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Authenticity Tips & Tricks: AT&T SVP of Business Marketing Alicia Dietsch

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

This is the cover for the Authentic Avenue podcast with Alicia Dietsch, Senior Vice President of Business Marketing at AT&T.

This is a link you can use to find Authentic Avenue, a marketing podcast hosted by Adam Conner, on Apple Podcasts. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review!

Today, my guest is Alicia Dietsch, SVP of Business Marketing at AT&T. But today, instead of American Telephone & Telegraph, today we'll be reviewing some Authenticity Tips & Tricks from one of the mainstays of the telco giant.

For the past 30 years, Alicia has led various parts of the business (and started with a dozen years in sales, which this host greatly appreciated) -- and today opens up about what the business marketing side of AT&T is all about (and how it differs from the consumer side you see on TV). We also chat about initiatives like FirstNet, and how AT&T is approaching a new-ish world of "B2B2P."

Sit back and dial up this episode!

Enjoy! Full transcript below.


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TRANSCRIPT BELOW (powered by Descript; accuracy not guaranteed):

Adam Conner: Hey, Alicia, how are you? Thanks so much for joining me.

Alicia Dietsch: I'm good. It's great to be here, Adam.

Adam Conner: It's good to talk to you because there are a number of intricacies within this industry that I just am not very aware of, but which you will be super aware of. And so I'm hoping to get a crash course over the history of this, perhaps the recent history of this broad telco world, but.

All I also want to hear about authenticity. Let's start with your personal journey. Now I have been honored with the presence of brand presidents, Chief Marketing Officers, CEOs, uh, over my roughly 200 of these features who have been longstanding names and presences at their brands. And you've been with AT&T for nearly 30 years.

So I have to start by saying. Um, congrats on that. I'm glad they've kept you around, but what has kept you energized about them? Because my God, that's a long time, especially these days when the tenure of average marketers ends up shrinking over time, though, I know you mustn't be out.

Alicia Dietsch: Well, I, I love starting that way.

I, I would tend to agree. I'm definitely not average. And, um, thanks for not framing that in man. You're old.

Adam Conner: Yo, that would have been a wild way to begin. It wouldn't have it. Yeah, no, let's veer from that.

Alicia Dietsch: It has been a really long time in today's standards that I've been with the company. And I know that. Um, it makes me a little bit of a unicorn actually.

So I'll tell you the honest truth here is part of this is I actually didn't grow up, believe it or not, um, wanting dreaming to work at, AT&T. And, uh, my dad had, I had an opportunity to intern with the company while I was in college. And the harsh reality of it, Adam is as I graduated from college, I could not get a marketing job, which is what I desperately.

Wanted, and I thought, well, I'll go to AT&T because they will hire me into sales. And my college professors told me that sales and marketing, you know, those two things go together. So I thought, okay, this is a place to start. And that was really the very beginning. And while, you know, I look back and think, man, I didn't grow up wanting to be here.

How. Glad I am that I did land here. What keeps me here? Well, I guess there's probably three things. The first is we have no shortage. New and evolving problems to solve, whether they be problems to solve inside the company problems to solve with our, with our customers problems to solve for the world.

When you think about what 18 T does from a technology perspective, that's a really. Unique set of challenges that we get to tackle every day. So that meant I never got bored. I didn't run out of new things to work on. So that, that definitely is one. The second is, I think like with any other company, it's a relationship.

And I mean, that sincerely, that has worked for both sides for all these years. You know, if it stopped working for one of us, for me or the country, One of us would have left, right. Either I would have gone someplace else or the company would have invited me to go someplace else. So, so I do think there's this, uh, aspect to it.

That is all about the relationship you build with a company as well. But the third piece, and this probably won't surprise you because you specialize in authenticity is our mission. What we do as a company. Is something I'm actually really passionate about. And I think it's hard to work in a single place, no matter how many different jobs you have over that period of time.

I think it's hard to stay in one place. If you can't be passionate about what it is. Yeah. So there you go. 30 years, three reasons.

Adam Conner: 30 years, three reasons, three minutes, man. You just took an entire, uh, probably hour that we could have done and condensed it right there. So I appreciate that strong foundation for this conversation.

And also I admire the foundation with which you began your career at at T and T reason being. I started out in sales too. And I think that those skills are incredibly important to start with early. And to be honest with you, I, you know, when I came out of school, most of my classmates were going into banking or consulting and they were like, well, what'd you use the education for, to go into Salesforce?

And I was like a little hurt. And I was like, well, that that's not really your business, but I. I think that it will pay off and now I know how to sell myself better than anything. And I'm sure that you do as well, which has led to this tenure in part.

Alicia Dietsch: Exactly. I mean, I don't think I could have said it better, Adam, the I, in retrospect, I'm so glad I couldn't get a marketing job because it forced me to pick up those skills that we use every day.

It doesn't matter what actual functional job you have. Make no mistake. We're all selling something all day long. It could be a physical product or service that you're selling on behalf of the company, or you're selling an idea or you're selling a belief. We're all offering points of view and opinions that, uh, you know, are very much shaped by our ability to convince people.

Of things and those skills have been so incredibly valuable throughout the course of my career. And as a marketer, I do have to say there's a piece of me that almost can't imagine being a marketer without having sales experience. Look, I know there are plenty of people that do it. Plenty of wildly talented marketers, but for me, the very best way.

To understand how to connect with your customer, with your audience, with your target in whatever means you're trying to do that is to have actually spent time, uh, carrying a bag and putting yourself in their shoes and really understanding their problems. So I'm actually thrilled. We share that in common.

That's uh, that's great. And I love, I love to meet other people who have started in sales.

Adam Conner: You know, that was my thinking as well. When I was in that first set of jobs, both as an individual contributor and as a team lead because I had a marketing team and sometimes there was that friction of like, I feel like these guys don't even know what the heck it is that we're doing or what we're supposed to be doing.

And of course like me, they came out of campus. So it was their first job. And I had wished that man, me and me, I just give them like a quarter in that seat. Give them a couple months to sit there. And, you know, experienced the highs and lows of what a sales job is, especially one with a high ARR product and, and just learn that way.

But anyway, uh, enough about that, I'm so glad that we share that foundation as well, by the way, because just as it helps us both to sell ourselves better than anything, because as you said, someone is always selling something. Now your turn is to do that for the business broadly. I would say the business side of the business to be exact.

And you have to do that, especially today in an authentic way, as you said, I specialize in this word. So let's dive into that word. Now. Normally I ask. What are the various ways in which they operationalize that authenticity, but you know what, very recently I had a conversation and listeners will keep me honest in emails, but I'm pretty sure it was Mozilla who called me out is that their CMO Lindsay Shepard (Shep).

And so Shep said, Adam, that, that, that is a bad way to think about it because operationalizing something. Takes that art and that human side out of it. So instead I'll craft it in this way. There are a number of topics in which I'd like to just see how 18 T puts its authentic self forward. And there are a few of them in which I'd like to explore.

So with that hefty, uh, premise in mind, let me start with a phrase, which I've heard one other person on this show so far talk about, which is B2B2C. Cause I understand that's where you play. I want to learn about that evolution in your eyes for, AT&T for that industry and how you put your best forward foot forward through it.

Alicia Dietsch: Sure. Well, maybe before I get to B2B2C, let me take just a half a step back, because I think anytime you talk about authenticity, it's important, you know, it's an easy concept to talk about, but it's a very hard thing to crystallize sometimes. And there are a lot of brands. That I find, and I'm not naming any names, but I find aren't clear about their mission and really what it is.

They do the role, they serve their, their higher purpose. And without that, it's super hard to be authentic, right. Because it's all about delivering. Um, in a really real and genuine way that is consistent with that mission and that belief, right? So for us, for at, and T that purpose is to create connections.

It can be with one another with what people and businesses need to thrive every day or about the stories and experiences that matter. It is the essence of us as people, right. Connecting with one another. That's what our technology and our products and services really make possible. And. You know, it's, it's fascinating to have this conversation with people because many times, probably more often than I would like to admit.

There are people who think about AT&T in a very different way. Maybe, maybe you grew up in a time where we were referred to as the phone company. Right. Certainly there's an aspect of that. That continues to be very true for AT&T, but we are really selling much more than phones. Right. And my best way to describe this is when you think about the vast network, the bits and bytes of data and information that traverse these massive.

Fiber optic pipes that create that connection, that network itself is truly an very uniquely or reflection of the human condition. So when you talk about connecting and how does that pertain to the network? Think about it in these terms, what rides that network is everything that we as human beings.

Experience what we feel, what we convey, what we think, what we express, what do you do when something good or bad happens when you celebrate, when you are in the depths of despair, you connect with people. And that is, to me, what is so powerful and, and what is our mission and our purpose right. Is, is to be that.

That conveyor of that human connection. And I'll give you just my favorite example of this. Um, and you know, it's in larger groups. I generally do this as a, as a game, but if you think about what we all do with this technology and you ask what is one of the busiest or the busiest day on the network all year long, the answer is mother's day.

So just think about that for a moment and how that just reinforces that idea of connection. So I apologize for sort of going off a bit in terms of that purpose, but I think it's really important to sort of ground first with that idea before we sort of pivot into this idea of how does that actually then affect what we do in terms of connecting either.

Our consumer base, or as you described B2B2C. So first for anybody who may not know what that is, uh, that is, um, technically speaking business to business, to consumer. Although I tend to prefer B2B2P, which is business to business to people.

Adam Conner: Interesting. That's new. That's new to me. That's a first here.

Alicia Dietsch: Yeah. And look, it's, it's a different way in, on this same general idea, but I think what it reinforces more is the idea that in the end, whether you consider yourself someone who is marketing to, or selling to a business or someone we think of as a consumer, what's most important to understand is on the other end of that marketing is a person.

And it doesn't matter whether that person is in the employ of a company where they are tasked to make large technology decisions or whether the person on the end of that communication is, um, a mother, uh, in a household making decisions, right. It's still a person. And I think that actually helps. When it gets to that point about showing up authentically.

So you, you asked about, um, B2B2P I'm going to keep using that here.

Adam Conner: Okay.

Alicia Dietsch: Here's here's the great opportunity. I think we have, when you think about industry as ecosystem, Right. It's easy to look at something and think, um, I'll make up a fictitious, fictitious, um, company business for a moment. And let's say that, um, company XYZ is in the market for technology solutions.

And I approach that opportunity with them through the lens of I'm going to sell them some technology that allows their employees. To connect and it means their employees can do. Email. It means their employees can have operating wireless devices. Uh, if they could have tablets, they could have any form and function of technology that would allow them to operate as a business.

We certainly do. But when, and it's an important part of our business, make no mistake, but there are unique opportunities. We have to think very differently about that relationship and our ability to support, not just company XYZ, but the customers of company XYZ. And sometimes those customers are other businesses.

Sometimes they are people. Who are customers of company XYZ. And we have really unique opportunities to create amazing and compelling experiences with our business customers to support the experiences they want to deliver for their customers. So when, when you think about B2B2P that's really the essence of it is you don't stop.

At the business, you stop at the extension of that business to their customer. And sometimes depending upon that ecosystem, even their customers, there are great examples of that. Um, you can think about, for example, um, education as one, great opportunity, uh, in the B2B to piece space we might sell to universities.

And equip them with technology, but what is the extended opportunity to then serve students of that university as well? So that's, that's the idea when we think about B2B2P. Make sense?

Adam Conner: Absolutely. It makes sense. It gives me a bunch of other questions too, because, well, this is the first time I've heard of it, but what I'm very familiar with is telling the stories of people after all, that was actually part of what I wanted to talk about here today.

It serves as a nice segue as well, which is, well, how do you tell some of those stories? Because you know, before we get into the past, which is the recent past, which is last year, and I want to know how you're helping there specifically. You must have all of these different stories that you then tell perhaps folks with whom you might want to do business or folks who should hear about what AT&T does more.

How do you do that today?

Alicia Dietsch: Sure. Um, well, I would tell you, we have a whole host of ways. One of which is our shared beginnings through our sales teams. That is one excellent way. We tell our stories and we actually spend a lot of time, uh, working on how we enable our sales teams to be the very best. Most authentic ambassadors of our brand and our mission as we can, but when it comes to direct to customer storytelling, um, some of my favorites, uh, certainly, um, video is a great way to tell some of those stories, but we use customers alone.

In our video in particular, there is something very compelling and genuine and authentic in having someone else tell your story. It's one thing, if I say, Hey, Adam, I have a great product I can give or give you terrific value. And I'm, uh, you should think of me as a trusted advisor. It's something entirely different when company X, Y, Z.

Says, Hey, Adam ATNT has the best product. It's an amazing value and you can trust them, right. It's entirely different. So, um, we look to highlight customer stories as often as we can, video is one means of doing that. Certainly we have written forms of doing it as well, but when it comes to this idea of authenticity and really inviting.

Um, customers and potential customers, prospects to experience our authenticity. Uh, I have no better example probably than the work we do, uh, through many of our. Briefing programs. Um, now this to a consumer marketer is going to sound like a completely foreign and crazy idea, but for our business customers, we invite them to come spend a day with us and we'll design an agenda around the specific problems were seeking to help them sell.

Sometimes this includes access to our deepest, most technical experts, um, who will help them design specific solutions. Sometimes it could, it includes access to our senior, most executive leaders in the company, um, to reinforce that relationship and to lend confidence and almost always, it includes a visit either physically or virtually.

To our global network operations center. And the reason I always found this so compelling was because we actually do invite the customers into our home and into our network. So go back to what I said about it, being the essence of the human condition, right. And giving them the opportunity to see. How we manage a network of this size, the things we can see about the network, the moments that impact the network.

Interestingly, I know this, isn't what you asked, but interestingly...

Adam Conner: No, I'm loving this actually, cause I, I know this world a lot, but I'm not, I'm not sure that my audience really does. So please continue.

Alicia Dietsch: The network, and the performance of the network, is highly predictive. It has been modeled over many, many years where well, over a hundred years old, uh, and we know quite fine nightly what we should expect that behavior on the network to look like on any given day at any given hour.

And the tools we use to manage the network are all designed around being predictive and understanding when something is anomalous. On the network. And as a result, you can see those moments, those moments where the world comes together to connect as an example in a very unique way and a very visual way.

So when we have people visit with us at the global network operation center, we can actually show them that in a way that very few people. We'll ever get to see. And I think to me, that is such a great example of taking something that is unique about you, about your brand, about your operation and opening it up and, and exposing that.

And to me, I think that is really the essence of, you know, genuine and real and authentic.

Adam Conner: Well, this brings up another. Something that I had in the back of my head, you know, with regard to, you know, that predictive nature or knowing when the number will be either used a lots or when you need to have the most support for that network, you know, over the last year, obviously there have been, uh, countless stories told of small businesses who have been struggling to get by and for whom.

This, uh, the digital world became a lot more important. Um, I also know that it has become incredibly important for first responders and that has extended obviously for far longer than just the last year. But I'd love to know if there are a few standout examples of ways that you have been powering that world.

Um, because it's just as important when it comes to those words that we've talked about so far today, network and connection. Sure. It, it can be there to spread that hope and positivity, but it is also there in dire times need.

Alicia Dietsch: Absolutely. And, uh, you've, you've hit on, um, two, uh, incredibly important. Uh, constituents and groups of customers that, uh, we've invested in significantly.

And I, I, I use that word, not just in terms of, we equip them with technology of course, to your point. But I think above and beyond that, because we, we do believe in connection again, as our mission and purpose. So if you start with small business and as you said that the pandemic. Impacted small businesses disproportionately.

I really once in a lifetime challenges and I, I read a survey not too long ago, that said by the end of last year, 42% of small businesses said they risked failure literal going out of business 42%. So you could imagine, as we were watching. And, um, trying to support our customers through that. You know, there were steps we took well beyond.

Well, yes we can. Sell you a wireless device, or we could sell you broadband service. I would like to think that our small business customers would say we were there. We connected with them when they needed it. Right. So for the first few months of the pandemic, things like waiving late payment fees and halting account terminations, that's a big one.

Right? So if you are risking going under as a business, the last thing you need is someone turning off. Your wireless service, particularly if you happen to be a small business that runs your entire business off of wireless devices. And certainly we were very mindful of those small businesses that also potentially operated from homes.

So we were equally concerned about home phone and broadband residential services, all, all sort of in support of that small business customer. And there were so many, I'm actually quite proud of industry at large, um, during the pandemic, our ability to come together and, and really serve. Deeply impacted communities, whether they be geographic communities or in this case, the small business community, we joined stand for small, um, which was a coalition to help support small businesses that were impacted by the pandemic.

Uh, it included 40 companies committed to providing millions of us, small businesses, access to stuff. Through all sorts of valuable services, offers tools, expertise, even, even lending you, you know, your business expertise to these small businesses. So that was another thing we did. Um, we offered some free in depth going virtual guide.

For businesses, actually small businesses in this case, but equally applicable for many other businesses. It's, uh, it's fascinating not to, not to veer us off target from small business, but what really happened in the pandemic is everyone was forced to reinvent their business model almost overnight. Now, you know, particularly acute for small businesses, but even very large enterprises, you know, uh, when we talk about businesses, um, going through digital, uh, re reimagination and reinvention, the digitization of business, that's literally what happened overnight.

As people were working from locations, they never thought they would be working from full-time needing all new kinds of connectivity. Security became a massive issue. So these kinds of tools like this going virtual guy. Uh, touched on everything from e-commerce to digital marketing, to virtualizing the workforce.

Right? Uh, yesterday everyone showed up in the same physical four wall building and tomorrow they don't. How do I ensure that they have the right communication tools and how do I ensure that that works in a way that connects back with our corporate resources in a very highly secure manner? All of that was, was included in this guide that we developed for free as well.

To simply help and support and equip businesses as they, as they went through this really, really difficult time. And you and I both know some industries impacted just the devastating impact in certain verticals, um, that, you know, still continues today. When you think about, um, you know, everything from retail and, and what is retail.

What is the future of retail to, you know, leisure and think about the cruise industry. I mean, just so many industries had to really. Face such difficult times and moments where they were forced to reinvent themselves, that we thought it was our obligation really, to lean in and try to help them through that period.

So that's a little bit about the, our smallest. Story. Um, and of course we continue to be very active with small businesses and, uh, serve them from, from many, many different ways, including out of our retail stores. Believe it or not. Um, I'll pick just for a minute. You, you asked about first responders. And this is a community that we have.

I actually served for many, many years. Uh, we've always been deeply committed to the public safety community, but we have such a unique opportunity here, um, with our. FirstNet network for first responders. Now, for anybody who isn't familiar with FirstNet, it's a public safety's dedicated nationwide communication platform.

It's actually owned by the FirstNet authority and we built it for and with them. And it actually grew out of 9/11. And what was observed to be the really, really acute communication challenges among the first responder communities following nine 11, as we, as we did the look back. Right. Um, and the inability to communicate, not only within any one first responder community, but across them in particular.

So, uh, The FirstNet authority looked at this opportunity as the government looked at this opportunity, um, they realized the need for always on communications that would be on reserve. Think of it that way for first responders always available for first responders so that they wouldn't. Impacted by congestion.

Yeah. That might be on the network on mother's day to bring us back to our prior story. Right. So that there would always be this availability of communication. So in this case, both AT&T and the FirstNet authority committed significant resources to build this network and improve communications among first responders and, and really quite, quite a lot of members of the public safety committee.

It solves for a long standing challenge. And you know, I'm quite proud that AT&T has a such a critical role in solving for that challenge, because if you go back to the idea of B2B2P yes, we are equipping those first responders. To be able to communicate, but that is not where the story ends. Those first responders, whether they be fire or police, EMS, those are people that are then protecting and helping our communities and all the people in those communities.

And it's such a great. Example another great example of that idea of B2B to P and it is all made possible through the network.

Adam Conner: First on behalf of all first responders. Thank you for your continued work anatomy. And I've got close friends who are first responders and, you know, in the last year, you know, whether they be in the police force or, or medical, whatever medical field they're in.

Um, obviously they need to be connected in that way. Uh, and then to speak very briefly to the small business ad. I appreciate that too, because there are plenty of people who were, you know, from, from my fiance, who's sitting in here in the apartment with me who is doing work from home right now for her business, um, to people who had to make a pivot, maybe their employer, you know, went out of business last year and they had to go out and start their own.

You're talking to one of those people right now on a show that is a direct production of one of those circumstances. You know, that is something that I know firsthand and in the position of somebody who needs to role lie on what becomes not a basic need, but certainly a strong desire to be connected and make sure your, you know, your wireless doesn't go out or something as simple as that.

That is often taken for granted. So I appreciate that. Um, the industry overall, you said, um, through that response has done a great job of coming together and standing up for small as you noted. Um, I'm not even, I'm not exactly sure if this fits quite within like your specific vertical, and if it, if it, if it doesn't, please let me know.

You know, through that, what I saw an absence of, which I frankly seen more of nowadays, um, that I didn't see so much in 20 is, uh, this industry is sort of unique tendency to like call out each other. Like, I feel like I saw it in restaurants for a little bit when a burger king would become on and be like, oh, we're better than the big Mac or whatever, you know, but with.

Telecommunications world. It has happened like way, way, way more frequently. And it's like a central talking point of like most of the campaigns. I see. And since I have you here, I'd be curious to learn why just because. I feel like if you're trying to tell an authentic story, why like immediately point why like point at a competitor immediately?

Like, why not just talk about yourself and like, I get it, like, it's funny, right? Who doesn't love? Who does, I love those, those commercials that you have now, right? Lilly who don't like that, you know, but I'm curious as to. Why if you could help me with that?

Alicia Dietsch: Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all, thanks for loving Lily, who doesn't love Lily to your point, and I'm going to come back to her in a minute.

So look, you're, you are absolutely right that, um, Over the years, there have been moments for sure. And they come and they go, and I'm not saying I'm particularly proud of all of them where we've gotten in the fray and made the conversation be about one another as competitors versus being about what we do for our customers.

And, you know, I don't know if you remember this probably for me, the period of time, that sort of best exemplified this was we had this period that we called the map wars where. Each of the carriers were running commercials that had big maps on them and where we had coverage versus somebody didn't have coverage.

And we hired celebrities, folks, people to stand in front of these maps, we all did it. And the unintended consequence of this is you make the entirety of the conversation, be about what is happening. Between these providers and the customer gets entirely lost. So I would like to say, it's, it's not universally true.

We still occasionally get into a little desktop. I'm not going to tell you it never happens because we all want to be the provider. We all want to be serving these customers, but I think more so now we, and I can certainly speak for AT&T are far more focused. On the customer than on the competitor as to why it happened.

You know, I think, look, everybody wants to be associated with the best and the fastest and the most unique. And, and as soon as you start again, making it be about you, you end up in that place versus in the place. That's really about the customer. But let's talk about Lily for a minute. Lily is the exact opposite of that.

We actually knew. And you're right. Lily is a spokes person slash character that, uh, was created out of our consumer business unit and really was all about authenticity. It was about taking the essence of what we wanted to be for our customers. As we show up authentically, as we show up in a really genuine way and embodying the characteristics that we wanted customers and potential customers to expect from us when they visit with us in a retail store, that's where Lily came from.

And, you know, I'm really actually quite proud. It wasn't my work, although I will tell you we've even used Lily in some of our business communications, not all that long ago, even. Um, and I'm just so proud that, that we took that opportunity to kind of move away from that infighting, if you will, and to stay truer to ourselves, into what we want to be.

For our customers and to take the time to sort of make that promise and set that expectation, which is really what, what Lily is, is all about. But, uh, yeah, it, historically speaking that the map wars I'm going to tell you were probably my personal low point.

Adam Conner: Really? Well, I figured to ask and yet I know that every time I see these commercials, right? It's it's for the consumer side, I understand that. I was just curious how it might've come over to your world. And so it's cool by the way, that you are able to find a consistent branding message, even through a character slash spokesperson who was originally intended for, for another unit.

Um, and so as I round out here, then similar to what you've just said, let's turn away from those, uh, those external messages and let's turn to you. Um, I need some advice. It's advice that I ask everybody. And it's on behalf of our listeners who are simply trying to either emulate your journey or carve a unique one of their own, regardless they clean.

And I claim to these teachings, these lessons and these pitfalls and mistakes avoided. To find our own authentic path forward. I mean, that's the whole reason that this show is called what it's called. Cause we all need to find our own authentic avenue. And I be curious, as we round out today to learn from you what advice you can give to me on how to find our own collective personal truth and our own avenues to authenticity because you've done it very, very well.

And you've explained it very well here. And I'm just wondering, well, we can take away now.

Alicia Dietsch: Sure. Well, you know, My best advice goes all the way back to where I started is to know what your mission is and, you know, start with that mission and grow from there, here, as an example, we, uh, we've established a set of values that compliment that mission and they serve as sort of our north star, if you will, for how we expect.

To be present with one another. And when I say one another, I mean, yes, one another as employees, one another, in terms of how we serve customers, one another in terms of how we serve the customers of our customers and, you know, writing those things down and having them serve as sort of a guide for people is incredibly useful.

Feels a little, you know, uh, tactical and, and, you know, when you think about being authentic, you know, it might not feel like the first thing you want to do is write down, write down the values that you associate with that. But, you know, for an organization that says large as ours, you know, it's actually really important that you have that shared roadmap.

Of what the expectation is, what it means to be in the business of connecting and, you know, set those expectations. So that for sure is one seemingly really tactical thing. And you know, whether you are an organization of two people, five people, 50 people or thousands and thousands of people. I would argue that that is a useful exercise and then, you know, find the things that surround those values.

So for us, um, you know, in the spirit of, of being a connector, there are complimentary areas that are so foundational to this idea of connection. Diversity and inclusion is one of them. Whether that be the diversity and inclusion of our own operation or how we support and foster that in our communities.

So I think, you know, it certainly has opportunity once you've, once you've decided what your mission is and you understand what those values are, those values will lead you to the ways. You can be most authentic, um, whether it be in how you're selling a service marketing, a service providing day to support to a customer or showing up in, in communities.

So that would be my, my advice. I, you know, I'm sure you've gotten wonderful advice, um, in, in this program before, but to me it all begins and ends with your mission.

Adam Conner: Well listeners, uh, that's something which, you know, I, I hope that you have done by now, but if not, take a minute today and really think about like, how can I condense what it is I do in this world, if it's for somebody else or even for, if it's for yourself.

I did this yesterday listeners, and this is going to come out a couple of weeks after this recording happens. But I, you know, I do that from time to time, as well as try to refocus. That middle, because how many times do we hear something? Not exactly like this, but around it from these folks who have gone to build incredible presences at incredible brands.

And I'm so glad to have had your presence here today, Alicia, because it's given me a new look at an industry that I should have looked at more and it's incredible. Powerful knowing that, uh, you provide connection in all sorts of different ways. So for your, uh, for your insight, for your input here, thanks so much.

It was a pleasure to have you.

Alicia Dietsch: It was a pleasure to be here. Thank you.


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