It has been said that there are two types of people in the business world—those who love to win, and those who hate to lose. Your motivating factor can either be the fear of failure or the determination to succeed. Some prefer the chase, others relish being chased.
Darren Cassidy certainly fits the bill of the former category. The president of the U.S. channels unit, North America operations for Xerox and a 2017 ENX Magazine Difference Maker freely admits that he measures success by the individual victories that, in the aggregate, makes his work life so rewarding.
“I love winning. Winning the month, winning the quarter, winning the deals we support our partners in, winning in signing up new partners, winning by seeing our team develop personally and professionally,” Cassidy remarked. “Winning by seeing our people get new roles within our company and winning by inspiring our teams and channel to work with us. Winning is the outcome of the work we all do. Our focus is on the things we do to enable winning, but in the end we are in the business of winning.”
Cassidy’s success path in the office technology industry began in the United Kingdom. He’d actually cut his teeth in the legal profession before jetting across the pond. Cassidy had his heart set on moving into technology sales and knew that Xerox was renowned for having the best sales and support, so he applied there. Unfortunately, Cassidy lacked the experience necessary to land a gig.
Undaunted, Cassidy moved to London and procured a position within Minolta. After two years, he knocked on Xerox’s door again.
“I said, ‘I’ve completed my side of the agreement—will you hire we now?’” he recalled. Xerox loved the moxie and added Cassidy as a new business sales rep.
Part of the secret to Cassidy’s success, and a reason why he landed on the Difference Maker roster, is his penchant for understanding the current situation of business challenges, and listening goes a long way in this regard. Another trait that has served Cassidy well is not fearing change, which is always inevitable. Embracing and managing change has helped Cassidy and his team make decisions that move business forward.
Many individuals have helped to shape Cassidy’s career and outlook on the business world.
“John Hopwood in the U.K. trusted me to be a sales manager and helped my understanding of the need to plan and put good processes in place to compliment my natural energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “Russell Peacock gave me my first European job, appointed me to the board in the U.K. business and always encouraged me to be brave and to trust my instincts. Stephen Cronin moved me into a global role and helped me manage a new part of the business and to be clear in my thought and actions. Mike Feldman, who is president of our North America operation, has demonstrated his industry knowledge and experience from the minute he joined Xerox, and I love his approach, leadership style and ability to make good decisions.
“Last, but not least, is Jeff Jacobson, our current CEO. I have never met anyone with a greater passion for winning, a clearer desire to serve our customers and a high energy level—all of which is all truly inspiring.”
The 2016 campaign was a rousing success all around. Cassidy’s professional team reorganized the way it operates and created the strategy to transform its agent channel with a new operating model and value proposition. Other wins include creating and executing a new dealer strategy, relaunching an exciting MPS approach and growing the team’s A4 unit performance.
Suffice to say, 2017 is already shaping up to be an exciting year as well. The team has set four goals to successfully follow up on its ConnectKey announcement earlier in the year, which marked the largest product and software launch in the organization’s 110-year history.
- Grow the A4 and supplies business by significant margins.
- Expand MPS growth and leadership in the SMB market.
- Transform its agent business model to enable them to grow even more.
- Recruit dozens of new dealers in 2017 and grow that business by double digits.
Away from the office, Cassidy—who is getting married this year—loves spending time with his children as they embark on activities ranging from singing to dancing and athletics.
“My little girl loves to perform and watching her at shows and singing performances is a real treat,” Cassidy noted. “I also watched my eldest son play rugby this weekend back in England, which was amazing and made me so proud. I have a wedding coming up so both running and gym work are also on my agenda.”