Chris Cicchinelli is the CEO & President of Pure Romance, the world’s largest in-home/virtual party company specializing in intimacy and sexual health. On his twenty year journey with the company, he grew the business from $3 million to $350 million in revenue.
In 2018, Chris founded the Living with Change Foundation to help transgender youth and their families. He's also the author of the secret is YOU: How I Empowered 250,000 Women to Find Their Passion and Change Their Lives.
On this episode of the Strategy & Leadership Podcast, Chris joined our Managing Partner Anthony Taylor to discuss his most challenging phase of growth, developing trust & credibility, the keys to attracting top talent & more.
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Here's a breakdown of our conversation:
His most challenging phase of growth
On the journey of growing his business to $350 million, Chris says that the jump from $1 million to $4 million was the toughest. Procurement wasn't set up, customer services wasn't setup, and the company just wasn't ready to quadruple in size. That's when he learned the importance of having processes in place from the beginning.
His other piece advice for this phase of growth is to keep the messaging simple. You can't have a long mission statement that's paragraphs long.. you have to have messaging that people will believe and buy-into.
His leadership style that led the company through the phase of growth was important. Chris describes himself as a communicator, rather than an operator. He knows how to read people and keep them moving forward - which no doubt was a big help during COVID.
Developing trust & credibility
When it comes to developing trust and credibility, Chris' outlook is "believe it till you become it" rather than "fake it till you make it". On top of that, you have to be a good storyteller - you can't lead with how much money someone is going to make, etc.
He also talks about the importance of forming relationships. He tries to think long term, and never attempts to close anything on the first engagement. Transparency is a big piece of that relationship building.
Keys to attracting top talent
Chris explains that money is not the main reason your people will leave - it will be because of uncertainty or anxiety. In order to attract top talent that sticks around, make sure you have processes, systems and checks and balances in place, forget about ping pong tables, and be more transparent. A transparent organization and leader results in more buy-in from people, because they can see where the organization is going and why.
To learn more about Chris and his work visit chriscicchinelli.com, and be sure to check out his book: the secret is YOU: How I Empowered 250,000 Women to Find Their Passion and Change Their Lives.
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