This special episode is with Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce.com Vala Afshar. Coinciding with Dreamforce —Salesforce.com’s annual mega-conference in San Francisco, Vala shares with us what it’s like to be a leader in the digital media age.
He also shares some of the key practices that have made Salesforce #1 on Forbes most innovative companies list.
Social Business Excellence
Vala is the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence. He is also the co-host of DisrupTV and one of the most visible and impactful thought leaders in enterprise tech. On the side, he is a contributing writer at HuffPost, which he claims were one of his ticket for his CMO career.
“I was a CMO for 4 years. Complete impostor syndrome from beginning to end because I never had Marketing experience, I never went to school to study the art and science of Marketing. My CEO called me on a weekend saying ‘on Monday I’m gonna announce that you’re going to be the CMO.” – Vala Afshar
He narrates to Christopher how the energy and confidence that he used to have as an athlete, did not translate to who he has become as a business person. However, he got through this challenge as he had the passion to share information.
From An Introvert to a Keynote Speaker
For an introvert, Vala narrates how he spent 10 years writing codes. He was perfectly happy locked up in a cube, just writing software. He is still amazed with how he opened himself up to people and to be able to share the stage with Christopher in various events.
“Movement is the ultimate status symbol. Movement of information. Again, in my first 40 years, if I read a book or listened to your podcast, I would just consume it and then that’s it, it stayed with me. In the last 5 or 6 years, when I learned something, I try to capture that and share.” – Vala Afshar
Vala quotes other professionals on why they think Salesforce is successful: it’s because of technology disruption. This disruption is in terms of ‘how do you build an ecosystem, how do you give away your time, money and profit, how do you build a company based on emerging technology and how do you create new business models.
“The 111 Philanthropic model was pretty unique and now about 10,000 companies have adopted that. The subscription model, pay as you go, that’s like the envy of most business..” – Vala Afshar
He also shares about the Salesforce module called V2mom, a mobile compatible app where employees align with the company vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measurements.
To hear more about the best practices of Salesforce.com and leadership advice from Vala Afshar, download and listen to the episode.
Vala Afshar is the Chief Digital Evangelist for Salesforce.
Afshar is the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence. Afshar is also the co-host of DisrupTV, a weekly show covering the latest digital business and innovation market trends.
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