Sales Leadership Spotlight: Meet Alex

We interviewed one of Paycom’s sales managers, Alex, to learn more about his leadership journey.

What made you want to be a leader?

As I evolved in my career at Paycom, I found my opportunities at the organization to mentor and teach others were far and away the most fulfilling experiences I had. I also spent a few years with an executive coach helping me understand my “why” and my fundamental motivations, which aligned well with a leadership opportunity.

Did you have a mentor?

Absolutely, I’ve had many mentors. You can’t understand or learn effective leadership from one person. Leadership looks very different from leader to leader, but it ultimately has the same outcome for those they serve.

How did they impact your career?

Each one taught me different lessons when it came to being an effective leader. One of my mentors taught me the power of authenticity and transparency to those you serve. Another taught me the importance of speaking through your actions and not simply your words. Everything I know about leadership and how it’s impacted my career came from these mentors.

What skills do you feel have made you an effective leader?

I strive to be as genuine and authentic as I can. I have always had a deep desire for excellence personally, and I know that bleeds into my management of people. I don’t know that I have unique skills that make me more effective, but I obsess in my own personal leadership development and relentlessly study effective leadership in order to implement best practices with my people and get better every day. Like any career, a career in leadership means countless hours of studying and perfecting your craft if you want to be the best at it.

What made you want to be a leader at Paycom?

Paycom recognizes not only the best leaders, but also the best ways to approach leadership. I knew I would have a lot of responsibility thrown at me, which only meant a lot of opportunity to learn and develop in my capacity to lead.

What’s the hardest part of being a leader?

My answer to this continually evolves over time. At the present time, my greatest struggle is striking a good balance between modeling or doing something for my people and allowing my people to fail in certain things so that they too can grow, learn and develop.

What’s your favorite part of being a leader?

Truthfully, my most fulfilling memories are those when one of my people specifically thank me or recognize the impact I had in their personal or professional development. I’m relatively new in my leadership career, but also realize everyone responds to different leaders, so validation that I’m doing the right things to develop and inspire my people is what currently drives me.

What characteristics do you look for in potential leaders?

I look for a motivation to impact more than themselves, a growth mindset, a desire for excellence, and positivity and energy.

What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in leadership?

Take your time and understand what your motivations are for being a leader. It’s one of the toughest jobs in the world and is not a reward for you or an accolade to hang on your belt. In fact, once you’re in leadership, nothing should be about you. It should only be about your people – their successes, their struggles, their needs. It’s also important to know that getting into a leadership position from an individual contributor role is not a linear progression, no matter what it seems like. It’s a completely different career path requiring very different skills and motivations.