Ep 7 Rob Hartsough – Low-tech Productivity and the Ultimate Business Principle

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Welcome to E7 of LIFT Speaks with Robert Hartsough, SVP of Global Sales and Support for Skillsoft. Rob is responsible for leading the Sales and Consulting Lines of Business across five global regions. He’s either on a plane traveling across the world or on international phone calls making notes on multiple whiteboards at the LIFT Office.

I just got back from . . . Hong Kong, where I went on a street food tour and hiked the Dragon’s back.

Inside my suitcase, you will always find . . . a tie and a white shirt.

When it comes to packing, I have learned . . . to get my shirts from the cleaners pre-folded.

I will always return to . . . my roots in Houston.

When the meetings are over and someone’s in my town . . . I like to share my favorite restaurants and dives that have local character/characters.

Hear other tidbits of wisdom on business and life with Rob in this week’s episode of LIFT Speaks.


Tom Miller: Welcome to LIFT, where we talk to cool people about the things that they’re doing around the world and at the LIFT Office. We’re here today with Rob Hartsough. Rob, welcome.

Rob Hartsough: Thank you.

Tom Miller: Tell us what you do.

Rob Hartsough: So I run a global sales organization, India, the UK, North America and Canada.

Tom Miller: OK, cool. So I’ve got a few questions we’re going to kind of fire at you real quick. Before that, we were talking – before we got going here about your little hobby, you’re a fisherman.

Rob Hartsough: I am. I am. I grew up in Houston by the water, the Bayou City down there.

Tom Miller: Yeah.

Rob Hartsough: Throwing a line after school every day, coming home. I’ve always just loved to fish and the outdoors. That has grown to fly fishing. So whenever I travel, I always keep that in mind.

Tom Miller: So what’s your best fish – what’s the biggest fish you ever caught that nobody saw?

Rob Hartsough: Biggest fish I ever caught that nobody saw, that would have to be –

Tom Miller: Because here’s your chance to go ginormous, right?

Rob Hartsough: Yeah. That would have to be a red snapper in Cabo San Lucas.

Tom Miller: OK. Have you ever done that bone fishing stuff?

Rob Hartsough: I have not.

Tom Miller: OK. I read about that. That looks crazy. Those fish, they got the little high back thing.

Rob Hartsough: Yes.

Tom Miller: It looks really hard.

Rob Hartsough: I would love to do some fly fishing, tarpon fishing in the flats.

Tom Miller: Yeah, yeah.

Rob Hartsough: Seeing those guys and they’re up there and they’re throwing the big, old spinner out there and seeing it explode. I would love to do that.

Tom Miller: OK. We will get you to Colorado salmon fishing. You can teach me. I’ve got a little Tenkara rod that I extend. It’s like cane pole fishing. It’s kind of half fly fishing but mostly cane pole fishing.

Rob Hartsough: I will bring a little can of worms for you.

Productivity: One of the Keys to Success

Tom Miller: OK. Sweet. All right. All right. Cool. So quick question. What’s your best day?

Rob Hartsough: My best day, my best work day is coming in early, working through North America and the rest of the globe, getting a lot of productivity, having a good lunch break and then cleaning things up in the afternoon.

Tom Miller: Cool.

Rob Hartsough: Yeah.

Tom Miller: You mentioned productivity. Do you have one key for productivity for you?

Rob Hartsough: I don’t know if I have one key. But for me, I got to write it down. If I don’t write it down, I have a goal, it will – the day will get ahead of me and I will lose it. So typically I – and I’m a guy that writes. So even in today’s digital environment, I will write things down and get to that list.

Tom Miller: Is there one key principle, business principle that you’re committed to executing?

Rob Hartsough: Yes. So for me, I have to always look at what’s best for the customer and then balance that with the company. You know, the things that are good for the company and best for the customer.

Tom Miller: Where do you find the greatest joy or what energizes you most about your work?

Rob Hartsough: So what energizes me most about work and life is seeing other people be productive and grow in their career and their life.

Tom Miller: Cool, very cool. Other than making money, what impact do you hope your work has?

Rob Hartsough: Wow. So I’m in the knowledge transfer business where we produce digital – digital education materials. So it has a point where it can enrich others lives. So to make them more productive and in some cases, in parts of the world, where they don’t have the same standard of living that we do.

The Joys of Coworking

Tom Miller: Fantastic. So Rob, what’s your favorite thing about working at the LIFT office and how has working here benefited you from a productivity standpoint?

Rob Hartsough: Yes, a great one. So a couple of things about the LIFT Office I really like. Number one is the flexibility. Having a global organization, I’m here at all hours. Sometimes it’s 5:00 in the morning. Sometimes it’s 10 o’clock at night, depending on the time zones with the team I’m talking to. So that’s wonderful. The other thing about the LIFT Office is the culture. There’s always somebody here willing to help out or somebody that I can help them out in their position.

Tom Miller: Cool. Rob, thanks. It has been great to hear from you. Great to learn where you’re going and to meet you.

Rob Hartsough: It’s my pleasure, Tom.

Tom Miller: Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for more episodes of amazing people doing really cool stuff out in the marketplace. Better yet, drop in, bring your laptop. Come grab a cup of coffee with us and let’s chat about certainly what we’re doing here, but more importantly what you’re trying to get done with your life. Thanks for dropping by.

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