Episode 22 of Executives Unpacked was a great conversation with Adam Nightingale, the CCO at 3 Screen Solutions. Adam’s career has taken him across the video and streaming industry, with a wealth of experience at a senior level. 3SS is a world leader in helping content houses provide their customers with best in class video platforms, giving him valuable insights into the way that the video streaming industry is heading. Read on to get to know this incredible executive!
What is the biggest lesson that you think you’ve learned during your career?
The biggest lesson is to trust your instincts, because very often, you’re surrounded by smart, opinionated people with well-reasoned opinions, and it’s easy to get lost in that. I would urge anyone to never be afraid to voice their own opinions. Don’t be swayed by someone with a big mouth and no ears. Trust what you believe to be right and true – you’re often not far wrong. Even if you are wrong, at least you acted with integrity and followed what you believed to be right.
What do you wish that you’d been told earlier in your career?
Don’t be afraid to speak up. I had a guy on my team in one particular company, and he was good at being outspoken, but he had annoyed a lot of people because of it. His parting words to me when he left were ‘Are you honestly representing the interests of your team with the board? Do you need to fight for your team? Go in for the fight every time.’ In my next company, I did exactly that – I represented the interests of the team.
What I failed to understand is that every company is different. What works in one company may or may not work in another. Some companies are very open to new ideas and other companies are very resistant to them. It’s easy to take one bit of advice that’s absolutely solid and apply it in the wrong circumstances. I learned that the hard way.
What types of things have constantly kept you awake at night?
Sales is a weird career choice to take in some ways. Even if you assume that you win one in three deals, that means two thirds of your time is wasted. That’s terrible. Who would willingly get into that kind of environment?
In sales, the leads you bring in are what keeps the company going. You have this sense of responsibility to win interesting deals. It’s mainly about making sure there’s money and margin to fund growth, but it’s also got to be interesting for everybody else to do. If a company is full of 100 individual people with different personalities and ambitions and interests, they’ll all want to push the boundaries of the technology they work with. That keeps me up too.
Is there a single thread that has run through your career that has led to your successes?
It’s probably being curious and interested in what I’m doing. I’ve always been drawn towards things that engage me. My first career was in a bank’s IT department, which was a big mistake because I’m the most ill-equipped person for IT, but it was interesting. It was putting information in front of people to let them make informed decisions. I could have said, ‘This isn’t interesting’ and gone to work on the trading floor and make boatloads of money, but that wouldn’t have been as fulfilling. Instead, I went to uni. After that I was put into a deeply technical role that I was hopelessly unsuited to, but I moved from there into a sales and marketing role in a fledgling multimedia department, just because it was interesting. Everything I’ve done I’ve been interested in, which has made my career more enjoyable, and therefore more successful.
What one bit of advice do you always give to other people?
To learn more about this incredible executive, tune into the Executives Unpacked podcast here.