Today, we shine a spotlight on Anthony Cross, who has been recognized for “Own Our Tomorrow, Today,” one of the ProgressPROUD core values we strive to embody every day.
Keeping up with the latest trends and innovations in any industry can be challenging, but it’s practically a full-time job in the technology field. Things change rapidly, and it’s crucial to stay ahead if you want to be successful.
For Anthony Cross, sales manager at Progress, keeping up with the world of tech comes naturally. He was first introduced to coding and computer programming as a teenager, and he continues to learn more about the industry every day.
Read on to hear Anthony’s advice for managers and people working in sales, and to learn more about his experience at Progress:
It all started in my early teens when my parents bought me a PC. I started coding in Turbo Pascal and never stopped. I found it fascinating to be able to control a machine!
Programming also taught me two lessons that I still use today: Be precise and change only one thing a time. It helped me tremendously in high school and university, and I eventually graduated with a master’s degree in computer science.
A good manager trusts his team as professionals who know what to do to get the job done. He delegates results, not tasks. In that aspect, money is a result, not a goal. It's a key lesson learnt from Steve Job's biography. So, I regularly ask my team what their objective is for the year, for the quarter and for the month.
A good manager also must be consistent and treat people equally, keeping in mind that the company matters more than the individual. That's why sharing and enforcing common values, such as our ProgressPROUD values, is important. They tie people together, especially in difficult times.
Finally, a good manager has to stay connected with what's happening in the field and with what they are selling—in my case, technology!
Having Stephan Leferink as my direct manager has been, and is, a constant source of good advice both in enabling people and managing a profit center. I have a lot of liberty with clear objectives and my weekly interactions with him help me make the right decisions.
Progress has a long history of unique managers, and I also had the chance of working with Dan Veitkus, former general manager in Europe, who taught me a lot. Ten years later, I still remember his advice! When I have doubts, I refer to Stephan and Dan's guiding principles and usually find the answer.
Progress started in development, like me, and has the DNA of calculating in the long run. That's why we are profitable, and it gives us a lot of latitude to innovate, which is the essence of IT and what makes me stay.
But what I love the most is Progress people: We work seriously without taking ourselves too seriously. It's fun and rewarding to work at Progress!
Growing the French business in a sustainable way. In fact, I'm just an enabler. Our growth is the result of what everyone is doing. It's very rewarding to see the current emulation of the French team and all that they are doing!
Preparation is key; don't hope for the best! I have a reputation of preparing thoroughly and it's what helped me reach my target year after year.
You must focus on your own priorities, which means sometimes saying no to others and accepting that you may have to disqualify some of your own opportunities. That's very difficult in sales, especially when you run behind target numbers. It’s also why you need to learn a lot in sales: Learn your products, learn how to qualify, learn how to negotiate and so on.
The key thing in sales is not to be afraid of carrying quota. Plan your quarterly and monthly priorities early—those that will help you make your numbers. The rest is secondary. For managing people, the key is to develop trust. Trust in our management, in our team, in our values, in our company and in our history.
Finally, always keep learning, regardless of your age or experience. It is fascinating to see how the curious progress.
"Stay hungry, stay foolish." - Steve Jobs
To get to know other Progressers like Anthony, read more of our employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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