There are those people who simply feel uncomfortable talking about themselves, and Larry White certainly is one of them. The senior vice president of sales, Americas, for Toshiba America Business Solutions would rather extol the virtues of others, insisting that “I’m the most un-outstanding person you’ve ever met.”
However, White’s modesty belies an intense values system and drive to realize the success of his Toshiba teammates and the company as a whole. White may not have P.T. Barnum’s self-promotion skills, but he is adroit at selling the path to prosperity.
“If you want to make the spectacular look routine, you have to do the routine spectacularly,” observed White, a 2017 ENX Magazine Difference Maker. “You have to do the basics really well and improve on them every day. The only way to get really good is to get better at the little things that you do every day. It’s not the big things but the little things that add up.”
White’s career path took an unexpected U-turn while studying engineering at Texas Tech University. He thrived in that major but found the subject matter utterly boring. At the same time, White saw that his brother-in-law loved his job at IBM and was earning a nice paycheck, so he became a business major. Upon graduating, he fielded offers from companies including IBM and Xerox, but opted for a lesser-known entity, Savin, where he embarked on an 18-year journey in various sales capacities.
It’s the satisfaction of seeing colleagues and dealer clients flourish that truly excites White. He related the tale of a young man who began his career as an order processor, then busted his tail rising through the ranks to become a vice president of international sales. And he loves dealer success stories, particularly those where the company battled through adversity to become a formidable business. Those Rocky-esque tales resonate with White, who enthuses “I love to watch people and dealers pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”
Yet when it comes to his own success, White defers to the efforts of others and credits his parents with instilling his core values. “I’ve been truly blessed to have a great team surround me in all aspects of the business, which makes me look good,” he said. “My parents taught me at a young age to always do the right thing. For every action, there’s a consequence, and you need to know the difference between right and wrong. When it comes to making a decision, you just have to do what’s right. It’s not the easiest thing to do; what’s right to one person may not be right to another. It’s the key to being successful in anything for long-term success.”
On the professional side, White has borrowed from the teachings of mentors including Lou Federico, Brian Merriman, Rick Taylor and Scott Maccabe. They provided inspiration to him in the way they hold employees and customers in high regard. At the same time, White views business with a discerning eye and a healthy dose of skepticism. He is wary of those things that appear too good to be true.
White is proud of the many months of work invested by Toshiba’s team in releasing 27 new products in the past year, an experience that was both fun and incredibly difficult. The payoff and ultimate goal in moving forward is to ensure that these new tools and the entire Toshiba value proposition continues to grow revenues, bottom line and dealer success.
“How we go to market has changed so much in the last five years with millennials taking a big step in the marketplace,” he said. “How we work with millennials and learn more about what motivates them will be critical for us.”
White and his wife, Sarah, have two children: Hailee, a recent graduate of Texas Christian University, and Griffin, a senior at Southern Methodist University. The Whites enjoy traveling and count going on safari in South Africa as one of the most memorable experiences.
“It’s so cool to see nature at its best and worst. It’s fascinating,” White said.