I learned of the greater dangers of uncertainty and misinformation: the importance of the dignity of knowledge thru such a national crisis. I came up with my own personal acronym to best describe the overall emotional confusion we all watched and some sadly participated in. I call it “FUD” (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). That with such fear (FUD) store shelves became emptied, product hoarding becomes a retail standard, concern and confusion for health safety for self and family became paramount to daily living.
As a part of our series called “5 Things I Learned From The Social Isolation of the COVID19 Pandemic”, I had the pleasure to interview Peter Weedfald.
Peter Weedfald is one of America’s top sales and marketing leaders. As the senior vice president of Sales & Marketing at Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America (SEMCA), Peter is in a rare position in which he oversees sales and brand/digital marketing for both Sharp’s U.S. Home and Commercial Appliance businesses.
By aligning sales and marketing as one, Peter has helped New Jersey-based Sharp Home Electronics Company of America focus on furthering its commitment to health, wellness and Simply Better Living by bringing highly relevant product offerings to consumers and businesses.
In his prior business life, Peter was the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Samsung Electronics in the U.S. and has also held senior executive roles as President of Gen One Ventures, SVP, CMO of Circuit City, EVP of ViewSonic Corp. and media company VP, Executive Publisher for the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company.
Peter is an avid and energizing keynote presenter, and author on topics in sales, marketing, technology, digital advertising and business leadership. His latest industry-centric book, Green Reign Leadership, is sold in over 11 countries with proceeds donated to various children charities. See here: https://lnkd.in/gvMiXvR
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers like to get an idea of who you are and where you came from. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
My background, call it my personal brand promise is appreciatively and humbly rooted in creativity, hard work, relevancy and discipline always focused on earning the right: earning another’s trust to take one more foot forward in my business, personal and giving life. I have always been lost in admiration for those who have the will, the need and the means to achieve mighty things, especially with a formidable, well-developed team. I am blessed with what I call “the fire in the belly”: personal determination, fastidious and dauntless pro-activism to achieve.
I creatively performed on a Steinway grand piano several times in my youth at Carnegie Hall in New York City and studied classical piano for about fifteen years. I continue to musically compose and create within my own studio as well as creatively thru black ink on white paper within my book, now published in 11 countries: Green Reign Leadership. I enjoy helping others in need, those less fortunate, those less healthy, those who suffer and need a helping hand. I have helped thru time to raise millions of dollars for a variety of sharing, caring and giving organizations I created with incredible team members such as: The ViewSonic Journey of Hope, Samsung’s Four Season’s of Hope, Samsung’s Hope For Education, Firedog Across America and several more. I have been honored and blessed to hold executive-level roles with The Ziff Davis Publishing Company, ViewSonic, Samsung Electronics, Gen One Ventures and now SHARP Electronics.
What has been the biggest adjustment while working from home from your in-person workplace? Can you please share a story or example?
Of course, we can easily agree that home is where our hearts best stretch, breathe and breed rewards called happiness, love and smiles. My blessed home life motivates and engines my business resolve and fastidious “can do, will do, done” determination. As my home and family, just like yours, is kinetically rewarded thru 12 daily hours of business toil and achievement. Families live for trust, confidence, safety, wellbeing and clarity. The fact that I was personally unable to offer clarity to my family regarding a worldwide pandemic was in itself, a mammoth adjustment to my caring for my family.
In congress with our new, homebound business hibernations I quickly realized our business-centric loss of physical human interaction, i.e. standing, engaging, sharing and presenting to another with a customer or partner in the same room shook the construct of our assiduous, well-groomed operational and market rhythm. Disruption became the norm: re-constitution and reconstruction became the necessity.
It was not simply a singular adjustment, working from home, rather an adjustment as I coin with the phrase: “change, focus, speed.” It was and continues to be very clear that we must re-constitute our physical business lives to ensure our ability to grow and succeed in our mission. That clearly business needed to change, morph and mature thru a new virtual, home office virtual sharing environment. That we needed to focus onour freshest technology, software and visual tools to mature and advance our new style of remote business engagements and transactions. That change and focus were fluidly shared, engaged and proven across departments, workgroups and customers it was time to speed up our new homebound business lives to continue to advance competitive advantage. All of this change, focus and speed transacted came with tolls, toils and both personal and business adjustments and challenges. I continue to be very proud and in awe of our team members that were and are strongly determined and motivated to ensure positive change, focus and speed.
What do you miss most about your preCOVID lifestyle?
I, along with so many I’ve spoken with this year greatly miss the personal and business heartfelt burnish of face-to-face engagements. Yes, the hustle and bustle of airport travel across America is time-consuming, expensive and in many cases very disruptive based upon cancellations and delays. However, there is no greater business feeling and marketable value than to sit across a table from a customer, a partner, a team member: a friend. I and we all miss our freedom. Our freedom to move about inside and outside of our newly-demanded and expected home hibernation. Our delicious and engaging spontaneity to take a walk, take a trip, travel locally to enjoy heartfelt spirits with friends and family inside a movie theater, a restaurant: a church, a temple or any place of worship or gathering. Freedom is truly a Godsend, especially after it is lost and found.
Ok wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Learned From The Social Isolation of the COVID19 Pandemic? (Please share a story or example for each.)
My role in business is not a solitary art form. In congress with my oversight of sales and brand marketing, I am highly engaged, elbow to elbow with SHARP Home Appliance sales team leaders, working daily with a multitude of customers across America. And my same intense sobriety is focused across our brand marketing chores to energize and excite consumers across the country for our products and brands. The pandemic, as we know, caused sustainable multi-modal changes throughout our business, home and mobile lives which are truly a cause and effect for my own personal learnings: for market changes hyper-abounding across the world. Specifically and generally what I learned is:
- That family is much more important, more amplified, heartfelt and meaningful than ever before thru this pandemic. As I have traveled in silver bullets at 35,000 feet across our fruited plains for most of my 30 plus years of business having the opportunity to work from home and be home each morning and night for a year is a blessing, a dream come true I will always appreciate and cherish. That family is indeed the best medicine of all. I have been able to pause, reflect, count our blessings, better appreciate our family, friends and colleagues thru this subjugating pandemic.
- My wife and I are empty nesters. Hence, we are not affected the same in isolation as many people across the country with children, parents or the elderly at home. Further, I realize my work ethics, determination and passion for our business, our mission remains very consistent thru a remote office as was in our physical office location. I also discovered rapidly, without missing a beat the power, time savings and high-value touchpoints for virtual meetings. What I did not discover is a different Peter. My personal creed, benediction and focus for the business, for my family, for my team and customers beats exactly the same remotely, if not stronger as exampled by my long home office hours… by our team’s high touch focus for our customers thru the pandemic. I learned I am truly me, that my personal brand and refulgent passion for our business, for my family remains steady, surefooted and protective. I also learned thru the news, thru others across our nation that we are blessed and very fortunate for our SHARP customers and business, for our immediate families: our health and safety.
- I learned of the greater dangers of uncertainty and misinformation: the importance of the dignity of knowledge thru such a national crisis. I came up with my own personal acronym to best describe the overall emotional confusion we all watched and some sadly participated in. I call it “FUD” (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). That with such fear (FUD) store shelves became emptied, product hoarding becomes a retail standard, concern and confusion for health safety for self and family became paramount to daily living.
- I learned that the internet is truly Darwin on speed. Ostensibly it is the fastest union of push and pull in the universe. That the first inch thru any piece of glowing, connected glass is our newest, fastest pylon to garner emotional, knowledge, entertainment and commerce engagements locally and globally. That we can truly visit for example Italy, France or even Japan instantly with nano-second responses and engagements thru real-time family joined video. Not to replace human capital and interaction rather, offering fluid speed, efficiency, choice, social engagements, economy of language, commerce and purpose: instant gratification. That thru our home hibernations, the union of technology and the internet, we have together empowered and hyper-fueled our present, our future.
- Mostly I learned both locally and globally just how much we really care about each other. I learned how my own company SHARP Electronics cares so much about the safety, health and well-being of every team member. I learned to more highly respect every first responder: from medical professionals to our police, fireman, armed services to those that build and create goods and services… to those who like Santa Claus deliver our purchases in 4 wheel sleds to our front doors. I learned how our country ethos can pull together to help each other thru a dire, cruel and confusing pandemic. I learned to appreciate and respect and cherish them all, so very much. I learned that so many have a beautiful heart for the innocent, a heart and helping hand for those in pain, in need: those who pine for caring, sharing and giving more than they will ever receive.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and share how that was relevant to you during the pandemic?
My favorite life lesson quote is from Martin Luthor King and relevantly kicks off Chapter 6 of my business book Green Reign Leadership. The chapter is titled “The Best Opportunities Lie In Danger.” Doctor King’s highly relevant, viceroy quote is: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Every family, every business, every first responder, every recipient of help and support heralds such a pandemic, world crises quote from this great leader. My personal congener in reflection to this historic, urbane quote is the realization that so many people in my personal and business lives depend on me, especially thru this continuing pandemic. That my own backbone, my personal benediction to build trust, to protect family, friends and team members, to support and give is wanted, warranted and expected. That hope is not a strategy. Rather caring, sharing and giving actions is the righteous strategy thru a multitude of challenges and controversy, especially thru the confusion, disruption and fear of this pernicious pandemic.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.