467: The Exponential Value of Saying: Thank You | Elena Gomez, CFO, Zendesk

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Choose Your Words Carefully

Zendesk CFO Elena Gomez followed up a top-notch education (a degree from UC-Berkley’s Haas School of Business) with a series of finance executive positions within some highly impressive companies – Charles Schwab, Visa, Salesforce and, since April 2016, Zendesk, a customer experience and help desk platform company that's posted remarkable, largely organic, growth in recent years. Despite the elite credentials, Gomez asserts the importance of forging genuine connections with her bosses, colleagues and direct reports. She shares the inspirational speech her boss gave to her when her confidence wavered as a 29-year-old, newly minted VP. Gomez also delivers a candid account of how a near mutiny by her team taught her the underrated value of authentic expressions of gratitude. “One of my direct reports told me that everyone on my team was going to quit,” she recalls. “I was a brand new VP of finance … he said: You know, you haven’t said ‘thank you.’ It just stopped me in my tracks.”

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