Name: Wil Schmidt
University: Florida Gulf Coast University
Job Title: Client Partner Area Manager
Office Location: Fort Myers, FL
Describe your team in 25 words or less: Top Shelf: When You Expect the Best. We chose our team name and slogan since it embodies our service mission, champion mindset and team culture.
What was your first role at Gartner? Leadership Client Manager within the Enterprise IT Leaders group. When I first joined EITL it was like a startup organization, and since I had just come to Gartner from a startup, that culture made the transition much smoother for me. I had a great time working with amazing individuals to help build and shape this premium service. Thanks to my Leadership Partners in EA and Innovation, I was the first-ever LCM to host a session during our Spring Peer Forum in 2014, which was truly a blast.
How long have you worked at Gartner? 3.5 years
What makes Gartner a great place to work? Gartner is a great place to work since we truly embody our core values daily. I am extremely grateful because Gartner’s corporate culture is particularly rare compared to other organizations where I have worked. I am surrounded by bright, creative and driven individuals and learn something new daily. The best thing I can say is that I never feel like I am “going to work.” I love what I do and who I get to work with.
Share a fun fact about yourself: I love basketball. As a teenager I played AAU basketball. Currently I coach a coed basketball team composed of 6-8 year olds. To keep their attention each drill is 5 minutes or less. It is great to see them have fun learning and playing a great sport.
Share a success story about your team: When I first joined the Strategic Accounts Organization (SAO) all I heard was “SAO is different.” Over the next 15 months the team went from a CPG global ranking of 19 to a current global ranking of 3. Our team success was epitomized by Top Shelfer Joe Pavone, who won the Bannister Award in Q1 2016 – the Client Services Organization’s highest distinction. What I am most proud about is the team’s mission & champion mindset. SAO end users face continual M&As, divestitures and other challenges, yet the team continually strives to deliver “10x the Value.“ As a result they have earned the #1 ranking in North America for client engagement, CPG’s most critical performance measure. In terms of engaging Gartner’s unengaged clients, their (Nate, Brittany, Tim, Joe, Erica, Carter, Alex & Mark) diligence and passion truly makes the “impossible possible” on a regular basis.
Describe your management style: I am constantly cognizant of the team’s “pulse,” both collectively and individually. I certainly have a primary style, but I utilize other styles based upon the team’s and/or individuals’ needs at a particular time. The great thing about Gartner, and CSO in particular, is our leadership knows the right things to do. Offering prescriptive coaching in order to execute on those right things while also enabling autonomy and an enthusiastic team culture has definitely been our recipe for success to date.
What are 3 of the most important responsibilities/tasks of your team: Activity, engagement and retention. Our SAO End User CPs have a fiduciary duty to deliver on CSO’s mission and Gartner’s client-focused strategy. This entails proactive phone interactions with, on average, 200 individual clients at minimum once per quarter and ensuring all clients are relevantly leveraging their membership resources at minimum quarterly, and in particular within 120 days of their renewal. Ultimately, high performance in these areas fosters Gartner keeping clients “for life” via high individual retention, which helps to fuel our overall growth objective.
Why would a prospective candidate want to join your team? The Client Partner role is a fantastic opportunity for people to hone their professional excellence and interpersonal savvy and is a great career role. Earning success as a Client Partner also serves as an excellent gateway to a multitude of “Grow With Gartner” opportunities. This year alone 4 Top Shelfers have already been promoted! SAO End User CPs receive great exposure since they own 100% of the service delivery and are often working with senior IT leaders at Global 100 organizations daily. It is a proactive, fast-paced, fast-changing role, so mastering principles of success will yield dividends for future opportunities. While we continually strive for excellence, I am delighted our team also has a lot of fun. Our team culture is truly a source of strength and augments our results. We have a wall full of pictures of us spending time together at the office and outside the office for team events; we collaborate and help one another; and we relish celebrating our individual and team success. We even have personalized Top Shelf team t-shirts. The team created a “fast-clap” to celebrate individual breakthroughs with unengaged clients; celebrating small wins leads to eventually celebrating big wins. Plus with a team name of Top Shelf, how could one not have fun.
If you could describe your team dynamic in one word, what would it be? Transcendent
Favorite Quote or Personal Mantra: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt