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7 Questions with David Carmell
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7 Questions with David Carmell
Name: David Carmell
Current title: Founder & CEO
Current organisation: DEALROCKiT LLC
David is an attorney, entrepreneur, and CEO of both DealRockit and the strategic management firm, CSuite Advantage. DealRockit was founded with the intention to create the first-of-its-kind digital CX solution offering the tools for enterprises, entrepreneurs, and investors to interact and transact in unprecedented ways. While app developers, investors, and entrepreneurs have changed the dating game, no one has managed to tackle a way to match and connect like-minded individuals and businesses in a one-stop-shop for customer acquisition and business development until now. What started as an idea to connect small businesses has grown to encompass all areas of networking, collaboration, and productivity, creating a virtuous cycle where everyone wins. DealRockit’s novel technologies solve significant business problems, acting as powerful growth engines that pull others with it.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Breaking through the status quo and reimagining what is possible is always a challenge and one that has driven my entire career. Albert Einstein taught the importance of mindset change. (“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”) Peter Drucker helped me realize how to direct my passion for business. (“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”)
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Coming out of law school I had the privilege to be Assistant to the CEO/Chairman of a large public company in Chicago, a former family business run by the two sons of its founder. Truth be told, I thought I had no interest in working for a corporation. Yet after a fluke meeting with my future boss, I reconsidered and pivoted. I learned very quickly how lucky I was to work for such a great person and leader. He influenced and challenged me in so many ways, including introducing me to Peter Drucker (both through his writings and in person). When the company was bought out, my boss backed me in my first venture.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I try to create a balance between set routine and fluidity, I begin my day at 5:30am with a music mix, reading various business publications and then walking/having coffee with my wife. Throughout the day I have set times for meetings but always make sure to have two open slots throughout the day for the impromptu while allowing myself enough time at the end of the day to get on a roll to help improve the DealRockit platform and engage/follow-up with others.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Clearly, this is not the time to play it safe. Rather, the opposite is true requiring executives to find new solutions by solving the customer’s most valuable problem in a way they’ve never experienced before. Johnson & Johnson’s CEO Alex Gorsky said it best when referring to the development of J&J’s Covid vaccine, regardless of the risk: “This is a bit of a moonshot for J&J going forward, but it’s one we feel is very, very important for us to be doing at this period in time.”
At DealRockit, we embarked on our own “moonshot” before COVID-19, having envisioned a digital world where firms can rapidly accelerate growth and customer experience by connecting business stakeholders in unprecedented ways. DealRockit's novel technologies solve significant business problems, acting as a powerful growth engine that pulls others with it.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Peter Drucker’s “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” has had a profound impact on me and, ultimately, on how I arrived at creating DealRockit. I was always drawn to Drucker’s message of aligning interests internally and externally and bringing the people and resources together to create a win-win. I was also inspired by Drucker to have one foot in the present and another in the future, balancing a focus on the day to day while being able to see around the corner. Recently I was a guest on Office Hours Live with David Meltzer. Referencing Peter Drucker, co-host Blaine Bartlett stated that: “The role of the leader is aligning strengths. Making weaknesses irrelevant… DealRockit, you've cracked the code”.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
The best way to build leadership capacity is (1) growing businesses to create new opportunities and prevent stagnation, (2) being the place that recruits itself, where other highly talented skilled people want to work and grow individually and together as a team, and (3) having an overarching goal/theme that the entire organization can rally behind. The U.S. once had such a goal -- sending a man to the moon which the entire nation got behind.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
When acquiring a large distributor, I recognized that the company was under performing because the processes, controls, and people were not aligned. After touring the warehouses and speaking to the line operators, it became clear that no one in a supervisory capacity had ever asked them for input. Making people part of the solution was a must. When asked, and without hesitation, most knew what needed to be done. Once we cleared the air and began working together on solutions, interests became aligned, morale changed, and we went on to become an industry leader.
Fast forwarding to today, we are at a similar inflection point. Moving past COVID-19 requires new digital solutions that revolutionize how businesses scale and engage. What we need today are better business offerings so that more and more people can participate and benefit in this new economy, which is exactly why we built the DealRockit platform.