My 20 year old self. Oh, you're going back a little bit further. My 20 year old self. So my 20 year old self? Interesting. That's a good one. I think so I wasn't quite 20 but just before I think my main advice just before coming into university would be Forget trying to learn Russian. It's not gonna work. Just not know. If I could, if I could send a time capsule back and have this video pop up to me, then I'd be like, Hey, man, forget, forget trying to take Rashid it's good. It's good to kill you. So.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, you weren't Capitan. corny. So it was fun.

Christopher Traggio
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I think generally, the idea behind that was probably, you know, try to focus just a little bit more would be the thing and I kind of got off onto it. You know, that's just, you know, lost focus on sisters try to focus a little bit more, it'll go, it'll go a long way. That would be a message back to my 20 year old self.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect and then finally, who was an impactful CEO, he has made a difference perhaps, or uses inspired you and who might be a great guest for future episode?

Christopher Traggio
What I enjoy talking with Olivier Anton, french guy, he worked together until telecom, a while back and he's just been off on you know, the startup thing and really getting in there and making things happen and finding new ideas and, you know, some things work better, some things don't work so well but then it comes up with the next one is not a new one now called Sunshine-Me or Sunshine at Work. Really, really interesting concept. That's going great. It's really tied in, I think, tied in with the time studying today and tied in with new companies need to be doing for the employees today and I think, I think that would be an interesting conversation for you.

Richard Medcalf
Okay. Oh, check him out. Thank you. That's last question for you is we always have another level, all of us, right. Obviously, you've come in during the CEO role. Sounds like you've done a great job the last couple of years. As the business continues to evolve, as you keep working on your customer experience, as you perhaps do the sale that you mentioned at the start, all these things that are happening. What are you personally going to need to do differently to multiply your own impact?

Christopher Traggio
Right. So, I think I've started but I really want to get into 2022. I want to be tighter on some things tighter on some things and focus. Yeah, we had quite a we had just like, everywhere you look, we had things that just were not sort of basic operating standards and we, you know, we just, you know, like we had to do that. We had to adjust things. I think I think we're now in a good place and I have the luxury of being able to maybe say, hey, let's, you know, let's kind of get deeper on some things and to, you know, kind of like, doing less is doing more, if you will, and forcing my team, also to make some choices like that and it's so we're so excited about the next new thing, the next shiny thing, you know, hey, let's make sure we're capitalizing completely on what we just did and get that, you know, really maximize the return on the investment that we made. You know, we're all consumers and we're good moving fast and we want new stuff, new stuff, new, new, new new. And I think that can be a bit of a, I think I really I want to work on that one, you know.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah.

Christopher Traggio
Appreciating what you got and really, really maximizing that that can be a beautiful thing. Also, you know, so...

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, I love that. I know, you said, you know, do it less, do less, but do it deeper. Right. Really focusing in putting yes with behind the spear as they say really?

Christopher Traggio
With behind the spear, yeah, okay. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Richard Medcalf
So I love that. Thank you. Well, hey, Christopher, it's been great speaking, thank you for giving all this energetic round that round table view of the business of everything that you've encountered over the last couple of years and, you know, the raw, unvarnished truth in places, you know, yeah, difficulties is what are some of the successes and learning points? It's been really fascinating and I really appreciated speaking with you. So thank you.

Christopher Traggio
Same here. Thanks for inviting me really, really, really enjoyed the session and the preparation and everything really, really good experience.

Richard Medcalf
So thanks again for coming on the show. Speak soon.

**Note: This transcript is automatically generated.
Please excuse any errors.

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