Talking With Tony - College ProOn a recent tour of our North American business, Tony Valle, CEO at College Pro, took some time to chat with one of our General Managers, Chris O’Keeffe. Chris shared their conversation.
Chris: How do you network?

Tony: I have no fear.

Most of my life, I was working and not caring much about my network. But my network of friends are all successful, and my College Pro network is a real network.

If I want to meet someone, I just reach out to them and see if they want to talk.


Chris: How do you help people problem solve and how do you teach them to problem solve?

Tony: There are different types of problem solving: Evolutionary & Revolutionary

Evolutionary – tinkering, playing
Revolutionary – changing the game, looking at the world differently

You have to have the ability to create options and execute them.

Decide on options, get to the root problem and solve it.


Chris: What are the key factors of what you look for when recruiting someone? What do they have to have?

Tony: There are a lot of things. One of the sessions we teach is Leading from the Inside Out in which we look at the attributes of a high performer. Over the last decade, those have been the fundamental things I look for.

Attributes of a High Performer:
1. Visionary
2. Exceptional Talent
3. Constant Learner
4. Goal of Personal Excellence
5. Dedicated Hard Worker
6. Self-Awareness

They [person] have to have a good mix if IQ & EQ. IQ doesn’t change, EQ develops and changes at you become more mature – that openness to change is key.

Chris: What are some of the best examples you’ve seen of partnering (in a coaching context)?

Tony: We call it a lot of things, but partnering is selling. It’s like a Venn diagram: what do you care about, what do I care about, where do they overlap?

It’s all promise and delivery. What do you need? Based on that need, here is what I’m going to deliver.

I tend to under-promise and over-deliver, which my wife hates. I will hesitate to promise something because the worst thing is to under-deliver.


Chris: How do you know when you need to pull the plug (on someone, an idea, etc.)?

Tony: Like when to say no? I don’t know if I believe this… but the first time you think about it, because we often linger too long. Something has caused self-doubt. With people and employees, often the first time something deeply tells you ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’. Or when meaning is lost. That’s a big one for me.

It’s one of those tough ones – you sometimes just know.

This is why we [College Pro] teach Conflict Resolution, to help people make critical decisions.

If you keep going when you shouldn’t, its disrespectful and lacking values.


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